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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Advanced Refining Technologies (ART)

Chevron and Grace joined together in 2001 to form Advanced Refining Technologies (ART), with goals based on the values of its parents: technology expertise, world class research and development, global manufacturing footprint, and a complete portfolio of hydroprocessing catalysts designed to meet the challenges of today’s refiners. ART combines Grace’s material science, manufacturing, marketing and sales strength with Chevron’s extensive experience operating its own refineries and leadership in technology, design and process licensing.

Continuous innovation and customised solutions

Keeping in step with the increasing demand for refiners to produce cleaner, higher quality products, ART maintains a strong research and development program to develop cutting edge catalysts. Recent new products for hydrocracking pretreat include ICR 513 and ICR 1000 for high HDN activity and improved aromatics saturation. ART recently introduced several hydrocracking catalysts to meet refiners’ complex needs: ICR 257 for naphtha jet, ICR 214 and ICR 215 for naphtha jet, ICR 188 for maximum distillate, and ICR 191 for premium performance for flexible distillate or naphtha jet production. These catalysts were developed to meet today’s challenging feeds and operating severities while achieving long, stable operating cycles.

ART continues to innovate in the resid segment. ICR 173, designed for deep MCR and sulphur conversion, was recently introduced for fixed bed resid hydrotreating units. For ebullating bed resid hydrocracking units, ART launched the HCRC™ platform combined with the HSLS™ platform in a dual catalyst system, which allows refiners to attain high resid conversion activity while achieving good sediment control. 

ART’s SmART® Catalyst System for ultra low sulphur diesel production expands with the successful introduction of 545DX for improved HDS and aromatics saturation activity. For lower pressure applications, a SmART system using 425DX offers higher HDS activity and better stability. ART also recently introduced 586DX for the FCC pretreat segment, designed for improved HDS and HDN activity. 

ART continues to invest in its plants to produce these new catalysts and future developments that are being designed to help refiners meet the challenges of the expected growth in demand for diesel and other low sulphur fuels, while continuing to further upgrade the bottom of the barrel.

ExxonMobil Catalyst Technologies

ExxonMobil Catalyst Technologies LLC (EMCT), a wholly owned affiliate of Exxon Mobil Corporation, offers a portfolio of high performing catalysts manufactured and tested in commercial facilities operated by ExxonMobil. The combination of leading catalyst research and development laboratories and manufacturing by EMCT together with information sharing from ExxonMobil’s use brings a competitive advantage to EMCT’s customers in over 150 commercial facilities worldwide.

ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (EMRE) is one of the leading licensors of technology for the manufacture of hydroprocessed lube base oils and dewaxed petroleum distillates by the MSDW™ process (for lubes) and the MIDW™ process (for fuels). The company has expanded the reach of its refining hydroprocessing technologies through a joint marketing and licensing alliance with Honeywell’s UOP. UOP is well known for its commercial experience in delivering hydrocracking process and catalyst technology solutions to petroleum refiners. EMRE also licenses the MTG process, a catalytic technology that produces gasoline from methanol derived from natural gas, coal, or biomass.

ExxonMobil Chemical Technology Licensing (EMCTL) is one of the leading licensors of catalytic processes for xylenes production including PxMaxSM to selectively convert toluene to greater than 90% paraxylene rich xylenes and high purity benzene, TransPlusSM NG for conversion of C9+ aromatics and toluene to mixed xylenes and benzene, XyMax-2SM and Enhanced MHAISM for xylenes isomerisation, OlgoneSM for reduction of olefinic content in aromatics streams, and MTPD-3 to convert toluene and up to 25% C9 aromatics to mixed xylenes and high purity benzene. These processes are licensed for grassroots aromatics complexes through  alliance partner, Axens, who is well known for technology solutions in refining and petrochemical businesses, or EMCTL directly for retrofits or standalone units.

Technologies used for the production of ethyl benzene (EBMaxSM) and cumene in the styrenic and phenolic value chains are licensed through Badger Licensing LLC, a joint venture between affiliates of ExxonMobil Chemical Company and Technip. Badger also licenses BenzOUT™ process technology, a refining technology that lowers benzene content in motor gasoline while simultaneously boosting octane content. All of these technologies capitalise on the many catalysts invented and commercialised by ExxonMobil in over 40 years of industrial research on petrochemical processes.

