Eight Texas chemical plant workers treated for toxic gas exposure

Eight Texas chemical plant workers treated for toxic gas exposure

MRC -- Eight people were taken to a hospital for treatment on Monday after a toxic gas leak at Altivia Chemicals' plant in La Porte, Texas, local officials said, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

An update on their condition was not immediately available. The city canceled a shelter-in-place order in the afternoon that had affected several nearby industrial plants, officials said.

The La Porte Office of Emergency Management said the Fire Department and Harris County Pollution Control confirmed there were no "detectable amounts of immediately hazardous products" near or downwind the facility.

Officials had cautioned residents to shelter in place due to a phosgene gas leak at Altivia, a chemical manufacturer and transporter that develops phosgene derivatives for pharmaceuticals and the agriculture industry.

"Eight people were transported from Altivia due to exposure, and all were stable at the time of leaving the facility," said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the county's top executive, in a social media post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

"This happens quite frequently, we aren’t surprised," said Ana Parras, executive co-director at Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services. "What they are producing is chemicals for plastic production, and there has been a rise in incidents" at Texas chemical plants.

The leak was the result of a ruptured pressure release device, Altivia said in a statement. All processes at its La Porte facility have been shut down, and its personnel contained the leak, the company added.

Phosgene is a colorless gas with a suffocating odor like musty hay that is used in the manufacture of other chemicals, pesticides and pharmaceuticals, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Exposure to phosgene gas may cause vomiting, breathing difficulty, chest pain and, in its liquid form, frostbite. Halliburton's Multi-Chem Bayport site, Stepan's Pasadena facility, and three other sites belonging to Kuraray America, Evonik and NCTI lifted orders to shelter in place, according to community alerts.

We remind, Lummus Technology and Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation announced a master collaboration agreement to jointly pursue carbon capture projects.


Clariant’s service portal digitally boosts technical support for 80+ catalyst customers worldwide

Clariant’s service portal digitally boosts technical support for 80+ catalyst customers worldwide

MRC -- Clariant, a sustainability-focused specialty chemical company, today announced the favorable adoption and excellent performance of its digital service platform for catalyst customers, said the company.

Developed by Clariant company Navigance, CLARITY is a cloud-based platform that provides customers 24/7 access to their real-time catalyst performance data as well as access to advanced visualization, analysis, and monitoring tools. The tool supports all Clariant catalyst applications, allowing end-to-end encrypted data sharing, with key performance indicators visualized in customizable dashboards. The user interface also connects customers directly with Clariant’s experts for technical exchange and guidance. Since its launch, CLARITY has been adopted by more than 80 plants, and is serving more than 380 active users in 28 countries around the world.

Lorena Oviol, Head of Applied Catalyst Technology at Clariant, commented, “Our digital service portal CLARITY together with the Applied Catalyst Technology (ACT) team’s know-how brings customer experience to a brand-new level. With Navigance on board, we are uniquely positioned to provide innovative and optimized solutions for our customers improving the way we interact. As competition continues to grow across industries, our state-of-the-art tools and data-driven insights will help our customers to stay ahead in their fields.”

Dominic Riedel, Process Manager at BASF, lauded the implementation of CLARITY as a digital lighthouse project at their steam cracker unit in Ludwigshafen, stating, “CLARITY helps us optimize processes by providing valuable insights for operators and plant engineers through well-organized and customizable dashboards covering all aspects of performance. Compared to cumbersome data sharing via spreadsheets, the automated upload of our data greatly accelerates evaluation.”

Akhmad Firdaus, Plant Manager at Petrowidada (EBER Petrochemical), also praised CLARITY for revolutionizing catalyst performance analysis, saying, “CLARITY has not only simplified catalyst performance analysis, but also provided us with a direct avenue to tap into Clariant’s wealth of expertise. We can now swiftly connect with Clariant experts, enabling seamless two-way communication. It has proven invaluable in addressing challenges and optimizing catalyst performance.”

CLARITY includes useful visualization and optimization tools to improve catalyst-related plant performance such as product yield and feedstock consumption. The platform also accelerates customer support through seamless collaboration with highly qualified Clariant experts that results in a more efficient catalyst operation. Its advantages are confirmed by the high customer adoption rate. CLARITY will undergo continuous development, combining Clariant’s proprietary tools and expertise with Navigance’s data-science and machine learning capabilities, to further advance predictive and prescriptive data analytics for customers.

We remind, Clariant posted a 28% decrease on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the third quarter amid lower prices and volumes. Clariant expects to see an easing inflationary environment, but no economic recovery in the final three months of 2023, with macroeconomic uncertainties and risks remaining. Despite that, Clariant confirms its sales guidance for the full year 2023 of Swfr4.55bn–4.65bn, it said.


Lummus and Toshiba announce partnership for advanced carbon capture solutions

Lummus and Toshiba announce partnership for advanced carbon capture solutions

MRC -- Lummus Technology and Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation announced a master collaboration agreement to jointly pursue carbon capture projects, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Lummus will provide its post-combustion carbon capture technology and Toshiba will provide its advanced amine-based solvents specifically tailored for post-combustion carbon capture and its system design guidelines optimized for Toshiba's solvents.

"I am excited about our partnership with Toshiba, which expands Lummus' range of low carbon solutions and aligns with our commitment to lowering emissions for the downstream energy industry," said Leon de Bruyn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lummus Technology. "Combining Lummus' post-combustion carbon capture technology with Toshiba's highly competitive solvents and technology gives our customers a strong option for CAPEX and OPEX solutions as they advance their carbon capture investments."

