Canadian Plastics

Lanxess opens R&D centre for butyl elastomers in Canada

Specialty chemical supplier Lanxess AG has opened a butyl rubber global research and development centre in the Research Park of the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ont.

July 1, 2011   Canadian Plastics

Specialty chemical supplier Lanxess AG has opened a butyl rubber global research and development centre in the Research Park of the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ont.

Employing approximately 60 workers, the new centre is designed to advance technologies such as new grades of butyl rubber in tire treads and renewable-sourced butyl. “Butyl rubber is the material of choice for such products as closures in injection vials and blood collection tubes,” Lanxess said in a statement. “Because of butyl’s impermeability to gases and liquids, it ensures proper protection of sterile pharmaceutical products from external contamination during storage and use.”

According to Lanxess, the company selected the Research Park site in part as a means of accessing new technical capabilities. “Sharing the London Research Park with over 60 start-up companies creates a unique culture for innovation and a centre of excellence for material research,” the company said.

To further its production bio-butyl, Lanxess is partnering with Gevo, a U.S.-based renewable chemicals company. Gevo is currently developing a fermentation process to produce isobutanol from the fermentable sugars in biomass, while Lanxess is working on a dehydration process to convert isobutanol into isobutene, a key input in the production of butyl.

With global headquarters in Germany, Lanxess’ Canadian operation is based in Sarnia, Ont.


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