Clariant Expands Catalyst R&D Center in Palo Alto

1st July 2020

Clariant Expands Catalyst R&D Center in Palo Alto

Clariant Catalysts has doubled the size of its US high-throughput R&D center in Palo Alto, California and fitted it with the latest high-throughput equipment. The expanded facility will be home to a widened team of technical experts.

The subsidiary of the Swiss specialty chemicals producer said the upgrade substantially strengthens its ability to offer faster and better solutions to its customers, and to support partners with custom catalyst scale-up projects.

State-of-the art hardware, robotics, automated procedures and specialized software – including machine learning and other artificial intelligence (AI) tools – are combined in high-throughput R&D, reportedly enabling up to 100 times faster experimentation compared to traditional practices.
Leveraging this innovative methodology, along with its established in-house expertise and knowledge in catalyst development and production, can accelerate time to market by reducing the catalyst discovery and development phase by 3-4 years, Clariant said.

Since its establishment in 2009, the Palo Alto center has focused exclusively on high-throughput catalyst research and development. Stefan Heuser, senior vice president and general manager, said: “Thanks to its California location, the center can capitalize on the high-tech nature of Silicon Valley.”

Many of the scientists and engineers at the site have done pioneering work in this field, the company noted, and tens of thousands of catalysts have been made and tested. The list of successful commercial products launched includes the selective hydrogenation catalyst OleMax 260.

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