LANXESS switches Geleen EPDM line to ACE technology

02 July 2013 15:46  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--LANXESS has converted its largest production line for its Keltan-branded ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) synthetic rubber to the company’s Advanced Catalyst Elastomers (ACE) technology, the specialty chemicals producer said on Tuesday.

Germany-based LANXESS invested approximately €12m ($15.6m) to convert the 95,000 tonne/year production line at its site in Sittard, Geleen, the Netherlands from conventional Ziegler-Natta chemistry to the ACE-process.

“This launch is the result of considerable long-term R&D efforts conducted by the EPDM experts at today‘s LANXESS Business Unit Keltan Elastomers,” said Torsten Derr, head of the business unit, noting the conversion was completed on time and within budget.

LANXESS plans to also roll out ACE technology at its planned €235m, 160,000-tonne/year Changzhou EPDM plant in Jiangsu Province, China, scheduled to start up in 2015.

The ACE process enables LANXESS to deliver a broad range of proven, high-quality ethylene propylene monomer (EPM) and EPDM grades in consistent quality, chlorine-free and with high degrees of purity, the company said.

Reduced energy consumption and zero-production of catalyst waste, making de-ashing obsolete, are other features of ACE, it added.

“The ACE catalyst system allows for the production of the complete EPDM grade portfolio, including a wide range of monomer compositions and molecular weights,” said Derr.

“Among them are very high ENB [ethylidene norbornene] grades, for fast vulcanisation, and – oil extended – very-high-molecular-weight grades, for excellent elastic properties,” he added.

EPDM is used above all in the automotive industry for door sealants and coolant hoses.

According to LANXESS estimates, approximately 7kg of EPDM are used in every car.

The product is also used in the plastics modification, cable and wire, construction and oil additives industries. Its properties include very low density, good resistance to heat, oxidation, chemicals and weathering as well as good electrical insulation properties, the company said.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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