Natural Resources

General information

The Business AreaBusiness AreaFor the financial reporting, Clariant grouped its businesses in three core Business Areas: Care Chemicals, Catalysis, and Natural Resources.View entire glossary Natural Resources offers high-performing products and custom-tailored solutions for the mineral, foundry, oil, and gas extraction businesses, as well as for food, plastic, coating, adhesive, and inks applications. It consists of three business units: Oil and Mining Services, Functional Minerals, and Additives.

The business areaBusiness AreaFor the financial reporting, Clariant grouped its businesses in three core Business Areas: Care Chemicals, Catalysis, and Natural Resources.View entire glossary profits from several business drivers:

  • stricter global chemical regulations and customer expectations that drive sustainability in oil, mining, and purification as well as circularity in plastic, coating, and adhesive;
  • lightweight, sustainable fire safety and thermoresistance requirements for digitalization and e-mobility;
  • consumer demand for enhanced health and safety;
  • growing regulation regarding biofuels, such as Renewable Energy Directive (RED II).

NATURAL RESOURCES

OVERVIEW

The Business AreaBusiness AreaFor the financial reporting, Clariant grouped its businesses in three core Business Areas: Care Chemicals, Catalysis, and Natural Resources.View entire glossary Natural Resources compromises Functional Minerals, Oil and Mining Services, and Additives. Functional Minerals operates a fully integrated value chainValue chainThe value chain describes the series of steps in the production process, from raw materials through the various intermediate stages to the finished end product.View entire glossary , from the exploration and mining of bentonites to the processing of finished products to the application of technical know-how at the customer’s operations. Oil and Mining Services provides innovative chemistry, technology, and service solutions for the oil, mining, and refinery industries. Additives serves markets for plastic, coating, ink, and consumer applications ranging across electrical and electronics, packaging, transportation, consumer goods, building and construction, textile, as well as agriculture industries.

APPLICATIONS

Business Unit Functional Minerals

  • BTX catalysts
  • Cargo and device protection
  • Civil engineering
  • Clay specialties
  • Detergent additives
  • Foundry additives
  • Kerosene and jet fuel purification
  • Oil purification
  • Paper additives
  • PVC stabilizers
  • Wastewater treatment

Business Unit Oil and Mining Services

  • Chemical delivery and data management systems
  • Cold flow improvers
  • Explosive emulsifiers
  • Fluid separation
  • Froth flotation chemistries
  • Oilfield integrity management
  • Oil flow assurance
  • Pour point depressants

Business Unit Additives

  • Acid scavengers
  • Antioxidiants
  • Antistatic agents
  • Halogen-free flame retardants
  • Heat stabilizers
  • Hot-melt adhesives
  • Light stabilizers
  • Lubricants
  • Processing aids
  • Processing stabilizers
  • Release agents
  • Slip control agents
  • Surface modifiers

PRIORITY SDGs

  • SDG 2 Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 Climate Action

Oil and Mining Services

The Business Unit Oil and Mining Services is a leader in the development, manufacture, application, and supply of chemicals. It provides products to over 700 customers in the oil, gas, mining, and refinery industries as well as services for many customers in the oil and gas industries. The largest segment of the business unit is Oil Services. The products are applied at different points in the oil extraction process: drilling operations, completions, and production. They help to prevent corrosion of metal components, to maintain flow, and to separate fluids into clean oil and clean water. The mining products of the business unit are used to extract valued minerals in the processing of mineral ores and to deal with the waste materials of this process, the so-called »tailings.« Also, the business unit provides flotation chemicals and emulsifiers for explosives to the global mining industry as well as cold-flow additiveAdditiveA substance added to products in small quantities to achieve certain properties or to improve a product.View entire glossary applications for middle distillates in refineries, including diesel, home heating oils, and biofuels.

Many of these products are customized according to the specific situation in individual mines or oil fields. Technical experts from the business unit analyze customer applications and the chemistry of solutions. This results in over 5 000 custom-made formulations that are determined cost-efficiently using state-of-the-art statistical data analysis combined with high-throughput experimentation methods.

The business unit’s customers are located in all major mineral producing regions around the world. The production facilities of the business unit are located in Brazil, Chile, Australia, and Germany. Its oil business operates in the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Functional Minerals

The Business Unit Functional Minerals operates a fully integrated value chainValue chainThe value chain describes the series of steps in the production process, from raw materials through the various intermediate stages to the finished end product.View entire glossary – from the exploration and mining of bentonites to the processing of finished products to the application of technical know-how at the customer’s operations. Its production sites are located across the globe in close proximity to more than 3 300 customers.

Over 1 500 products tailored to customer needs across a diverse range of industries, including edible and waste oil and fat purifi­cation, foundries, and cargo and device protection, to name a few, are offered by the business unit. For waste oil and fat purification, the business unit provides the Tonsil® RNF series. With these specialty adsorbentsAdsorbentsUsually solid substances which are able to selectively accumulate certain substances from adjacent gaseous or liquid phases.View entire glossary , producers of biofuels and renewable fuels significantly enhance the efficiency and economics of their production process. The Tonsil® RNF products remove impurities in oil and fat, thus prolonging the lifetime and efficiency of high-value catalysts further downstream.

