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Comment Processing & Handling

A new hydrotreating catalyst

By Scott Jenkins |

Hydrotreating is an important petroleum refining process in which sulfur and other contaminants are removed in the manufacture of transportation fuels. At the recent annual meeting of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), Honeywell UOP (Des Plaines, Ill.; www.uop.com) introduced a new hydrotreating catalyst designed to remove sulfur and nitrogen from lower-value diesel-fuel blending components. Known as ULTIMet, the catalyst can process feed material with higher levels of sulfur than previous catalysts in UOP’s hydrotreating portfolio.

The concept behind the new product is to increase catalytic activity by concentrating the number of active sites available for chemical reactions. “There are more active sites per cubic meter of reactor volume than previous catalysts, allowing [ULTIMet] to handle more challenging, lower-priced feedstocks than conventional hydrotreating catalysts,” explains Brenna Huovie, senior business leader for hydrotreating catalysts, adsorbents & specialties at Honeywell UOP.

The ULTIMet catalyst works as a drop-in replacement for existing hydrotreating catalysts, and can be loaded into reactors along with conventional catalysts to improve performance and increase plant capacity without capital expense, UOP says.

UOP’s Huovie also notes that the new catalyst is manufactured with a higher-strength material that prevents particle breakage and increases the attrition resistance of the catalyst material. This can help extend the operating cycle by as much as 50–75%, UOP says.

The ULTIMet catalyst can help to bring lower-value hydrocarbons into compliance with the Euro V fuel standards, which specify sulfur content of less than 10 ppm.

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