Heavy Oil Cracking Catalyst Market: Overview
- Cracking catalysts such as alumina, silica, and zeolites are used in the petroleum refining process to refine heavy fuel oils into lighter, smaller, and simpler short-chain molecules of fuel
- These cracking catalysts are used for cracking the residue; improving the gasoline yield; reducing the olefin content; and providing hydrothermal stability, resistance to heavy metal pollution, mechanical strength, and high heavy oil cracking ability
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Zeolite Catalysts to Gain Traction in Heavy Oil Cracking Catalyst Market
- In terms of type, the global heavy oil cracking catalyst market can be segmented into alumina, silica, zeolites, and others. The zeolites segment is estimated to hold a major share of the global market in the near future.
- Zeolite catalysts are widely used for light naphtha isomerization, olefin alkylation, reforming, cracking, and hydrocracking
- Global demand for heavy oil cracking catalysts is anticipated to increase during the forecast period, owing to high usage of zeolites as catalysts in the refining & petrochemistry sector
- Unique surface chemistry and low cost of mineral molecular sieve zeolites are factors projected to create scope for processing of highly contaminated heavy oils such as bitumen in the near future
- Demand for zeolite catalysts in the refining of heavy oils is expected to increase in the next few years, due to the crystalline morphology of these catalysts that promotes high exterior surface area and low cost disposal. Thus, zeolite catalysts are highly preferred over other catalysts for use in the refining of heavy oils.
- Furthermore, zeolite catalysts are gaining popularity among oil and petroleum refiners, as they are highly acidic in nature and possess an excellent characteristic of removal of nitrogen bases, associated heavy metals, and sulfur. This is estimated to propel the global heavy oil cracking catalyst market during the forecast period.
Adoption of New Heavy Oil Cracking Technologies to Boost Demand
- Recently, rising incidences stating the worsening quality of crude oil have led to an emerging need for unconventional petroleum feedstocks such as heavy oils, bitumen, and residues. Thus, processing of such unconventional petroleum feedstocks has become increasingly important.
- The processing of heavy oil feedstocks calls for development of new and effective techniques that would lead to increase in the yield of light fractions, suppression of coke formation, and saturation of liquid products with hydrogen. Increase in the rate of adoption of effective cracking catalysts, such as alumina, silica, and zeolites, for refining of heavy oils is projected to meet these rising needs in the next few years.
- Moreover, utilization of cracking catalysts for heavy oils minimizes capital and operating costs of the process. This is estimated to boost the demand for heavy oil cracking catalysts during the forecast period.
- New catalyst alternatives that help in reducing emissions of sulfur, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide and in maximizing propylene production in fuels are being introduced on a commercial scale
- Such fuels with ultra-low sulfur content are primarily used in aviation. High demand for these fuels in the aerospace & aviation industry is anticipated to drive the global heavy oil cracking catalyst market during the forecast period.
- Thus, technological upgrade and enhancement of existing equipment in the petroleum refining industry are estimated to boost the demand for heavy oil cracking catalysts in the near future
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North America Anticipated to Dominate Global Heavy Oil Cracking Catalyst Market
- In terms of region, the global heavy oil cracking catalyst market can be divided into five regions: North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
- North America accounted for a major share of the global heavy oil cracking catalyst market in 2018
- North America is a leading consumer of heavy oil cracking catalysts, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. Rise in the demand for heavy oil cracking catalysts as fuel catalysts in developed economies, such as the U.S. and Canada, is expected to boost the market in the region during the forecast period. Furthermore, North America is a major producer of heavy oil cracking catalysts in the world. Countries such as the U.S. and Canada have a strong network for distribution of heavy oil cracking catalyst products. The U.S. manufactures heavy oil cracking catalysts in substantial amounts and exports them to Europe and Asia.
- Implementation of stringent regulations led by rising concerns related to the environment in developed economies in North America is expected to boost the demand for heavy oil cracking catalysts in the region in the near future
- The market for heavy oil cracking catalysts in Europe is anticipated to expand at a moderate pace in the next few years, as oil refiners prefer the hydrocracking process over the use of cracking catalysts. Higher demand for diesel and kerosene than that for gasoline among consumers in the region has resulted in low preference for cracking catalysts.
- The market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period, due to the rise in industrialization and growth of the petroleum refinery sector in countries such as China and India. Rise in the demand for heavy oil cracking catalysts in Asia Pacific has encouraged catalyst manufacturers in China to establish new production lines. This is likely to boost the demand for heavy oil cracking catalysts in the country in the next few years.
- Advancements in the composition of heavy oil cracking catalysts and advent of new manufacturing technologies are estimated to drive the demand for heavy oil cracking catalysts in Asia Pacific in the near future
- Increase in FDIs (foreign direct investments) in the petroleum industry in developing economies of Asia Pacific and Latin America is another key factor that is anticipated to drive the market in the region during the forecast period
- The heavy oil cracking catalyst market in the Middle East is projected to expand at a rapid pace during the next few years, owing to the rise in investments in downstream activities in the oil & gas industry in the sub-region
Key Players Operating in Global Heavy Oil Cracking Catalyst Market
Key players operating in the global heavy oil cracking catalyst market have maintained strong relations with stakeholders, by undergoing lateral and vertical integrations. These companies are focused on distributing their products through effective distribution channels in order to gain higher market share.