Umicore : Umicore enabling Europe's drive for clean air

           Umicore : Umicore enabling Europe's drive for clean air

Brussels, 4 June 2013. During the European Commission's Green Week on clean
air, Umicore announced the commissioning of its new dedicated production line
for heavy duty diesel (HDD) catalysts in Florange, France. To cater for
upcoming demand Umicore recently announced that an additional line would be
built at the plant. Production will also start shortly at Umicore's new
automotive catalyst plant in Bad Säckingen, Germany. The catalysts made at
these facilities will enable car producers and engine manufacturers to meet
new European emission standards.

Since the 1970s the number of vehicles including trucks and buses on our roads
has grown enormously. Over the years governments have introduced air quality
standards to reduce the harmful effects of automotive emissions on human
health and today almost all new cars produced in the world contain an
automotive catalyst. In Europe the new Euro6 standard aims among others to
lower emissions of NO[x] (nitrogen oxides) in diesel cars by more than 50% and
also targets emissions of soot particles in gasoline engines.

Umicore's catalysts enable improvements to air quality by transforming harmful
vehicle emissions through sophisticated catalytic processes. Umicore has been
helping vehicle manufacturers reduce emissions for 40 years and its catalysts
can be found on around one in every three cars produced worldwide today.

Marc Grynberg, Umicore's CEO commented: "Umicore has unique expertise to
support the growth of clean mobility around the world. We provide the
automotive industry with technologies in emission abatement as well as
materials for use in the batteries and fuel cells that are the enablers of
electrified transportation. Our recycling offering is also unique as we are
able to recycle automotive catalysts, spent batteries and fuel cell

Umicore started its development activities for automotive emission control
catalysts in 1968. Since then it has grown to become a leading player for
automotive catalysts in light duty (cars) and, more recently, has also
established a strong position in heavy duty applications (trucks, .).
Umicore's automotive catalyst activity employs around 2,000 people worldwide
in 11 production sites in Germany, Canada, South Korea, South Africa, US,
Japan, Brazil, Sweden, France and China. Umicore also has 6 technology
development & testing facilities in Germany, US, Brazil, South Korea, Japan
and China.

To see how Umicore contributes to cleaner air:

  Note to editors

About the Florange and Bad Säckingen plants

The Florange site is located 25 kilometers from Metz in Eastern France and has
been producing automotive catalysts since 1990. It is Umicore's main
production site for heavy duty catalysts in Europe.

The Bad Säckingen plant is located close to the Rhein river in Southern
Germany and is approximately 15 km from Umicore's Rheinfelden plant. It
provides the necessary production expansion room for the Rheinfelden plant
with state of the art technology to prepare for the new legislative standards
in Europe for light duty applications.

About automotive catalysts and how they work

Internal combustion engines, as used on cars, trucks and buses, produce toxic
emissions. The main pollutants are carbon monoxide (CO), unburned hydrocarbons
(HC), nitrogen oxides (NO[x]) and particulate matter (PM). The legislators in
different countries and regions have put limits on these emissions which have
been tightened over time. By fitting a tailor-made catalytic converter system
on the exhaust and adapting the engine operating conditions, these emissions
can be rendered largely harmless.

Most catalytic converters consist of a chemically active washcoat deposited on
a substrate. The washcoat comprises a combination of various oxides and
metals, such as platinum, palladium, rhodium and rare earths. These are
manufactured according to a precise formulation and tailored to specific
vehicle models and types.

Most present-day vehicles that run on gasoline are fitted with a 'three way'
catalyst (TWC), so named because it converts the three main pollutants in one
catalytic system. Carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbon are oxidised into
less harmful carbon dioxide (CO[2]) and water vapour, while NO[x] gases are
reduced back to nitrogen (N[2]). Currently most gasoline engines reach the
emission standards set for particulate matter. With upcoming Euro6
legislation in Europe, however, direct injection gasoline engines are likely
to also require a gasoline particulate filter to meet emission standards for
particulate matter.

Today diesel cars in Europe, where most diesel cars are used, contain a diesel
oxidation catalyst (DOC), which oxidises the carbon monoxide and unburned
hydrocarbon. They are also fitted with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) to
limit the emissions of particulate matter. As a diesel engine operates with
excess oxygen, the reduction of NO[x] gases is not possible directly in the
exhaust system. Up to now emission standards for diesel in Europe were more
tolerant for NO[x] gases. With upcoming Euro 6 legislation a dedicated
catalyst will be needed. This can either be a Selective Catalytic Reduction
(SCR) system, which uses a urea additive, or a NO[x] storage catalyst (NSC).

Heavy duty diesel (HDD) engines, used in buses, trucks, trains and other
equipment are increasingly becoming subject to emission legislation. The sizes
of the engines of such applications create additional complexity.

Technology firsts: Umicore was the first company to develop NO[x] storage
catalysts for fuel efficient lean burn gasoline engines and diesel engines in
North America, catalysed diesel particulate filters and also diesel catalysts
that were able to use palladium instead of platinum.

Other supporting material:

  For more information

        Media Relations:

Elcke Vercruysse

        Investor Relations:

Geoffroy Raskin

Evelien Goovaerts

  Umicore profile

Umicore is a global materials technology and recycling group. It focuses on
application areas where its expertise in materials science, chemistry and
metallurgy makes a real difference. Its activities are centred on four
business areas: Catalysis, Energy Materials, Performance Materials and
Recycling. Each business area is divided into market-focused business units
offering materials and solutions that are at the cutting edge of new
technological developments and essential to everyday life.

Umicore generates the majority of its revenues and dedicates most of its R&D
efforts to clean technologies, such as emission control catalysts, materials
for rechargeable batteries and photovoltaics, fuel cells, and recycling.
Umicore's overriding goal of sustainable value creation is based on an
ambition to develop, produce and recycle materials in a way that fulfils its
mission: materials for a better life.

The Umicore Group has industrial operations on all continents and serves a
global customer base; it generated a turnover of €12.5billion (€2.4billion
excluding metal) in 2012 and currently employs some 14,400 people.


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