Evonik, Wynca Launch Operations at Silica Plant
Evonik Wynca Silicon Material Co., Ltd., a joint venture of specialty chemicals company Evonik and Chinese company Wynca, has recently begun operations at its new fumed silica plant in the Zhenjiang New Material Industry Park in Jiangsu, China.
More than 150 participants, including employees from Evonik and Wynca, partners, government and media representatives, attended the opening ceremony last month.
According to Evonik’s press release on the start-up, the plant is the company’s first fumed silica production site in the country.
“I am excited to witness the cooperation between Evonik and the Chinese partner Wynca,” said Claudine Mollenkopf, head of Evonik Silica business line. “The joint venture will be a strong complement to Evonik’s global presence in fumed silica. We expect win-win results through leveraging the expertise of both parties in silicon materials.”
The new plant was created to produce fumed silica, an important functioning material for thickening, thixotropy, anti-precipitation and matting. The material is commonly applied in industrial applications such as silicones, coatings, adhesives and sealants.
The material will be marketed under the brand name AEROSIL.
“The partnership allows both sides to realize integration and complementarity in the supply chain of fumed silica and the recycling of materials. The improved value chain will enable us to deliver premium services and products to customers in China and Asia,” added Jianhua Wu, Chairman of the Wynca Group.
To produce the high-value fumed silica products, Evonik reports that its product technology will be combined with Wynca’s silicone industry chain through the comprehensive use of monomer by-products, methyltrichlorosilane and chlorosilane from Wynca. The joint venture also plans to utilize the hydrochloric acid by-product as a raw material for Wynca Zhenjiang Site.
The production loop is expected to contribute to synergies among silicone monomer, chlorosilane and fumed silica production and ultimately to a circular economy. Evonik adds that the new joint venture also positions the company to build a complete global supply chain of fumed silica for customers in China and Asia.
“Since the plant broke ground in December 2019, we’ve completed the construction work on schedule with high quality and safety standards. We live up to our commitment to the customers,” said Fuliang Xia, President of Evonik Greater China, in his speech at the opening ceremony.
“Evonik continues to develop its global footprint and focus on providing local customers with tailor-made products and services. We are also looking forward to joining forces with Wynca, our strong partner in China, to drive the growth in the Chinese market.”
Other Silicone Plants and Products
Last year, in July, Evonik reported that it had begun production at its new multi-purpose silicones manufacturing facility in Geesthacht, Germany.
The facility became fully operational after final commissioning tests and necessary approvals, and small batch runs began despite added protocols in light of COVID-19.
The space produces silicones and silyl-terminated polymers used in parquet adhesive flooring and liquid membranes for roofing or electronical potting applications. The extra production capacities reportedly provide Evonik customers with a faster and more reliable supply of products, the company noted, and a wider choice of products such as innovative nanotechnologies.
The new facility aims to strengthen Evonik’s innovation capabilities and its focus on silicone and nanotechnology specialty chemical products.
More recently, earlier this year, Evonik announced via emailed press release that it had developed a new structure-modified silica type for antifouling coatings from its aerosol product group.
The VP 4200 is reported to reduce biocide content and has free OH-groups that enables formulating more ecofriendly, cuprous oxide containing antifouling coatings.
The new coating is also reported to be tailor-made for both controlled depletion polymers and self-polishing coatings and has a relatively low thickening effect.
Evonik attributes the new coatings success regarding the controlled release of biocide to its formation of a complex with Cu2O. According to Evonik, the formulation of VP 4200 leads to the same performance as the standard type with up to 50% Cu2O.