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Evonik to Boost Capacity at Sodium Methylate Plant

December 4, 2018
Image courtesy of Evonik
Image courtesy of Evonik

Responding to a projected uptick in demand for biodiesel in the U.S., specialty chemicals firm Evonik plans to expand its production facility for sodium methylate – used as a catalyst for large-scale production of the renewable fuel – in Mobile, AL, a company press release announced Monday.

“Demand for biodiesel in the U.S. continues to grow and that’s why Evonik continues to invest in its Mobile sodium methylate site,” the head of Evonik’s Business Line Functional Solutions unit, Stefan Plass, said in a statement. “We want to be able to deliver our high quality product and services to our customers in the most competitive and reliable way to meet their growing needs.” 

Evonik’s project comes after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created new renewable volume obligations (RVO) for 2020 that changed the ways that refiners comply with the Renewable Fuels Standard. 

Beyond the agency’s alteration of renewable fuels regulations, the company is also eying additional markets for sodium methylate produced at the Mobile plant.

“Evonik’s ability to supply the broad spectrum of life sciences industry with high quality sodium methylate is another decisive factor for our expansion,” Andreas Kripzak, general manager and vice president of North America, Business Line Functional Solutions at Evonik, said in the release. “We aim to expand our regional leadership position for sodium methylate on all levels.”

New infrastructure and logistics solutions will also be added to the Mobile plant, including an upgrade of its rail fleet and the expansion of its storage capabilities, as part of the investment. 

The company also operates sodium methylate plants in Argentina and Germany.

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