An efficient, environmentally friendly technology for extracting montan waxes, even with a declining wax content in the raw material.

Experts are predicting good prospects over the next few years for near-natural waxes for use in the cosmetic, paint and paper industries, and an increasing demand for highly demanding technical wax applications.

The outlook is good for montan wax extracted from brown coal. Its advantages for technical applications are undisputed: Its hardness and relatively low melting point are frequently mentioned, but its transition from a solid to a low viscosity liquid within a very narrow temperature range is another outstanding feature of its physical properties – which makes its hardness and polishability very similar to that of natural carnauba wax.

EPC specialists in its Leuna subsidiary have recently developed an efficient, environmentally friendly extraction technology that makes the use of brown coal economically viable, even though its wax content is decreasing. In Eastern Germany, it is currently down to between 8 and 9 percent. The "solid-liquid extraction" method uses an environmentally compatible extraction agent, which achieves a consistently high wax yield in continuous operation by avoiding inconsistent and incomplete extraction from the pellets.

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Process development

We have been working with strong partners for many years to develop our processes. Renowned institutes – such as the Thuringian Institute for Textile and Plastics Research (TITK) and the Fraunhofer Institute – value their cooperation with EPC. In this way, we have built up an impressive potential for innovation. Working together with our customers, this process development has created many attractive new processes for new products. In recent years, EPC has designed and constructed a large number of research and pilot plants for various fields of application. The most recent has been the pilot carbon fibre plant at the TITK in Rudolstadt.

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