PTQ & Digital Refining - 2023 Media Details




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7 - 1 0 November 2021 ERTC 20 23 Official newspaper published by PTQ / Digital Refining


Arkema achieved its 6000th sulphiding job in September 2019


2030 isn’t long off – the future of advanced biofuels Race to decarbonisation Jiří Hájek CEO I Chairman of the Board of Directors, Unipetrol Centre for Research and Education


Meeting the Indian demand for petrochemicals


Covid-19 provides a warning to refiners that adaption is key to thrive in the energy transition 3 Sabin Metal Corp. announces capacity expansion project 4 Renewables: four options for greater market share and profitability 7




LCO to indLPet


Gases to GASCON



To aromatic complex

CN +

Gases from DCU, NCU indResid H



C/C to NCU



Paranic r affinates as n aphtha


Kero + LGO + HGO





GASCON (PRU, C/C splitters)


Residue upgrading with steam cracking aromatics Upgrade existing site to maximise chemical yield

Aromatics (BTX)

Crude oil



Aromatic Complex




Become rst quartile integrated renery/ petrochemical site

Diesel to p ool






Naphtha to INDALIN


Existing assets and operation Introducing FUSION – the best of both worlds Invest Circularity is key to any transformation plan


Gasoline pool

Secure otake via ownership of fuels marketing channels/ trading partnerships

Sylvain Verdier, Magnus Zingler Stummann, Mikala Grubb and Jostein Gabrielsen Haldor Topsoe A/S

Heart cut

For catalytic pyrolysis, Topsoe research- ers are working with engineers from the Research Triangle Institute to develop tech- nology that can produce and upgrade pyrol- ysis oil from woody biomass. Our research and development teams are also working on two projects that involve designing and upgrading Fischer-Tropsch products from municipal solid waste and woody residue. Two EU hydrothermal liquefaction projects also have Topsoe involvement. These are aimed at producing bio-oils and renewable fuels from urban waste. However, recent hopes have been directed towards advanced biofuels, which do not clash with the production of food. We are talking about feeds that until now have been considered waste and so eitherdisposed of in landfills orconverted into heat and/or electricity. The hardest challenge comes with the collection, sort- ing and purification of these so-called renewable waste streams. Challenges and opportunities for future biofuel technologies Advanced biofuels have tremendous poten- tial to transform the world’s waste into val- uable fuel. Regardless of the method, it will be hard work to mature these technologies to the point of widespread commercial success in 2030. 1st Generation changes. We read in the media that global society is now calling for fast and entire decarbonisation, and politicians are lis- tening closely to what the younger gener- ation has to say. The message is clear, so why don’t we run only on biofuels today? Well, there are multiple reasons. We need to listen and also understand the science. So-called 1G biofuels revealed that the use of biofuels may not actually help us achieve our decarbonisation tar- get, if all the emissions from harvesting, production and distribution are taken into account. Despite this, we continue to pro- duce and utilise FAME, or 1G ethanol, as it is produced in large quantities globally without a significant impact on the agri- cultural business. Indeed, standardisation in both planting and harvesting and, above all, guaranteed demand has resulted in multiple investments and hence increased efficiency in the agricultural industry. Fast py r olysis Low oil yi e ld Challenging to upgrade Challenges Industrial unit successfully ran in the USA Commercial for biomass (up to 160 t/d) and demo units for plastic waste Status demo or industrial units Dry biomass, plastic Dry biomass, plastic 400–550˚C 450–550˚C 0–35 wt% 35–45 wt% Product oxygen Medium/high Low Complexity 1 barg (up to 35 barg H for hydropyrolysis ) 1 barg Operating pressure Carbon recovery in liquid product 50–70% 10–45% Fast pyrolysis Rapeseed oil Palm oil Sunower oil Soybean oil Virgin oils Suitable feedstock Operating temperature Refiners in the EU are currently chasing the opportunity to utilise existing assets to convert used cooking oil (UCO) to a bio- fuel known as hydrodeoxygenated vege- table oil (HVO). Such material converted to HVO may even improve some parame- ters of the final diesel blend (forexample, reduced sulphurand nitrogen content, and highercetane number). On the otherhand, it may create obstacles at low tempera- tures if not treated properly. However, the Renewable Energy Directive, RED II, limits the use of such renewable material, which

