Evonik to boost output of isobutene derivatives at Marl Chemical Park
From left to right: Dr. Markus Winterberg (Vice President Production & Technology); Dr. Hinnerk Gordon Becker (Market Segment Head Specialties); Christian Bierhaus (Senior Vice President Marketing & Sales). Photo courtesy of Evonik

Evonik to boost output of isobutene derivatives at Marl Chemical Park

Evonik is investing around EUR15 million (USD17.8 million) in its C4 production network at the Marl Chemical Park in Germany, the company announced. Targeted debottlenecking measures will increase the local production capacity for so-called isobutene derivatives by more than 50% by December 2021. In addition, logistics will be further expanded in order to further increase the flexibility of supply to customers, both in terms of the quantities requested and the delivery time.

The products TBA, DiB and TMH are manufactured in the isobutene part of the production network. They are enjoying increasing demand and have high future growth potential. 

TBA is available from Evonik in two grades (‘pure’ and ‘azeotropic’) and is used, among other things, for the production of organic peroxides for the plastics industry, as a special solvent, and in the production of tablet coatings by the pharmaceutical industry.

DiB is a highly branched C8 molecule. Due to its high purity, it can be used as an intermediate product for the production of UV stabilizers, high-performance lubricants and special polymer resins.

TMH, as an aldehyde with high isomeric purity, is an intermediate product for the production of high-performance lubricants (especially cooling lubricants) and lubricant additives, as well as a component and intermediate product for special products in the cosmetics and fragrance industries.

“Evonik has enormous expertise in the production of isobutene derivatives with high product and isomer purity. Our investment supports the high growth dynamics in the field of synthetic high-performance lubricants. We are also developing new applications for our petrochemical specialties. With the broadening of our range of isobutene derivatives, we are able to offer our customers an even better combination of supply reliability, flexibility and product quality,” said Hinnerk Becker, market segment manager for specialties at Performance Intermediates.

The background to the investment in the Performance Intermediates business line is the ongoing development of so-called petrochemical specialties. These supplement the well-known classics such as MTBE, 1,3-butadiene or DINP and make a significant contribution to meeting the requirement of 100% material use of all raw material flows and thus to our sustainability strategy.

Another advantage of the investment is that the purity for the product TMH will increase from > 88 % to > 96 %. This means that in the future, customers will be able to use TMH directly in their own production process without additional purification, saving them both time and money.

The Marl Chemical Park is one of the largest chemical sites in Germany and also Evonik’s largest production location. The production focus in Marl Chemical Park is on the conversion of petrochemical raw materials such as benzene, ethylene, propylene, methanol and phenol into basic, fine and specialty chemicals—from C4 crack into derived products, from chlorine electrolysis into PVC, from acetylene into tetrahydrofuran, from fatty alcohols and ethylene oxide into surfactants, and from acrylic acid into butyl acrylate, to name but a few.

About Evonik

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of EUR13.1 billion (USD15.5 billion) and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of EUR2.15 billion (USD2.5 billion) in 2019.