Clariant Opens New Catalyst R&D Lab in Brazil for Oil & Gas Industries

  • Cutting edge solutions for syngas generation and conversion catalysts
  • Clariant adsorbents remove contaminants from natural gas
  • New laboratory enhances technical support to regional customers

Muttenz, June 25, 2013 – Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, opened a new R&D Laboratory for Catalysts for Chemicals and Oil & Gas industries. Located in the company’s largest manufacturing plant of Latin America, in Suzano (Brazil), the laboratory begins operations with a complete infrastructure, state of the art equipment and well qualified team of researchers dedicated to develop new generations of catalysts as well as providing technical support to customers in the region.

“The projected growth of the gas industry in Brazil is very impressive and Clariant will contribute to that growth”, states Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President, Head of BU Catalysts. “With this important investment we follow our strategy to provide strong support to our local business partners. Here in Brazil we will jointly develop new and innovative solutions with our catalysts and adsorbents”. Brazilian gas supplies are poised to soar and domestic production will triple from current level of 65 million cubic meter per day to around 180 million in 2020 with significant portion from off-shore platforms. Brazil oil production is about 25% of the global deep water production in 2011; pre-salt exploration shall increase this percentage significantly. According to ONIP (National Petroleum Industry Organization), demand for goods and services for the Oil and Gas industries shall at least reach US$ 400 billion up to 2020.

Clariant’s adsorbents can be used to purify natural gas, which comes out of the well with impurities such as sulfur, mercury, arsine and other compounds harmful to the environment and the plant equipment. ActiSorb® GP Series adsorbents remove those contaminants before feeding the gas into the pipeline to meet the mandatory specification. After more than 60 years providing solutions for the removal of contaminants from natural gas and other hydrocarbon chains, the company sees the increase in production from the pre-salt reserves and large potential of shale gas as a platform for growth in Latin America and worldwide.

In addition, tightening of fuel specifications in South America and the necessity of processing more challenging feedstocks are driving hydrogen catalyst demand. Clariant’s Catalysts Business Unit is one of the market leaders in Hydrogen catalysts. Optimization of high-performance catalysts is a critical tool to increase hydrogen supply in refineries. The Catalyst business unit of Clariant also offers a number of sulfur-removal products, including a gasoline desulfurization catalyst that is being used in more than a dozen new units worldwide. “We will provide a complete range of solutions for the catalysts market with the support of our applied research and technical support infrastructure,” asserts Harald Dialer, Head of Syngas Catalysts.

Fully operational in June, this new R&D laboratory was established from the acquisition of relevant catalysts assets of the Brazilian company Oxiteno in mid-2012, which included patents and research labs. With the transfer of assets to the Suzano industrial park and the installation of the new unit, Clariant has invested additional resources to improve its infrastructure and the services offered to its customers, as well as identify opportunities to develop tailor-made solutions for the regional market. The Suzano lab is part of a global network of 11 R&D facilities. “The new research group further strengthens Clariant´s technology portfolio in gas purification and Syngas related applications”, stated Marvin Estenfelder, Head of R&D Catalysts.


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Clariant is a globally leading specialty chemicals company, based in Muttenz near Basel/Switzerland. On December 31, 2012 the company employed a total workforce of 21,202. In the financial year 2012, Clariant recorded sales of CHF 6.038 billion for its continuing businesses. The company reports in four business areas: Care Chemicals, Catalysis & Energy, Natural Resources, Plastics & Coatings. Clariant’s corporate strategy is based on four pillars: managing businesses for profitability, research & development and innovation, growth in emerging markets, and repositioning of the portfolio.