Clariant’s Catalysts business unit has intensified its collaboration with Wuxi Xiyuan to support China’s formaldehyde producers with innovative, sustainable off-gas treatment. The advanced emission control solution combines a new technology from Wuxi Xiyuan with Clariant’s high-performance EnviCat VOC catalysts, and is specially designed for producers using silver-based processes.
Despite the availability of a more efficient and profitable production method based on Clariant’s next-generation FAMAX® iron-molybdenum catalyst, the traditional process using polycrystalline silver remains widely used in China. Consequently, Clariant and Wuxi Xiyuan are now intensifying their efforts to help such producers meet the latest regulatory requirements for emission control.
China’s 13th Five-Year Plan has set ambitious targets for decreasing air pollutants, including a 10% reduction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Previously, off-gases in silver process formaldehyde plants were commonly treated by thermal combustion. The partners’ new solution retains thermal combustion, but adds catalytic oxidation using Clariant’s EnviCat VOC. The catalyst effectively removes harmful VOCs and carbon monoxide with an exceptional conversion efficiency of up to 99% and even beyond, while operating at only up to 400°C lower temperatures. This greatly reduces fuel consumption and stress on equipment, resulting in significant economic, operational and safety advantages for producers.
The new approach has already been commercially proven in a silver process formaldehyde plant in China’s Xinjiang province. Following start-up in September 2018, the plant passed all inspections and was certified by the local authority.
Wuxi Xiyuan is a leader in formaldehyde production technologies for direct oxidation of methanol via fixed-bed catalytic reactors in China. The company has extensive experience in using silver catalyst process technology for formaldehyde production, and is now focusing on iron-molybdenum catalytic technology due to the greater benefits delivered. Xiaoli Liu, President of Wuxi Xiyuan Engineering and Technology Co., commented on the partnership, saying, “With our extensive experience in the silver catalyst process, we know exactly what our customers need, and have worked closely with Clariant to create an outstanding solution.”
Kevin Chan, Head of Business Unit Catalysts at Clariant in China, added, “We are proud to offer the silver-based formaldehyde producers a reliable, sustainable means of reducing harmful off-gases. Our strong collaboration with Wuxi Xiyuan will ensure that we can support further formaldehyde producers in China to meet the latest emission regulations.”
Clariant has a long history and extensive experience in catalysts for off-gas treatment. Numerous production facilities around the world benefit from the high conversion and cost efficiencies of EnviCat VOC. Thanks to the catalyst’s adaptable design, and Clariant’s advanced manufacturing capabilities, EnviCat VOC can be customized according to operators’ processes and requirements to ensure optimum efficiency and performance.