Evonik celebrates 50 years of isophorone chemistry
On 16 November 2012, Evonik celebrated 50 years of making isophorone chemicals. Some 200 customers, employees, and pensioned former employees joined Evonik Executive Board members Dr. Thomas Haeberle and Thomas Wessel in Herne to look back on the history of isophorone chemistry at the site.
The first plant for isophorone production commenced operation at the Herne site of Hibernia, as a predecessor company of Evonik Industries in 1962. Discovered as a by-product of acetone catalysis, isophorone evolved to eventually become one of the company’s core areas of competency. The continual further development of this product, combined with the exploration and tapping of new technologies and markets, enabled the company to build an extensive product portfolio for applications in a whole variety of industries.
“We are celebrating not just a strong and versatile product portfolio, but the development of tailored solutions for our customers, as well,” said Dr. Thomas Haeberle, Evonik Industries Executive Board member. “Over the years we’ve established close, trusting partnerships in this field, and they’ve inspired, and continue to inspire, us to systematically expand our portfolio of products and services.” Chief Human Resources Officer of Evonik, Thomas Wessel emphasized: “Good skilled and safety-conscious employees are the foundation for the success of our plants in Herne”.
“We’ll see a continued strong rise in the demand for developments that enable the conservation of natural resources,” explained Dr. Ulrich Küsthardt, head of the Coatings & Additives Business Unit, by way of emphasizing the importance of and the growth potential for isophorone for the Evonik Group. “That’s one of the reasons why we’re appreciated as a highly competent partner for isophorone-based products in the market for composites.”
Just recently, in June of this year, Evonik held a ground-breaking ceremony for the start of construction of a plant in Shanghai (China), its fifth isophorone production site. Products from the new facilities, which are scheduled to come on stream in the first quarter of 2014, will primarily serve markets in China and Asia Pacific, with an annual capacity of 50 kt.
Evonik currently manufactures isophorone chemical products in Herne and Marl, Germany, Mobile, AL, USA, and Antwerp, Belgium. The company markets these products around the globe under the trademarks of Vestamin, Vestanat, Vestagon and Vestasol.