MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant’s catalysts business unit continues to advance its R&D capabilities. The company recently made a significant investment to modernize its research facility in Toyama, Japan, preparing it for faster, more efficient experimentation, according to Hydrocarbonprocessng.
In addition to being Clariant’s global competence center for nickel-based hydrogenation and styrene catalyst development, the Toyama site is also involved in other research fields, including custom catalysts, emission control, and emerging applications of power-to-x technologies.
Two key products developed in Toyama are Clariant’s NiSat powder catalysts for hydrogenation, and StyroMax styrene production catalysts. Capacity for synthesis and evaluation of NiSat catalysts has now more than doubled. This significantly accelerates new catalyst lead generation and scale-up, while application tests ensure products meet customer requirements. For styrene catalysts, a new test unit allows more accurate simulation of industrial reactor conditions in styrene production. This not only enhances Clariant’s capabilities in styrene catalyst development, but also strengthens cooperation with process licensors.
Marvin Estenfelder, Head of Global R&D at Clariant's Business Unit Catalysts, commented, “The Toyama expansion is part of our strategy to steadily sharpen our R&D profile around the world. In 2020, we doubled the capacity of our high-throughput catalyst R&D center in Palo Alto, California. And earlier this year, we inaugurated our state-of-the-art R&D center at the new One Clariant Campus in Shanghai. These developments strengthen our research capacities globally and they allow us to respond faster to regional needs.”
Founded in 1964, Clariant Catalysts Japan conducts R&D and production from its facilities in Toyama, as well as customer relations and technical services from its offices in Tokyo. The Toyama facility is one of Clariant Catalysts’ 10 global R&D centers, and the third largest of its 14 production bases.
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.