Unifrax Releases New Advanced Test Data Demonstrating Superior FlexCat™ Performance

PR Newswire

Unifrax's new fiber-based catalysis media will be featured at The 23rd World Petroleum Congress

BUFFALO, N.Y., Sept. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Unifrax, a leading manufacturer of high-performance specialty materials, today announced new data obtained following advanced testing of FlexCat™, a high-surface area flexible material designed to provide enhanced catalyst effectiveness demonstrating increased yield with reduced weight and PGMs.. FlexCat™ by Unifrax was introduced earlier this year as a game-changing solution for specialty catalyst markets. The new material offers enhanced production for specialty chemical and industrial catalytic reactions, including hydrogen production.

FlexCat™ by Unifrax

This is the latest round of testing and continued demonstration of FlexCat's promising performance. FlexCat test data presented in July, showed increased yield, and lower carbon footprints. We continue to conduct our key performance evaluations with German-based high throughput experimentation company hte GmbH, a leading provider of high throughput catalysis research.

In the most recent campaign, hte conducted a 10 cycle PDH reaction study comparing the innovative new substrate to conventional pellets coated with like to like metal loading formulations derived from literature, but not commercially optimized. When compared to conventional catalyst support, FlexCat:

  • Produced 4 times more propene
  • Ran 2.5 times more cycles than the pellets, showing increased life span across 10 full cycles
  • Produced up to 80% less coke
  • Demonstrated superior resistance to irreversible deactivation
  • Maintained consistent activity during each 8 hour production cycle with superior selectivity
  • Regenerated 40% faster using less energy, allowing plants to get back to producing faster

Additionally, FlexCat produced 25 times more propene per catalyst weight due to its significantly lower mass compared to conventional pellets. FlexCat also successfully produced more propene per gram of platinum used in the reaction, allowing for more throughput without adding more costly precious metals to the formulation.

Earlier testing by hte GmbH, targeted a model reaction of propane dehydrogenation (PDH) as a common industrial process and compared FlexCat to a literature derived and pellet-supported catalyst. FlexCat performed with significantly higher production throughput, increased runtime and the ability to reduce carbon footprint.

"This new data underscores FlexCat as a truly revolutionary offering," said Chad Cannan, senior vice president of research and development at Unifrax. "We ran 10 full cycles on stream to see how FlexCat performed compared to a conventional catalyst pellet coated by HTE with commercial methods. These two catalysts were then compared against each other on performance throughout the 10 cycles. We produced up to 80% less coke throughout the cycles which delivers reduced regeneration times and allows you to get back to producing faster," said Cannan. "This further supports our first published data showing the potential of FlexCat to significantly increase production, reduce coking, and increase selectivity; addressing emissions concerns and providing a safer environment for employees and surrounding communities."

Unifrax CEO John Dandolph added, "Our test data confirms our catalyst substrate is superior to existing media used today by the industry. FlexCat provides our industry partners the potential to save millions of dollars across their operations in material costs, capital investments and improved quality from existing equipment. FlexCat is a true game changer for their industry.  We're excited about the opportunity to develop and implement this on a larger scale with these partners."

The aforesaid data collected by hte, along with additional testing studies and analysis being conducted over the next few months, will be available during The 23rd World Petroleum Congress in Houston, Texas December 5-9.  Unifrax will be located in the Exhibition Hall during the event.  

Customizable for individual partners, processes and specific reactions, FlexCat can be manufactured at scale today. Unifrax is currently looking to expand their customer validation group testing FlexCat. To learn more on this new data or to begin a design study for a particular application, please visit our FlexCat page, or email: .

About Unifrax
Unifrax develops and manufactures high-performance specialty materials used in advanced applications, including high-temperature industrial insulation, electric vehicles, energy storage, filtration and fire protection, among many others. Unifrax products are designed with the ultimate goal of saving energy, reducing pollution and improving safety for people, buildings and equipment by delivering on our commitment to our customers of greener, cleaner, safer solutions for their application challenges. Unifrax has 37 manufacturing facilities operating in 12 countries and employs 2,700+ employees globally. More information is available at For updates, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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