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.