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Betaine exit for Evonik 

Evonik has agreed to sell its US betaine business in Hopewell, Virginia (pictured), to speciality chemicals company Kensing. The deal is expected to close in Q3. This follows the sale of the firm’s UK betaines site at Milton Keynes and the closure of another at Granollers, Spain, both in 2020. 

Evonik will, however, continue its betaine businesses in Europe, Asia and Latin America. It will also retain the rest of the Hopewell facility, which produces additives for polyurethane foam manufacture, plus agricultural and industrial applications.

Evonik in Brazilian alliance

Evonik has entered into a technological cooperation agreement with the AgTech Garage innovation centre in the Piracicaba Technology Park in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This came shortly after the company opened its new ‘Agro Hub’ at Americana in the same start AgTech Garage is described as an innovation hub that seeks to connect start-ups, producers, investors, academics, scientists and others in the development of sustainable agribusiness.

Evonik announces ‘next phase of strategic transformation’

At its Capital Markets Day, Evonik announced that it is embarking on the next phase of its strategic transformation. During this, said board chairman Christian Kullmann, the company will be “executing targeted and massive investments in green growth and making sustainability our central innovation driver”.

New strategy for Evonik Active Oxygens

Evonik’s Active Oxygens business line has released a new sustainability strategy for its hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), peracetic acid and persulfates. This includes steps to slash carbon emissions and increase resource efficiency in production, with the goal of achieving climate neutrality across the business line by 2040.

Evonik realigns Health Care

In order to “maximise customer centricity and market focus” and continue an ongoing transition into “a system solutions partner for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries”, Evonik has divided its Health Care business into three distinct units.

Drug Substance encompasses the company’s CDMO services for active APIs, including HPAPIs, and intermediates plus generics. It is headed by Dr Stefan Randl, an industry veteran of 15 years who has been leading projects in mRNA and gene therapies since 2020.

Biosurfactant platform planned

Waste2Func, a European BBI-JU funded project, has been granted €6.7 million to build a technology platform. This will collect food waste from agriculture, food manufacturing, supermarkets, auctions and restaurants, and convert it via fermentation and purification into lactic acid and biosurfactants with applications in cosmetics, personal care and household care products. The project began in June 2021 and will end in November 2024, with a total budget of €13.965 million.

Otto Roelen Medal for Robert Franke

Dechema and the German Catalysis Society have awarded the 2022 Otto Roelen Medal to Professor Robert Franke for his work on developing catalytic carbonylation, particularly hydroformylation, from theory to industrial implementation. The award will be made at the society’s AGM in Weimar on 18 June.

Franke is adjunct professor at Ruhr University Bochum and also heads up hydroformylation research at the Evonik Performance Materials site in Marl. His research focuses on homogeneous catalysis, process intensification and the modelling of catalytic processes.

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