Catalysis 2022 issue

Catalyst for energy efficiency W h ilst events such as the global COVID pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, along with ongoing conflicts in the Middle East demand our immediate attention, the energy transition will remain a strategic focus for all energy intensive industries over the next decades, up to and beyond 2050. Energy prices are on anupward trendand likely to reachnewrecords over the next fewmonths. These short-term trends currently make the energy transition more compelling. The downstreamoil and gas industrymust be unstinting in its drive for energy and process efficiency, even as we incorporate renewable and recyclable feedstocks. C atalysts and catalytic systems represent one of the major operating cost components in refineries and petrochemical plants. Yet advancements in catalyst systems are fundamental in giving refiners the flexibility needed to process a wide range of alternative feedstocks and adjust to changing market demands. T his 2021 issue of Catalysis features a Q&Asection that breaks all records fo co tent. Warm thanks to our respondents for their insights, expertise, and news of developments. I deed, special thanks to contributors affected by the recen ‘polar storm’ that in particular hit T xas, who found the time and opportu ity to provide r sponses. The latest extreme wea her event to affec th states sharing the G lf coastline will require some time for recovery, both personal and industrial. F ollowing on from last year’s edition of Catalysis , the 2022 edition starts with a Q&A section that reflects how our readers value sharing learnings and experience, as operators, process licensors, and catalyst developers. I n the first article, Johnson & Matthey emphasises how refiners should first focus on available expertise, catalysts, technologies to drive down direct emissions from existing processes and hydrogen production. It then discusses the emergence of industrial hubs for blue hydrogen production and carbon dioxide capture and other opportunities to reduce indirect emissions from energy. Finally, it describes technologies used to process renewable feeds, including bio-and waste components, to produce decarbonised fuels and petrochemical products as a means of reducing Scope 3 emissions. T he articlebyBASFdescribes adaptationsmade to its catalyst testing laboratories and experimental work to explore the behaviour of renewable and recyclable feedstocks in FCC units, needed to inform the design of new catalysts. For complex upgrading units such as fluid catalytic crackers, hydrocrackers, and residue upgraders, knowledge of the unit and overall refinery objectives are fundamental to the design of higher performing catalysts and catalytic systems. Environmental issues come to the fore in the replies to a question on the feasibility of recovering non-precious metals from spent catalyst (begin ning on page 23). Is it economically worthwhile to glean the likes of nicke and cobalt, for instance, from refinery waste? Or is it best to take the simple landfill approach? What is the value to a refiner of recovered metals? As always in an assess ment of the industry’s economics, answers are far from straightforward Storing spent catalyst is an expense, landfilling eve more so. Furthermore s ply bu ying the vidence c ld well h v a etrimental impact on a refin er’s reputation for environmental care. Who can calculate the pote tial for los value in th t case? The vagaries of metals trading might favour recovery thi week, but next week maybe not. So what, in process terms, is the route to recovery? The pages of PTQ have from time to time highlighted a well established business based on pyromet allurgy, the process of roasting spent catalyst to recover precious metals such as platinum. One of our Q&A correspondents, on the other hand, draws atten tion to the growing role of hydrometallurgy in metals recovery. In this case lower-valued metals are leached from spent material. This is also an industria process with a lengthy history. For example, a fair amount of the cobalt in cat alysts employed in desulphurisation originates in entr l Africa where linea he ps of mi ed ore are sprayed with concentrated sulphuric cid (which in turn is more lik ly than not produced fr m the output of a refinery’s or ga plant’s sulphur recovery unit). The resulting liquor is processe before pass ing to the electrowinning plant where cobalt metal is recovered. T he article by ADNOC considers the use of linear regression analysis to better determine the principle causes of catalyst attrition and pressure drop due to increasing severity in an operational continuous catalytic reformer (CCR) unit. This illustrates the importance of understanding the impacts of changing conditions over the operating cycles. Whilst the main purpose of this study is to optimise the CCR unit, such analyses are also useful inputs for the design of higher performing catalysts. T he next three articles describe advancements in catalyst materials and shapes of support. E uroSupport shares results from laboratory testing comparing its titania based tail gas treating catalyst against the industry standard, alumina based catalyst. The company concludes that the use of titania allows more uniform sulphiding, resulting in better catalyst stability and performance when