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Evonik prepares to face the future—with new processes and in new markets.
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PLEXIGLAS® from Evonik has been on the market for 75 years and is helping shape modern living. In three quarters of a century, the versatile transparent plastic has inspired people all over the world to use it in new ways. And PLEXIGLAS® will continue to be used in new and innovative ways in the future, because its versatile properties mean that there are scarcely any limits to application possibilities.
Evonik is already focusing on new production processes to secure global supplies of PLEXIGLAS® by methods that conserve resources and are eco-friendly and competitive. We have developed a pioneering new process by the name of AVENEER for producing methyl methacrylate (MMA), the basic material for PLEXIGLAS® production. AVENEER represents a quantum leap in MMA technology. Like the traditional ACH sulfo process, it is based on the starting substances ammonia, methane, acetone, and methanol, but does not use sulfuric acid. This acid therefore need not be recycled, which lowers costs and conserves resources.
A further advantage of the novel process is its locational and technological flexibility. First, it can generally be used at typical chemical production sites anywhere in the world, and second, existing Evonik plants can be refitted to use it. The first commercial scale plant could go into production as early as 2012.
The world is looking toward Asia, and Evonik too is contributing to China's explosive economic growth. Under the MATCH Project, Evonik is currently constructing in Shanghai an integrated production facility for methacrylate and PMMA specialties that is unique anywhere in the world. The world-scale complex comprises, in addition to an annual capacity of about 100,000 metric tons of methyl methacrylate (MMA), plants for production of methacrylic acid, butyl methacrylate, and specialty methacrylates. The result will be an optimized integrated production facility, unique of its kind, for supplying customers in various branches of industry, from optoelectronics to adhesives.
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