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Evonik - Market success: More than 1,000 reference plants worldwide with SEPURAN® membranes for gas separation in operation

Petrochemical industry | 20 Jan 2022 IST | Polymerupdate.com
• From startup to global technology leader for gas separation membranes within a decade
• Strong demand for SEPURAN® membranes in biogas, nitrogen, hydrogen and natural gas applications
• Second manufacturing expansion underway

Since the product launch in 2011, Evonik has delivered gas separation membranes in more than 1,000 reference plants worldwide as of the end of 2021. Within just one decade, the specialty chemicals company has become a globally recognized technology leader in polymer-based SEPURAN® membranes for efficient gas separation. The Group is experiencing continued strong demand in biogas, nitrogen, hydrogen and natural gas applications. The expansion of existing production capacities at the Austrian site in Schörfling am Attersee is progressing.

„Having developed and established the biogas industry in close cooperation with our partners, we are establishing now our SEPURAN® membranes in demanding nitrogen, hydrogen and natural gas applications,” says Dr. Iordanis Savvopoulos, Head of the Fibres, Foams and Membranes Product Line at Evonik. "We celebrated the 500th biogas reference plant just under a year ago, and now the next market success for the entire membrane portfolio is hitting us, giving us an important boost for further growth. The market is convinced of our innovative membrane technology."

INNOVATIVE EDGE THROUGH BACKWARD INTEGRATION
At the heart of Evonik's SEPURAN® membrane technology are polymer-based hollow-fibre membranes made of the high-performance polymer polyimide developed in-house. Evonik is the world's only backward-integrated manufacturer of highly selective gas separation membranes.

"Backward integration is the key driver of our innovative strength," emphasizes Dr. Goetz Baumgarten, head of the Membranes Innovation Growth Field at Evonik. "Thanks to our many years of expertise in polymer chemistry, we already adjust the membrane properties at the development stage of the base material—our high-performance polymer—in order to produce particularly selective, productive, and robust membranes that can be used even under extreme process conditions-such as those found in the oil and gas industry or in aviation."

POLYMER-BASED MEMBRANE TECHNOLOGY FOR GAS SEPARATION
SEPURAN® membranes make it possible to separate gases such as methane (CH4), nitrogen (N2), or hydrogen (H2) from gas mixtures. The advantages of Evonik's membrane technology are more precise separation of the gases and higher productivity.
SEPURAN® N2 membranes for efficient nitrogen generation are used, for example, to inert aircraft tanks. SEPURAN® Noble membranes extract hydrogen transported through natural gas pipelines selectively from the CH4/H2 gas mixture at the delivery points. SEPURAN® NG membranes enable efficient natural gas processing from gas sources with high CO2 concentration.

Evonik launched its first membrane product—SEPURAN® Green, for efficient upgrading of biogas—on the market in 2011, laying the foundations for future business in membranes. This was followed by further membrane products for nitrogen, helium, hydrogen, natural gas, and nanofiltration applications. The membranes, which are now being successfully used in more than 1,000 system installations worldwide, are produced at Evonik’s site in Schörfling, Austria. The high-performance polymer-based material is produced in neighboring Lenzing.




COMPANY INFORMATION
Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of €12.2 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €1.91 billion in 2020. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. About 33,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life today and tomorrow.

ABOUT SMART MATERIALS
The Smart Materials division includes businesses with innovative materials that enable resource-saving solutions and replace conventional materials. They are the smart answer to the major challenges of our time: environment, energy efficiency, urbanization, mobility and health. The Smart Materials division generated sales of €3.24 billion in 2020 with about 7,900 employees.
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