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Refinery catalyst market shares

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Refinery catalyst provides solid state storage of energy which is useful for smarter planet sensors, electric vehicle batteries, and renewable energy substation storage. In 2011, the refinery catalyst market was worth US$ 3.3 billion and according to a new report, it is anticipated to reach US$ 4.3 billion by 2018. Market growth will come in large from demand for cleaner diesel fuel and the availability of newer technology and nanotechnology. Markets all over the worlds are reportedly poised to achieve steady growth as countries impose stricter environment controls on the manufacture and use of fossil fuels.

Hydroprocessing catalysts

Hydroprocessing catalysts are used to create cleaner fuels, especially ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD). Demand for cleaner fuels is driving the market. Refining catalysts are experiencing strong growth this year. New fuels standards are coupled with refinery increasing use of heavier and dirtier feedstocks and major additions to refining capacity. Refining catalysts are moving to a more balanced market. Producers of fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts had a surge in demand. The market is shifting from one characterised by oversupply to a more stable sales effort. Supply/demand is evolving when it comes to hydroprocessing catalysts.

They are also the highest growing refinery catalysts as they help control and improve the operational efficiency in the petroleum refining process. Demand is lower for the more mature FCC catalysts than the hydroprocessing catalysts. Hydroprocessing catalysts have passed FCC catalysts, becoming the largest segment of the refinery catalyst market.

Reforming catalysts

Reforming catalysts are fundamentak to the modernisation of product reformate. They contain hydrocarbons with more complex molecular shapes having higher octane values than the hydrocarbons in the naphtha feedstock. The process separates hydrogen atoms from the hydrocarbon molecules and produces significant amounts of byproduct hydrogen gas.

Comments and conclusion

Susan Eustis, lead author of the study said, ‘these factors have attracted manufacturers to refinery catalysts, as these help extract relatively more diesel and gasoline from the same amount of crude oil. The refinery catalyst market is thus booted by the fact that the efficient use of catalysts can help the manufacturers’ better address the increasing energy demand. Hydroprocessing faces significant challenges as crude feeds get heavier; there will be more sulfur and nitrogen to extract; more aromatics to saturate; more metals to remove; and more coke to deal with. Refiners have ageing facilities, which may not be designed and optimised to meet new challenges.’

Hydrotreating catalysts will continue to achieve the best growth in the petroleum refining market, aided by the increasingly sour nature of the crude petroleum supplied to the market. Efforts by Brazil, China, India and Russia to improve their air quality by the introduction of low sulfur fuels are ongoing. Hydrocracking and FCC catalysts achieve advances, particularly in Asia as the growing motor vehicle fleet stimulates new gasoline and diesel fuel demand. 

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.

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