Fluid Catalytic Cracking can be defined as a secondary chemical conversion process that breaks down the hydrocarbon fractions present in crude oil into simpler fractions that can be commercially utilized such as olefinic gases, gasoline and various other important petroleum based products. This is basically a secondary petroleum refining process where a specific fraction of crude oil with a boiling point of 340 degree Celsius or more is introduced as the feedstock to the fluid catalytic cracking process.
The reaction is initiated and then further augmented in the refinery by the combination of heated crude oil and activated fluid catalytic cracking catalysts such as zeolites and lanthanum oxide.The catalyst introduced into the fluid catalytic cracking reaction should be able to maintain its chemical composition at high temperature and pressure, have large surface area and pore pits, should not produce by-products such as coke by itself and must be able to initiate reaction at a high rate.
Global fluid catalytic cracking catalyst market is mainly dominated by the Asia Pacific region in terms of production and consumption. Growing refining activity along with developed end use industry in the region has propelled the demand for Fluid Catalytic Cracking catalysts, with China expected to dominate the Fluid Catalytic Cracking catalyst market followed by India and Japan. In Middle East & Africa region, GCC countries are the major suppliers of the crude oil and refined products. It is expected that the Fluid Catalytic Cracking catalyst market in this region will register significant CAGR over the forecast period.
In North America, the U.S. is a major market for petroleum products and with increase in the refining operations, the Fluid Catalytic Cracking catalyst market is expected to register significant growth over the forecast period. Europe is a mature market for the FCC catalysts and economic slowdown in the Eastern Europe has resulted in slow growth of the FCC catalyst market and is expected to register steady growth over the forecast period.
Fluid catalytic cracking catalysts are made up of four major components namely a catalytic site, which provides most of the catalytic reaction, a matrix site providing additional catalytic activity along with the main catalytic site and binders & fillers, which equip the catalysts with necessary physical strength holding the catalytic sites together. In order to extract the full potential of fluid catalytic cracking catalysts, it is very important that the feedstock must be devoid of any metallic contaminants.
Growing urbanization coupled with the prompt growth of chemical industry in emerging economies such as China and India have resulted in increased demand for petroleum products, which subsequently increase the market demand for Fluid Catalytic Cracking Catalysts. The high demand for the ultra-low sulphur content diesel and aviation fuel is another major driving factor for the growth of fluid catalytic cracking process, which in turn paves a way for the growth of Fluid Catalytic Cracking Catalysts.
Industry’s concern over the minimization of operation cost of the petroleum refining process has viewed Fluid Catalytic Cracking as the best alternative for the cracking of petroleum fractions leading to bolstering demand for catalysts. Manufacturers are emphasized on the development of fluid catalytic cracking catalysts for the refining operation to increase the yield of the petroleum products.
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