Refining catalysts are experiencing strong growth this year,
driven by demand for cleaner fuels, increasing use of heavier
and dirtier feedstocks and major additions to
refining capacity, according to a new report from US-based
market research firm ReportsnReports.
Refining catalysts are moving to a
more balanced market, the report says, shifting from one
characterized by oversupply to a more stable sales effort.
The market picture for hydroprocessing catalyst supply and
demand continues to evolve, the report says.
Hydroprocessing catalysts are the fastest-growing refinery catalysts, according to
ReportsnReports. These catalysts help control and
improve the operational efficiencies in the petroleum refining process.
Hydroprocessing catalysts are also used to create cleaner
fuels, especially ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD).
Demand is lower
for the more mature FCC catalysts than the hydroprocessing
catalysts, allowing hydroprocessing catalysts to pass FCC
catalysts and become the largest segment of the refinery catalyst market.
Low sulfur regulations in developed countries,
implementation of some sulfur restrictions in China, India and Mexico, and other
countries, is a significant market driving force, the study
Increasingly higher sulfur-content is present in oil coming
out of the ground.
The rapidly increasing demand for gasoline and diesel has
increased the requirement for raw materials for their
production. The limited supply of raw materials increases the
overall cost of production.
Reforming catalysts are fundamental to the modernization of product reformate,
the report notes. 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.
Hydrogen is useful for fuel cells, meaning that refineries
could become environments for generating
Hydrogen is also useful in stationary fuel cells that are
evolving a market for providing local power in campus environments.
Local power generation is becoming more valued as people
realize that the cost of conditioning electricity for the grid
is an unnecessary expense in local power environments, the
As such, the use of hydrogen and the manufacture of hydrogen
in refinery environments could become
significant aspect of markets.
"These factors have attracted manufacturers to refinery
catalysts, as these help extract relatively more diesel and
gasoline from the same amount of crude oil, said Susan
Eustis, the lead author of the study.
The refinery catalyst market is thus
boosted by the fact that the efficient use of catalysts can
help the manufacturers' better address the increasing energy
demand, she continued.
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 optimized to meet new challenges."
As more capital investment is needed, costs for refining
fossil fuels will rise, stimulating markets for renewable
energy and making them more competitive with fossil fuels, the
Going forward, 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, according to the report.
Efforts by Brazil, China, India and Russia to improve their
air quality by the introduction of low-sulfur fuels are
Hydrocracking and fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts
should see advances, particularly in Asia as the growing motor
vehicle fleet stimulates new gasoline and diesel fuel
For details on the full ReportsnReports study, click here.