Clariant launches new catalyst for VAM producers

Swiss speciality chemicals producer Clariant has launched VAMax, a new line of high activity catalysts for Vinyl Acetate Monomers (VAM).

VAM is produced by reacting ethylene and acetic acid with oxygen in the presence of a catalyst. It is an essential building block for various polymer and co-polymer derivatives, which find broad applications in the manufacture of paints, adhesives and performance plastics for the automotive and construction industries. Due to the demand for these products, global VAM consumption is expected to reach nearly 8-million tonnes by 2020 growing at a CAGR of +4.4%, according to Grand View Research’s report titled "Global Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) Market Analysis And Segment Forecasts To 2020.”

VAMax catalysts would make it easier to keep up with the demand without the need for expanding facilities, says Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President/General Manager BU Catalysts for Clariant.

The company also says that the catalysts have demonstrated consistent and outstanding performance in commercial scale production of VAM over extended run-lengths. An attractive aspect of VAMax is its high activity characteristic. This can allow a VAM producer seeking to increase production to achieve higher yields on the basis of the same scale of production equipment. In consequence, this makes new plant projects more attractive by helping reduce the specific investment amount required per metric tonne of VAM capacity.

Clariant’s high activity catalysts can also help in de-bottlenecking existing VAM plants. Catalysts in the VAMax series can be matched to meet specific requirements of different VAM plants. The company can thus work with VAM producers to find the most suitable catalyst solution depending on their economic and technical needs.


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