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Clariant opens new R&D center in China

| By Scott Jenkins

Clariant Catalysts (Munich, Germany; has opened a new, state-of-the-art R&D center at its “One Clariant Campus” (OCC) in Shanghai. This R&D Center is integrated into the brand new Clariant Innovation Center China within the One Clariant Campus, and will foster Clariant’s R&D capabilities in China. To date, Clariant is one of the only international companies to have built a full-fledged comprehensive catalyst research unit in China.

Kevin Chan, Head of Clariant Catalysts China commented: “This new facility is part of Clariant’s commitment to local innovation and growth in China as we aim to be the leading innovator in catalysis benefitting China and beyond. With this advanced R&D center, we are now even closer to our customers so that we can better and faster respond to their needs.”

The proximity to customers will assist Clariant’s research activities by providing unfiltered, first-hand information about local needs and market trends. The Chinese chemical industry has been growing steadily over the past years at higher rates than other regions. China is now the largest chemical market in the world and the country alone accounts for 46% of world chemical sales[1].

The R&D center will focus on four fields addressing China’s megatrend to drive sustainability and efficiency: more sustainable solutions for the coal value chain, hydrogenation for high value-adding chemicals, environmental protection, and custom catalysts. Capabilities of the center include catalyst research and development, preparation, characterization, and performance testing. The center features three lab units, across a two-story, 27,000 sq. ft. space equipped with advanced equipment for catalyst preparation, solid surface characterization and chemical analysis, as well as catalyst performance testing on various scales.

Clariant Catalysts set up its first footprint in China nearly 50 years ago, when it provided full catalytic solutions to Chinese nitrogen fertilizer producers. Since then, Clariant Catalysts has established two plants in Shanghai and Panjin, with a further one in Jiaxing currently under construction.

Marvin Estenfelder, Head of Global R&D at Clariant Catalysts stated: “The new R&D center will collaborate with international academic institutions, including top universities in China, that provide advanced research on key technologies and catalysis globally. At the same time, the center’s research activities will be strongly integrated into the Clariant Catalysts network of 10 R&D centers worldwide.”

With this new Catalyst R&D Center, the Clariant Innovation Center China hosts five sound Technology Platforms, namely Chemistry and Materials, Biotechnology, Catalysis, Process Technology, and Emerging Technologies. These platforms are the key enablers for innovation. In combination with the Application Platforms of the Business Units they will be the basis for market-driven innovation and allow an adequate response to sustainability challenges.

[1] Source: Provisional data for 2020 from IHS Markit