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Nanotechnology Corporation to Produce Chrome-Aluminium Catalysts and Adsorbents

Commerical production of nanostructured microspheric chrome-aluminium catalyzers for dehydrated isoparaffins KDI-90 and adsorbents for desiccant drying of olefin-containing feedstreams will be conducted within the the framework of this project.

RUSNANO, Kataliz—the developer and principal operator in the project— Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Kazanorgsintez, and Kazan State University will cooperate to execute the project. Its total budget is 436 million rubles. RUSNANO will invest 185.5 million rubles.

The production facility will be situated on the premises of Nizhnekamskneftekhim in the Republic of Tatarstan. Its proximity to Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Kazanorgsintez, the main consumers of its output, is a considerable advantage.

The project stems from developments by Kataliz, a scientific collective working on structural and textural transformation of hydroxides and oxides of aluminum under conditions of industrial synthesis. As a result, Kataliz has patented highly effective microspheric chrome-alumina catalyzers for dehydrogenation of paraffins. These are used to produce monomers of synthetic rubber and high-octane additives. Significant social and economic effect will be derived from the use of project catalyzers in production of monomers for synthetic rubbers (final products—tires and rubber): the catalyzers reduce harmful atmospheric emissions and lower the production costs for monomers and the wear and tear on production equipment.

According to Managing Director of RUSNANO Dionis Gordin, the realization of this project will guarantee greater competiveness of Russian petrochemical products in the global market.

“In the innovative sphere, the project will facilitate technology transfer to commercial production and create a new center of competence in the development of catalyzers and adsorbents, closer to primary consumers; in the social sphere, it will improve environmental conditions,” Mr. Gordin said. “In addition, realization of the project will reduce the technological gap between Russia and the world’s other catalyzer producers. By using base technology, it will be possible to create microspheric catalyzers for oxidative chlorination of ethylene and dehydrogenation of propane.”

In 2008 the world market for catalyzers of dehydrated isoparaffins was about 50,000 tons. The Russian market held around 67 percent of the world market, that is, around 33,000 tons. Marketing company Branan forecasts that demand for catalyzers in Russia will grow at an average annual rate of seven percent to eight percent.

At the end of 2008 the world market in adsorbents for desiccant drying of olefin-containing feedstreams was assessed at approximately 300,000 tons, which includes the Russian share of 12,500 (4.2 percent). Its rate of growth in the world market for the period 2004–2009 averaged 2.7 percent and proved fairly consistent despite the financial crisis (-1 percent), due to high demand for polymer products globally. The Russian market imports around 50 percent of its adsorbents. The characteristics of domestic adsorbents are inferior to Western adsorbents; Russian products, however, are less expensive than their Western counterparts.

Kataliz has considerable experience in development and implementation of catalyzers in the petrochemical sector. The company has developed a series of iron oxide catalysts to obtain styrene and isoprene. They displaced analogs produced by Shell and BASF at Nizhnekamskneftekhim, and now has replaced them.

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