The Business Area Catalysis is the smallest within Clariant in terms of sales but is highly profitable with high growth rates and relatively low cyclicality.


The Catalysis Business Area develops, manufactures and sells a wide range of catalysts for the petrochemicals, plastics and refining industries.

The main business drivers of Catalysis are improving chemical process efficiency, enabling the use of alternative feedstocks (natural gas, coal and biomass) and developing environmentally friendly catalytic solutions.

The business comprising the Catalysis Business Area was added to Clariant with the acquisition of Süd-Chemie in 2011.


The Catalysts business is one of the world’s leading global catalyst suppliers with a broad portfolio of products for a variety of processes, including those that enable the use of alternative raw materials, such as natural gas, coal and biomass.

This business is the only one in Clariant’s portfolio which is based on the capabilities of inorganic chemistry. It develops catalysts and technologies for use in industrial and environmental processes. The product development activities address the global challenges of the efficient use of feedstock and energy, as well as contribute to the protection of the environment.

The Catalysts business provides solutions to a wide range of industries including petrochemicals (producers of petrochemical intermediates and polymers), chemicals (producers of bulk and specialty chemicals), refining (refineries for the production of clean fuels), and environmental (off gas treatment for chemical plants and stationary engines).

Go to Catalysts

Energy Storage

The Energy Storage business was sold to Johnson Matthey in March 2015. 

Strategic Objectives - Catalysts

The objective of Catalysts is to be the preferred provider of innovative catalytic solutions to key markets while striving for strong growth and improved profitability. This is achieved by implementing the following four main strategic pillars:

Maintain Innovation Leadership & Customer Focus Culture 

To remain a leader in innovation, the business is committed to developing cutting edge solutions with the intent to maximize customer value creation and target cooperations with leading technology licensors. 

Provide Solutions for Markets Driven by Regional Trends 

A global approach with a regional solution is chosen by building a global network in production, sales & marketing and R&D with a strong and long-term presence in emerging regions, as well as by developing solutions specific to regional requirements and needs.

Focus Portfolio and Clear Technology Roadmap 

Catalysts strives to keep a clear focus on three business segments (Petrochemicals, Syngas, Specialty Catalysts) with a structured portfolio, technology and partnership roadmap. Active portfolio management, alignment of R&D and CAPEX allocation, as well as selective technology partnerships are foundations of this objective.

Drive Productivity 

The continuous maximization of efficiency in production, R&D and sales is one of the core objectives for the business.

strategic focus on profitable growth

Key Financial Figures

25.8 %

Current EBITDA margin (before exceptional items)

24 - 26%

EBITDA target margin (before exceptional items)

  • Expansion of a leading market position in all areas of operation with increased innovations and organic growth enables annual sales growth potential of 6 – 7 %
  • New projects based on shale gas in the US and coal in China
  • Partnerships with leading technology providers to provide best combined innovative solutions to customers
  • Concentration on the portfolio and shifting of the resources towards core activities with high returns and growth potential


+ 13 %
Sales in CHF m
in local currencies

* before exceptional items

Leading Market positionS

Petrochemical catalysts
Syngas catalysts
Chemical catalysts

Key Drivers for Catalysis

More Efficient Use of Feedstock and Energy
  • Address the global challenges of dwindling feedstock supply and high energy cost
  • Targeting higher yield and more energy efficient catalytic solutions
Change in Feedstock Supply and Demand
  • End-consumers have a growing interest in using alternative feedstocks for chemicals and energy
  • Base feedstock changes (shift to shale gas, growing importance of coal)
Emerging Market Growth and Continued Urbanization
  • Industrial production and need for catalysts are on the rise in emerging markets
  • Reindustrialization of developed countries

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