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Catalyst regeneration is a process that renews catalysts, making them reusable after the initial usage. Regenerated catalysts are used in several processes such as reforming, which is a refinery process that converts low octane products into high octane products (reformates). Regenerated catalyst can be used for both steam and naphtha reforming. Other refining processes that make use of regenerated catalysts include hydrogenation, alkylation, hydro cracking, hydro-desulfurization and hydro-treatment. 


The catalyst regeneration market has been segmented based on three end-user applications: commercial, residential and industrial. New norms and regulations associated with waste disposal and carbon emission control have compelled industries to process their spent catalyst waste before disposing them into streams. In the U.S., spent catalysts are classified as hazardous wastes by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA included spent hydro-refining catalysts and spent hydro-treating catalysts to its list of wastes due to their toxic chemical content and self-heating property. Industries outsource spent catalysts to catalyst regenerators. Catalyst regenerators then enhance the properties of catalysts and distribute them to contracted clients or other buyers.


Stringent environmental regulations and high cost of catalysts are the drivers for catalyst regeneration. Furthermore, demand for offshore catalyst regeneration is increasing in emerging countries. Emerging countries prefer regenerated catalysts over fresh catalysts due to lower cost. Furthermore, strict regulations compel catalyst-based industries to reprocess spent catalysts before disposing them. All these factors are fuelling the market for catalyst regeneration, thereby increasing the market share of offshore catalyst regeneration at a rapid pace.


The offshore segment is anticipated to maintain the highest share in the catalyst regeneration application segment. Certain regulations such as, China Emission Legislation, in Asia Pacific are driving the market for offshore reprocessing of spent catalysts. Growing population in Asia coupled with demand for products from different industries, such as polymer, refinery and chemical, is generating new opportunities for the catalyst regeneration market. The overall outlook of the market players in this region has historically been of cost optimization and operational efficiency in nature. This has further fuelled the adoption of catalyst regeneration as a viable alternative.


In 2012, Asia Pacific accounted for the highest market share, followed by North America. Countries in Asia Pacific have peak catalyst demands with increasing popularity of offshore application for this market. Europe was close behind in terms of catalysts regenerated. The region was followed by North America and Rest of the World (RoW). North American market is continuing with the utilization of fresh catalyst that is used in leading end use industries such as refinery, chemical and polymer in the region. The global market share trend of in-situ and ex-situ catalyst regeneration was replicated in individual regions as well. The Rest of the World (RoW) segment includes Latin America, the Middle East and Russia. Even though current market volumes for this segment are low, there are moderately high possibilities of market growth in the near future.


Companies such as Albemarle Corporation, Porocel Adsorbents and Catalysts & Services are expected to dominate the catalyst regeneration market. These companies accounted for more than 50% of the global market share in terms of revenue in 2012. These companies are likely to continue holding the largest market share during the forecast period. Other players in the market include Axens S.A., Bayer Technology & Services GmbH, CoaLogix and Haldor Topsoe.


Catalyst regeneration entails the processing of spent catalysts in order to make them reusable. This is done by reinstating chemical properties of spent catalysts and thereby increasing their efficiency through a process called catalyst regeneration. The major advantage of catalyst regeneration is that it costs less than fresh catalysts. Catalyst regeneration is carried out through two methods: in-situ and ex-situ. Catalyst regeneration is a chemical process that is used to convert naphtha into reformates, which contain high-octane gasoline. This process re-arranges hydrocarbons in naphtha feedstock and breaks down some molecules into smaller size. It reformates the spent catalyst with complex molecular shape and produces large amounts of hydrogen gas which can be used in various other processes involved in petroleum refinery. Vladimir Haensel, a research chemist employed with Universal Oil Products (UOP), introduced a catalytic reforming product using a catalyst containing platinum in 1940. UOP marketed this process in 1949 in order to produce high octane petrol from low octane naphtha. The process was called Platforming process. 


The first Platforming unit was built at the refinery of the Old Dutch Refining Company in 1949. Major oil companies then developed many versions of this process to produce gasoline from low octane naphtha. Currently, most of the oil refineries in the world produce gasoline from the catalytic reforming process. The catalyst regeneration is performed between every 6 - 24 months. The unit used to reform the catalyst has three reactors and a bed of catalyst fixed to it. Such a unit is termed Semi Regenerative Catalytic (SRR).  


Some units have a spare reactor that can be independently isolated so that one reactor undergoes in-situ regeneration while the other is in operation. The latest category of catalytic reformers is termed Continuous Catalyst Regeneration (CCR). These units undergo constant in-situ regeneration of a part of a catalyst in the special regenerator and continuous addition of regenerated catalyst into operating reactors. Of late, the usage of CCR units has increased rapidly in refinery and chemical industries in order to create aromatics from naphtha and paraffin. 


This research is designed to estimate, analyze and forecast the global market revenue for catalyst regeneration. The research provides in-depth analysis of service (catalyst regeneration) providers and suppliers of regenerated catalysts, technology by segmentation and market revenue by geography. 


The report also provides brief information on the value chain of the catalyst regeneration market. Value chain of the catalysts regeneration market includes several steps such as spent catalyst procurement, regenerating catalyst which is followed by distributing regenerated catalyst to end users. The report covers key applications, geography and revenue generated by the catalyst regeneration market. It also provides detailed analysis, historical data and statistically refined forecast for the segments covered. Catalyst regeneration increases the efficiency of spent catalysts, making them reusable. The report provides an estimate of the ongoing trends in the global market followed by an inclination towards the catalyst regeneration market by an end user’s perspective. 

The market size for catalyst regeneration has been estimated based on two applications: on-site and off-site catalyst regeneration. Furthermore, the market has been analyzed based on geography. Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, and Rest of the World (RoW) are the major geographic areas covered in the report. Each geographical region has been segmented further based on applications in terms of volume. Revenue forecasts and estimates for each segment have been provided for the period from 2013 to 2019. 


The price of catalyst regeneration is less than that of fresh catalysts that governs the overall market growth. Prices also depend on the methods used such as on-site and off-site regeneration. The study presents a comprehensive assessment of stakeholder strategies, winning imperatives for them by segmenting the catalyst regeneration market as below:

  • Catalyst Regeneration Market: Technology Analysis
    • Onshore
    • Offshore
  • Catalyst Regeneration Market: Regional Analysis
    • North America
    • Europe
    • Asia Pacific
    • Rest of the World (RoW)

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Catalyst Regeneration

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