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Clariant Catalysts helps customers cut over 35 million tons of CO2e in 2022

Clariant Catalysts helps customers cut over 35 million tons of CO2e in 2022.
  • Customer emission reductions enabled by Clariant’s catalysts in 2022 more than eight times higher than Clariant corporation’s carbon footprint in 2022
  • Clariant’s catalytic solutions help reduce greenhouse gas emissions across a wide range of industrial sectors
  • Through its broad portfolio, Clariant contributes to customers’ transition towards global climate neutrality

MUNICH, April 20, 2023 - Clariant’s energy-efficient catalyst technologies made a significant contribution to climate protection in 2022. They enabled emission reductions of more than 35 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in customers’ chemical processes across a wide range of industrial sectors. The reductions amount to more than eight times the total carbon footprint of the entire Clariant corporation in 2022[1].

To put this into perspective, the 35 million tons of CO2e avoided by using Clariant’s catalysts exceed Switzerland's total carbon dioxide emissions in 2021[2].

A significant proportion of the emission reductions come from customers in the steel industry, a sector responsible for 7% of global CO2 emissions[3]. Clariant’s reformer catalysts are used in the Direct Reduction of Iron (DRI) process of iron production, which feeds into steel production. The DRI process is a low-carbon alternative to conventional coal-based iron production that is highly CO2-intensive. The CO2 emissions from DRI-based steel are 38% (or about one ton of CO2 per ton of crude steel) lower than in conventional steelmaking[4].

Another key contributor to the emission reductions is Clariant’s solution for the catalytic abatement of nitrous oxide (N2O) emitted during the production of nitric acid. Primarily used as a valuable base chemical in fertilizers, the production of nitric acid is responsible for the equivalent of 100 million tons of CO2 annually[5] due to emissions of undesired N2O by-products. Clariant’s catalysts offer an economic solution to remove up to 99% of N2O emissions by converting them into harmless nitrogen and oxygen[6]. This technology is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce sizeable amounts of GHG emissions in the chemical industry with costs well below $10/ ton of CO2e avoided.

Richard Haldimann, Chief Technology & Sustainability Officer at Clariant, commented, “With our defined sustainability strategy, Clariant is in an excellent position to help fight climate change through our portfolio of products which not only contribute to reducing our own carbon footprint but also create a carbon handprint for our customers. Our Catalysts business is a prime example of sustainability-driven innovations that accelerate the energy transition and can meet the demands of future economic, regulatory, and social systems.”

Jens Cuntze, President of Clariant Catalysts, added, “Most chemicals and fuels undergo at least one catalytic stage during industrial production which is why catalysts play a crucial role in the productivity and profitability of the chemical process our they are applied in as well as in sustainability. At Clariant, our broad catalyst portfolio, combined with tailored solutions and strong process partnerships, achieve impactful emission reductions for our customers.”

Additional catalytic innovations recently announced by Clariant include “green” technologies for methanol and ammonia production, which not only open new pathways for renewable feedstocks but also energy sources, particularly in maritime transport. Clariant has also developed catalysts for the efficient production of blue (low carbon) hydrogen, used for the safe and effective capture and sequestration of carbon to permanently remove CO2 for storage or further use.

Through existing and future technologies, Clariant is committed to developing innovative catalytic solutions that enable customers to operate their plants more efficiently, with reduced CO2 emissions. The reduction of more than 35 million tons of CO2e in 2022 reflects Clariant’s vision to help its customers in the transition toward global climate neutrality. Clariant continues to sharpen its focus on catalytic innovations in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) No. 7 on Affordable and Clean Energy, and No. 13 on Climate Action.

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[1] Clariant recorded a carbon footprint of 4.1 million tons of CO2e in 2022 from continuing operations.
[2] Switzerland produced 34.93 million tons of CO₂ emissions from fossil fuels and industry in 2021. Source: Global Carbon Project, 2022
[3] IEA, Iron and Steel Technology Roadmap, 2020
[4] Mission Possible Partnership, Net-Zero Steel Sector Transition Strategy, 2022
[5] IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2014
[6] Multiple references worldwide using Clariant’s catalysts in commercial operations.

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