The use of biofuels is increasing industry- wide due to legislation incentives aimed at producing low greenhouse gas-emit- ting transport fuels. Feedstock used to produce this renewable diesel and jet fuel mostly consists of virgin oils (rapeseed, soybean, etc) and fatty acid-based waste (cooking oils or animal fats). While this development is positive, the industry must look ahead to 2030, when legislation gets even tighter. Then, in Europe, 3.5% of transport fuels will have to be produced from feedstocks listed in Annex IX Part A in 2030. These feedstocks include the organic fraction of municipal waste, forestry residue, and sewage sludge. separately in various parts of the world by the end of the 19th century, the struc- ture of both complex refineries and petro- chemical plants remains very similar today, whether they are in Japan, Germany or California. Of course, there are some devi- ations reflecting crude slate or regional customer appetite, but the conversion of crude oil to fuel gas, LPG, gasoline, kero- sene, diesel, fuel oils, bitumen, sulphur, and petrochemicals in almost every com- plex refinery follows the same principles. However, today’s era of decarbonisation in the refining industry and transportation sectorshifts the structure of refineries in a different direction. Traditional fossil feed- stocks are likely to be at least partially replaced by renewable and alternative waste materials. This shift is linked closely to environmental legislation mainly in Europe, and partially driven by global cus- tomers’ growing appetite for renewables. Refineries in the western part of the EU, located on the Mediterranean orAtlantic coast lines, are facing multiple chal- lenges. Over the last few decades, they have been struggling with imports of high- quality fuels from highly efficient refiner- ies in North America and the Middle East while regional customerdemand has been shifting towards renewables. It is no sur- prise, then, that these regions were the first to convert their traditional crude oil- based refineries to bio-refineries. Others were simply brave enough to exploit the market niche while supporting legislative Currently, there are no commercially available processes capable of meeting this demand. Research and development is ongoing, with several technologies showing potential for widespread commercial suc- cess. These include fast pyrolysis, catalytic pyrolysis, gasification and Fischer-Tropsch technology, and hydrothermal liquefaction. Where biofuels are today Biofuels currently consist of bioethanol, FAME, renewable diesel, and sustainable aviation fuels. Feedstocks used for these biofuels consist of mostly fatty acid-based virgin oils or animal fat and cooking oil waste. These feedstocks meet the require- ments of today – but they will not meet the requirements of tomorrow. The EU’s Annex IX Part A describes which types of waste are expected to be used to meet future legislation. Many of these feedstocks are solid waste originat- ing from forestry residue or municipal solid waste ( Figure 1 ). Four promising thermochemical biofuel technologies Several thermochemical technologies are capable of converting such waste into bio- oils or biocrudes. Four of them show prom- ise for commercial success based on their operating parameters, yields, challenges, and implementation status ( Table 1 ). Partnering for biofuel research Haldor Topsoe has been working to advance biocrude and bio-oil technol- ogy for the past decade, through partner- ships with research institutes worldwide. Each of these technologies’ development stages varies, with some more suited for specific feedstocks than others. Over the past 100 years, we have mainly experienced standardisation of the refining and pet- rochemical indus- try. Although the individual technolo- gies had emerged

