Hydrotreating Catalyst Market: Introduction
- Hydrotreating is considered a primary process in refineries, which is employed to remove sulfur and nitrogen contaminants from diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel
- Hydrotreating catalysts are produced by coating alumina extradites with potentially active metals such as cobalt, nickel, molybdenum, and/or tungsten
- In the hydrotreating process, hydrogen is mixed with sour hydrocarbon fed inside a reactor, which is filled with cobalt–molybdenum or nickel–molybdenum catalysts. In their active form, cobalt–molybdenum or nickel–molybdenum catalyze the reactions to transform sulfur and nitrogen contaminants into hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. These compounds can be easily removed from the hydrogen off-gas stream in subsequent processing steps. The hydrocarbon product leaving the reactor is an extremely clean motor fuel.
- Hydrotreating catalysts are hygroscopic and they can easily absorb 2%–4% of water on exposure to humid air during the loading process
Key Drivers of Global Hydrotreating Catalyst Market
- Leading players operating in the global oil & gas refinery industry are striving to meet norms regarding clean energy, while ensuring cost-efficient processes. Hydrotreating catalysts enable refineries to meet product specifications at a low cost.
- Government regulations in developing countries to reduce the amount of sulfur oxide emissions from burning of crude oil can also be considered one of the major factors driving the hydrotreating catalyst market in these countries, for example, the new IMO (International Maritime Organization) 2020 Low Sulfur Regulation would be coming into effect from January 1, 2020. As per this regulation, all sea-going vessels worldwide would need to reduce the level of their sulfur emissions by 85%. In order to comply with the regulation, sulfur content in fuel oil should be reduced from 3.50% to 0.50%. In addition to this, the 0.10% sulfur limit is already effective in the Emission Control Areas (ECAs).
- The transportation sector in developing countries such as India and China has witnessed immense growth over the last few years. Increase in the demand for and prices of crude oil are likely to drive the market for hydrotreating catalysts in these countries during the forecast period.
- Moreover, increasing investments in oil refineries have benefited the global market for hydrotreating catalysts. For example, ExxonMobil Corporation has added a third crude unit to its refinery located in Beaumont, Texas (the U.S.) to increase its crude oil refining capacity by 250,000 thousand barrels per day.
Restraints of Global Hydrotreating Catalyst Market
- Global production of transport biofuel rose by over 7% year-on-year in 2018, with 3% of increase in the annual production anticipated in the next few years. Thus, the shift toward biofuel is likely to drive the global hydrotreating catalyst market during the forecast period.
- Moreover, ongoing shift toward electric vehicles led by concerns about environment protection is estimated to hamper sales of vehicles powered by conventional fuels in developed countries in the near future, wherein hydrotreating catalysts are used as fuel enhancers. This is another major factor likely to hinder the global market for hydrotreating catalysts from 2019 to 2027.
- In January 2018, Honeywell announced that UkrGasVydobuvannya (UGV), a Ukraine-based gas producer, had started making use of Honeywell UOP's hydrotreating catalyst called HYT- 4118 Unity for production of ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel at the Shebelinsky refinery in Andreyevka, which is located in the eastern part of Ukraine.
- In November 2018, Albemarle, a leading player in the global specialty chemicals industry, announced that it was set to launch XPLORE, a new platform for the clean transportation fuels industry. The XPLORE catalyst platform was developed by breakthrough research in the hydrotreating catalyst technology, which would allow refineries to produce clean transportation fuels more efficiently in the near future.
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Middle East & Africa to Hold a Major Share of Global Hydrotreating Catalyst Market
- Based on region, the global hydrotreating catalyst market can be classified into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
- Middle East & Africa is likely to dominate the global hydrotreating catalyst market between 2019 and 2027, as the refining capacity of the region increased from nearly 9,284 thousand barrels of oil per day (mbd) in 2013 to 10,646 mbd in 2018 at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of nearly 2.7%, according to a report published by Global Data.
- Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE, Iraq, and Turkey were major countries, accounting for more than 76% of the total refining capacity of the region in 2018
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Key Players Operating in Global Hydrotreating Catalyst Market
Some of the key players operating in the global hydrotreating catalyst market are:
- Haldor Topsoe A/S
- Axens S.A.
- Johnson Matthey PLC
- Albemarle Corp.
- Grace Davison
- Honeywell International Inc.
- R Grace
- Exxon Mobil Corporation