Leverkusen - Specialty chemicals company LANXESS is expanding its business in Leverkusen with solutions for water treatment. At its largest site worldwide, the company is investing around EUR 10 million in a new production line for weakly acidic cation exchange resins of the Lewatit premium brand, plus a state-of-the-art facility for food-grade-standard filling and packaging. One key area of application for these ion exchange resins is cartridges for domestic water filter systems. They remove unwanted calcium and magnesium salts and lead and copper ions from mains water and release other harmless substances in their place. This improves the quality and taste of drinking water.

“Water is one of the main megatrends of our time. LANXESS provides innovative products and solutions to meet the challenges posed by the increasingly difficult water supply situation worldwide. We use our expertise to improve people's quality of life,” says Rainer van Roessel, member of the Board of Management of LANXESS AG. “Demand for special cationic exchange resins is growing at a rate of three to five percent each year. That is why we are raising our profile and expanding our production capacities at the Leverkusen site by more than 30 percent. With water becoming scarce, this investment is a clear indication of our commitment not only to promoting responsible usage of this resource, but also to the Leverkusen site and the region as a whole.”

As part of the capacity expansion, a new building for filling products for foodstuff applications will also be constructed on an area of 300 square meters. With this food-grade packaging facility, LANXESS is setting a very high standard for product purity and ensuring even better quality. “Demand for products for foodstuff applications is growing. Hand in hand with our capacity expansion, our highly efficient filling and packaging system will enable us to fill even greater volumes,” says Jean-Marc Vesselle, who is responsible for the global ion exchange resins business at LANXESS.

Construction work to provide the additional volumes needed to fulfill the requirements of the global market has already begun and is due to be completed by mid-2014.

LANXESS is one of the leading manufacturers of ion exchange resins. Premium products from the established Lewatit range are used, for example, for treatment of solutions in the food and beverage industry, chemical catalysis, the power plant industry and pharmaceutical biofermentation.

Business unit renamed Liquid Purification Technologies

As of April 1, 2013, the Ion Exchange Resins business unit has been renamed Liquid Purification Technologies (LPT). The reason for this change is the significant expansion of the product portfolio with the addition of membrane filtration technology for reverse osmosis. “Our production facility in Bitterfeld for Lewabrane membrane elements commenced operations in 2011,” recalls Vesselle. “This makes us one of the few companies that offer both ion exchange resins and reverse osmosis membrane elements – two different yet complementary water treatment technologies – from a single source. To reflect this change, we have renamed our Ion Exchange Resins business unit and it will now be known as Liquid Purification Technologies,” he explains. For Vesselle, this new name also represents a pledge to continue developing, manufacturing and successfully marketing future-oriented products for cleaning and treating water and other liquid media. His goal is to position the Liquid Purification Technologies business unit in the long term as a leading worldwide provider of solutions for the treatment of liquid media.

The Liquid Purification Technologies business unit is part of LANXESS' Performance Chemicals segment, which recorded sales of EUR 2.2 billion in fiscal 2012.


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