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SDK-UOP JV Starts Operation of New High Silica Zeolite Plant
―Union Showa’s Second Zeolite Plant in Japan Starts Operation in Fukushima―

Showa Denko K.K.
Dec 3, 2014

Union Showa (USKK), a joint venture between Showa Denko (SDK) (Tokyo:4004) and UOP LLC (UOP), of Illinois, U.S.A., has completed the construction of a new high silica zeolite plant within the premises of SDK’s Higashinagahara Plant in Aizu-Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture, and will start operation of the new plant in this December.

High silica zeolite is an adsorbent which has improved hydrophobic nature due to its higher silica content compared with ordinary synthetic zeolite, preferably adsorbing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and odorants before moisture. By blending with plastics and fibers, the material is used in such applications as deodorization, gas adsorption, removal of toxic VOCs, refining of biogases, and sterilization of ballast water of vessels before discharging. Demand for high silica zeolite is growing for these applications.

High silica zeolite has been in tight supply, reflecting a growing demand on a global scale. In Japan and other Asian countries, in particular, demand is expected to grow further, reflecting increased awareness of the need for environmental protection and desire to achieve a higher standard of living. On the other hand, USKK has so far been importing high silica zeolite from UOP’s plant in Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A., for sale in the Japanese market. As a part of the UOP Group’s global strategy to ensure stable supply of high silica zeolite to customers in Asia including Japan, develop new applications quickly, and improve technical services, USKK recently decided to newly establish in Japan the second high silica zeolite plant of the UOP Group.

USKK is currently producing hydrophilic synthetic zeolite at its Yokkaichi Plant in Mie Prefecture, for such applications as dehydration, drying, refining, and separation. The new zeolite production facilities build in the premises of SDK’s Higashinagahara Plant are designed to act flexibly, responding to every need of customers, and can also produce special zeolites other than the high silica zeolite mentioned above. USKK will fully utilize its two plants in Mie and Fukushima prefectures, aiming to develop and supply new zeolite products, not only for conventional use such as treatment of industrial waste water, but also for nuclear-waste-remediation and decontamination, including treatment of contaminated water at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and treatment of radioactive nuclides to promote decommissioning of nuclear reactors.

A section of the new high sillica zeolite plantA section of the new high sillica zeolite plant

 

 

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