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World-class performance polymers and ion exchange resins

Developing and manufacturing ion exchange resins for the sugar industry was where Finex began, and the company remains an important player in the field. It has also steadily extended its product range over the years, applying its core know-how to other areas and developing completely new applications.

Finex has over 30 years of experience in producing chromatographic resins for industrial use. Its customised ion exchange resins are particularly well-respected among sugar and sweetener producers worldwide, which use them to process over 1,000 tonnes of molasses a day, for example.

In addition to ion/size exclusionbased molasses desugarisation and ligand exchange-based glucose-fructose separation, Finex technology is also used to fractionate carbohydrates and lignosulphonates in wood hydrolyses, in xylitol and maltitol production, to separate maltose from starch hydrolysates, in acid-sugar separation, and to separate monosaccharides from polysaccharides.

Finex’ family of industrial chromatographic resins includes strong and weak acid cations, and strong base anions. Process parameters are closely controlled during polymerisation and functionalisation to ensure high standards.

Particle size and particle size distribution, cross-linkage, and ionic form, together with resin porosity, can all be adjusted to suit different processes and ensure optimum performance and productivity.

Wide-ranging expertise

Condensate polishing was the first area Finex tackled outside foodstuff and sweetener applications. Finex condensate polishing resins are now widely used in the nuclear industry to remove trace impurities that can lead to harmful corrosion or deposition, and in deionisation, softening, and mechanical cleaning.

The very low impurity levels of Finex’ powdered resins and their ability to form a porous floc with excellent coating properties when used with precoat filter units makes them very useful.Acting as a combined mechanical filter and ion exchanger, they can concentrate cationic and anionic impurities and insoluble corrosion products into small volumes.

Condensate polishing resins were followed by speciality polymers for use in fillers, coatings, lacquers, and glues. Castings made with the help of these products are used by companies manufacturing aerospace products, gas turbines, and other high-performance products.

Resins for use in the pharmaceutical industry were launched in 2006; and the company is a GMP-approved producer of API products.

Finex’ R&D team works closely with the company’s marketing and production people and customers to tailor products to the latters’ specific needs. Laboratory and pilot-scale equipment is used to test new recipes and produce small batches for evaluation in the field and for ensuring a smooth ramp-up to full-scale production.

Finex’ current product range consists of four product families:

  • Chromatographic separation resins for the food, dairy, and nutrients industries 
  • Water treatment resins
  • Speciality polymers for manufacturing
  • Special products.
> Heikki Mononen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2010)