Chemistry Division to expand its capacities

Zeochem is investing just over CHF 10 million in increasing its Louisville and Zvornik molecular sieve production capacities.

Perlen, 29 June 2021 – The Chemistry Division of the CPH Group is to increase the production capacities for two of its molecular sieve product lines, in response to high market demand.

The first of these are the lithium molecular sieves used to concentrate medical oxygen that are manufactured at Zeochem’s Louisville production plant in the USA. The increase in respiratory diseases is prompting a steep rise in the demand for portable oxygen concentrators worldwide. Lithium molecular sieves are also used to produce oxygen for industrial applications. To meet the additional demand for such lithium products, the capacities at the Louisville plant are to be raised by some 700 tonnes a year through investment in a new production facility.

The second Zeochem product line to have its manufacturing capacities increased is Purmol, a molecular sieve powder with numerous applications. Purmol is used, for example, to prevent bubbles forming in polyurethane floor coverings. Another new and rapidly growing area of its application is in window technology. In multiple-pane windows, for which aluminium spacers have previously been provided together with molecular sieve desiccants to prevent fogging on the panes, plastic spacers are now increasingly used instead. Not only does a plastic spacer provide better thermal insulation: the molecular sieve desiccant required can be incorporated into the plastic in powder form. To meet the increased demand for such molecular sieve powders, the Chemistry Division is installing a new calciner at its Zvornik site in Bosnia and Herzegovina that will raise its annual Purmol production capacity by some 800 tonnes.

“With these investments we are further expanding our Chemistry Division in line with our corporate strategy, and are further consolidating Zeochem’s leading technological position in the market for high-quality molecular sieves,” says Peter Schildknecht, CEO of the CPH Group. The total investment in the two new facilities is just over CHF 10 million. The new facilities should be operational by mid-2022.

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