Propellant Plant upgrade positions Afrox to enter personal care market

Over the past 12 months, Afrox has invested over R5-million to upgrade its Special Gases Propellant Plant at Roodekop, Germiston, as part of a strategy to capture a share of the country’s FMCG (fast moving commercial goods) personal care market. An additional investment of R12-million is earmarked for the Propellant plant over the next two years which will further increase the plant capacity and strategic storage.

A propellant is an essentially non-toxic, unstenched gas that acts as a vehicle for discharging the contents of an aerosol container.  It is also used in the foam blowing process where the gas produces a certain molecular structure via a foaming process; this is then hardened and generates certain materials including polystyrene. Afrox is able to provide customers with a full range of butane/propane propellant blends, produced to a specific vapour pressure, depending on the customer’s specific requirements.

An essential requirement in terms of propellant supply is the quality of the gas provided. Personal care propellant requires that stringent quality standards are met and that propellant gas contains no odour. To meet these requirements, Afrox set up a team to identify the best filtration method to eliminate odours from the raw butane and propane products received from its suppliers. The company also consulted with global chemical companies in regard to the required technology and the resulting filtration system makes it possible to remove 30 times more impurities than the current specification requires. 

Afrox is also increasing its strategic storage capacity to ensure that in the event of any unplanned occurrence, it is able to deliver a continuous supply to its customers.

Nadine Baird, Product Manager – Chemicals