Speciality chemical company Evonik is set to increase its production of activated nickel powder catalysts by 25%.

As well as increasing production of the KALCAT and Metalyst brands at its sites in Hanau, Germany, and Dombivli near Mumbai, India, the company would be adding to its product portfolio, Evonik said on 28 March.

The company said the investment was being made in response to growing demand for precious metal-free powder hydrogenation catalysts from the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and sugar substitutes industries.

“The investment will not only increase capacity, but also enable us to expand our portfolio to include a wider range of products. This will enable our customers to carry out hydrogenation reactions with less quantities of catalyst while maintaining activity and… faster cycle times due to reduced settling times,” Bettina Munsch, head of Evonik’s life science & performance catalysts product line, said.

Evonik said the new capacity was due to be available to the market in the second half of next year.

Evonik supplies the MONCAT range of nickel catalysts for the hydrogenation of oils and fats.