Evonik increases capacity of sodium methylate plant in Alabama, US


The North American subsidiary of German specialty chemicals manufacturer Evonik Industries has completed the capacity expansion works at its sodium methylate plant in Mobile, Alabama, US.

With the expansion, the annual production capacity has been increased to 72,000t through operational excellence and infrastructure investments.

Evonik business line functional solutions head Stefan Plass said: “The US market for biodiesel will continue to grow.

“Evonik has also increased its rail fleet for sodium methylate, ensuring that the additional volume will be available throughout the US.”

“Ensuring our customers have a key raw material they need, when they need it, is why we have invested our resources here in Mobile; to better meet our customers’ needs.”

Methylate is used for in pharmaceuticals, polymers and agrochemicals synthesis, but the demand for this chemical is growing, as it is now being used in large-scale biodiesel production accounting for more than 80% of the biodiesel produced in North America.

Evonik business line functional solutions general manager for North America and vice-president Alexander Weber said: “This represents the first phase of expansion plans for sodium methylate and demonstrates our continuing commitment to the biodiesel industry.

“Evonik has also increased its rail fleet for sodium methylate, ensuring that the additional volume will be available throughout the US.”

In addition to the Mobile plant, the company also produces sodium methylate in Germany and Argentina.

Sodium methylate serves as a catalyst in the production of biodiesel, which is a renewable biofuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions.