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Clariant products and solutions contribute to sustained development of automotive and transport industry

  • The growing automotive industry in China currently faces challenges in ecological and sustainable development
  • Clariant's products in multiple segments help save energy, reduce emissions and increase safety
  • Reduced vehicle weight, decreased diesel engine emissions and parts casting emissions, and lowered fire hazards all achieved with novel Clariant solutions
Shanghai, August 9, 2016 – Clariant, a world-leader in specialty chemicals, presented today at its regional headquarters for the Greater China region leading solutions dedicated to achieving sustainable development in automotive industry. In the presentations delivered in front of leading local and regional technical and mass media, Clariant's technical experts highlighted Clariant's edge in the three areas of energy savings, emissions reduction and safety improvements, the current priorities for the automotive and transport industry in China to achieve improved sustainability.

Development of transportation goes along with economic growth — with the surging economy's high growth rate over the past decade in China, the country has already become the largest new vehicle market in the world since 2010. It is predicted that by 2025 China will replace the U.S. as the largest automobile market globally. Increased traffic volume and the number of road vehicles are inevitably putting pressure and impact on resources, people, climate and the environment. Petroleum consumption and CO2 emission are some of the biggest challenges faced by the automotive and transport industry in China today.

As a leading specialty chemical company, Clariant leverages its strong R&D capability and industry expertise to provide products and solutions dedicated to achieving sustainability in the automotive and transport industry.

Energy saving
Vehicle weight has a direct impact on fuel consumption. For example, a weight reduction of only 10% can result in a 6.6% improvement of fuel efficiency. To achieve vehicle weight reduction, Clariant has developed an innovative solution for the production of foamed thermoplastics, with the foaming agent Hydrocerol®. It creates a finer, more durable foam-cell structure that allows manufacturers to achieve surface quality and mass reduction between 5 and 20%.

As a chemical propellant, Hydrocerol results in significant improvement on product appearance both internally and externally, as compared with other thermoplastics foamed with physical propellants. Hydrocerol also simplifies process control, as lower pressure and consequently smaller clamping forces, as well as smaller machines, are necessary. Such features mean less energy is required to melt the material, thus saving through both reduced energy and a shortened cycle time.

Clariant also aids in energy saving during the manufacturing process. Clariant's Masterbatches solutions for fibers used in vehicles leverage spin dyeing by adding the colorants directly as a Masterbatch during the melt spinning process. Besides outstanding aberration resistance, light-fastness and high color consistency, it reduces energy consumption tremendously. For instance, when dyeing 1kg of fibers, a reduction of almost 98% of energy and 99.9% of water is achieved with the same amount of additives used in traditional bath dyeing processes. The bluesign® system, the world's most stringent environmental standard for textile products, endorses the benefits of spin dyeing as a sustainable way to color fibers.

Emission reduction
Car exhaust accounts for a significant share of total pollutant emissions in industrialized countries such as China. Among the different pollutants from car exhaust, nitrogen oxides contribute to occurrence of acid rain, while VOCs and carbon monoxide are either carcinogenic or pose various health hazards.

Among the origins of pollutants from vehicles, diesel engines produce a significant share of transport-related emissions. Controlling diesel emissions requires increasingly sophisticated solutions as emission regulations tighten worldwide. To achieve a dramatic reduction in vehicle emissions, Clariant's zeolites are specially optimized for exhaust catalytic converters in vehicles. They can be used both as an ideal carrier material for the catalytically active substances, as well as a full extrudate.

Zeolites have become an indispensable part of modern catalytic converter technology in vehicles today. They have a customized property profile allowing for targeted control over ingredients, pH value, temperatures and templates. The catalysts also enjoy an excellent price-performance ratio due to their uncomplicated large-scale crystallization process that ensures lower costs. In addition, zeolites are non-hazardous to humans and environmentally friendly.

Besides controlling the emissions from automotives themselves, Clariant's LE Technologies also contribute to emission reduction during their manufacturing. The low emission products GEKO® LE and ECOSIL® LE lower emissions of health hazards like xylenes, toluene and ethyl benzene during the green sand molding process employed in the manufacturing of vehicle components such as engine blocks, transmission housings, drive shafts, brake disks and wheel bearings. Clariant's LE Technology products are already widely used in the EU, and have high potential in North and South America, as well as Asia.

Clariant contributes to transportation safety through the provision of fire protection materials used in vehicles, trains and other forms of transportation. While increased use of lightweight components made of plastic has made vehicles lighter and more energy-efficient, their susceptibility to fire due to the material's flammability increases fire risk. As a leader in the Asia-Pacific region for flame retardants, Clariant has developed products such as the Exolit® OP range which offer highly effective fire protection and satisfy some of the strictest requirements.

Exolit OP lends engineering plastics the fire safety characteristics of expensive high-performance polymers. The Exolit OP product line is based on organic phosphinates which have an outstanding environmental and health profile. Plastics containing Exolit OP can be recycled easily. In case of fire, considerably less smoke arises with Exolit OP than with many other flame retardants, with fewer adverse effects.

"With our exciting line-up of products and solutions dedicated to improving the sustainability and safety aspects of the growing automotive and transport industry in China, Clariant is ready to work with our customers and partners as we continue to strive for a greener future in this growing sector in China," said Jan Kreibaum, President of Clariant Greater China and South Korea.

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