In response to rising concerns about the use in consumer products of chemical substances such as phthalates, which can pose a health risk, companies are increasingly looking to develop safer technologies in replacement.
Phthlates are commonly used as a catalyst in the polymerisation of propylene to polypropylene. However, an increasingly number of raw material producers are moving to phthalate-free technology in order to comply with market demand for safer polypropylene solutions.
Clariant is now introducing a phthalate-free catalyst that is not only safer, but also provides superior properties and improves plant output, the company said.
Considering the rapid growth of the polypropylene market, the catalysts come at an opportune time to help producers meet both increasing demand and stricter regulations.
Developed in partnership with McDermott’s Lummus Novolen Technology, Clariant’s PolyMax 600 Series of phthalate-free catalysts are a drop-in replacement for phthalate-based polyolefin catalysts and are designed to suit a broad range of process requirements, in applications ranging from food packaging to engineered automotive parts.
“Performance is the key difference with our new PolyMax 600 Series catalysts. We have successfully developed a phthalate-free solution that adds significant value to our customers’ businesses,” said Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President & General Manager at Clariant Catalysts.
The technology allows customers to achieve higher productivity rates and reduced process fluctuations, he said, adding that it is delivering ‘excellent results — with one major polypropylene producer now estimating economic benefits to exceed US$8 million annually’.
The improved performance is due to a new proprietary technology that increases catalyst activity up to 25% compared to phthalate-based catalysts. This new technology results in not only higher plant productivity, but also superior polymer properties, such as increased impact strength for better durability.