Grace catalysts technologies

Grace continues to deliver innovative solutions for the refining, petrochemical and chemical industries with its process catalysts. Built on talent, technology, and trust, Grace catalysts improve the products and processes of its customer partners around the world. Grace Catalysts Technologies is a global leader in process catalysts, developing and manufacturing catalysts and related technologies used in refining, petrochemical and other chemical manufacturing applications. Refining Technologies, Specialty Catalysts and the Advanced Refining Technologies joint venture are managed in this segment, as is the UNIPOL® Polypropylene Licensing and Catalysts business.

Refining technologies

Manufacturing excellence and industry leading technical service have made Grace a world leading supplier of FCC catalyst and additives. The company is dedicated to helping refiners achieve success with innovative catalytic solutions. Refineries stay competitive with FCC technology because they can maximise the yield of the most valuable products through use of the optimal catalyst for their crude slate.

Understanding feed impacts earlier allows the refiner to optimise operating parameters and catalyst management strategies for a more stable and profitable operation. Grace developed the ACHIEVE® FCC catalyst technology specifically to meet the challenges of opportunity feeds. The ACHIEVE® 400 catalyst launched in 2014 is designed to increase production of butylenes. MIDAS® FCC catalysts are Grace’s high matrix catalysts with proven success for deep conversion of resid. The MIDAS® Gold catalyst is a high activity formulation that delivers superior coke selective bottoms upgrading.

Specialty catalysts

The company provides catalyst systems and supports for polyethylene and polypropylene process technologies.  Grace has a unique position as the only company currently supplying a complete portfolio of polyolefin catalyst systems including, silica and magnesium based support systems, metallocene components, key raw materials and intermediates, and finished chromium, Ziegler Natta and SSC catalysts for essentially all polypropylene and polyethylene process platforms and applications.

In December 2013, Grace acquired UNIPOL® PP Licensing & Catalysts, a proprietary gas phase polypropylene process technology for the production of a broad range of polypropylene products, from the Dow Chemical Company.  The UNIPOL licensing and catalysts systems business offers the industry leading UNIPOL PP Process Technology, which includes the advanced process control UNIPOL UNIPPAC®  Process Control software, SHAC® Catalysts Systems, and 6thgeneration non-phthalate CONSISTA® Catalysts Systems.

Johnson Matthey

Johnson Matthey is an international specialty chemicals company that is focused on the development of value added, high technology products and services. The Johnson Matthey Process Technologies division, one of five divisions, is a global supplier of catalysts and additives, licensing technologies and other services related to the petrochemical, syngas, oil refining, and gas processing industries.

Within refineries Johnson Matthey Process Technologies’ focus is to improve the profitability, energy efficiency and environmental performance of customers’ processes through hydrogen catalysts, purification solutions, hydroprocessing catalysts, fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) additives and addition systems, and process optimisation and asset improvement services.  Johnson Matthey catalysts and additives are brought to the market through a range of well known brands; this includes KATALCOJM™, PURASPECJM™, HYTREATJM™, and INTERCATJM™ and CATACELJM™.

KATALCOJM catalysts are used in the manufacture of syngas including on purpose hydrogen.  These products are designed to offer outstanding value to customers and assure reliable, robust and energy efficient production of hydrogen or of syngas with long catalyst lives and low byproduct formation.

PURASPECJM absorbents and process technologies provide a simple and effective means of removing undesired impurities from hydrocarbon streams. These products are designed to provide highly efficient and cost effective polishing of low levels of inorganic impurities from liquid and gaseous hydrocarbon streams.  Most commonly the PURASPECJM products will target impurities such as hydrogen sulfide, organic sulfur, chlorides and mercury.

HYTREATJM hydroprocessing catalysts provide a series of well proven catalysts which deliver excellent HDS and HDN activity.  The HYTREATJM range of products includes a full range of Co-Mo, Ni-Mo, Ni-W and other multi metallic catalysts.

INTERCATJM FCC additives offer the refiner the ability to tailor the selectivity of the FCC, boost LPG yield at the expense of LCO and HCO, improve and maintain catalyst activity and selectivities, decrease bottoms yields, and enhance the environmental performance of the FCC unit through the reduction of SOx and NOx emissions. INTERCATJM addition systems provide a safe and reliable means of admitting controlled quantities of additives and catalysts to the FCC unit.

