February 2010

Special Report: Clean Fuels

Improve usage of regenerated refining catalysts

Common-sense guidelines detail when it is beneficial to reuse catalysts

Yeh, G. J., Saudi Aramco

Various catalyst types are used in the refinery catalytic processes—hydrotreating, hydrocracking, isomerizaton, fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC), naphtha reforming, alkylation, hydrogen generation, etc. Catalysts play a major role in petroleum refining. Catalysts accelerate reactions, so that desired reactions can occur at lower temperatures and pressures than those required for noncatalytic processes. In addition, catalysts do deactivate during the process, and must be regenerated or replaced at the end of the cycle. Annually, refiners worldwide spend billions of dollars to purchase refining process catalysts. Some spent catalysts can be regenerated to recover their activities, and

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