"We are delighted to collaborate with Lummus to introduce our advanced amine-based solvent and CO2 capture solution to a broader audience," said Shinya Fujitsuka, Senior Vice President of Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation. "Addressing the urgent need for decarbonization is paramount, and I have every confidence that our partnership with Lummus will enable us to make meaningful contributions towards achieving this goal."

Central to this collaboration is Lummus' access to Toshiba's advanced amine-based post-combustion carbon capture solvents and technology that have been used in commercial and demonstration plants in Japan capturing over 600 tons per day of CO2. This access allows Lummus to integrate its technology into project designs, delivering operational excellence and a competitive cost structure for customers. By incorporating Toshiba's advanced solvents, Lummus can offer clients an OPEX-competitive solution, characterized by lower specific energy consumption per ton of CO2 absorbed, higher solvent stability against degradation and reduced amine emissions.

Lummus has been active in post-combustion carbon capture technology since the 1990s using latest generation solvents. The technology provides the full design involving an absorber and solvent regeneration systems, which can be applied to any complex with combustion flue gas streams. This partnership is a logical extension of Lummus' technology offerings and maintains Lummus on its path towards addressing new challenges for wider use of CO2 capture.

Toshiba is a leader in post-combustion amine-based solvent CO2 capture technology, which it has been developing since 2007. This technology uses an advanced amine-based solvent that can handle various process conditions with high reliability and stability. Characterized by low energy recovery, minimal degradation, and reduced amine emission, Toshiba's proprietary solvent is a testament to the effectiveness of Toshiba's state-of-the-art amine emission mitigation technology. Toshiba has successfully tested this technology in commercial and demonstration plants in Japan and is now ready to offer it to customers worldwide in different industry fields through its partnership with Lummus.

We remind, Lummus Technology, a global provider of process technologies and value-driven energy solutions, and Citroniq Chemicals announced that the two companies have signed licensing and engineering agreements for green polypropylene plants in the U.S. The first plant, scheduled for completion in 2027, will produce 400kta of bio-polypropylene and will be first in North America with this production capability.


Linde Increases Hydrogen Production in Southeast United States

Linde Increases Hydrogen Production in Southeast United States

MRC -- Linde announced it has increased the liquid hydrogen production capacity at its facility in McIntosh, Alabama, said the company.

Linde’s McIntosh facility will now produce up to 30 tons per day of liquid hydrogen for the local merchant market. The plant will meet increasing demand for hydrogen from Linde’s existing and new customers in end markets including manufacturing and electronics. It will also supply hydrogen to Linde’s space launch and mobility customers.

The expansion complements Linde’s existing hydrogen business in the southeastern U.S. and increases network density in the region. Linde invested approximately $90 million in the project.

“Over the past decade we have continued to expand our robust hydrogen production and supply network in the U.S., establishing Linde as the largest supplier of liquid hydrogen in the country,” said Todd Lawson, Vice President East Region, Linde. “As demand for liquid hydrogen continues to grow, we are proud to leverage our technology and expertise to safely start up this project on time and on budget.”

We remind, Linde announced that its entities in India have signed long-term agreements for the supply of industrial gases to Indian Oil Corporation’s Panipat refinery in Northern India, said the company. Linde’s entities will build, own and operate major new on-site facilities to supply hydrogen, nitrogen and compressed dry air to IndianOil. The new on-site facilities will support the multi-billion-dollar expansion of the Panipat refinery from 15 to 25 million metric tons per year.


Umicore breaks ground on fuel cell catalyst plant in China

Umicore breaks ground on fuel cell catalyst plant in China

MRC -- On December 1st, Umicore held the groundbreaking ceremony in Changshu, Suzhou for its large-scale fuel cell catalyst plant, said the company.

With the increasing popularity of green hydrogen, the demand for fuel cell catalyst products is growing rapidly. Over the past 30 years, Umicore has been committed to the research and development of fuel cell catalysts, providing platinum and iridium catalysts for different Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, covering a wide range of industries such as automotive, marine industry, aerospace, energy storage, and water electrolysis for hydrogen production.

Leveraging its durable and high-performance fuel cells catalysts and working closely with customers across the value chain, Umicore has become a global leader in PEM fuel cell catalysts for the mobility segment. Its new greenfield plant in China – expected to become the world’s largest PEM catalyst production facility to date - will enable Umicore to cater for the rapidly growing customer demand, serving demand through to 2030.

"China has now become an important engine for the global fuel cell vehicle technology and market. Through cutting-edge fuel cell catalyst technology, Umicore is reshaping transportation and mobility in China and around the world," Joakim Thogersen, Senior Vice President Fuel Cells and Stationary Catalysts of Umicore said.

The greenfield facility, that will expand Umicore’s existing footprint of fuel cell catalyst production and R&D centers in Europe and Asia[1], is planned to be carbon neutral from the start and will contribute to reducing scope 3 emissions in the value chain. The plant is expected to become operational in early 2026.

As per MRC. Umicore will invest in building a large-scale fuel cell catalyst plant in Changshu in China to capture the fast emerging growth in fuel cell technology. The plant will enable the accelerated transformation to hydrogen-based clean mobility, serving demand through to 2030. The greenfield facility is planned and prepared to be carbon neutral from the start and will contribute to reducing scope 3 emissions in the value chain.