Adsorbable Organic Halogen Compounds (AOX)

AOX is a parameter used in chemical analytics to assess water and involves calculating the total organic halogens adsorbable on activated carbon. Halogens include compounds of chlorine, bromine and iodine.

Alkylphenol Ethoxylates (APEOs)

The primary biodegradability of nonionic alkylphenol ethoxylate (APEO) surfactants meets the demands imposed by environmental protection agencies. However, the intermediate products formed during biodegradation are relatively persistent and much more toxic to fish than are the surfactants themselves.


In 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development passed the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This convention addresses the preservation of biological diversity (genes, species and habitats), the sustainable exploitation of such diversity, as well as access rules to, and the sharing of benefits from, genetic resources (access and benefit sharing). So far, the CBD has been signed by 168 countries and the EU (with Germany becoming a signatory in 1993). In May 2011, the EU Commission published a biodiversity strategy to 2020.


Biomethanol is produced from biological sources and not from classical fossil sources. Raw material used for the production of biomethanol is from second generation sources. Second generation sources means: material is not competing with food or feed, only waste streams are used. The biomethanol, which WACKER is using, is based only on plant origin. No animal based residues are used. Any wood waste based sources are in line with FSC-Forest Steward Ship council.

Additional information can be found under


Biotech processes use living cells or enzymes to transform and produce substances. Depending on the application, a distinction is made between red, green and white biotechnology. Red biotechnology: medical and pharmaceutical applications. Green biotechnology: agricultural applications. White biotechnology: biotech-based products and industrial processes, e.g. in the chemical, textile and food sectors.

Carbon Dioxide

Chemical name: CO2. This gas naturally constitutes 0.04% of air. Carbon dioxide is generated during the combustion of coal, natural gas and other organic substances. As a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, it contributes to global warming. Since the start of industrialization in 1850, its concentration in air has risen from approx. 300 to 390 ppm (parts per million). This value is increasing by around 2 ppm every year. Other greenhouse gases are represented as CO2 equivalents (CO2e) based on their greenhouse effect.

Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)

COD is a measure of wastewater contamination. This parameter defines the amount of oxygen necessary to fully oxidize all organic material in wastewater.

Chlorinated Hydrocarbons (CHCs)

Organic compounds containing chlorine. They are used, for example, in the manufacture of plastics and solvents. CHCs are chemically stable and fat-soluble; some of them are environmental toxins.


Compounds of silicon, chlorine and, in some cases, hydrogen. The semiconductor industry mainly uses trichlorosilane to make polysilicon and for the epitaxial deposition of silicon.

Combined Heat and Power Plant

Combined heat and power (CHP) plants generate both electricity and useful heat. This system can be much more efficient at using the input energy (e.g. fuel oil or natural gas) than are conventional systems with separate facilities. Because primary energy is conserved, CHP plants emit significantly less carbon dioxide than conventional power plants.


Cyclodextrins belong to the family of cyclic oligosaccharides (i.e. ring-shaped sugar molecules). They are able to encapsulate foreign substances such as fragrances and to release active ingredients at a controlled rate. Cyclodextrins are produced and marketed by WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS.


Cysteine is a sulfur-containing amino acid. It belongs to the non-essential amino acids, as it can be formed in the body. It is used, for example, as an additive in foods and cough mixtures. Cysteine and its derivatives are a business field at WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS.

Dispersible Polymer Powders

Created by drying dispersions in spray or disc dryers. VINNAPAS® polymer powders from WACKER are recommended as binders in the construction industry, e.g. for tile adhesives, self-leveling compounds and repair mortars. The powders improve adhesion, cohesion, flexibility and flexural strength, as well as water-retention and processing properties.


Binary system in which one component is finely dispersed in another. VINNAPAS® dispersions from WACKER are vinyl-acetate-based binary copolymers and terpolymers in liquid form. They are mainly used as binders in the construction industry, e.g. for grouts, plasters and primers.


Polymers that exhibit almost perfectly elastic behavior, i.e. they deform when acted upon by an external force and return to their exact original shape when the force is removed. While the duration of the force has no effect on perfectly elastic behavior, the temperature does.


Substance outputs, noise, vibrations, light, heat or radiation emitted into the environment by an industrial plant.


A colorless, slightly sweet-smelling gas that, under normal conditions, is lighter than air. It is needed as a chemical starting product for a great many synthetic materials, including polyethylene and polystyrene. It is used to make products for the household, agricultural and automotive sectors, among others.

Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) / External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems (ETICS)

Systems for thermally insulating buildings and thus for increasing energy efficiency. These systems have a multilayer structure: adhesive mortar, thermal insulating panels, embedding mortar, glass fiber mesh and finishing coat. VINNAPAS® polymer powders from WACKER POLYMERS ensure that the insulation material bonds firmly to the mortar and finish coat. As a result, the insulating system offers greater durability and much more resistance to weathering and wear.


In biotechnology, fermentation means the conversion of biological materials by means of bacterial, fungal and cell cultures, or by the addition of enzymes. For example, products such as insulin, many different antibiotics and amino acids (e.g. cysteine) can be synthesized on an industrial scale in bioreactors using microorganisms.

