Clariant to significantly expand production of maleic anhydride catalysts in China

Clariant to significantly expand production of maleic anhydride catalysts in China
Published: 29 August 2019 - 6 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
Clariant announced it will significantly expand the capacity of its catalysts production facility in Panjin, Liaoning province, Northeast China. A double-digit CHF million investment will further optimise the existing facility and enable the creation of a new advanced production line for Clariant’s SynDane maleic anhydride (MA) catalyst.

"This investment supports Clariant’s strategy of focusing on its core high-value specialty businesses to intensify growth. Asia-Pacific, and especially China, is a main growth market and therefore it is vital that we continue to enhance our presence and customer proximity," said Hans Bohnen, Clariant's chief operating officer.

The ambitious project will allow Clariant to enable its customers to meet the dynamically growing global demand for MA, as production is expected to jump from 1.75mn tonnes in 2018 to 2.07mn tonnes in 2022. MA is a fundamental component of polymers and coatings used in the construction, automotive, marine, and energy industries.

Stefan Heuser, senior vice president and general manager, business unit catalysts, at Clariant, commented on the development: “With a high-performance MA catalyst range and extensive R&D investment, Clariant is well positioned to support MA producers globally. The expansion of our catalyst production in Panjin will further strengthen our leading role in this market.

Clariant’s SynDane catalysts are optimised for cost-efficient MA production via selective oxidation of n-butane in fixed-bed tubular reactors. Thanks to their innovative microstructure and chemical composition, they offer superior yield, selectivity and operating stability. This greatly reduces the formation of by-products (such as acrylic acid and acetic acid) as well as their downstream polymerisation, thus minimising downtime for equipment.

Since 2007, Clariant has produced SynDane MA catalysts at the Panjin plant as a joint venture with North Huajin Chemical Industries Group Corporation, one of China’s leading petrochemical companies. The sophisticated production site in Panjin engages more than 140 employees in manufacturing catalysts and adsorbents for the production of butane-based maleic anhydride, ammonia, hydrogen, and methanol, as well as other applications.

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