and decisions must be made as to whether production units should be placed near the feedstock or the refinery. The pretreatment process must also be considered. Pretreatment is an estab- lished technology for fatty acid-based feedstocks, but the development status for biocrude treatment is unclear. A clear process must be in place to remove con- taminants. Upgrading strategies must also be established in the form of stand-alone units or co-processing. Contact: As with any change, building and operat- ing new units will come at a cost, especially for first movers. Incentives, legislation, and tax advantages should be factored into any cost analysis, though, since long-term savings can be achieved via lower green- house gas emissions. The multiple challenges described above, combined with relatively immature technologies, show that 2030 is not the distant future. The time is now to address challenges, further develop biofuel tech- nology, and act to meet the legislative needs of today – and tomorrow. ■ Most of the above-mentioned options require the use of hydrogen, an essen- tial element widely produced from fossil feedstocks. In the race for decarbonisa- tion, refiners will therefore have to utilise the feedstock that is regionally available to them and still allows for a reasonable business case, or import advanced bio- fuels from other regions. The question is, what will be the effect of such changes on a regionally harmonised environment, at least in Europe? ■ 3rd Generation Gasification of municipal solid waste to syngas and then conversion to biofu- els may be an opportunity, but the pres- ence of contaminants in such material and the need forits furtherutilisation renders most of these projects unrealistic without severe subsidy provision ora clearban on landfill disposal. Regions without a sur- plus of forest residuum, straw, nut shells, or other renewable feedstocks are there- fore looking to reduce their crude oil con- sumption by chemical recycling of waste plastics, or utilisation of the natural rub- ber in old tyres as a component for biofu- els production. Agricultural residue Sewage sludge Forestry residue Organic fraction of MSW Mixed plastic waste Micro or macro algae Low ILUC crops Carinata Castor Camelina Solid waste Ungradability of feedstocks; high temperature pumps; waste water Support is currently being given to pro- jects that focus on the conversion of other renewable waste streams to bio- fuels. Although most of us are aware of the possibility of converting forest residuum or straw to linear alkanes via Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) or hydro- pyrolysis, a real-scale commercial pro- ject has yet to emerge, mainly due to the absence of effective feed collection and preparation of the concept in an economi- cally justifiable way. FT and upgrading are mature technologies Demo units are being built Sewage sludge, algae, woody biomass, plastic Dry biomass, plastic 250–450˚C 700–1500˚C 10–20 wt% 5–15 wt% High High 100–350 barg 1–70 barg 75% 25–45% is already being collected, sorted, puri- fied, and processed to a certain extent, even though it can be a successful alter- native to 1G biofuel.








indResid H

Diesel pool



DCU/ Ind-Coker AT



Energy transition, carbon reduction & circularity (with regulatory support)

Liquid renewables (HVO, SAF)

Anode - grade coke

PFO from NCU

Site closure - import terminal and land investment Improve eciency, margin capture by digitalisation, cost excellence and inventory/ trading partners Decarbonisation (efuels, H using CCS, plastic recycling etc)

Indigenous technologies pave the way for crude oil-to-chemicals transition 3 Three steps to optimise fractionator performance with plate technology 4


George Fortman The Catalyst Group

Catalytic pyrolysis Gasication + Fischer-Tropsch Hydrothermal liquefaction Catalytic pyrolysis Gasification + Fischer-Tropsch Hydrothermal liquefaction



“Run for positive cash ow”




Traditional catalyst systems


From a global perspective, crude oil-to- chemicals (COTC) continues to be a pow- erful industry driver and a strong trend of high interest to all integrated refineries and chemicals producers. This is reinforced by many factors, most notably the forecasts which predict a slowing of transporta- tion fuels growth approaching 2040 (with hybrids and EVs), while the growth in chem- icals is expected to increase as the popu- lation and middle-class wealth continue to rise, leading to increasing demand for pack- aging and consumer goods. This said, nuances to the Indian mar- ket for fuels and petrochemicals need to be navigated to ensure maximum profita- bility and sustainability in the future. India will experience much higher growth rates in oil demand compared to the global mar- ket. India’s oil demand is forecasted to rise by 7% between 2019 and 2030 ver- sus a global growth rate of 6.6%, accord- ing to the IEA’s Stated Policies Scenario. 1 Furthermore, the mix of oil-based prod- ucts is likely to change due to a relative increase in the share of gasoline versus die- sel due to several factors. The main fac- tors include the Government of India’s (GOI) removal of the diesel subsidy in 2014, the implementation of the Bharat Stage 6 (BS 6) emissions standards in 2020, the imple- mentation of the CAFÉ II norms in April 2022, and the expected rollout of BS 6 Phase II in 2023. The result is more expen- sive diesel cars in tandem with more expen- sive diesel fuel opening the doorfordeeper market penetration by gasoline and gaso- line vehicles. What does all of this mean? India will have increased demand for fuels and pet- rochemicals, but the increase in gasoline demand will compete with the demand for petrochemical feedstocks. Technology pro- ducers are, of course, rising to the chal- lenge. For example, KBR, in partnership with Neste Engineering Solutions, has sug-

