German specialty chemicals company Lanxess is expanding its production capacity for the industrial chemical benzyl alcohol for the global market by around 30%. The two-stage expansion of the plant at the German site in Krefeld-Uerdingen is scheduled for completion by the end of 2019. A low double-digit million euro sum will be spent on the conversion measures.
In addition, the Advanced Industrial Intermediates (AII) business unit has expansion plans for its Indian site in Nagda. Several process improvements have already led to an increase in benzyl alcohol capacity there in recent years.
“With our two sites in Germany and India and the planned expansions, we are well positioned to meet the growing demand from our customers,” says Michael Ertl, head of the Benzyl Products & Inorganic Acids business line at AII. “We are well equipped to serve both global groups with locations around the world and small and medium-sized companies worldwide,” he says.
Benzyl alcohol is used in a variety of different applications, for example as a solvent for coatings, color pastes and construction chemicals, as a high-purity preservative for injection solutions and cosmetics, and as a synthetic chemical. Other applications include adhesives, plastics, textile auxiliaries, fragrances and flavorings, and agricultural chemicals.
In the European Union, benzyl alcohol is approved as a food additive with the number E 1519 for the production of flavors for certain beverages, confectionery and bakery products.
The Lanxess business unit is part of the Advanced Intermediates segment, which recorded sales of EUR2.2 billion (USD2.5 billion) in fiscal year 2018.