Evonik invests in Austria to expand membrane business for gas separation

Evonik Industries is expanding its membrane business.

To this end, the specialty chemicals company will further expand its Austrian site in Lenzing/Schörfling to double the existing production capacities for the hollow-fiber membrane modules of its SEPURAN® brand. The membrane offers a method for the separation of gases from gas mixtures such as methane, nitrogen, or hydrogen. The production of additional membrane modules is projected to begin in late 2017. Evonik’s investment will also create over 30 new jobs in Schörfling.

“The investment in Austria creates the basis for the further growth of our membrane business in the market for efficient gas separation. As a technology leader, we want to benefit in an above-average way from the growth in the global gas separation market with our highly selective and productive membranes,” said Dr. Ralph Sven Kaufmann, a member of Evonik’s Executive Board and its chief operating officer.

Compared to conventional methods such as cryogenic separation, gas separation via membranes is still a new technology. Because of its higher energy efficiency and lower cost, experts project higher growth for gases from membrane-based separation processes than for conventional gas separation. Nitrogen, with a share of more than 40 percent, has the largest market volume in membrane-based gas separation. The gas separation modules that Evonik produces in Schörfling are primarily intended for the biogas market and for hydrogen and helium extraction. The new hollow fibre spinning plant will be dedicated to the production of membrane modules for efficient gas separation particularly for nitrogen extraction. The nearby Lenzing plant manufactures polyimide, a high-performance polymer, which is spun and then further processed in Schörfling. The infrastructure in Lenzing will be expanded as well.

Source: Evonik
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