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Showa Denko-UOP JV to Construct New High Silica Zeolite Plant

Union Showa K.K.
Showa Denko K.K.
July 23, 2013

Union Showa (USKK), a joint venture between Showa Denko (SDK) (TOKYO:4004) and UOP LLC (UOP), of the United States, has decided to start producing high silica zeolite in Japan. A new production facility will be built within the premises of SDK’s Higashinagahara Plant in Aizu-Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture.

High silica zeolite is a kind of synthetic zeolite used as adsorbent. Due to its high hydrophobic nature, high silica zeolite is effective in adsorbing gases such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Demand for the material is expected to grow in many fields, including environmental protection, energy conservation, and household commodities.

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. The product is 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. Thus, it has been decided to build another high silica zeolite plant, this time in Japan. The decision is based on the UOP Group’s global strategy to ensure stable supply to customers in the region, develop new applications quickly, and improve technical services. Plant design has been finished, and part of the equipment has already been ordered. The new facility is scheduled for start-up in March 2014.

High silica zeolite has hydrophobic nature due to its higher silica content compared with ordinary synthetic zeolite, preferentially adsorbing VOCs and odorants before moisture. The material is blended with plastics and fibers for such applications as deodorization, gas adsorption, removal of toxic VOCs, refining of biogases, and sterilization of ballast water of vessels. Demand for high silica zeolite is growing for these applications.

USKK is currently producing hydrophilic synthetic zeolite at its Yokkaichi Plant in Mie Prefecture, for such applications as dehydration, drying, refining, and separation. After the completion of the new plant, USKK will fully utilize these two plants, aiming to develop and supply new nuclear-waste-remediation products for treatment of contaminated water at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, decontamination in wide areas, and for treatment of radioactive nuclides to promote decommissioning of nuclear reactors.


For further information, contact:
Union Showa K.K.  (Phone: 81-3-5495-7047)
Showa Denko K.K.  PR Office (Phone: 81-3-5470-3235)