Impressive start for Clariant’s Megamax 800 methanol synthesis catalyst in Yinchuan, China

Impressive start for Clariant’s Megamax 800 methanol synthesis catalyst in Yinchuan, China
Published: 15 September 2019 - 6 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
Another success story for MegaMax 800. Clariant’s next-generation methanol synthesis catalyst is delivering exceptional performance at the coal-to-liquid plant of China Energy Corporation (CHN Energy) Ningxia Coal Industry Co (NCIC), located in Yinchuan, Ningxia Province, China.

Installed at the plant in August 2018, MegaMax 800 achieved an anticipated operation load of 102% after just two months. The new catalyst’s fast and favourable start is due to its 40% higher productivity compared to previous generations.

Following its successful start-up, MegaMax 800’s superior performance has benefitted NCIC in several ways. The 1-million-tonne per year methanol production plant is experiencing considerably higher yield at lower energy and feedstock costs. In addition, make-up gas consumption has dropped by 51 million cubic metres per year.

These combined process improvements will have a dramatic effect on the producer’s cost savings, which are now expected to be approximately $3mn annually. The facility is further reporting noticeably lower formation of by-products such as ethanol in the crude methanol product, which will undoubtedly add to its total profitability.

While the new catalyst’s superior performance was exceptional – it was also expected. That is because MegaMax 800 is specially developed to offer higher activity and superior selectivity towards methanol production – even at very low reactor temperatures and pressures. Consequently, producers will be able to increase methanol capacity by as much as 10%, depending on the facility’s design and processes.

Stefan Heuser, senior vice president and general manager, business unit – catalysts, at Clariant, commented: “We are delighted that our MegaMax 800 catalyst is providing NCIC the benefits we promised. The favourable results are significant! Not only because NCIC is one of China’s largest coal-to-chemicals producers, but also as it is the first customer for MegaMax 800 using the Lurgi LP methanol process in China. It is another example of how Clariant is able to offer perfectly compatible catalysts and technology to maximise production efficiency and reliability for our customers.

China Energy Corporation Ningxia Coal Industry Co is the largest coal-to-chemicals company in China as well as globally. It owns and operates a world-class coal-to-liquids (CTL) methanol plant, which has used the Lurgi LP methanol synthesis process since 2016.

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