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September 12, 2014
Category: Corporate News | Catalysts

Clariant introduces ShiftMax® 120 HCF: New HTS catalyst with essentially no hexavalent chromium

Muttenz, September 12, 2014 – Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, announced today the launch of their new ShiftMax® 120 HCF catalyst. The enhanced high temperature shift (HTS) catalyst avoids health and safety risks in ammonia and hydrogen production as it contains essentially no hexavalent chromium (Cr6+). This was tested and confirmed by the independent institute, Seibersdorf Laboratories, according to OECD test#29. ShiftMax 120 HCF is thus fully compliant with REACH Regulations of the European Community (Annex XIV to EC No 1907/2006), which will inhibit the sale of compounds containing Cr6+ beyond a very low threshold.

Clariant’s high performance ShiftMax 120 HCF is the successor to ShiftMax 120, one of the most widely used HTS catalysts in the syngas industry with 30 years of proven performance in terms of activity and longevity. The new ShiftMax 120 HCF is practically identical to its predecessor after initial activation. It provides the same advantages with regard to low operating temperatures and CO leakages, excellent mechanical stability, especially during plant upsets, and long service life. It is also very effective in preventing Fischer-Tropsch byproduct formation when operating at low steam to gas conditions.

The key difference between the two catalysts is that the new production process reduces the content of hexavalent chromium to non-detectable levels (< 200 ppm), thereby eliminating health and safety concerns during handling and commissioning. ShiftMax 120 HCF has already been successfully installed in several hydrogen plants. No special startup procedures are required to control the exothermic reaction of hexavalent to trivalent chromium.

The boiling water standard test (BWST) was performed on ShiftMax 120 and the new ShiftMax 120 HCF. No broken tablets or drop in crush strength were detected for either catalyst. In contrast to the water phase of SM 120, the liquid did not turn yellow in the case of SM 120 HCF, confirming the absence of hexavalent chromium.

Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President Clariant Catalysts, stated: “Clariant’s R&D division is always focused on incorporating sustainability and responsible care into the design of our products. One of their latest developments is ShiftMax 120 HCF – a strong addition to our portfolio that supports our customers’ success as well as their safety.”

Harald Dialer, Head of Business Segment Syngas , BU Catalysts, Clariant, stated: “The new ShiftMax 120 HCF catalyst succeeds the well-established ShiftMax 120, which has provided superior performance in the ammonia and hydrogen industry for more than 30 years. ShiftMax 120 HCF, which is REACH compliant, is virtually indistinguishable from ShiftMax 120 after activation, and offers the same outstanding performance features.”

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