ESSEN, Germany – Evonik Industries, Essen, Germany, celebrated 50 years of making isophorone chemicals on November 16, 2012.

The first plant for isophorone production started operation at the Herne site of Hibernia, as a predecessor company of Evonik Industries, in 1962. Discovered as a byproduct of acetone catalysis, isophorone, a solvent, evolved to eventually become one of the company’s core areas of competency. The continued development of this product, combined with the exploration and tapping of new technologies and markets, enabled the company to build an extensive product portfolio for applications in a whole variety of industries.

In June of this year, Evonik held a groundbreaking ceremony for the start of construction of a plant in Shanghai, China, its fifth isophorone production site. Products from the new facilities, which are scheduled to come on stream in the first quarter of 2014, will primarily serve markets in China and Asia-Pacific, with an annual capacity of 50kt.

Isophorone, isophorone diamine, isophorone diisocyanate and their derivatives are important components in the production of coatings, in the growth field of high-performance composites and in chemical synthesis.

According to Evonik, more than 80 percent of the isophorone sold to the coatings industry is used in eco-friendly systems.

Evonik currently manufactures isophorone chemical products in Herne and Marl (Germany), Mobile, AL, and Antwerp, Belgium. The products are marketed under the trademarks of VESTAMIN®, VESTANAT®, VESTAGON® and VESTASOL®.