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hte and ITQ FCC technology reaches commercialisation stage

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

hte – the high throughput experimentation company – and Instituto de Tecnología Química (ITQ; a joint research centre of the Universitat Politècnica de València and the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas) have entered the stage of commercialising a micro downflow technology for testing fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts. This technology is cost-efficient as only small amounts of catalysts and feeds are required. It offers an entrained catalyst flow concept, flexible handling of feedstocks, and operation under typical pressures for FCC.

In 2013, hte and ITQ signed a joint agreement for developing a new lab-scale technology in the field of FCC catalyst testing. After several years of development, the micro downflow technology has now reached its commercialisation stage.

The micro downflow unit (MDU) offers an entrained catalyst flow reactor system analogous to commercial fluid catalyst cracking units (FCCUs). It can be operated within a range of process conditions, including elevated pressures, which are typical for FCCUs. The unit is fully automated and cost-efficient as only small amounts of catalysts and feeds are required. Processability of a broad range of feedstocks has been demonstrated, ranging from naphtha and vacuum gas oil to residue feeds and crude oils. It includes the latest software solution myhteTM for integrating, storing, retrieving, analysing, and visualising data.

“We selected hte for this task of commercialisation because of its long-term reputation as technology leader in the market and its fundamental understanding of the FCC process,” says Avelino Corma, Professor at ITQ.

“We are excited about opening our technology to the market.” Wolfram Stichert, CEO at hte, comments. “We are confident that this technology significantly reduces the costs for FCC catalyst testing for refiners. We will offer this technology to our customers within our R&D Solutions business at our site in Heidelberg.”

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