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May 17, 2013

Axens and HTI to jointly promote ebullated-bed technology for upgrading heavy oil

Gerald Ondrey

Axens (Rueil-Malmaison, France; has entered into a technology alliance with HTI, a subsidiary of Headwaters Inc (South Jordan, Utah; The purpose of the alliance is to promote the combined use of Axens' and HTI's technologies to produce clean liquid fuels from residual (“bottom-of-the-barrel”) heavy oil.

The alliance enables the companies to offer HTI’s proprietary HCAT Hydrocracking Technology in conjunction with Axens’ H-Oil ebullated-bed hydrocracking process for residue upgrading. Ebullated-bed hydrocracking reactors are currently in use at 12 petroleum refineries around the world, with several new H-Oil Units in development. While all ebullated-bed systems are designed to attain relatively high levels of residual oil conversion, the combination of the H-Oil and HCAT Technologies, through the addition of HTI’s proprietary liquid catalyst precursor, enables even higher performance levels, either through enabling higher conversion levels than were previously possible, or by allowing refiners to utilize poorer-quality, lower cost crude oil feedstocks.

Christian Dupraz, Axens’ senior executive vice president for Process Licensing says, “This strategic alliance with HTI will allow refineries around the world and Axens H-Oil operators to benefit from the integration of our two complementary technologies. Axens, a global leader in Residue Hydrocracking technologies, will now be able to offer the most advanced and commercially proven residual oil upgrading process, thanks in part to the addition of HTI’s HCAT dispersed-catalyst technology.”


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