Forty years ago, Nouryon started manufacturing of a revolutionary product – Expancel® expandable microspheres. Since then, they can be found in a wide array of products around the world - from the paint on your walls to the car you drive, the shoes you walk in and the packaging that protects your food.
On April 5, Nouryon executives and employees, along with representatives from the village of Howard and the state of Wisconsin, broke ground for Nouryon’s new world-scale polymerization plant in Wisconsin, US.
“I want to express my gratitude to the project team, the contractors and the local community, as today's groundbreaking is a sign of our commitment to the North American region, the state of Wisconsin, that we are growing, that we are creating jobs in the area and that we will meet the rapidly growing demand for Expancel while serving our customers across North America,” said Larry Ryan Executive Vice President and President of Performance Formulations and the Americas at Nouryon.
Nouryon’s investment, initially announced in 2019, complements its existing Expancel polymerization plant, located in Stockvik, Sweden. The new plant, which is expected to be fully operational in early 2023, will repurpose a polymer latex production facility that was previously owned by another company.
“Investing in repurposing the discontinued production facility and making use of the functioning assets is a good example of how we as Nouryon are committed to contributing to a sustainable future. This new investment will help our customers in North America to grow with innovative and sustainable solutions for the packaging, building & construction, mining and automotive industries,” said Sylvia Winkel Pettersson, Vice President Engineered Polymers at Nouryon.
Expancel expandable microspheres consist of a polymer shell that encapsulates a gas. When heated, the gas expands allowing them to be used as a lightweight filler and blowing agent to make customers’ end products lighter and obtain different surface effects. They also reduce costs and environmental impacts by requiring less raw material.