The business unit‘s sustainably mined bentonite clay products include DESI PAK® desiccants, which achieve exceptional results in protecting goods from moisture, and DESVOCANT™ VOC adsorbentsAdsorbentsUsually solid substances which are able to selectively accumulate certain substances from adjacent gaseous or liquid phases.View entire glossary , which help to control and eliminate the accumulation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) due to the off-gassing of products enclosed in packaging to fully-loaded shipping con­tainers.

Additives

The Business Unit Additives is a major supplier of flame retardants, performance additives, and advanced surface solutions for functional effects in plastic, coating, ink, and consumer appli­cations. With production sites in Europe and China, it produces about 300 different products for approximately 1 500 customers worldwide.

The products of the business unit are used in many different applications. For example, the halogen-free Exolit® flame retardant comply with fire safety standards for buildings, electrical and electronic equipment, transportation (including e-mobility), and other applications. AddWorks® solutions are ready-to-use packages that prevent oxidation, dissipate electric charge accumulation, and improve heat, light, and weather resistance. Licocene® stands for advanced surface solutions consisting of polymers and waxes. They provide the right balance of adhesion and cohesion while offering high heat resistance. And the bio-based Licocare® RBW Vita range offers high-performing surface solutions for demanding plastic, coating, and agricultural applications. Made from non-food-­competing rice bran wax, these products have a Renewable Carbon Index of at least 98 % and contribute to a substantial reduction of CO2 emissions.

Market dynamics in 2021

In 2021, sustainability was a main global trend in the markets that are relevant to the business areaBusiness AreaFor the financial reporting, Clariant grouped its businesses in three core Business Areas: Care Chemicals, Catalysis, and Natural Resources.View entire glossary . The year saw stricter global regulations and growing customer expectations concerning CO2 emissions, waste reduction, circularity, and sustainability.

The ongoing recovery of the global industrial sector, particularly transportation, as well as electrics and electronics and apparel, drove growth in the plastic and coating markets in particular. The mining industry also improved, driven by increased mineral production and high commodity prices. Oil production volumes recovered. However, the oil industry is still hesitant to invest in assets. As the refining industry is also recovering, it explores ways to shift toward bio- and renewable fuels and solutions.

Consumer behavior changed in different ways that are relevant for the business areaBusiness AreaFor the financial reporting, Clariant grouped its businesses in three core Business Areas: Care Chemicals, Catalysis, and Natural Resources.View entire glossary . This change includes greater concern for health and safety, increased use of vegetable oils, and a shift toward second-generation biofuels and renewable fuels.

The main challenges for the business areaBusiness AreaFor the financial reporting, Clariant grouped its businesses in three core Business Areas: Care Chemicals, Catalysis, and Natural Resources.View entire glossary consisted of raw material shortages and logistics issues: Supply chain uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic prevailed and caused skyrocketing transport costs.

How Business Area Natural Resources created value in 2021

In the full year 2021, sales in the Business AreaBusiness AreaFor the financial reporting, Clariant grouped its businesses in three core Business Areas: Care Chemicals, Catalysis, and Natural Resources.View entire glossary Natural Resources increased by 14 % in local currency and by 12 % in Swiss francs. Additives sales rose most significantly among the three Natural Resources business units supported by strong demand in all regions and in all main end markets including e-mobility and electronics in particular. Functional Minerals reported mid-teen double-digit sales expansion with growth in all regions and across all business lines. Oil and Mining Services also reflected sales expansion in the full year 2021, albeit at a lower pace than the other business units.

In the full year 2021, the EBITDAEBITDAEarnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.View entire glossary margin increased to 17.0 % from 14.3 % year-on-year supported by the strong volume expansion and pricing measures, despite continued high raw material prices and exceptional freight cost, together with climbing energy cost.

New products

In February 2021, Clariant launched DESVOCANT™, a line of adsorbentsAdsorbentsUsually solid substances which are able to selectively accumulate certain substances from adjacent gaseous or liquid phases.View entire glossary from naturally occurring, nontoxic, granulated, and dried bentonite. DESVOCANT™ is available in multisized adsorbent sachets, bags, and hanger strips. When added to packaged or boxed items or shipping containers, the adsorbentsAdsorbentsUsually solid substances which are able to selectively accumulate certain substances from adjacent gaseous or liquid phases.View entire glossary efficiently reduce the potential exposure of shipment handlers, merchants, and consumers to volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

FEATURED STORY
Transportation revolution aiding the switch to safer e-mobility The car of the future is electric. But what makes it firesafe? Clariant’s flame retardant specialists have some answers. By aiding the switch to electric mobility, Clariant’s additives can help build a more sustainable mobility infrastructure and promote the kind of climate action laid out in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 9 and 13.Learn more

