Evonik introduces innovative gas separation and contribution towards bio-based production

Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Ulrich Küsthardt: “The search for alternative raw material sources is an important innovation field for us.”

  • SEPURAN® hollow fibers for new applications introduced
  • Portfolio already contains bio-based plastics and processes

Evonik Industries is presenting new SEPURAN® hollow fibers for efficient, energy-saving separation of gas mixtures at this year’s ACHEMA in Frankfurt, Germany. SEPURAN® N2 enables inexpensive air separation and, consequently, efficient recovery of nitrogen; highly selective SEPURAN® Noble Membranes are used for efficient recovery of helium from natural gas or process gases. With its new development, the specialty chemicals company is following the success of SEPURAN® Green, which became the established process for upgrading biogas worldwide within a short time. More than 40 biogas upgrading plants based on SEPURAN® Green are now in operation or under construction.

Chief Innovation Officer of Evonik, Dr. Ulrich Küsthardt, said: “SEPURAN® hollow fibers are just one example of innovation at Evonik: successful, efficient, and sustainable.” The SEPURAN® hollow fiber membranes are an example of how Evonik’s products make a contribution towards value adding in bio-based production, one of the three focal topics of ACHEMA. As in 2012, the BiobasedWorld of ACHEMA depicts bio-based production, which remains an important topic for research and industry.

Evonik Industries specifically aims to use alternative raw materials and biotechnological processes. For the specialty chemical company, biotechnology is an important technology platform with considerable potential. The innovative company plans to offer new, sustainable products that are not reliant on fossil resources. “The search for alternative raw material sources is an important innovation field for us,” says Küsthardt.

Accordingly, in Frankfurt Evonik will be presenting VESTAMID® Terra, a bio-based, high-performance polymer, which belongs to the polyamide family. The raw materials for this are recovered from the castor-oil plant. VESTAMID® Terra can be used wherever there are high technical requirements or where a good eco footprint is desired. This includes applications in the automotive and construction industries as well as sports items, consumer goods, and electronics devices.

Evonik has another bio-based polyamide in the pilot phase. In Slovenska Lupca (Slovakia) a pilot plant is in operation for the biotechnological production of ω-amino lauric acid (ALS), a precursor of the high performance polyamide 12. In the long term, the new process will complement oil-based production of polyamide 12.

Evonik’s innovation strategy focuses on the needs of a growing population – nutrition, health, access to new technologies, more care when using existing resources. “Evonik will become one of the most innovative companies in the world – that is our aspiration,” states Küsthardt once again. “After all, innovations open up new business areas and strengthen our leading market and technology positions.” As a result, Evonik Industries is to invest more than €4 billion in R&D in the next ten years. In fiscal 2014, Evonik’s spent €413 million on R&D, five percent more than the previous year (€394 million). The R&D share was 3.2 percent (2013: 3.1 percent).


Evonik Industries at ACHEMA:

In Hall 9.2, D40, for Innovation, Employer Branding, and Technical Services
In Hall 5.1, C17, for more efficient and energy-saving separation of gas mixtures using SEPURAN® hollow fibers


EVONIK Industries, press release, 2015-06-09.


Evonik Industries AG


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