compared with industry standard alumina based catalysts. A lkegen’s article introduces the use of ‘fiber’ catalyst supports with applications such as hydrogen production and treatment of industrial emissions. In one application, propane dehydrogenation, Alkegen reports increased selectivity and yields of propene, with significant improvements in operational stability. Z eopore describes developments in zeolite mesopore chemistry and manufacturing to produce stable highly mesoporous zeolites which can give improved selectivity and product yields across a range of applications for zeolitic catalysts. A vantium describes advances in multi-reactor catalyst testing systems for mass balance closure, higher precision and accuracy to give better reactor-to-reactor repeatability and ultimately higher data quality with better translation to full-scale unit behaviour. This edition of Catalysis finishes with a short discussion by Evonik of the desired characteristics for a successful long-term relationship between a catalyst manufacturer and their clients. Recovering metals from refinery waste is more likely than open-plan ore leaching to require the approval of health and safety inspectors. In a proces devised by the Indian Institute of Technology, spent catalyst is first roasted to around 700°C, then leached with acid before a sequence of chemical conver sions produces a suitable electrolyte for metal recovery. If there is demand, the technology will emerge. Non-catalytic processes are also playing a significant role in the refiner’s abilit to process whatever unconventional crude sources become available. For example some refiners processing hi her volumes of resid and atmospheric tower bottom have consid ed adding certain typ s of solvent-ext action processes i additio to overall improvements to crude unit (eg, vacuum tower revamps) a d delaye coker op rations. Improvemen s in furnace technology, such as with olefin steam cracker operations, have resulted n significant incr ases in worldwide ethyl n capacity. Returning to the value of recovered metals, this page in past year addressed the issue of rare e rth metals, their sources (just one, really) nd heir prices inflating by multiple factors of ten when s pplies became r stricted. Catalyst suppliers responded in the best ways they could, including development of non-rar earth material. I this a local crisis due for a repea performance? If so, the calculation in favour of metals recovery is certainly more straightforward. However, any expansion of the value chain (eg, ethylene-to-propylene vi dehydrogenation) requires investment in catalytic-based processes, as discussed i the following articles authored by experts in the field of downstream proces technology. PTQ wishes to extend its gratitude to the authors who provide editorial and responded to the Q&A published in this issue of PTQ Catalysis, a well as to those respondents who addressed the o line questions ( that addressed the specifics of certain reactor and cat lytic issues of importance t the industry. Ev y little helps Security of feedstock supply espite signs in 2007 of a slowdow in various s ctors of th economy refiners remain a big play for prospective investors. It used to b conven ional wisdom that higher fuel prices and a slowing econom would curb demand and incre se supply, but for he p st seven year that has not prov d to be the case. While the rate of increase in world oil deman has declined since the surprising 4% surge in 2004, it nevertheless appears tha demand beyond 2008 will grow, along with prices. It is a safe bet that rapidl increasing oil consumption by China, India and even the Middle East producer themselves will co tinue. It is also safe to assume that refinery and petrochemica conversion unit capacity will need to expand. No massive new s urces of e ergy are expected to com on s ream for th foreseeable futur . The world will remain dependent on oil and gas for decades t come even though the upstream i dustry faces increasing challenges in th discovery and production of new sources. In fact, some well-placed industr analysts think 2008 may be the y ar where there is no increase in crude supply a all from regions outside of OPEC. For this reason, we will continue to see significan investment in refinery upgrades despite surging costs — security of feedstoc supply, albeit unconventional low-quality feedstock, takes precedence over th quality of feedstock supply. Feedstock options such as biomass (for biofuels production), Canadian tar sand (for distill te production) and other types of unconventional crude sources requir reactor technology that llow for the integration of these operations into existin proc ss configurations. The quality of these types of feedstock are one importan r ason w y a w der rray of c talysts has been intro uce into the market. Fo example, as refiners ut deeper into the vacuum tower, the concentration o etals in the VGO requires a properly desi ned guard bed sys em to protect activ atalysts n hydrocracker. The characteristic of feedstock with low API gravit (eg, <10), high metals, nitrogen and other undesirable components is one of th main reasons why hydrotr aters and hydrocr ckers are becoming larger — t accommodate not only higher volumes of catalyst, but also a wider variety o catalyst with specific formulations. D

