In last two decades, the business of refining catalyst has grown from regional to global level. Refinery product values are dependent on process catalysts of refined products, petrochemical products and chemicals alongwith other refinery operations. One of the major concerns in the refinery is to reduce the sulphur content to the required limit. Hydro-processing catalysts (HPC) are primarily consumed in the hydro-processing operation of crude oil fractions. Such crude oil fractions include kerosene, naphtha and diesel. As a common practice, hydro-processing of crude oil fractionsis carried out at an elevated temperature and pressure.Hydro-processing is required to remove pollutants such as sulphur, heavy metals and nitrogen from fuel oils. These catalysts also help in the catalytic hydrocracking process to crack larger hydrocarbon molecules into smaller sizes,to be used as fuel oils. Thus, hydro-processing catalysts enable conversion of heavy feedstock into lighter products for efficient processing. Hydro-processing catalysts market is the fastest growing refinery catalysts market segment in the world. In addition, hydro-processing catalysts supplement the process control and operational efficiency improvement activities. Therefore, it is expected that the hydro-processing catalyst market will dominate the global refinery catalyst market by 2020.
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The global hydro-processing catalysts market can be categorized on the basis of its product type as molybdenum oxides, cobalt oxides, nickel oxidesand tungsten oxides. These metal oxides are carried on a carrier or matrix of silica, alumina and silica/alumina. Further, global hydro-processing catalysts market can also be categorized on the basis of their applications such as creating cleaner fuels, ultra-low sulphur levels in diesel fuels (ULSD) and others. On the basis of technology, global hydro-processing catalysts market can be segmented as hydro-treating catalysts, hydrogenation catalysts, hydrocracking catalysts, isomerisation catalyst and reforming catalyst. Among these, hydro-treating catalysts are dominant segment at present,accounting for more than half of the global hydro-processing catalysts market.
Refiners are more focusing to maximize residue feedstock yield through hydro-processing catalysts as petroleum product prices are rising globally. This is one of the key supply side drivers of the global hydro-processing catalysts market. Moreover, stringent environmental regulations and legislations are expanding, which, in turn, affects the heaviercrude processing and sulphur elimination process market.Enhanced refinery capacities coupled with the rising oil production are driving the growth of global hydro-processing catalysts market.
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Environmental fuel specifications regulations introduced by Europe, the U.S.and few Asia Pacific countries have been driving the global hydro-processing catalysts market.Further, developed countries have mandate to reduce sulphur content whereassulphur restrictions are implemented in the developing countries such as India, China and Mexico. As hydro-processing catalysts are advantageous to reduce sulphur content, these countries are likely to open up opportunities for hydro-processing catalysts market.
Due to presence of giant oil and gas chemical manufacturers in the refinery catalyst market; the market competition is quite high. Expansion of production facilities in oil producing fields along with the strategic alliances are few of the major market strategies in the global hydro-processing catalysts market.
Some of the major market participants of global hydro-processing catalysts market include HaldorTopsøe, W. R. Grace and Company, Albemarle Corporation, Axens, UOP- Honeywell International Inc., Chevron Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell plc, BASF SE, Criterion Catalysts & Technologies, Criterion catalysts & Technologies and others. Among these, BASF has increased its R&D efforts since it acquired Engelhard. Further, BASF SE has come up with new developments in the processing of residue to increase the quality of yield.W.R. Grace and Companyhas introduced new products inthe hydro-processing catalysts market in the past five years.
Thus, it is clear that global hydro-processing catalysts market participants are focused to expand their business through innovative product launches with specific market application. These innovative products include catalyst to eliminate sulphur content upto mandate limits. The worldwide hydro-processing catalysts market stands ready to meet the challenges, where energy costs significantlyfluctuate. However,fluctuating raw material prices, price spike, price collapse along with the governments enact legislation for certain related products or technologies, the demand of hydro-processing catalyst market are expected to undergo fluctuation.