Fine chemicals

Fine chemicals are substances that are mainly produced by classic organic syntheses in batch processes from small to medium scale. They are often used as components or building blocks for specialty chemicals. In the manufacture of many fine and specialty chemicals, catalysts play an essential role.

Fine chemicals are highly complex molecules, possibly containing stereocenters and multiple functional groups. Production, therefore, requires multistep synthesis. Since they often have limited thermal stability, production should be carried out under moderate conditions at low pressure and low temperature. The scale of production is usually small to medium, using multipurpose batch reactors. Due to synthesis complexity, yields are often lower than for simple base chemicals, leading to higher by-product and waste formation. Some synthetic routes generate up to 100 tons of waste per ton of product. Our concern is mitigating the environmental impact of production while at the same time increasing efficiency and product yield.

For decades, our catalysts have played a crucial role in manufacturing a wide range of fine and specialty chemicals. Applications include care chemicals, dyes, electronics, fragrances, plasticizers, and many more.

We supply catalysts that provide  sustainable and cost-effective chemistry without compromising on performance. Regardless of the application, we can fine-tune our catalysts’ selectivity, activity and filterability with unparalleled precision. Additionally, our catalyst technologies deliver the solutions you need to improve your products and processes. They increase the yield and efficiency of your syntheses and make the difference by helping to produce the products you need in higher quantities, in less time, and with less energy and resources.

Applications

Care chemicals are used in personal and home care products, from shampoo, toothpaste, and decorative cosmetics to cleaning detergents and textile care.  Detergents are also used in mining, oilfield and lubricant products. Formulations are complex, reflecting the diverse application demands in this market.

The growing consumer demand for eco-friendly, safe and convenient ingredients calls for respective solutions. We provide a portfolio of heterogeneous catalysts for many reaction types, which enable you to manufacture high-quality products more cost-effectively and sustainably – a clear advantage in this highly competitive market.

For the production of stearic acid, partially hydrogenated analogs and 12-hydroxystearic acid (12-HAS), Evonik offers two hydrogenation catalysts, depending on your preferred production route: MONCAT™ 2021 and MONCAT™ 1991.

The care chemicals and detergents industry uses fatty amines (stearic acid derivatives) as reactive intermediates, which are usually prepared by hydrogenating a fatty nitrile to the corresponding primary amine.

We recommend our activated nickel metal catalysts Metalyst® MC 111 and Metalyst® MC 113 for fatty amine production. For water-free processes, easy-to-handle Raney-type catalyst embedded in a solid fatty amine, e. g. Metalyst® MC 111 DSA, are available. For the hydrogenation of sugar to sugar alcohols – another important process in the care industry – we offer various molybdenum doped activated nickel poweder catalysts of the Metalyst® MC 8** series.

Your benefits at a glance:

  • Applying our catalysts will give you the ability to manufacture high-quality products cost-effectively.
  • Using Metalyst® MC 111 DSA in pellet form eliminates the time-consuming removal of water before use in water-free processes. It is also non-pyrophoric, safe, efficient, and convenient to handle.
  • When using pure feed and special hydrogenation reactors (e.g. Biazzi, Buss Loop®, EKATO) with excellent hydrogen dispersion, Metalyst® MC 811 offers higher activity and a longer life span over other market-based products.

 

Paints, coatings, and adhesives make the world colorful and shape the haptics of countless surfaces. They provide protective and decorative features and can offer orientation and information almost everywhere.

Our catalysts are indispensable when it comes to creating the right ingredient for vibrant colors, stunning surfaces, and powerful bonds in the most efficient yet sustainable manner.

With our activated nickel-metal catalysts Metalyst® MC 111 and MC 113, for example, you can hydrogenate indigo to leuco indigo for denim blue in a very environmentally friendly way and thus avoid using sodium dithionite, which is currently being re-evaluated because of its carcinogenic and sensitizing potential.

3,3-dichlorobenzidine, an intermediate for a series of azo pigments, was traditionally produced by reducing chloronitrobenzene with zinc; however, this process has been converted to a more efficient catalytic process using Noblyst® P2057 3% Pt.

Your benefits at a glance by choosing our catalysts:

  • Meet the demand for environmentally friendly processes by catalytic hydrogenation with Metalyst® MC 111 and MC 113.
  • Decrease the E-factor by using catalytic hydrogenation instead of stoichiometric amounts of reducing agents.

There is an ever-growing demand for advanced, cutting-edge electronic materials, for example, components for rechargeable batteries, liquid crystal displays (LCD), or hydrogen peroxide solutions for cleaning silicon wafers.

The hydrogenation of aromatic and hetero aromatic rings is often applied in the production of specialty chemicals and polymers required by the electronics industry. Hydrogenation of aromatic systems requires harsher reaction conditions than the hydrogenation of other functional groups. Supported rhodium and ruthenium catalysts are the most active catalysts for the ring hydrogenation of benzene to cyclohexane.

Substituted cyclohexanones are important intermediates for LCDs and can be synthesized by hydrogenation of phenol. Our palladium on carbon catalysts enable this reaction in a highly selective process. Ruthenium on alumina catalysts Noblyst® P3061 and our activated nickel powder catalyst Metalyst® MC 113 are the preferred catalysts for a more cost-efficient version of this reduction.

