Clariant launches free N2O-removal catalyst for nitric acid producers

Clariant launches free N2O-removal catalyst for nitric acid producers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a focused, sustainable and innovative specialty chemical company, has launched a major global campaign to reduce the climate change impact of nitrous oxide (N2O), according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Drawing on decades of catalyst research expertise, the company has developed the EnviCat N2O-S catalyst, which is proven to remove up to 95% of N2O generated as a by-product of nitric acid production.

Clariant is now offering a free fill of EnviCat N2O-S to 10 nitric acid producers who do not have N2O off-gas treatment in place. Through the campaign, the company intends to help avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to several MM tons of CO2 per year.

Of the approximately 500 nitric acid plants operating globally, more than half run without N2O abatement, mostly in regions without applicable emission control regulations. Clariant now aims to tip the balance towards more sustainable production processes. The company is offering a free first fill of EnviCat N2O-S catalyst to up to 10 nitric acid producers who currently do not use an N2O abatement catalyst.

Hans Bohnen, Chief Operating Officer at Clariant, commented, “Sustainability is no longer an afterthought of business; it is central to what we do and requires action now. That’s why we announced new ambitious science-based climate targets for Clariant. But as a specialty chemicals company we can do more: I am therefore particularly proud to announce that we have committed a substantial investment to help nitric acid producers worldwide virtually eliminate their N2O off-gas emissions. This benefits the climate, while also helping the nitric acid manufacturers to minimize their carbon footprint and progress on their sustainability journey.”

Clariant’s EnviCat N2O-S catalyst converts up to 95% of the N2O formed during nitric acid production into the harmless substances oxygen and nitrogen. Besides climate benefits, the catalyst can also slightly increase nitric acid yield by improving the efficiency of the ammonia oxidation process. Designed as a convenient “drop-in” solution, the catalyst is easy to install with almost no engineering modifications.

As MRC reported earlier, in October 2020, Clariant announced the construction of a new state-of-the-art catalyst production site in China. This project represents a significant investment which further strengthens Clariant’s position in China and enhances its ability to support its customers in the country’s thriving petrochemicals industry.

The new facility will be primarily responsible for producing the Catofin catalyst for propane dehydrogenation, which is used in the production of olefins such as propylene. Thanks to its excellent reliability and productivity, Catofin delivers superior annual production output compared to alternative technologies, resulting in increased overall profitability for propylene producers, says the company. Construction at the Dushan Port Economic Development Zone in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province was scheduled to commence in Q3 2020, and Clariant expects to be at full production capacity by 2022.

Propylene is the main feedstock for the production of polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,138,510 tonnes in January-September 2021, up by 30% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) decreased significantly.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints.

Lukoil discovered an oil field in Mexico

Lukoil discovered an oil field in Mexico

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lukoil announces discovery of an oil field within the Yoti West structure at Block 12 offshore Mexico, said the company.

The field was discovered after drilling the first exploration well. According to preliminary estimates, the initial oil in place reaches 250 million barrels.

The Yoti West-1 EXP well was drilled 60 km offshore from the Valaris 8505 semi-submersible platform. The well penetrated a sand reservoir in Upper Miocene sediments with high permeability and effective oil-saturated thickness of about 25 meters. An assessment plan for the Yoti West field is planned to be developed based on drilling results.

In 2017, Lukoil Upstream Mexico (part of LUKOIL Group) obtained the right for exploration and production of hydrocarbons at Block 12 in the Gulf of Mexico. The Block has an area of 521 square kilometers. The stakeholders are LUKOIL Upstream Mexico – 60% (project operator), and Eni – 40%. Two successful exploration wells were previously drilled at Block 10 offshore Mexico where Lukoil owns 20% and Eni is the operator. The resource base of the Block is currently being assessed based on drilling results.

As per MRC, Lukoil has submitted to Iraq's oil ministry a preliminary development proposal for Eridu field, which may yield an estimated 250,000 b/d at peak, helping OPEC's second biggest producer in its efforts to boost crude production capacity. The proposal's submission will allow the ministry to study and approve the field's development, the ministry said in a Nov. 12 statement. Initial indications point to Eridu holding potential resources ranging between 7 billion and 12 billion barrels, the ministry added.

As per ICIS-MRC Price Report, Stavrolen, subsidiary of Lukoil, resumed its polypropylene (PP) production capacities after an scheduled turnaround. According to the company's clients, by 11 November, Stavrolen completely resumed PP production after a planned shutdown for scheduled maintenance works, which started on 16 October. The plant"s annual production capacity is 120,000 tonnes.