gested that while naphtha and reformate are being routed to petrochemical product, there is a need for high octane, low RVP components. This need can be met utilis- ing their NexEther and NExOctane tech- nologies by converting the butane-butylene fraction from the FCC unit to ethers and alkylates. MTBE or ETBE can be produced from etherification of isobutylene with methanol or ethanol. They also present a strategy to produce alkylate from C₄ olefins and isobutane using Exelus Inc’s ExSact solid acid catalyst. Both technologies offer a flexible option to drive towards 95 RON gasoline while utilising a largely untapped resource in refineries. According to GlobalData’s latest report, Global Petrochemicals New-Build and Expansion Projects Outlook 2021-2025, nearly 34% of all petrochemical project starts (totalling 281 projects) in Asia will take place in India. 2 The investments are due to the fact that India’s economic growth is causing demand for petrochemicals to outpace supply. 3 A study conducted by Engineers India Ltd (EIL), with information provided by government-owned IndianOil Corporation Ltd (IOCL), forecasted demand for petrochemicals in India may increase between 2020 and 2040 by 222% from 40 to 87 million metric tonnes per annum. Increases in petrochemical production can come from a multitude of intermediate streams. The Catalyst Group Resources’ (TCGR) most recently completed report, Oil-to-Chemicals II: New Approaches from Resid and VGOs , explored both ‘carbon-out’ and ‘hydrogen-in’ options for increased pet- rochemicals, looking at such technologies as visbreaking and Flexicoking for the former and residue hydrocracking and slurry resi- due hydrocracking for the latter. In TCGR’s next study, Oil-to-Chemicals III: Stepwise Capex Options for Fuels Refineries , we will explore ‘add-on’ and low Capex options to boost petrochemical production. The study

will include options for increased olefins, C₄s, and C₅+s from FCC revamps and cat- alyst options, strategies for enhanced BTX production through naphtha reforming and aromatics operations, as well as dehydro- genation strategies for on-purpose olefins. We will couple these technology advance- ments with synergies for decarbonisation, as well as examine the process economics and carbon footprint evaluations. The study will give guidance in selecting the most cost-effective route to meet the aggressive growth in demand expected for petrochem- icals with implications for Indian producers. Today, we have entered an era where socioeconomic and supply/demand trends are shifting, and traditional business mod- els of segregated refining versus chem- icals production no longer hold true. Navigating the complexities of the market and choosing the right technology to ena- ble flexibility while maintaining efficiency will be critical to the path to future success in Indian refining. References 1 Based on data from International Energy Agency (2021), as modified by The Catalyst Group. 2 India to witness significant petrochemi- cals project starts through 2025 to meet growing demand. news/fuel-for-thought/13/global-data/ india-to-witness-significant-petrochemi- cals-project-starts-through-2025-to-meet- growing-demand/56960 (accessed August 31, 2022). 3 India’s Petrochemical Demand May Triple by 2040 on Rising Plastics Consumption. www. 04-05-India%E2%80%99s-petrochemical- demand-may-triple-by-2040-on-rising-plastics- consumption.aspx?id=1161015&year=2022 (accessed August 31, 2022).

Profitably complying with RED II: A Q&A with Shell biofuel technology specialists 4 200 100 150 50

DWC technology for improved separation and reduced CO₂ emissions Precious metals: managing the markets in a changing world







Beyond the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) II: introduction to future of sustainable biochemicals Energy transition: solving a global problem requires a holistic pursuit Case study: How Shell is navigating the energy transition Adding value with catalyst testing – supporting refineries in challenging times The future is now Implementing advanced technologies for crude to chemicals projects Pore s ize [A]

Rene Gonzalez Editorial Enquiries T +44 844 5888 773


Gasication of biomass, cleaning and conditioning of syngas before FT



Visuali s ation

Dashboard (waylay)

Custom UI for applications

API monitoring and maintenance

API layer

On boarding


Trac management





Management monitoring

Sushi sensor


Table 1 Thermochemical technologies to convert waste into biocrudes/bio-oils

Lora gateway


Control network

Visual logic builder/runtime


Device management


Data Aggregator



IOT hub*


Resource meta data


API management

Container engine K8s

Time series data

Rest API



API platform monitoring

Data transformations



Relational data


Application services


2nd Generation


Digitalisation on cloud 8 Recovery of ammonia from sour gases and conversion to valuable products 9 Digital transformation of component repair boosts compressor uptime 10