catalysis ptq

Vol 13 No 2 2008

Vol 27 No 2 2022 Vol 26 No 2 1

Editor Editor Chris Cunningham Production Editor Rachel Storry Production Editor Rachel Zamorski production petroleu Production Editor Rachel Storry Graphics Peter Harper Gr ics Peter Harper Graphics Editor Mohamm d Samiuddin Editorial tel +44 844 5888 773 fax +44 844 5888 667 Editorial tel +44 844 5888 773 fax +44 844 5888 667 Business Development Director Paul Mason Business Development Director Paul Ma on el +1 281 374 8240 fax +1 281 257 0582 Advertising Sales Office tel +44 844 5888 771 fax +44 844 5888 662 Managing Director RichardWatts Advertising Sales Office tel +44 844 5888 771 fax +44 844 5888 662 Advertising Sales Manager Paul Mason Circulation Fran Havard EMAP, 10th Floor, Southern House, Wellesley Grove, Croydon CR0 1XG tel +44 208 253 8695 Circulation Fran Havard Advertising Sales Office tel +44 870 90 303 90 fax +44 870 90 246 90 ISSN 1362-363X EMAP, 10th Floor, Southern House, Wellesley Grove, Croydon CR0 1XG tel +44 208 253 8695 Publisher Nic Allen Register to receive your regular copy of PTQ at PTQ (Petroleum Technology Quarterly ) (ISSN No: 1632-363X, USPS No: 014-781) is published quarterly plus annual Catalysis edition by Crambeth Allen Publishing Ltd and is distributed in the US by SP/ Asendia, 17B South Middlesex Avenue, Monroe NJ 08831. Periodicals postage paid at New Brunswick, NJ. Postmaster: send address changes to PTQ (Petroleum Technology Quarterly) , 17B South Middlesex Avenue, Monroe NJ 08831. Back numbers available from the Publisher at $30 per copy inc postage. PTQ (PetroleumTechnology Quarterly ) (ISSN No: 1632-363X, USPS No: 014-781) is published quarterly plus annual Catalysis edition by Crambeth Allen Publishing Ltd and is distributed in the US by SP/Asendia, 17B South Middlesex Avenue, Crambeth Allen Publishing Ltd Hopesay, Craven A ms SY7 8HD, UK tel +44 870 90 600 20 fax +44 870 90 600 40 Register to receive your regular copy of PTQ at Circulation Jacki Watts circula ion@p Managing Director RichardWatts Advertising Sales Bob Aldridge ISSN 1362-363X Monroe NJ 08831. Periodicals postage paid at New Brunswick, NJ. Postmaster: send address changes to PTQ (PetroleumTechnology Quarterly) , 17B South Middlesex Avenue, Monroe NJ 08831. Back numbers available from the Publisher at $30 per copy inc postage. ISSN 1362-363X Petroleum Technology Quarterly (USPS 0014-781) is published quarterly plus annual Catalysis edition by Crambeth Allen Publishing Ltd and is distributed in the USA by SPP, 75 Aberdeen Rd, Emigsville, PA 17318. Periodicals postage paid at Emigsville PA. Postmaster: send address changes to Petroleum Technology Quarterly c/o PO Box 437, Emigsville, PA 17318-0437 Back numbers available from the Publisher at $30 per copy inc postage. Editor René G Gonzalez Editorial PO Box 11283 Spring TX 77391, USA

Catalysis 2022 5


René G Gonzalez

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