"As one of our growth fields, the membrane business is an outstanding example of the way we access new markets with innovative products. With today's groundbreaking ceremony, we continue the success story of our membrane business and position ourselves as a technology leader in the attractive market for gas separation," said Klaus Engel, chairman of the Evonik Executive Board.
Evonik's Schörfling plant is currently producing gas separation modules primarily for the biogas market and for hydrogen and helium recovery. The new hollow fiber spinning plant will focus on the manufacture of membrane modules for efficient on-site nitrogen generation.
"We want to supply the gas separation market with tailor-made products that make a significant contribution to greater efficiency for our customers. The investment in Schörfling creates additional opportunities to further broaden our membrane portfolio," noted Dr. Claus Rettig, chairman of the Board of Management of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH.
Sepuran membranes offer a particularly efficient method for separating gases such as methane, nitrogen, or hydrogen from gas mixtures. The advantages of Evonik membrane technology for gas separation include more precise separation of gases and greater productivity.
The company's plant in Lenzing near the Schörfling site manufactures the source material polyimide, a high-performance polymer, which is spun and then further processed in Schörfling. The infrastructure in Lenzing will be upgraded accordingly as part of the site expansion.
The Sepuran product family of Evonik's Resource Efficiency Segment includes membranes for biogas processing, on-site nitrogen generation as well as for helium and hydrogen recovery. For over fifty years, the High Performance Polymers Business Line within the Segment has developed and produced high-performance polymers that allow for resource-efficient innovations in a wide range of industries. Sepuran Green membranes for biogas processing were successfully launched in 2011. Since then, the membrane technology has been consistently developed further. The product range has been supplemented with the Sepuran Noble membrane for helium and hydrogen processing, as Evonik expects growth in the lower two-digit percentage range for the helium and hydrogen market in the coming years. The new hollow fiber membrane for efficient on-site nitrogen generation-Sepuran N2–was added to the membrane portfolio in early 2016.