Refinery catalysts are used to enhance operational efficiencies in the petroleum refining process and to counter complex issues such as metal contamination and heat balance effects in shale oil processing.
The market is expected to grow significantly over the next seven years, driven by increasing demand for environmental friendly/high-performance transportation fuels.
Meanwhile, stringent environmental regulations in North America and Europe to curb sulfur and NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions will also have a positive impact on market growth.
Another notable trend is the use of specialty catalysts with improved efficiency, due to increasing refinery complexity and a growing requirement to optimize shale oil and sour crude processing.
In terms of volume, the global refinery catalyst market stood at 1.30 million tons in 2014 and is forecast to grow at an annual rate of of 3.3 percent from 2015 to 2022.
Zeolites accounted for over 30 percent of total volume in 2014. Their properties include high porosity and adjustable acidity, making them suitable for refining and petrochemical production. Zeolites find applications in various processes including olefin alkylation, naphtha isomerization, reforming, hydrocracking and cracking, the report said.
However, the low price of chemical compounds as compared to zeolites, metals and enzymes is expected to make chemical compounds the fastest growing segment in the coming years.
Other materials such as biocatalysts and enzymes are also predicted to show strong growth. In particular, the European Commission’s desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, coupled with regulatory bills intended to promote the biofuel industry, will increase demand for enzyme-based catalysts in Europe.