December 2022

Special Focus: Catalysts

Refinery catalyst selection: Facts and fictions every refiner should know

Most refiners carefully evaluate their refining catalysts to ensure maximum benefits over the catalyst cycle length.

Pongboot, N., Avantium; Upienpong, T., PTT Global Chemical

Most refiners carefully evaluate their refining catalysts to ensure maximum benefits over the catalyst cycle length. Without a doubt, pilot plant testing is the best method to evaluate true catalyst performance. Often, the incremental catalyst cost is trivial compared with the economic benefits from improved catalyst performance. To the authors’ surprise, many refiners only consider testing some refining catalysts, such hydrocracking, fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) or naphtha reforming units. This seems a reasonable line of thought, as these refining units are the critical profit makers of a typical refinery. So, why risk not testing? Conversely, these refiners somehow believe testing othe

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