Haldor Topsøe (company)

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Haldor Topsoe
IndustryElectrolysis, Chemicals
fuels and oils
natural gas
HeadquartersKgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Key people
Haldor Topsøe, Founder
Jeppe Christiansen, Chairman of the Board
Roeland Baan, CEO
ProductsCatalyst portfolio
Technology portfolio
Technical service portfolio
Safety datasheets
Tech support
RevenueIncrease DKK 6,179 million (FY 2020)
Decrease DKK 578 million
Decrease DKK 480 million
Total assetsIncrease DKK 6,688 million
Total equityIncrease DKK 2,139 million
Number of employees
Decrease 2,200
Haldor Topsøe, founder, 2008

Haldor Topsoe is a Danish company founded in 1940 by Haldor Topsøe (1913–2013). The company has approximately 2,200 employees, of which 1,500 work in Denmark.

Haldor Topsoe specialises in carbon reduction technologies. This include proprietary Solid oxide electrolyzer cell (SOEC) high-temperature electrolysis technology, the production of heterogeneous catalysts and the design of process plants based on catalytic processes. Focus areas include hard-to-abate sectors such as heavy industry (steel and iron, chemicals, cement), long-haul transportation (aviation, shipping, trucking) and clean fuels (bio-diesel and ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD). Haldor Topsoe is one of the world's leading companies within the field of heterogeneous catalysis, and over 50 per cent of the ammonia used for fertilizer on a worldwide scale is made with the help of technology from Haldor Topsoe.

Haldor Topsoe headquarters in Lyngby, Denmark.

The headquarters and main research labs are located in Lyngby, a northern suburb of Copenhagen, Denmark, manufacturing of catalysts is carried out in Frederikssund, Denmark and Bayport Industrial District in the United States. The company has offices in Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States.[1] Haldor Topsoe's catalysts and technologies are used for converting renewable feedstocks such as renewable electricity and waste or hydrocarbon feedstocks such as natural gas into ammonia, hydrogen, diesel and methanol. Other main business areas are to clean oil and ensure more environmentally friendly fuels, cleaning industry flue gasses, and reducing emissions from industry. In chemical plants catalysts and processes optimize resources, ensuring highly efficient energy processes.

The company frequently collaborates with the Technical University of Denmark[2][3][4][5] and its research has been regularly published in scientific journals.[6][7][8][9]

The founder, Dr. Haldor Topsøe, died on 20 May 2013 after a short illness, just four days before his 100th birthday. He was the chairman of the company from its founding until his death. Jeppe Christiansen is now Chairman of the Board. Bjerne S. Clausen was president and CEO until June 2020. On June 2, 2020, Roeland Baan took over as president and CEO.[10][11]


Haldor Topsoe was founded in 1940 by Dr. Haldor Topsøe. During World War II, the company got permission to use the labs at the Polytechnic Educational Establishment, and in 1943 they moved to facilities in Hellerup, north of Copenhagen. The move meant that the company could expand its field of work because of the access to additional equipment.

During the war, Topsoe worked as a consultancy company for several Swedish companies. The contact to Sweden was primarily arranged by the so-called Wallenberg group.

In 1944 Topsoe produced the first small batch of sulfuric acid catalysts. Another company success came in 1948, when the development of the first nickel catalyst was finalized. That same year, Topsoe began cooperating with Vargöns AB in Vargön, Sweden with the aim of producing a catalyst for ammonia synthesis.

Shortly after the war had come to an end, Topsoe became engaged in various activities in Mexico that were connected to Topsoe's financial contacts in the US, including the World Bank. This led to the company's involvement in the planning of Mexico's technical development as well as in the American agronomist Norman Borlaug's experiment with wheat in the Sonora region of Northern Mexico.

In the years following 1950, Topsoe renewed its contacts with the research environment of the Soviet Union and maintained close contact for several years with both the scientific environment and organizations involved with engineering within the field of catalysis. In 1955, Topsoe established the French subsidiary Haldor Topsøe S.A. and opened an office in Paris. Throughout the years, Topsoe was involved in many industrial activities, some privately and some publicly governed, and built several industrial plants. One of the bigger projects in which Topsoe was involved, was the construction of a heavy water plant in Northern France.

In 1958, Topsoe bought the estate Linderupgaard, situated outside Frederikssund, and the estate has been used for production of catalysts ever since.

