Belgian Oleon is the largest European player in oleochemistry, or the processing of organic raw materials (vegetable oils and animal fats) to form semi-manufactured products. These natural raw materials, such as coconut oil, rapeseed oil, palm oil and beef fat, are converted by Oleon into basic oleo chemicals (including fatty acids and glycerine) and derivatives (esters and ethers) at its production site.
Compared with petrochemical products, oleo chemical products are more biodegradable and can be reused more easily. Oleon products are suitable for a whole range of applications: from special food additives that support consistency in mousses, through cosmetics, creams and washing products, to green solvents and pesticides, even to biodegradable lubricants for oil platforms at sea that drill horizontally (an intensive process which requires more and better lubricants).
Both the head office and production site for the basic products of glycerine and fatty acids are located at Ghent. There is also a production facility at Oelegem, the factory for specialised products.