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October 9, 2013

Clariant brings new Houdry dehydrogenation catalyst capacity on-stream

Gerald Ondrey

Clariant (Muttenz, Switzerland; www.clariant.com) has successfully expanded production capacity for Houdry dehydrogenation catalysts at its Louisville/Kentucky, USA plant. The double-digit million Swiss francs debottlenecking investment will support increasing demand for Houdry catalysts driven mainly by shale gas development. The facility will come on-stream in mid-October 2013 as planned.

Houdry dehydrogenation catalysts are used in the petrochemical industry to produce C3- and C4-olefins (including butadiene) from light paraffin using the Catofin and Catadiene technologies, which are licensed through CB&I. CB&I is one of the world’s leading engineering, procurement and construction companies and a major process technology licensor.

Catofin technology and catalyst correspond to a reliable and less complex production process for on-purpose olefins/butadiene production with efficient energy consumption. New generations of catalysts with significant performance improvement have been commercialized successfully in the last few years. Catofin technology has been selected by 32 licensees worldwide and is in operation in 12 units today, including the largest propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit currently in operation with a capacity exceeding 500,000 ton/yr. Over the last four years, 15 new plants have been licensed. A 600,000-ton/yr Catofin PDH unit will start operation in 2013, while a 750,000-ton/yr Catofin PDH will start up in 2015. The Catofin process offers superior selectivity, on-stream efficiency and revamp potential, says Clariant.

Stefan Heuser, senior vice president, head of BU Catalysts at Clariant comments: “Increasing production capacity for our proprietary, high-performance Houdry catalysts is an important part of Clariant’s growth strategy to capture opportunities driven by shale gas development which creates significant need for on-purpose olefin production. With vast experience gained over decades to support our customers in achieving reliable operation, Clariant is well positioned to serve this market”.

 

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