ERJ staff report (TP)
Cologne, Germany / Zwijndrecht, Belgium − LANXESS celebrated the 50th anniversary of its butyl rubber plant in Zwijndrecht this week with the visit of board member Rainier van Roessel.
With 163 employees and three reactors the plant had a startup capacity of 30,000 tonnes. Half a century later yearly capacity now stands at 150,000 tonnes.
The LANXESS Group invested more than €250m in Zwijjndrecht for capacity growth but also in a new energy plant and two pilot plants.
Investments were not only done in production and efficiency, but also to enhance the sustainability of the plant. One of the major projects was the construction of a new energy plant, a CHP (Combined Heat and Power) plant, which delivers steam and electricity to the plant.
Butyl rubber is mainly used for the tire production. Modern radial tires require an inner liner made of halobutyl rubber, which helps keep tire pressure constant for longer because of its impermeability to gases, thus saving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions.
Other applications for butyl rubber are protective clothing, shoe soles, adhesives and chewing gum. Its impermeability to gas and resistance to chemicals have also proven valuable in vehicle air conditioning systems and tank linings.
LANXESS is a specialty chemicals company with sales of €9.1bn in 2012 and roughly 17,500 employees in 31 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. Its core business is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.
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Press release from LANXESS