Global Product Strategy (GPS)

The Global Product Strategy (GPS) – an initiative developed by the International Council of Chemical Associations – contains rules for the assessment of the properties of chemicals and on how to provide information on their safe use.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol

The GHG Protocol is an internationally recognized instrument for quantifying and controlling greenhouse gas emissions. The standards outlined in the GHG Protocol have been jointly developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) since 1998. The GHG Protocol specifies how an organization should calculate its greenhouse gas emissions and how emission-reducing programs should be conducted.

Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD)

A chlorinated organic compound which, at room temperature, is a colorless liquid with a mild odor. It occurs as a by-product in certain chemical production and combustion processes, such as the synthesis of tetrachloroethene, trichloroethene or carbon tetrachloride. The EU’s water framework directive classifies HCBD as hazardous. The results of the European Emission Inventory show that most of the reported emissions originate from bulk production of basic organic chemicals.

Hydrogen Chloride (HCl)

The chemical industry uses HCl to generate valuable intermediates from organic and inorganic raw materials. The colorless gas dissolves in water to form hydrochloric acid.


Substance inputs, noise, vibrations, light, heat or radiation that affect humans, animals, plants, soil, water, air, and cultural and other material assets.

IPCC Fourth Assessment Report

In 1990, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) started issuing reports that summarized scientific knowledge on global warming. The 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) is the most recent in the series. Published every five to six years, these IPCC reports provide information about the human impact on climate.

Net production

Net production is calculated by subtracting the internal reuse of products from the gross production of a plant or site. Gross production corresponds to the total production (target products and byproducts) of a plant or site.


A polymer is a large molecule made up of smaller molecular units (monomers). It contains between 10,000 and 100,000 monomers. Polymers can be long or ball-shaped.

Polymer Blends

The result of mixing different polymers is known as a polymer blend (polymer alloy). If these polymer blends are composed of biopolymers (biodegradable and /or renewable raw materials), the VINNEX® binder system may enhance compatibility and hence their properties.


Hyperpure polycrystalline silicon from WACKER POLYSILICON is used for manufacturing wafers for the electronics and solar industries. To produce it, metallurgical-grade silicon is converted into liquid trichlorosilane, highly distilled and deposited in hyperpure form at 1,000 °C.

Primary Energy

Primary energy is obtained from naturally occurring sources such as coal, gas or wind. Secondary energy, in contrast, is derived from primary energy via a transformation process (which often involves energy losses); examples include electricity, heat and hydrogen.


A substance whose electrical conductivity is much lower than that of metals, but increases dramatically as the temperature rises. Semiconductors can be modified for a particular purpose by doping them with foreign atoms.


Silanes are used as monomers for the synthesis of siloxanes or sold directly as reagents or raw materials. Typical applications include surface treatment, agents (medically active substances) in pharmaceutical synthesis or coupling agents for coatings.


Collective term for compounds with the general formula SiO2 nH2O. Synthetic silicas are obtained from sand. Based on their method of production, a distinction is made between precipitated silicas and pyrogenic silicas (such as HDK®).

Silica, Pyrogenic

White, synthetic, amorphous silicon dioxide (SiO2) in powder form, made by flame hydrolysis of silicon compounds. Variously used as an additive for silicone rubber grades, sealants, surface coatings, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.


After oxygen, silicon is the most common element on the earth’s crust. In nature, it occurs without exception in the form of compounds, chiefly silicon dioxide and silicates. Silicon is obtained through energy-intensive reaction of quartz sand with carbon and is the most important raw material in the electronics industry.

Silicon Wafer

A silicon wafer is a disc with a thickness of between approximately 200 and 800 µm, and is used by the semiconductor industry for the manufacture of semiconductor devices, i.e. integrated circuits and discrete components.


General term used to describe compounds of organic molecules and silicon. According to their areas of application, silicones can be classified as fluids, resins or rubber grades. Silicones are characterized by a myriad of outstanding properties. Typical areas of application include construction, the electrical and electronics industries, shipping and transportation, textiles and paper coatings.


Systematic name given to compounds comprising silicon atoms linked together via oxygen atoms and with the remaining valences occupied by hydrogen or organic groups. Siloxanes are the building blocks for the polymers (polysiloxane and polyorganosiloxane) that form silicones.


WACKER’s brand name for dispersions, dispersible polymer powders, solid resins and their associated product solutions. VINNAPAS® dispersions and polymer powders are primarily used in the construction industry as polymeric binders, e.g. in tile adhesives, exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS) / external thermal insulation composite systems (ETICS), self-leveling compounds, and plasters.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are gaseous and vaporous substances of organic origin that are present in the air. They include hydrocarbons, alcohols, aldehydes and organic acids. Solvents, liquid fuels and synthetic substances can be VOCs, and so can organic compounds originating from biological processes. High VOC concentrations can be irritating to the eyes, nose and throat and may cause headaches, dizziness and tiredness.

Wacker Operating System (WOS)

The “Wacker Operating System” (WOS) program bundles, promotes and processes corporate projects for systematic process improvement. It is the basis for a groupwide improvement initiative by WACKER.