Sustainable and economical solutions for the optimal use and reuse of water resources – that is the vision of Evonik, one of the world’s leading specialty chemicals company and manufacturer of hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid for various applications and target markets. In our interview with Stephan Neumayer, responsible for global business development of environmental technologies in the Active Oxygens Business Line at Evonik, he explains what drives the company and what potential he sees by joining GWP.
How do you see Evonik’s role in water management?
Neumayer: Evonik is one of the world’s leading specialty chemicals companies and a manufacturer of hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid for various applications and target markets, including numerous environmental technologies. This business is part of Evonik’s Active Oxygens business line. With a capacity of more than 1,000,000 metric tons of peroxide per year and operating production facilities at 18 sites worldwide, we are a reliable global partner for our customers.
In addition to in-house environmental and process engineering for wastewater treatment technologies, Evonik has already realized cooperations with several plant manufacturers for joint project approaches in the past. Various Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs – UV/H2O2, Fenton, Ozone/H2O2) will be considered. We thus provide a technology platform for water and wastewater treatment. Working with international partners, our in-house environmental experts advise our customers to determine the right process for the most cost-effective treatment.
Through our global production network, we ensure the supply of hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid to wastewater treatment plants after projects are completed. Additionally, our experts advise and train customers on safe handling and storage.
In which markets are you already active, and which are you interested in?
Neumayer: We serve the global market for environmental process chemicals with hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid. In addition to Europe, the regions of North America, South America, and Asia play an important role. For emerging markets, we are particularly interested in the implementation of feasibility or case studies (show cases) together with other partners from the GWP network.
What issues are driving you in relation to your industry?
Neumayer: Evonik assumes responsibility for business, employees, the environment, and society. For us, acting responsibly and economic success are inseparable. Ecological and social criteria have been anchored in our corporate decisions since the beginning.
We want to contribute to sustainability by making use of the best possible technical solutions, such as the environmentally friendly and low-pollution AOP solutions of oxidative water treatment. These are characterized by efficiency and durability. Hydrogen peroxide is a ‘green’ process chemical because its use produces only water and oxygen as decomposition products. This is particularly impressive, as peracetic acid, based on hydrogen peroxide and acetic acid, has a strong and important anti-bacterial function for the treatment of municipal wastewater.
Other innovative concepts for municipal water, urban design, recycling management, and optimal use of resources are the key challenges of the future and is what continues to drive us at Evonik.
What is your vision for water management solutions from Evonik?
Neumayer: Sustainable and economical solutions for the optimal use and reuse of water as a resource. There are already good approaches to this, such as the oxidative pretreatment of heavily polluted wastewater streams (to relieve the biological treatment stage) or the targeted post-treatment of wastewater treatment plant effluent (polishing). In particular, the reuse of treated process water can significantly reduce the water footprint as well as the associated costs of manufacturing industries and avoid negative environmental impacts.
What do you expect from GWP and from the network? In which committees/activities would you like to see Evonik represented?
Neumayer: In addition to various regional forums, we are particularly interested in supporting the working groups Industrial Water Management, Agricultural Irrigation, Innovation and Science Cooperation, and digitalization topics on Water 4.0. We are also very interested in the innovation topic 4th Purification Stage of the China Regional Forum.
What benefits have you been able to draw from our network so far?
Neumayer: An initial exchange and participation in various (virtual) meetings of the regional forums has already enabled us to get in contact with future project or cooperation partners. I would like to mention a concrete cooperation with an environmental technology company for AOP projects in China and Southeast Asia. Another exciting event was our participation in the BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues on the topic of “Smart Water for Resilient Cities” at the end of February this year.
For more information on the Active Oxygens business line, follow this link: https://active-oxygens.evonik.com/en/application-areas/environmental-applications
Image copyright: Evonik