Your benefits at a glance by choosing our catalysts:

  • Our catalysts can be distinguished by the high purity of the precious metals and offer you a highly selective process.
  • Cost-efficient, as ruthenium can be used instead of palladium.

 

The human nose and our tongue are very sensitive to a wide variety of flavors.Senses of smell and taste affect and create emotions very efficiently, which is why flavors and fragrances play such a big role in many applications: delicate perfumes, luxury cosmetics and toiletries, tempting food, and many more. Some flavors are extracted from natural substances like flowers or fruits, but this is a naturally limited and expensive way of obtaining them. Therefore, the industry has developed chemical syntheses for many of them, and some are produced with the help of catalysts.

Our catalysts are ideal for developing fully synthetic products and modifying natural raw materials when cost-effectiveness, time to market, and product specificity are imperative. Metal catalysts can render a chemical reaction more efficiently, with high speed and more selectivity, and thus lower the raw material costs and increase productivity.

Our precious metal catalysts of the Noblyst® P series are used for example in various synthesis routes for of the production of pinenes, which are widely used as starting materials for fragrances, and many other synthesis of odorous substances.

Your benefits at a glance by choosing our catalysts:

  • We help keep your development costs low by selecting the right catalyst from our portfolio. Alternatively, we may start a cooperation project to meet your needs.
  • Our highly product-specific catalysts show a long life-span combined with high yield and a low by-product profile to save you costs in large-scale industrial processes.

Plasticizers are commonly added to polymers, such as plastics and rubbers, to facilitate handling during production or meet the end product's application demands. They make the raw material softer and more flexible, increase its plasticity and decrease viscosity or friction.

The largest group of plasticizers are phthalates. Aliphatic plasticizers are an excellent alternative in applications for food contact materials, medical products, and consumer goods. They can easily be produced by hydrogenation of the corresponding phthalates.

Our hydrogenation catalysts support your economic production of aliphatic plasticizers in line with regulatory and market requirements.  

Our Noblyst® P type of precious metal powder catalysts are used to hydrogenate  aromatic structures to a safer cycloaliphatic compound, thus reducing the toxicity and environmental burden of this class of plasticizer. The ruthenium on aluminum oxide catalyst (Noblyst® P3061, 5% Ru) and ruthenium on carbon catalyst (Noblyst® P3055, 5% Ru) enable, for example, the hydrogenation of DOP (dioctyl-phthalate) to DHEH (Bis(2-ethylhexyl) cyclohexane-1, 2-dicarboxylate).

Our Noblyst® P type catalysts are ideal for slurry processes. If you are interested in a certain catalyst for fixed bed processes, please approach us about our license package designed for tailor-made catalysts.

Your benefits at a glance by choosing our catalysts:

  • Our hydrogenation catalysts support your economic production of aliphatic plasticizers due to mandatory regulations.
  • The Noblyst® P type catalysts offer you high selectivity and activity in your production process.
  • Specific isomeric ratio (very high cis/trans-selectivity).

The use of renewable energies and bio-based raw materials is paramount when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions and mitigating the climate crisis.

Decarbonization is both a disruptive change and a challenge, especially for the refining industry. New or adapted routes must be developed in a rather short timeframe, and they require tailored catalyst systems that can deal with often demanding feedstocks. Evoik catalysts are recognized for their superior performance, and our team of experts has the knowledge to support you in this process of change: we offer different business models,  from tolling to custom manufacturing and custom design to joint developmentsf. We help you to develop new production routes with less environmental impact and lower CO2 emissions in time-critical processes.

Your benefits at a glance by choosing our catalysts:

  • Our catalysts are based on inert inorganic components, no risk of end product contamination with unwanted organic impurities.
  • The main component of our Noblyst® P catalysts is based on renewables.
  • The catalysts components are recyclable and thus contribute to sustainability.

 

UV stabilizers and antioxidants are used in many industries to protect polymers from UV light or ozone to avoid degradation and oxidation. Those compounds are mainly aromatic or aliphatic amines and phenols, e.g., HALS derivatives (hindered amine light stabilizers), phenylendiamines (PPD), triazines, benzotriazols, and the like.

Our catalysts help create powerful UV stabilizers and reliable antioxidants of the highest quality at the best cost-benefit ratio.

Reductive alkylation is an effective method to synthesize secondary and tertiary amines from primary amines. The production is usually carried out in batch processes using heterogeneous catalysts at pressures of 5-35 bar and temperatures of 50 °C to 150 °C. A selection of highly suitable catalysts from the Noblyst® P1000 series (palladium on carbon), Noblyst® P2000 catalysts (platinum on carbon) or Metalyst® MC series are available.

Alternatively, the respective nitro compounds can be converted in situ to the corresponding primary amines, which are subsequently alkylated to higher alkylated amines. Sulfur-modified catalysts decrease the formation of side products and reduce the risk of metal dissolution. When ammonia is reacted with a carbonyl compound under similar conditions (reductive amination), the corresponding product is a primary amine. 

Your benefits at a glance by choosing our catalysts:

  • We offer a selection of optimized catalysts with high selectivity.
  • Cost-efficiency through specific high yield.

 

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