GERMAN specialty chemicals company Lanxess, led by Board Member Rainier van Roessel, has recently rounded off its activities in commemoration of the 5oth year in Butyl production of its Zwijndrecht, Belgium plant.
Half a century after the production start in 1963 the yearly capacity has grown to 150.000 metric tonnes. The Lanxess Group invested more than EUR250 million in Zwijjndrecht, for capacity growth but also in a new energy plant and in two pilot plants.
Butyl rubber is mainly used for tyre production. Modern radial tyres require an inner liner made of halobutyl rubber, which helps keep tyre pressure constant for longer because of its impermeability to gases, thus saving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions.
Other applications for butyl rubber are protective clothing, shoe soles, adhesives and chewing gum. Its impermeability to gas and resistance to chemicals have also proven valuable in vehicle air conditioning systems and tank linings.