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Clariant ready for faster, smarter catalyst research with high-tech upgrade of site in Japan

Clariant's catalyst research and production site in Toyama, Japan.
  • Significant investment in state-of-the-art equipment to increase R&D capacity and speed at Toyama facility
  • Capacity for synthesis and evaluation of hydrogenation catalysts more than doubled
  • New test unit simulates industrial reactor conditions in styrene production

MUNICH, December 9, 2021 - Clariant’s Catalysts business unit continues to advance its R&D capabilities. The company recently made a significant investment to modernize its research facility in Toyama, Japan, preparing it for faster, more efficient experimentation. In addition to being Clariant’s global competence center for nickel-based hydrogenation and styrene catalyst development, the Toyama site is also involved in other research fields, including custom catalysts, emission control, and emerging applications of power-to-x technologies.

Two key products developed in Toyama are Clariant’s NiSat® powder catalysts for hydrogenation, and StyroMax® styrene production catalysts. Capacity for synthesis and evaluation of NiSat catalysts has now more than doubled. This significantly accelerates new catalyst lead generation and scale-up, while application tests ensure products meet customer requirements. For styrene catalysts, a new test unit allows more accurate simulation of industrial reactor conditions in styrene production. This not only enhances Clariant’s capabilities in styrene catalyst development, but also strengthens cooperation with process licensors.

Marvin Estenfelder, Head of Global R&D at Clariant's Business Unit Catalysts, commented, “The Toyama expansion is part of our strategy to steadily sharpen our R&D profile around the world. In 2020, we doubled the capacity of our high-throughput catalyst R&D center in Palo Alto, California. And earlier this year, we inaugurated our state-of-the-art R&D center at the new One Clariant Campus in Shanghai. These developments strengthen our research capacities globally and they allow us to respond faster to regional needs.”

Koji Ito, General Manager Clariant Catalysts Japan, added, “Clariant is committed to local R&D in key markets, like Japan, to capture regional trends and talents. We also maintain and actively seek to expand collaborations with universities in Japan who provide advanced research in catalysis.”

Founded in 1964, Clariant Catalysts Japan conducts R&D and production from its facilities in Toyama, as well as customer relations and technical services from its offices in Tokyo. The Toyama facility is one of Clariant Catalysts’ 10 global R&D centers, and the third largest of its 14 production bases.


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