Challenges and Opportunities in Refining Catalyst Development

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Global Refining & Petrochemicals Congress , New Delhi, 17-18th July, 2019
Challenges and Opportunities in Refining Catalyst Development: IndianOil’s Efforts
Dr. K.O. Xavier
IndianOil R&D Centre

Refining Catalyst Market Catalyst design challenges IndianOil Efforts & Catalyst portfolio Summary


Refining catalysts


➢ Catalyst is indispensable and strategic to refinery

➢ Right catalyst can promote the technology with a better performance

➢ Knowledge intensive, only select players in market
5 % FCC

27% 33 %

40 %

Environment Refining Chemicals

15 %

15 %

40 %

25 %


Refining Catalyst Market


Projected market in India
2020 INR 1000 Crores (18.4% of Asia-Pacific-US$ 782 million) 2030 INR 2000 Crores (100000 MTPA capacity)
Ref: The Catalyst Review , June 2016

Development of Refining Catalysts




Deployment stage
Manufacture, Quality assurance, Demonstrate & Use

Heavier Feeds Clean Fuels Yields Product flexibility Low Cost

Selectivity Activity Stability

Metal functionality
Surface characteristics
Pore Geometry and Architecture

Catalysis is an inter-disciplinary science

Development stage
Catalyst formulation, Cost effectiveness, & Scalability
Discovery stage
Innovative catalyst science, basic understanding & Scientific tools

Concept to Commercial

Challenge for catalyst innovation to meet refining needs

Advancements in refining catalysis


➢ Increased understanding of catalyst active sites and reaction mechanism

➢ Investigations now possible for real commercial catalyst under operando conditions

Characterization of a single FCC particle

➢ Spatial resolution of evaluating single particle of FCC catalyst now feasible

➢ Active sites of DHDT/Hydrocracking catalyst now well understood, aiding new catalyst designs

Design of new DHDT catalyst with better understanding of active site and reaction mechanisms

Molecular level understanding key to new catalyst design

IndianOil’s efforts in refining catalysis
Conversion Process Catalysis
❑ FCC Catalyst additives
Fuel Quality Improvement Technologies
❑ Diesel Hydrotreating (DHDS/DHDT) ❑ Gasoline quality improvement ❑ Reactive Adsorbents

CO Combustion Promoter

IOCL’s Catalysts Portfolio
Proprietary INDMAX Catalyst
Enhancing yields of LPG & C3 -C4 olefins

Proprietary Adsorbent for sulfur reduction in Gasoline

Catalyst Portfolio

Selective Diolefin Saturation

DHDT catalyst for BS VI Diesel

Hydrotreating of Jet/Kero/Naphtha
Residue upgradation

Proven capabilities in successful scale-up & commercialization

8 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0

Additives & Catalyst Sold, MT

Cumulative sales volume

IndianOil’s efforts in FCC catalysis
FCC Catalysis

INDMAX:Olefin Production Technology



for Product yields, wt% FCC IndMAX

conversion of heavy hydrocarbon to DG, wt%

1-3 8-10

high yields of LPG/light olefins & high LPG, wt%

25-33 35-42

octane gasoline

Propylene, wt%

7-13 17-22

Residue upgradation

Production of light olefins
Innovative catalyst with improved coke selectivity, bottom accessibility & superior metal tolerance

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Challenges and Opportunities in Refining Catalyst Development