LEVERKUSEN, Germany – The specialty chemicals group LANXESS, Leverkusen, Germany, is upgrading its water treatment capacities for the production of inorganic pigments. The company is investing EUR 1.6 million at its Krefeld-Uerdingen site in Germany to modernize and expand its water treatment unit at the facility for the production of iron oxide and chrome oxide pigments. The expansion project will also increase the synthesizing capacity for Bayferrox black and red pigments. “Another positive side effect is the fact that the expansion of our water treatment unit will lay the foundation for future expansion projects by the Inorganic Pigments business unit,” said Global Production Manager Dr. Birgit Blankemeyer-Menge.

The expansion work began in March 2012. At present, the new boiling vat is being installed. Measuring five meters in diameter and nearly 11 meters in height, the boiling vessel has an effective volume of 150 cubic meters. Beginning in October 2012, pigment production wastewater will be treated in the vessel via the boiling process. With this sustainable process, iron oxide pigments can be recovered from the process water.

Inorganic pigments have been produced at the Krefeld-Uerdingen site since 1926. The production volume now numbers around 280.000 metric tons per year. LANXESS uses the Laux process, which is a crucial factor for the high grinding stability and consistent color quality. This process is also exemplary in its consistent use of the reaction heat generated during production. Because this heat is used for the production of steam and hot water for subsequent process steps, virtually no external heat is required.