Evonik Corporation opened a new 20,000 metric ton expansion at its precipitated silica site in Chester, Pennsylvania. “This is a very exciting day,” said Andreas Fischer, Head of Evonik’s Silica Business Line. “Chester is an integral part of Evonik’s global silica business. We have expanded our plants and constructed new facilities in Asia and Europe, and now we’ve built up our capacities for precipitated silicas in North America as well.” Fischer explained the capacity addition in Chester was part of Evonik’s initiative to increase world-wide capacities for precipitated silica by 30 % since 2010.
One of the major uses of precipitated silica is the automotive sector, said David Elliott, site manager at Evonik’s Chester facility. “Our products are used to manufacture fuel-efficient tires which significantly reduce the rolling-resistance of tires and achieve considerable fuel savings compared with conventional car tires. Fuel efficient tires help to cut fuel consumption by upwards of 8 percent,” said Elliott.
Precipitated silica is also used as an ingredient in the food and animal feed industries, as well as in paints and coatings.
In July, Evonik announced plans to build a plant to produce precipitated silica outside São Paulo, Brazil. The facility is scheduled to go on stream in 2016. The increased development in North and South America follows expansions that have already been completed in Europe and Asia. A production plant extension was completed in Thailand in March 2014.