Between a rural idyll and urban modernity: Argentina is both a peaceful oasis and part of the pulsating heart of South America

Argentina owes its name to the fact that the first European explorers to reach this country were looking for silver, whose Latin name is argentum. Today this country is forging a golden future for itself

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ANNA SCHRIEVER & NICOLAS GARZ

Cattle breeding plays an important role in Argentina’s culture and its economy. Steaks from Argentina are valued because of their top quality, which is due to the extensive grasslands on which the cattle graze. Argentinians enjoy their juicy steaks best of all a la parrilla—directly from the grill. And the best way to develop their intense flavor is to use a grill with a high-quality coating. Silikoftal® products from Evonik are binders that give grills and skillets positive qualities, such as especially good adhesion to aluminum and steel, high levels of heat resistance, and resistance to dishwashing detergents.

Argentina’s heart beats for soccer. The national soccer team, fondly referred to as La Selección, won the World Cup twice, in 1978 and 1986, sparking ecstatic celebrations in blue and white throughout the country. Today the national team and its captain, Lionel Messi, are still thrilling soccer fans—for example, here in the Estadio Presidente Juan Domingo Perón in Buenos Aires. Comfortable seating is important too. And this is where chemistry plays a role: To ensure that the seats hold up as long as possible under the visitors’ weight and the UV radiation of sunlight, the plastic in the seats includes an admixture of triacetonamine derivatives.

The solitary 67.5-meter-high obelisk on the Plaza de la República rises high into the sky above Buenos Aires. Around it, traffic rampages along the Avenida 9 de Julio, which for a long time was the widest street in the world. Here and elsewhere, the country has been combating the environmental damage caused by traffic for a long time. A law passed in 2007 requires that gasoline contain a certain proportion of biodiesel. This was an important step in Argentina’s transport policy turnaround, which Evonik actively supports. In Puerto General San Martín, the Group produces sodium methylate, which acts as a catalyst in the production of biodiesel made from renewable raw materials.

The tango is characterized by the dancers’ upright posture and extravagant movements. The Argentinian composer Enrique Santos Discépolo called tango “a sad thought that can be danced”—but it’s a sadness that brings joy to people all over the world. Since the end of the 19th century it has spread all over the world, and today it is recognized by UNESCO as part of the world’s intangible cultural heritage. Evonik cares for the material foundation of tango—a shining parquet floor— with VESTANAT® EP-EF 201. This environmentally friendly hybrid crosslinker gives wood coatings a high-quality appearance.

High altitudes, a warm climate, and a long winegrowing tradition: Vineyards such as this one in Cafayate in the northwestern province of Salta enjoy optimal growing conditions. Argentina is one of the world’s biggest wine producers. According to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), in 2018 the production volume of Argentina’s wine industry increased by 23 percent to 14.5 million hectoliters. To prevent crop failures, winegrowers depend on products that protect their plants from pests and disease. Potassium bicarbonate from Evonik protects vines from mildew, for example. The advantage of this product is that it not only dries out the fungus but also fertilizes the plants.

Evonik locations
1 Cascavel
2 Rio Grande
3 Itajaí
4 Castro
5 Americana
6 São Paulo
7 Guarulhos
8 Barra do Riacho
9 Mucuri

Evonik locations
1 Cascavel
2 Rio Grande
3 Itajaí
4 Castro
5 Americana
6 São Paulo
7 Guarulhos
8 Barra do Riacho
9 Mucuri

A clear focus on business

Evonik’s predecessor companies established themselves in South America’s second-largest country as early as 1969. This was the beginning of a commitment that has lasted for decades. The last major expansion took place in 2013, when Evonik commissioned the production plant in Rosario. Since then, Animal Nutrition and Functional Solutions have been the Group’s two focal points in Argentina.

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photos: Martin/Le Figaro Magazine/laif, Reinaldo Coddou H., plainpicture/Anzenberger/Pablo Castagnola, Getty Images, Heiko Meyer/laif; Illustrationen: KNSKB+

PUBLICATION DATE

1 November 2019

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