Evonik to build first plant in North America for ultra-pure colloidal silica

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Evonik, a specialty chemicals company, is spending upwards of $8m on building a new plant to produce ultra-high purity colloidal silica at its site in Weston, Michigan.

The plant, which is expected to come onstream in 2024, will be the first of its kind in North America. Colloidal silica is an important raw material for the electronics and semiconductor industries, whose growth is driven by the global demand for microchips and digital products.

The plant will make Evonik one of the only players in the market that can reliably produce the colloidal silica required for the chemical mechanical planarization (CMP), a process step in microchip production in the necessary quality and purity. Evonik’s colloidal silica, which is marketed under the IDISIL brand, is characterised by its ultra-high purity and particularly narrow particle size distribution.

“The new plant makes an important contribution to the strategic development of our portfolio,” said Peter Friesenhahn, head of Evonik’s Silanes business line. “We are strengthening our offering for attractive, technology-driven growth markets and positioning ourselves as an innovation partner for our customers.”

Evonik is already a major supplier of ultra-pure tetrachlorosilane and other silanes for the semiconductor and electronics industry and has a global network of production facilities and scientists in this field. “It will enable us to offer our customers additional supply options and even better security of supply in the future,” explained Christian Edlinger, head of the Americas region in the Silanes business line. Until now, companies producing in the Americas have often had to rely on imports from Asia.

With the support of a Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant, the expansion will not only strengthen Evonik’s presence in Michigan, but also create new job opportunities in the region.