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Catalysts in Refining Processes

Catalysts in Refining Processes

5 days
This course is not scheduled.
Who should attend?


    • Engineers and managers in the operations, process development or technical departments of refineries.
    • Project engineers, process engineers or technical assistance and commissioning personnel in engineering or licensing and catalyst suppliers.


  • Advanced
  • This course provides a deeper understanding of catalysts: their preparation, performance control, troubleshooting during operation, unit start-up, shutdown and regeneration.
Learning Objectives
  • Upon completion of the course, the participants will be able to:
  • grasp the role and the basic mechanism of a catalyst,
  • assess the link between preparation and catalytic properties,
  • understand the issues related to industrial use (start-up, shutdown, regeneration, etc,),
  • analyze the influence of operating parameters on catalytic selectivity and stability,
  • master the methods for performance monitoring.
Course Content


1.25 days

  • Main types of catalytic processes and related catalyst markets in the refining and heavy petrochemical industries.
  • Main features of catalysis:
  • Thermodynamics in a chemical reaction. Kinetics in heterogeneous catalysis.
  • Quality requirements for an industrial catalyst, characterization of its properties.
  • Processes for catalyst synthesis and industrial production of catalysts.


3.25 days

  • The following items are presented for each refining unit: process and chemical reaction characteristics, selection and developments of catalytic formula, catalyst implementation, process flow diagram; process performances and catalyst monitoring. The specific features for the corresponding type of catalyst are emphasized.
  • Catalytic reforming catalysts:
  • Precautions for start-up, monitoring and maintaining catalyst activity, incidents. Regeneration steps.
  • Catalytic formulas for the regenerative process.
  • Solution for benzene removal.
  • Isomerization catalysts:
  • Different types of catalysts and process arrangement. Impact on the resulting octane number.
  • Influence of poisons on the catalytic activity and operational constraints linked to the type of catalyst.
  • Catalytic cracking catalysts:
  • Zeolite structure and design for yield optimization.
  • Analysis of catalyst ageing.
  • Improvements of LCO and propylene yields.
  • Improvements in catalyst regeneration. Metal passivation and solutions for Vanadium effects.
  • Additives for emission reduction; adaptation for residue treatment.
  • C3/C4 Alkylation catalysts:
  • Mechanisms of liquid homogeneous HF and H2SO4 catalysis.
  • Process performance and particular constraints.
  • Hydrotreatment and hydrocracking catalysts:
  • Active phase structure, sulfiding at start-up.
  • Specific issues in treating unsaturated cuts from coker, visbreaker and FCC.
  • Evolution of catalytic formulas and processes for heavy cuts and residue hydrotreatment.
  • Selective hydrogenation and hydrotreatment of FCC gasolines minimizing octane loss.
  • Adaptation of catalytic formulas for heavy feedstock hydrocracking.
  • Catalysts for Claus converter and tail gas treatment:
  • Claus catalysts. Impact of sulfur deposition and temperature on conversion.
  • COS and CS2 hydrolysis. Deactivation and regeneration.
  • Adaptation to tail gas treatment processes.


0.5 day

  • Precautions in the transport and the manipulation of catalysts.
  • Follow-up of performances, from the start-up to the regeneration; metals recovery.
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Ways & Means
  • Active participation of trainees through interactive exercises to grasp the key points of the course.
  • A summary per unit is built to highlight key issues.