Published: February 25, 2019 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Catalyst Mean?

A catalyst is a substance that when added to a process, increases its rate of chemical reaction, but itself remains unchanged. Catalysts have become an important part of oil refining processes, and are used in refineries to improve the yield and quality of fuel.

Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) and catalytic hydrotreating are some of the processes that utilize catalysts in their refining process in order to derive better quality fuel and enhance fuel properties.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Catalyst

Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) is an operation used to produce additional gasoline during the refining process. The catalyst in FCC is solid sand like material that turns fluid by the hot vapor and liquid that is fed into the FCC. The now fluid catalyst is able to circulate around the FCC and helps to make new smaller molecules from the larger ones in order to distillate fuel and produce gasoline.

Catalytic hydrotreating is another process that mixes oil and hydrogen gas under mild pressures and moderate temperature. This mixture flows through a tank filled with catalyst pellets, usually cobalt or nickle-molybdenum, for a part of the way, after which the catalyst ends at a metal screen and the gas is stripped away as new hydrogen gas enters.

Thus the contaminated gasses that can hinder additional reactions are removed and the mixture is allowed to pass through more catalyst till it reaches the reactor bottom.


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