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Clariant Launches Highly Efficient Styrene Conomer Catalyst

The company launches a high performance styrene catalyst for ultra-low steam to oil ratio conditions

Germany: Clariant, a global supplier of specialty chemicals, has introduced a new ethyl benzene (EB) dehydrogenation catalyst, that is, Styromax UL3. This catalyst is expected to produce more efficient styrene monomers and can achieve high activity and selectivity at ultra-low steam to hydrocarbon ratios. This technology is already being used at GPPC Styrene production plant in Taiwan since May, 2016. The catalyst selectivity has improved by 0.5% in comparison to previously used catalysts and this decreases the occurrence of byproducts such as toluene and benzene. The catalyst was officially launched at Clariant Styrene Seminar held in October, 2016.

TechSci Research depicts that the introduction of this highly efficient styrene monomer catalyst would reduce the production costs, thereby leading to surged production of styrene monomers, which in turn would increase the demand for benzene since benzene being a pre-requisite for styrene production.

According to the recently published report by TechSci Research, Global Benzene Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2020”, global benzene market is expected to surpass 46MMT by 2020 on account of continuously increasing demand from various industries using benzene derivatives in their manufacturing processes. Shale gas evolution in the US has increased the availability of ethane, which is a light feedstock used for cracking process. The use of lighter feedstock is hampering the yield of benzene and leading to a tight demand/supply scenario in the global market, due to which the market has become highly competitive and all major players are investing in R&D to improve the quality and properties of the product. The major players operating in global benzene market include ExxonMobil, Shell Chemicals, and Sinopec Corporation, among others. Region-wise, Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate global benzene market through 2020 as majority of benzene derivative manufacturers plan on shifting their production base to developing countries in this region.

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