For a catalyst change-out, refineries and petrochemical plants need to decide which catalyst to load in their units. The first question is which performance criteria the next catalyst batch needs to meet to make it an acceptable solution for a subsequent cycle. The second question is whether these objectives can be achieved with a regenerated catalyst or whether it is necessary to load a fresh catalyst, with a new loading diagram based on changed unit operating objectives.
If it is decided to load a fresh catalyst, an enquiry document needs to be issued. It is important for the enquiry document to be complete and consider scenarios to which the unit may be subjected in the future, such as likely feedstock quality and variability, hydrogen supply and throughput. It is essential to be clear about the objectives of the unit and identify the best solution for meeting those objectives.
If the unit operation is well known and the unit is not stretched, costs may be optimised as several offers meet all requirements. If the future operation of the unit is uncertain, however, and the unit is a constraint in the total refinery or chemical plant optimisation, it is advisable to identify the constraints that are likely to occur and find the solution that addresses those constraints in the best possible manner.
Catalyst Intelligence can assist in writing a complete enquiry document and evaluating the offers from the various suppliers.
If it is decided to use a regenerated catalyst, Catalyst Intelligence can help with preparing for the change-out, selecting a regenerated catalyst from inventory, planning the turnaround regeneration with selected suppliers, drafting acceptance criteria for regeneration and monitoring the sampling, analysis and processing of the spent catalyst, to minimise downtime and ensure that the highest-possible-quality regenerated catalyst is re-loaded.