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Clariant and SINOPEC sign major cooperation agreements on fuel upgrading catalyst technology

11th January 2018

Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, today announced that it has signed two key agreements with SINOPEC, China’s largest petroleum and chemical company.

Senior management from Clariant and Sinopec met in Bejing, China to sign the agreements.

The agreements were signed in Beijing by the companies’ senior management on September 27, 2017.

The first of these is the FCAS Series Sorbent Agreement in which SINOPEC has agreed to license its FCAS series of S-Zorb sorbent to Clariant. The cooperation agreement will allow Clariant to scale up the catalyst product portfolio for commercial production of low sulfur gasoline. 

The second is the FCC (Fluid Catalytic Cracking) Agency Agreement between Sinopec Catalyst Company (SCC) and Clariant Qatar W.L.L. stating that Clariant Qatar W.L.L. will be the representative for Sinopec’s FCC catalysts to oil refineries in Qatar.

FCC naphtha is the major contributor to the gasoline pool. However, it typically contains up to 2,000 ppm wt. sulfur. As the China V specification requires a sulfur concentration of below 10 ppm wt., sulfur removal is essential. Hydrodesulfurization, a method widely used to remove sulfur from naphtha, requires a considerable amount of hydrogen, and results in the loss of RON (research octane number). In contrast, the S-Zorb process uses catalysts to adsorb all sulfur species from FCC gasoline with high RON retention and high liquid yield. Moreover, the single step process requires no recycle streams, and consumes significantly less hydrogen. These factors have made S-Zorb a technology of choice in China for upgrading gasoline from China National IV (equivalent to EURO IV) to China National V (equivalent to EURO V) standards. 

Since 2001, Clariant has partnered with SINOPEC to supply next generation S-Zorb catalysts for producing low sulfur gasoline at more than 25 world-scale units in China and USA. In all cases, the technology and catalysts have demonstrated their superior performance in clean energy production and emission control.

Ma Yongsheng, Senior Vice President of SINOPEC Group, commented, “Cooperation with a well-respected, innovative and reliable catalyst partner is essential for SINOPEC’s fuel upgrading technologies. Although we have successfully collaborated with Clariant in the past (including their predecessor company Süd-Chemie), we are very delighted to continue and further expand our partnership.”

Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President & General Manager Business Unit Catalysts at Clariant, welcomed the agreement, stating, “We are honored to have enjoyed a successful partnership with Sinopec since 2001, and are delighted to further strengthen our cooperation through these agreements. As a leading provider of catalysts for fuel upgrading, we are committed to driving value and innovation through sustainability.”