Rare earths weaponised: the impact on FCC units from an escalation in global trade tensions Arkema develops new digital features for the sulphiding of hydroprocessing catalysts Versatile performance with BioFlux renewable diesel

Waste oils and fats

Used Cooking Oils (UCO) Animal fats Palm Oil Mill Euent (POME) Palm Fatty Acid Distillate (PFAD) Spent Bleaching Earth Oil (SBEO) Palm Kernel Oil (PKO) Distillers Corn Oil (DCO) Crude Tall Oil (CTO)


Efficient and cost-effective amine purification process Catalyst technologies for enhancing profitability in the energy transition SprayMax FCC feed injection nozzles Advancing industries through materials technology





Figure 1 List of potential feedstocks to produce biofuels


Celebrating women in the downstream industry

18 20 20

16 Development and commercialisation of superabsorbent polymer technology 16 Smarter and safer sulphur for refinery & petrochemical plants with SULSAFE 17

Be future forward

Refineries with challenges


Rising Stars

Rachel Storry Production Enquiries Richard Watts Managing Director

Precious metals recycling: quality of service Will electrification trump CCS as a decarbonisation pathway? Isomalk-2: a low-temperature, non-chlorinated light naphtha isomerisation process


Heat integration 12%

Low level heat recovery 6%

Optimi s ing the operating parameters 2% Fired heaters eciency improvement 5%

Intervention of new technologies 17%


Steam and power

network 14%


Rationali s ation and upgrading of facilities 44%

advertisers advertisers

Comprehensive energy efficiency improvement and benchmarking studies




2 5 6 8


W R Grace Haldor Topsoe Shell Catalysts & Technologies Haldor Topsoe


2 5 6





As with all renewable fuel production projects, a high-quality feedstock supply will be crucial. Regulatory affairs, logis- tics, and supply levels all must be bal- anced against each other in the process. Advanced infrastructure must be in place, Usman Rashi Project Development Our 2019 Finalists

Crystaphase W R Grace Arkema Sulzer Sabin Albemarle Sabin Johnson Matthey Honeywell UOP

10 12 14 17 23 24


2 6

11& 12


13 15 17 19 21 22

10 12 15 19 20

Have you visited lately?

The Catalyst Group

Dorf Ketal


Becht Shell Catalysts & Technologies World Refining Association Crystaphase

Sabin Alleima


1 16 - 19 November 2020 MELIÁ CASTILLA HOTEL, MADRID SAVE THE DATE Europe’s largest meeting place for the world’s downstream leaders Pablo Dosdá Process Plant Engineer CEPSA Engineer Essar Oil



RI newspaper.indd 1

23/09/2022 11:11:10


For more information on the programme, please contact: ERTC NEWSPAPER AD COSTS Irena Rybkowska Specialist PKN Orlen

“How would you awaken the downstream dinosaur?” Rising Stars has been created to celebrate the future leaders of the refining and petrochemical industry. In this session, our 4 finalists will pitch their answer and ideas on how they would awaken the downstream dinosaur.

Europe’s largest meeting place for the world’s downstream leaders Sandil Sanmugam Project Manager + 44 207 384 7744 Damian Kwiatkowski Junior Process Engineer, Grupa LOTOS

Your votes will select the winner!

Full Page: $1,750 / £1,450 / €1,750 With a 1,000 word case study, ideally focusing on a new technology, product or service available to Indian refiners

Sandil Sanmugam Project Manager + 44 207 384 7744 Full Page: $3,550 / £2,950 / €3,500 With a 1,000 word case study, ideally focusing on a new technology, product or service available to European refiners For more information on the programme, please contact: For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact: Watch our finalists present their vision on Wednesday 6th November at 10:20 in Warsaw Hall I, where you’ll get the opportunity to vote for the overall winner. Ivan Lukyanenka Business Development Manager +44 207 384 7995 For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact: Ivan Lukyanenka Business Development Manager +44 207 384 7995 PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY QUARTERLY LY Powered by

Half Page Island: $1,500 / £1,250 / €1,500 With a 800 word case study Half Page Island: $2,950 / £2,450 / €2,950 With a 800 word case study

10th Floor Southern House Wellesley Grove Croydon CR0 1XG

Half Page: $1,150 / £950 / €1,150 With a 600 word case study

Half Page: $2,350 / £1,950 / €2,350 With a 600 word case study




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