Specialty Chemicals

Widely diversified – from flame retardants to concrete superplasticizers

Specialty Chemicals is the segment within the PCC Group that generates the highest revenues. The largest business unit is commodities trading, our original core business, led by PCC Trade & Services GmbH. This subsidiary is particularly specialized in the trade in coal, coke, and anthracite. The business unit Phosphorus and Naphthalene Derivatives of PCC Rokita SA and the business unit Alkylphenols of PCC Synteza S.A. each produce specialty chemicals with a wide range of applications. In the Specialties business unit, we develop individual special solutions based on our chemical products. And in the Quartzite business unit, we operate a quarry which, among other things, supplies the raw material for our silicon metal plant in Iceland.

The PCC Group’s commodity trading

The PCC Group has over 25 years of expertise in trading petrochemical and carbon-based commodities. Our logistics system, which also includes our own port terminal in Kaliningrad, ensures the smooth handling of our deliveries from the factory to the end user. The trading portfolio of PCC Trade & Services GmbH includes solid fuels such as coke breeze, small coke, and anthracite in small grain sizes, as well as chemical feedstocks, especially by-products from coking plants such as raw tar, raw and pure benzene.

Find out more about the PCC commodity trading >>

Phosphorus derivatives of PCC and their applications

Our range of phosphorus derivatives is based on the in-house production of phosphorus trichloride and phosphorus oxychloride. These are used in plastics and paints as plasticizers and flame retardants; in the surface treatment of metals hey show, among other things, a corrosion-inhibiting effect; and they are also used as additives for hydraulic oils. The conveyor belts used in mining, for example, contain phosphorus-based plasticizers and flame-retardant substances, and our plasticizers give floor coverings the flexibility they need. Our phosphorus derivatives are used in the following industries:

  • Polyurethane industry (manufacture of rigid and flexible foams)
  • Automotive industry
  • Furniture industry
  • Plastics, paints and coatings
  • Mining industry
  • Pharmaceuticals industry
  • Chemicals industry

Applications of PCC’s naphthalene derivatives

Our naphthalene derivatives are used in the construction industry as well as in the plastics and textile sectors. In the construction industry, they serve as additives to improve the laying properties of fresh concrete as well as the facilitating the manufacture of plasterboard. They are particularly important as superplasticizers for ready-mix concrete. In these applications, they help to reduce the water requirement, thus significantly reducing the transport costs of the fresh concrete. They also increase the final strength of the concrete once cured. They improve the flow behavior of the concrete without the otherwise necessary addition of excess water to facilitate the workability of the cement-sand-aggregate-water mixture, which would otherwise adversely affect strength. The use of such plasticizing additives also saves water and energy in the production of plasterboard used for interior lining work. Naphthalene derivates are likewise employed in the plastics and textile industries as additives for the manufacture of synthetic rubber (elastomers) and to facilitate dyeing and coloring processes.

Applications of PCC’s alkylphenols

Alkylphenols are a family of organic chemical compounds manufactured through the alkylation of phenols. PCC Synteza S.A. produces nonylphenol and dodecylphenol at its production site in Kędzierzyn-Koźle in Poland.

Nonylphenol is used in the manufacture of surfactants for industrial cleaning products, for charging ink cartridges and for coating paper, and also as a rubber additive. Dodecylphenol serves, for example, as an additive in hydraulic fluids and lubricating greases. PCC Synteza S.A. also manufactures fuel additives.

In this business unit we develop customer-specific applications and solutions based on the chemical products of our group. The start-up company PolyU GmbH in Oberhausen (Germany) belongs to this business unit.

The PolyU GmbH

The startup, founded in 2017, develops and sells innovative polyurethane (PU) systems for special applications in a wide variety of application areas. To develop these customer-specific PU systems, PolyU GmbH relies on decades of experience of the largest chemical company in the PCC Group, PCC Rokita SA, in the development and manufacture of polyols. In addition, the German sister company PCC Prodex GmbH has an important expertise in PU formulations for a variety of applications. The clients of PolyU GmbH therefore benefit twice from the integration of the company in the PCC Group: On the one hand, with the polyols from PCC Rokita SA, they receive the innovative raw materials and, on the other hand, the individual formulations for PU applications. PolyU GmbH represents the important link between our clients and the Group’s production facilities – and also has its own laboratory capacity at the Oberhausen location.

The Specialty Chemicals segment is rounded off by the quartzite quarry and the associated processing plant of PCC Silicium S.A. in Zagórze, Poland. The quartzite exploited there is predominantly used as a backfill material for the construction of roads and railway tracks. However, some also goes to the ferrosilicon industry. In addition, we use a portion of this quartzite in Iceland, where we commissioned an advanced silicon metal plant in 2018. Quartzite is an essential feedstock for the production of silicon metal. The Group’s own supply of this raw material makes the plant in Iceland independent of market fluctuations.

Learn more about the silicon metal plant in Iceland >>

Trading Companies