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Evonik to expand precipitated silica capacity in the US

On December 20, Evonik Industries announced plans to increase its annual production capacity for precipitated silica at Chester, PA by around 20,000 metric tons. The new facility, which received an investment in the lower double-digit Euros range, is scheduled to become operational in 2014. The project is part of a larger program whereby Evonik will expand its global silica capacities by about thirty percent by 2014 (relative to 2010 capacity). The program also has included projects in Europe and Asia. Evonik pointed to new demand for precipitated silica in fuel-efficient tires as a driving factor in the expansion.

Evonik produces precipitated silicas at ten sites in nine countries. In addition to precipitated silicas used as stabilizing fillers for fuel-efficient tires, precipitated silica is also used as a carrier and anti-caking agent in the feed and food industry and as an additive in paints and coatings. Evonik also produces silanes used as coupling agents for silica in fuel-efficient tires, and is the only producer of both components of this filler system. Evonik also produces fumed silicas for use in silicone rubber, coatings, adhesives, and sealants. Overall, the global annual production capacity of Evonik for precipitated and fumed silicas as well as matting agents reaches 500,000 metric tons.

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