CATACELJM SSR structured foil supported catalysts for steam reforming provide enhanced heat transfer while delivering fuel savings and substantial increases in plant productivity.

To supplement customer resources Johnson Matthey offers through KATALCOJM performance hydrogen related services ranging from process optimisation to asset improvement.  TRACERCO™ provides specialised detection, diagnostic and measurement solutions. 

Merichem Company

Merichem Company licenses hydrocarbon treating equipment, catalyst, and service solutions that remove sulphur and other impurities from hydrocarbon liquids and gases to the upstream, midstream, and downstream energy sectors. The company's proprietary catalysts are distributed worldwide. The product portfolio includes:


A series of carbon activated catalysts that have been designed for use within solid bed hydrocarbon treating technology. These products remove the heavy mercaptans found in jet fuel, kerosene and other middle distillate streams. CAC-Products are pre impregnated with cobalt based catalyst and will reduce mercaptan concentrations to less than 5 ppm.


A series of sulphur extraction catalysts that have been designed for use within hydrocarbon treating technology without the need of solid bed contacting. These products are utilised by refiners and midstream processors to extract sulphur compounds from distillate, gasoline, and condensate streams and provide feedstock treating flexibility across a wide range of COS, H2S and RHS concentrations.  JeSOL-Products are supplied with a full life cycle service which includes delivery of fresh catalyst and return of spent solution.

ARI-100 Products

A series of concentrated cobalt catalysts that have been designed for use within regenerative caustic treating processes and are designed to accelerate the oxidation of mercaptans found in petroleum fractions. The ARI-100 series of products is offered in a powdered form and a solids free liquid form. 

MC-500 Products

A brand new series of catalysts that has been designed for use within use within the LO-CAT® iron redox sulphur removal technology, replacing the ARI-300 Products line.  MC-500 Products will remove H2S from any type of gas stream and reduce the H2S concentrations to less than 1 ppm. 

All catalysts are manufactured to be utilised within Merichem and non-Merichem licensed treating processes.

Sabin Metal Corporation

The Sabin Metal Group of Companies, headquartered in East Hampton, New York, USA, will be marking its 70th anniversary in 2015. The company is composed of five independent organisations including Sabin Metal Corp., Scottsville, New York, considered the most sophisticated facility of its kind for safely processing precious metal bearing materials; Sabin Metal West, a specially equipped facility for sampling large lots of precious metal bearing spent hydrocarbon processing catalysts. This refinery employs dual electric arc furnace (EAF) technology which helps maximise recovery of precious metals, and also incorporates a unique ‘low dust’ continuous sampling system for accurate sample derivation and total environmental safety and compliance.

Sabin Metal Europe B.V., based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Sabin Metal Corp. (DMCC branch) based in Dubai, UAE are technical service divisions working with hydrocarbon, chemical, petrochemical, and nitric acid processors in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, to recover and refine precious metals from spent catalysts and nitric acid production equipment and facilities.

Sabin International Logistics Corp. (SILC), is a licensed hazardous waste, hazardous materials, and general commodities transporter providing global transportation and logistics for spent precious metal bearing catalysts and other materials. The company operates its own fleet of trucks, and is also a permitted and licensed freight broker. SILC’s SA-BIN™ secure storage/shipping containers represent a unique method for quickly, conveniently, and safely storing and transporting spent precious metals bearing catalyst materials from Sabin’s customers to its processing facilities.

SMC (Canada) Ltd., the McAlpine Mill in Cobalt, Ontario, Canada, offers capabilities and processing technologies to extract highest possible metal values from residual materials generated in refining, smelting, and milling operations. 

The Sabin Metal group of companies is the largest domestically owned, independent precious metals refining organisation in North America. The company’s recovery/refining facilities and sales/service offices are located in strategic countries around the world.  Sabin’s gold, silver, platinum, and palladium are accepted on NYMEX/COMEX (Chicago Mercantile Exchange); Sabin’s platinum and palladium are also accepted for delivery on the London/Zurich market by the London Platinum and Palladium market (LPPM). The organisation is now entering its seventh decade of working with a worldwide customer base by providing added value services along with the peace of mind that comes from working with an environmentally responsible precious metals refiner.

Adapted for the web by Emma McAleavey.

The full review is available in the January issue of Hydrocarbon Engineering.

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