Catalysis 2024 Issue

Raw materials Electricity Thermal energy Fluegas



Deactivation = 1.7 ˚F/month






Days on stream

As shown in Figure 6 , the Excel rejuvenated catalyst provided stable performance and a low deactivation rate over the cycle. The operator reported that the catalyst met expectations with equivalent performance to the previous cycle. Furthermore, using a rejuvenated catalyst, the refinery benefited from lower Scope 3 emissions and reduced waste, again making a tangible difference to sustainability efforts. Circular economy model Rejuvenation technology revitalises catalysts, thereby help- ing to avoid waste and reduce CO 2 emissions compared to fresh catalyst production because of lower use of virgin raw materials and lower energy consumption for processing. Ordinarily, at the end of an operational cycle, a hydropro- cessing catalyst is removed from the reactor, classified as hazardous, and disposed of via one of three methods. One, disposal in a hazardous waste landfill is the least desirable option; the refiner loses the value within the spent catalyst, a fee must be paid, and the environmental impact must be taken into consideration. The second, processing for metal reclamation is a more favourable approach, but refiners can be credited only a fraction of the value of certain components reclaimed. Plus, it is an energy-intensive method that still leaves a potentially environmentally harmful waste stream, necessitating dis- posal. Moreover, neither leverages the value of the technol- ogy inherent in the catalyst particle for the refiner’s benefit. This is why the third option, catalyst reuse, is the preferred choice. It allows refineries to fully utilise all useful materials in their spent catalyst by reactivating them for subsequent use. This approach actively contributes to a circular economy. The environmental advantage of this rejuvenation tech- nology has been confirmed by a cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment (LCA) and demonstrates the potential emissions that can be averted. Performed by in-house experts and compared with the current market reference (a virgin cata- lyst), this assessment has also been externally certified. The functional unit is 1 kg of rejuvenated catalyst, function- ally equivalent to a virgin catalyst. The LCA analysis shows that this technology enables a reduction of GHG emissions and waste by approximately 60% due to the rejuvenation process (see Figure 7 ). Figure 6 The Excel rejuvenated catalyst provided excellent stability and low deactivation

Fresh catalyst

Excel rejuvenated catalyst

Conclusion Across sectors, companies worldwide are attempting to reduce GHG emissions to improve sustainability, with ambi- tions to reduce scope emissions over a certain period or achieve net zero altogether. With this innovative catalyst technology, another ‘r’ is added to reuse, reduce, and recy - cle – rejuvenation – allowing anyone who works with hydro- processing catalysts to reduce their emissions significantly. Moreover, with certification, companies can have complete certainty in their sustainability (and reporting) measures. Fresh catalyst production typically involves a significant envi - ronmental footprint, uses vast amounts of virgin raw materials, and requires substantial energy consumption. Rejuvenation technology mitigates these challenges by extending the life- cycle of spent catalysts while curbing the ecological impact associated with their extraction and processing. This approach also offers substantial cost savings, ranging from 30-50% when sourced directly from the Evonik inven - tory, and 50-70% when refining units reuse catalysts within their own systems. Equally importantly, the rejuvenation process ensures stable and equivalent performance to fresh catalysts, thus contributing to operational efficiency and reduced lead times. In summary, by combining economic, environmental, and operational advantages, Excel rejuvena- tion technology is a comprehensive solution for companies aiming to optimise performance while embracing a greener and more circular approach to catalyst management. Excel, CatGuard, and Durocel are marks of Evonik. Jignesh Fifadara is the Global Business Director for Hydroprocessing at Evonik. He has more than 16 years of refining industry experience with a strong focus on providing services and solutions to hydroprocessing applications. He holds a degree in chemical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from Texas A&M. Madeline Green is a Business Segment Manager for Hydroprocessing at Evonik. She has 12 years of refining experience and holds a degree in chemical engineering from Colorado School of Mines. Figure 7 Excel rejuvenation technology reduces emissions by approximately 60% compared to a virgin catalyst


Catalysis 2024

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