New initiatives

In the context of the EU plans to phase out all internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035, the REVOLUTION project brings to­gether organizations from ten countries across the entire automotive value chainValue chainThe value chain describes the series of steps in the production process, from raw materials through the various intermediate stages to the finished end product.View entire glossary . They currently bundle their expertise in a three-year project funded by the Horizon 2020 program. It aims at deve­loping lightweight car parts and at increasing circularity by facilitating the recycling of materials and the use of recycled polymers. Clariant contributes by validating fit-for-purpose additiveAdditiveA substance added to products in small quantities to achieve certain properties or to improve a product.View entire glossary solutions and by developing new solutions to enable lightweighting and the use of more recycled material content.

In October 2021, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development featured Licocene® as an example of a circular solution in the production of recyclable carpets. Europe alone accounts for 1.6 million tons of carpet waste annually. Licocene® technology helps to produce carpets that are easier to recycle than regular carpets with latex coating and that can be produced with significant energy and water savings.

New locations

In March 2021, Clariant opened the »Additives Technical Centre« at the »One Clariant Campus« in Shanghai. This center supports China’s growth industries with high-end additiveAdditiveA substance added to products in small quantities to achieve certain properties or to improve a product.View entire glossary solutions that are capable of advancing innovation in their market segments.

Since March 2021, the new Licocene® production facility in Höchst, Germany, has been producing performance polymers and waxes for adhesive, coating, ink, and plastic applications. In addition to this expansion, a new lab facility was established. Thanks to the precise and reliable metallocene technology, the production facility is able to create tailor-made products to enable customer innovation and advance the development of sustainable solutions.

In April 2021, Clariant started production in the new stabilizer additives plant in Cangzhou, China. The facility forms the centerpiece of the partnership with Beijing Tiangang Auxiliary Co. Ltd. This joint ventureJoint ventureJoint ventures are all activities in which Clariant is involved with another partner. The accounting method applied for joint ventures depends on the specific conditions of the participation.View entire glossary aims to serve the growing Chinese demand in local growth industries like automotive, textiles, and coatings for high-end stabilizer solutions that meet the requirements of new applications and environmental goals.

In December 2021, Clariant started construction of a new flame retardants production facility in China. By establishing local production capacity, Clariant greatly enhances the speed at which it can provide solutions to its customers in China. Driven by the fast-growing electrical and electronic equipment industries, in particular e-mobility, 5G communications technology, and transportation, there is a rapidly growing demand for Clariant’s inno­vative and sustainable Exolit® OP flame retardants in China and other Asian markets. This new facility will strengthen Clariant’s overall production network beyond the existing facilities in Knapsack, Germany.

As an oil and mining lighthouse project, Clariant started a program to develop solutions for the handling of tailings. For instance, flotation is explored as a tool for tailing management, with the collector FLOTINOR™ 5530 improving the recovery of iron in the processing of iron ores. Other applications can help to dewater the tailing to allow dry stacking. To institutionalize the efforts in this area, the business areaBusiness AreaFor the financial reporting, Clariant grouped its businesses in three core Business Areas: Care Chemicals, Catalysis, and Natural Resources.View entire glossary opened a Competence Center for Tailings Treatment in Brazil in September 2021.

Certifications and awards

Three additives were awarded the sustainability label EcoTain® in 2021: Licocare® RBW 360 Vita (renewable-based plastic and coating additiveAdditiveA substance added to products in small quantities to achieve certain properties or to improve a product.View entire glossary ), Exolit® OP 1466 (nonhalogenated flame retardant), and Ceridust® 8360 TP (renewable-based printing ink additiveAdditiveA substance added to products in small quantities to achieve certain properties or to improve a product.View entire glossary ).

Ongoing developments

Clariant is currently extending the existing renewable raw material mass balance certification REDCert2 with the International Sustain­ability and Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS) for Exolit® Terra flame retardants and Licocene® Terra waxes and polymers.

In 2021, Clariant strengthened the ongoing collaboration with the World Foundry Organization (WFO) to support the environ­mental efforts of metal foundries. The aim is to drive knowledge so that foundries can reduce carbon emissions while meeting the pro­ductivity challenges and sustainability expectations of their customers.

Business Area Natural Resources

Input
Performance

1.8 %

R&D spend of sales

> 160

Active innovation projects

3 505

Number of raw materials procured

711.2

Raw materials procured in CHF m

38

Production sites

1 693

Raw material suppliers

People

40 776

Training hours

Planet

1 308.0

Energy consumption in m kWh

Output
Performance

1 766

Sales in CHF m

17.0 %

EBITDAEBITDAEarnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.View entire glossary margin

3.32

Production volume in m t

14 %

Growth in local currencies

People

3 748

Staff in FTEs at year-end

Planet

221.9

Waste in thousand t