Worldwide markets are poised to achieve steady growth as countries impose stricter environment controls on the manufacture and use of fossil fuels.
Hydroprocessing catalysts are used to create cleaner fuels--especially ULSD. Demand for cleaner fuels is driving the market. Refining catalysts are experiencing strong growth this year. New fuel standards are coupled with refinery increasing use of heavier and dirtier feedstocks and major additions to refining capacity. Refining catalysts are moving to a more balanced market. Producers of fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts had a surge in demand. The market is shifting from one characterized by oversupply to a more stable sales effort. Hydroprocessing catalyst supply-demand is evolving.
Hydroprocessing catalysts are the fastest-growing refinery catalysts. These catalysts help control and improve the operational efficiencies in the petroleum refining process. Demand is lower for the more mature FCC catalysts than the hydroprocessing catalysts. Hydroprocessing catalysts have passed FCC catalysts, becoming the largest segment of the refinery catalyst market.
Low sulfur regulations in developed countries, implementation of some sulfur restrictions in China, India and Mexico, and other countries is a significant market driving force. Increasingly higher sulfur-content is present in oil coming out of the ground.
The rapidly increasing demand for gasoline and diesel has increased the requirement for raw materials for their production. The limited supply of raw materials increases the overall cost of production.
Reforming catalysts are fundamental to the modernization of product reformate. They contain hydrocarbons with more complex molecular shapes having higher octane values than the hydrocarbons in the naphtha feedstock. The process separates hydrogen atoms from the hydrocarbon molecules and produces significant amounts of byproduct hydrogen gas.
Hydrogen is useful for fuel cells, meaning that refineries could become environments for generating electricity. Hydrogen is useful in stationary fuel cells that are evolving a market for providing local power in campus environments. Local power generation is becoming more valued as people realize that the cost of conditioning electricity for the grid is an unnecessary expense in local power environments.
Stationary fuel cells represent the base for distributed power generation worldwide. No more new coal plants, no mare extensions to the grid. Distributed power has become mainstream. Distributed generation (DG) refers to power generation at the point of consumption. The use of hydrogen and the manufacture of hydrogen in refinery environments could become significant aspect of markets.