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Honeywell invests $20 million In Mobile, Alabama Absorbent Plant

UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, will invest $20 million to expand its production facility in Mobile, Ala., that produces adsorbents and catalysts.

"This investment helps us meet the demand for our newest advanced materials, as well as established products that are in demand by customers around the world," said Mike Millard, senior vice president and general manager for Honeywell's UOP Catalyst, Adsorbents and Specialties business. "We continue to invest in new technologies that will help meet refiners and petrochemical producers' needs for materials that offer more flexibility, increase production and lower cost."

As an incentive the city's industrial development board provided $1.9 million in tax relief. The number of potential jobs that could be created was not immediately available.

The investment will expand production of Honeywell's UOP IONSIV Ion Exchange adsorbents, which removes radioactive material from liquid. IONSIV Ion Exchanger adsorbents are crystalline materials that can selectively remove radioactive ions from liquids, a company spokesman explained.

At Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, these adsorbents are successfully being used to reduce radioactive cesium to non-detectable levels in the plant's contaminated wastewater after the earthquake and tsunami last year. These materials have been used commercially for more than 30 years to remove radioactive ions from liquids, such as radioactive waste streams in commercial nuclear power plants, alkaline tank waste, and spent fuel storage pool water, a company spokesman explained.

The new plant will also support the production of new adsorbents and catalysts used by petrochemical producers and refiners. The Mobile plant also produces Honeywell's UOP ADS-47 Parex adsorbent, the latest generation of the company's Parex adsorbent. The new adsorbent allows petrochemical producers to increase yields of para-xylene by more than 20 percent. Para-xylene is a material used in the production of synthetic fibers such as polyester as well as plastic bottles.

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