Topsoe opened a department in New York in 1961, called Haldor Topsoe Inc., and four years later the company bought a lot in Houston, Texas, that is now being used for one of Topsoe's production plants. In 1971, the office was moved from New York to Houston.

Topsoe has delivered process design and technologies for several big ammonia plants around the world. In 1972, the ownership of Topsoe changed from being a privately owned company to being a public limited company, owned 50/50 by Haldor Topsøe and the Italian company Snamproggeti.

In 1973, Topsoe headquarters moved to Søborg from Vedbæk, where it had been situated since 1964. Just a year later, in 1974, Topsoe moved the headquarters to its present location in Kongens Lyngby, just outside Copenhagen, Denmark.

In the beginning of the 1980s, Topsoe opened two offices in Asia: Delhi and Beijing. In the beginning of the 1990s to the mid 1990s, Topsøe opened offices in Moscow and Jaroslavl in Russia, as well as a department in Los Angeles in the US.

In 2007, Haldor Topsøe bought back all shares from the Italian contracting company Saipem (which had bought Snamprogetti) for DKK 2.6 billion.[12] That same year, Haldor Topsoe's subsidiary, Topsoe Fuel Cell, initiated the construction of Denmark's first fuel cell production plant that produces high temperature solid oxide fuel cells (also known as SOFC) for environmentally friendly, green electricity and heat for trucks, houses, hospitals and supermarkets.[13]

In June 2017, Umicore announced "that is has reached an agreement to acquire the heavy duty diesel and stationary catalyst businesses of Haldor Topsoe for an enterprise value of DKK 900 million (approx. EUR 120 million) plus an earn-out"; this acquisition should be earnings accretive from 2018.[14]


  1. ^ "Global Locations | Haldor Topsoe".
  2. ^ "DTU and Haldor Topsoe signs new electrolysis-agreement". 6 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Topsøe og DTU får 12 mio. kr. til at omdanne sukker til bioplast" (in Danish). 3 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Haldor Topsøe om samarbejde med DTU". DTU. 28 January 2016. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21.
  5. ^ "Heterogeneous catalysis". Archived from the original on 2016-04-26. Retrieved 2016-04-17.
  6. ^ "Study published in Nature Materials: Topsoe takes a new quantum leap in understanding catalysis in action". 27 July 2014.
  7. ^ Nørskov, J.K.; Bligaard, T.; Logadottir, A.; Bahn, S.; Hansen, L.B.; Bollinger, M.; Bengaard, H.; Hammer, B.; Sljivancanin, Z.; Mavrikakis, M.; Xu, Y.; Dahl, S.; Jacobsen, C.J.H. (2002). "Universality in Heterogeneous Catalysis". Journal of Catalysis. 209 (2): 275–278. doi:10.1006/jcat.2002.3615. ISSN 0021-9517.
  8. ^ Bengaard, H.S.; Nørskov, J.K.; Sehested, J.; Clausen, B.S.; Nielsen, L.P.; Molenbroek, A.M.; Rostrup-Nielsen, J.R. (2002). "Steam Reforming and Graphite Formation on Ni Catalysts". Journal of Catalysis. 209 (2): 365–384. doi:10.1006/jcat.2002.3579. ISSN 0021-9517.
  9. ^ Hansen, P. L. (2002). "Atom-Resolved Imaging of Dynamic Shape Changes in Supported Copper Nanocrystals". Science. 295 (5562): 2053–2055. doi:10.1126/science.1069325. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 11896271. S2CID 1028563.
  10. ^ Ravn, Svend. "Roeland Baan joins Haldor Topsoe as new CEO". blog.topsoe.com.
  11. ^ 20/5-2013 Haldor Topsøe has passed away[permanent dead link], topsoe.com, retrieved 20/5-2013
  12. ^ Thomas Djursing. "94-årige dr. Haldor Topsøe køber sin koncern tilbage til familien". ing.dk. Archived from the original on 2008-02-25.
  13. ^ "Topsoe Fuel Cell udvider produktion af miljøvenlig brændselscelle-teknologi". mypresswire.com. Archived from the original on 2014-01-06.
  14. ^ "Umicore to acquire Haldor Topsoe's heavy duty diesel and stationary catalyst businesses". umicore.com.

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