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December 17, 2008

Evonik to produce catalysts in China next year

Gerald Ondrey

Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany;, has started building a catalyst manufacturing plant, for producing precious-metal powder catalysts, in Shanghai, China. The plant will start operation in the fourth quarter of 2009. Precious-metal powder catalysts are used in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals and industrial chemicals, where performance criteria such as high selectivity, activity and filterability are demanded. Some examples of the variety of applications of these catalysts include the highly selective synthesis of pharmaceutical active ingredients, and the production of precursors for polyurethanes which are further processed into such applications as foams for car seats and furniture.

Evonik claims to be the worldwide leader in precious metal powder catalysts and currently has manufacturing facilities at four locations: Hanau, Germany; Tsukuba, Japan; Americana, Brazil; and Calvert City, Kentucky. With the new plant in Shanghai, Evonik is further enhancing its global activities. The pharmaceutical and fine chemicals industries are currently growing at annual rates of more than 15% in China – a key advantage of the Shanghai site is its proximity to the Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, where a number of pharmaceutical and fine chemical companies are located.

In addition, an important aspect of the use of precious-metal powder catalysts is precious metal recycling, which Evonik will also offer in China through its existing partnership with Heraeus (Hanau, Germany; This will provide a complete precious metal service enabling customers to optimize their supply chain efficiencies.

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