Lukoil is one of the leading vertically integrated oil companies in Russia. The main activities of the company include operations for the exploration and production of oil and gas, production and sale of petroleum products. Lukoil is the second largest privately-owned oil company in the world in terms of proven hydrocarbon reserves. The structure of Lukoil includes one of the largest petrochemical enterprises in Russia - Stavrolen.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 24.11.2021

1. Global petrochemical market suffers from price volatility - SIBUR CEO D. Konov

MOSCOW (MRC) - Record gas prices have a significant impact on the petrochemical market, said RBK with reference to the words of SIBUR head D. Konov. Dmitry Konov, Chairman of the Board of SIBUR Holding, said that the "main evil" for the petrochemical market this year is not the rise in prices, but the speed and frequency of their change. "The main evil - and this is true for both us and the consumer - is not some absolute level of prices, but the speed and frequency of their changes. When prices rise and fall by 30% month by month, this is bad," Konov said. He noted that this year there were many such phenomena that led to record gas prices. This includes interruptions in American production, an accident at the Urengoy plant for preparing condensate for transport, and force majeure events in Europe. Konov stressed that as a result of this, "the long-standing established system is failing," which manifests itself in the hypervolatility of product prices and leads to anomalous delivery costs from one geography to another.


Crude oil futures up in Asia after 3% surge overnight on smaller-than-expected release from strategic petroleum reserves

Crude oil futures up in Asia after 3% surge overnight on smaller-than-expected release from strategic petroleum reserves

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures were higher in mid-morning trade in Asia Nov. 24, extending gains of more than 3% overnight, after major oil-consuming economies announced a smaller-than-expected release from their strategic petroleum reserves, reported S&P Global.

Some bearish pressures also came from an unexpected build in US crude oil and gasoline inventories last week.

At 10:23 am Singapore time (0223 GMT), the ICE January Brent futures contract was up 14 cents/b (0.17%) from the previous close at USD82.45/b, while the NYMEX January light sweet crude contract was 25 cents/b (0.32%) higher at USD78.75/b.

Oil prices continued to climb after settling 2.3%-3.3% higher overnight as investors deemed the scale of the SPR releases by several major oil-consuming economies insufficient to offset the current shortage of oil the world faces.

"Markets deemed the overall release of the strategic oil reserves to be too small to ease the demand-supply imbalance," IG market strategist Yeap Jun Rong said.

The US will release 50 million barrels from its SPR by early next year, though a portion of that has to be returned by 2025, while India will release 5 million barrels and the UK will allow companies to voluntarily release 1.5 million barrels.

South Korea also said Nov. 24 that it will release crude oil from its SPR, though it did not specify the timing and volume to be released.

A source at South Korea's energy ministry said the country could possibly release about 4% of the country's SPR, equivalent to around 3.8 million barrels, as it did in 2011 during the Libyan crisis.

The announced figures will do little to calm nerves about soaring energy costs and the associated rise in inflation. Despite declines in the last four weeks, crude prices remain not far from the seven-year highs touched in late October.

In the US, drivers are now facing the highest Thanksgiving gasoline prices in nine years as of Nov. 23.

Media reports indicate the American Petroleum Institute has reported a build in US crude oil and gasoline inventories for the week ended Nov. 19, with crude stocks rising 2.3 million barrels in the week and gasoline inventories up 600,000 barrels.

As MRC informed before, US commercial crude stocks fell 3.48 million barrels to 413.96 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 17, to more than 8% below the five-year average, Energy Information Administration data showed. Stocks were last lower Oct. 5, 2018.

We remind that in late August, 2021, US crude stocks dropped sharply while petroleum products supplied by refiners hit an all-time record despite the rise in coronavirus cases nationwide, the Energy Information Administration said. Crude inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels in the week to Aug. 27 to 425.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 3.1 million-barrel drop. Product supplied by refineries, a measure of demand, rose to 22.8 million barrels per day in the most recent week. That's a one-week record, and signals strength in consumption for diesel, gasoline and other fuels by consumers and exporters.

We also remind that US crude oil production is expected to fall by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2021 to 11.12 million bpd, EIA said in a monthly report earlier this year, a smaller decline than its previous forecast for a drop of 210,000 bpd.

Fire broke out at PBF Energy gasoline unit in Toledo

Fire broke out at PBF Energy gasoline unit in Toledo

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PBF Energy reported a fire in a gasoline unit at its 172,800 b/d refinery in Toledo, Ohio, reported S&P Global with reference to a company spokesman's statement on Nov. 23.

"We can confirm that a fire occurred on a gasoline processing unit at the Toledo Refinery at approximately 11:00 am this morning. Refinery crews are actively responding with assistance from the local Oregon, OH Fire Department," said PBF spokesman Mike Karlovich in an email.

Karlovich said there were no injuries on site and that officials had been notified.

As MRC wrote previously, in H1 September, 2021, US-based PBF Energy began the process of restarting aromatics production in Chalmette, southeast Louisiana, USA after an unscheduled maintenance, caused by Hurricane Ida. The plant's production capacity is 185,000 mt/year of benzene, 180,000 mt/year of toluene and 270,000 mt/year of xylenes. PBF Energy restarted most of the production at its refinery in Chalmetta around September 17, 2021. The facility was shut down due to a power outage when Hurricane Ida hit the coast on 29 August.

Benzene is feedstock for the production of styrene monomer (SM), which, in its turn, is the main raw material for the production of polystyrene (PS).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics totalled 420,690 tonnes in the first nine months of 2021, up by 16% year on year. September estimated consumption was 46,150 tonnes, down by 3% year on year.