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The market for refining catalysts is expected to register a CAGR of over 3% during the forecast period. Major factors driving the market studied are the increasing investment in refineries and the accelerating demand for higher octane fuel. However, the volatility in precious metal prices is expected to hinder the market growth.
- By ingredient, the zeolites segment accounted for the largest market share (52%) and is expected to grow during the forecast period owing to the fact that it is used in almost all types of refining units with major consumption in fluidized catalytic cracking units.
- The shifting focus toward nanocatalysts is likely to act as an opportunity in the future.
- Asia-Pacific dominated the market across the globe with the largest consumption from countries, such as China and India.
Key Market Trends
Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) Catalysts to Dominate the Market
- The fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) process plays a crucial role in refineries while producing lighter products from crude oil.
- FCC unit helps in converting a variety of feed types, such as cracked gas oil, gas oil, deasphalted gas oils, vacuum/atmospheric resins, and others, into lighter and high-value products, such as diesel oil, jet fuel, LPG, kerosene, and gasoline.
- Today, there are more than 500 FCC units in the world. Around 35% of the total gasoline and 50% of the total transportation fuel is produced through FCC processing.
- In the FCC unit, the feedstock is heated at high temperature and moderate pressure. Along with this, the feedstock is brought in contact with a catalyst which helps to break the long-chain molecules of the high-boiling hydrocarbon liquids into small molecules, which are further collected in the form of vapors.
- In the FCC process, the catalysts are used in the form of fine powders. Previously, catalysts, such as amorphous silica-alumina were used for cracking vacuum gas oils in the FCC unit. However, in the early 1960s, zeolite was commercially introduced as FCC catalysts, which had been a significant advancement in the history of catalytic cracking.
- Owing to the aforementioned factors, FCC catalysts are of great importance in propelling the market demand for refining catalysts in the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific to Dominate the Market
- Asia-Pacific region accounted for the largest share in the market for refining catalysts with almost half of the global share and is also expected to be the fastest-growing market.
- China is the major market holder and accounted for more than a 40% share of the region. China’s refinery capacity accounts for more than 14% of the world’s refining capacity.
- Additionally, one of the top oil refiners in India, Indian Oil Corp. Ltd announced its plan to invest INR 1.8 trillion along with the expansion of Barauni and Gujarat refineries in order to expand the refining capacity in the country in the coming five years.
- Furthermore, Rotary Engineering Ltd, Singapore has signed a contract with Emirates National Oil Co. (ENOC) of Dubai which amounts to USD 1 billion. Rotary Engineering will make 12 storage tanks refinery which will store the increased production of jet fuel, naphtha, and gasoline blendstocks.
- Such investments are expected to boost the market for refining catalysts in the region during the forecast period.
- The huge growth of Asia-Pacific is quite instrumental in the expansion of the refining catalysts market.
The refining catalysts market is consolidated among the top four players, as they occupy about 80% of the market. The major companies include W. R. Grace & Co.-Conn., Albemarle Corporation, BASF SE, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, and Haldor Topsoe A/S, among others.
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