Clariant’s SynDane® catalyst brings MOL Group’s maleic anhydride yield to record highs

MOL Group's Danube refinery near Budapest where the company's maleic anhydride production plant is...
  • MOL Group achieves highest maleic anhydride (MA) production to date using Clariant catalyst
  • Plant reports 17% increase in productivity over previous all-time high
  • Clariant’s SynDane selective oxidation MA catalyst delivers superior yield and selectivity with minimal by-products

Munich, December 4, 2019 – A new record for the MOL Group, and another highly satisfied customer for Clariant. In July 2017, MOL installed Clariant’s SynDane catalyst at their Danube maleic anhydride production plant in Százhalombatta, Hungary, for the first time. The unit reached its nameplate capacity of 22,000 metric tons per annum already a few weeks after start-up. Now, the plant’s latest figures reveal that the excellent performance and operability of the catalyst boosted productivity in 2018 by 17% versus its previous all-time high, allowing MOL to achieve its highest maleic anhydride yield to date.

Clariant’s SynDane catalyst is designed for partial oxidation of n-butane in fixed-bed tubular reactors – the most efficient technology known for maleic anhydride production. The catalyst’s innovative microstructure and chemical composition significantly increases yield and selectivity. It greatly decreases by-product formation and downstream polymerization. Fewer undesired products, such as acrylic and acetic acids, minimize plant downtime needed for equipment cleaning, and thus reduce operating costs.

With the SynDane catalyst, MA producers also benefit from excellent operating stability, as well as long catalyst lifetimes of up to four years, depending on operating conditions. Plants with water-based backend technology, such as MOL’s, enjoy even greater efficiency with the catalyst, as fewer process water changes are needed. Furthermore, the catalyst allows operation at high n-butane load and space velocity, thus contributing to enhanced productivity.

Zsolt Marton, Technological Supervisor at MOL Group, attributed the exceptional results not only to the superior performance of the SynDane catalysts, but also to the technical support received from Clariant, stating, “We were very pleased with Clariant’s expert guidance, which included monthly catalyst performance evaluations and optimization, as well as regular visits for technical consultation and operational recommendations. Their competence and their catalyst contributed greatly to MOL’s record production year.” Mr. Marton also confirmed that Clariant catalysts will be used for the plant’s next refill in 2021 and will play an increasingly important role as MOL expands its MA production capacity in the years to come.

MOL is a leading oil, gas and petrochemicals company, headquartered in Budapest, Hungary, with operations in over 30 countries, and 26,000 employees worldwide. The company’s exploration and production activities are supported by 80 years of experience in the field of hydrocarbons. MOL Group received the prestigious “Energy Company of the Year” award in 2018 from the Petroleum Economist.

Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President & General Manager Business Unit Catalysts at Clariant, welcomed the results, commenting, “We are proud to be part of MOL’s outstanding success. Our close collaboration with the company demonstrates our commitment to adding value to our customers’ business – not only through market-leading technology, but also through our customer-first philosophy.”


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Stefanie Nehlsen
Stefanie Nehlsen
Global Trade Media Relations
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