Cologne – Specialty chemicals company LANXESS is investing in its ion exchange resin production facility at the Leverkusen, Germany, site. The company is optimizing its process technology and operating efficiency for a seven-figure EUR amount. The project is scheduled for completion in the first half of 2019.
“For our ion exchange resins business, we see great potential in numerous future-oriented industries. We intend to make even better use of this potential by optimizing our technology,” said Rainier van Roessel, member of the Board of Management at LANXESS AG. “At the same time, with this investment, we are further strengthening the position of the Leverkusen site as the heart of our production operations in Germany.”
Demand for ion exchange resins is for example rising in the battery industry, driven in particular by the trend toward electromobility. The metals essential for battery cell production – lithium, nickel and cobalt – can be extracted by means of ion exchange resins.
Ion exchange resins are polymer beads that absorb undesirable substances in fluids. Depending on the substance, differently functionalized beads are used.
Possible household applications include, for example, softening water in dishwashers and cartridges in household water filters. Here, ion exchange resins remove undesired calcium and magnesium salts or lead and copper ions from tap water. This improves the quality and taste of the drinking water.
In power plants, the polymer beads are used in the production of highly purified water and steam. Deposits and corrosion can thereby be prevented and efficiency, operational safety and service life increased. Furthermore, ion exchange resins help in removing selected heavy metals, such as mercury and cadmium, and organic pollutants from both groundwater and industrial wastewater.
Leading provider of water treatment solutions
The LANXESS Liquid Purification Technologies (LPT) business unit is one of the world’s most important providers of water treatment solutions. In addition to ion exchange resins, the specialty chemicals company offers membrane filter elements for reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration membranes. LANXESS is one of very few companies to offer these two different, complementary water treatment technologies from a single source.
In addition to Leverkusen, the business unit operates further plants for the production of ion exchange resins in Bitterfeld, Germany, and in Jhagadia, India. Moreover, LANXESS manufactures reverse osmosis membrane filters in Bitterfeld. The LPT business unit is headed by Bettina Blottko and employs around 530 people worldwide, with roughly 120 of those in Leverkusen.