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Value Delivered

​​At Grace, value is all about our customers' financial success. Our world-class technical service and catalyst solutions, developed collaboratively with our customers, provide more than just technology and performance. They are designed to increase each customer's bottom line—by improving yields, increasing throughput or reliability, or solving a problem within the FCC, hydroprocessing or polyolefin unit. Our goal is not just to sell good catalysts; our goal is to strengthen our customers' businesses by providing exceptional financial return on their investment (and faith) in Grace's talent and technology.​

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Turning an IMO 2020 Problem into a High Profit Solution

​Improving FCC Unit Profitability​

​Multiple Approaches for 
Improving Octane​​​​​​​​

​Few refining industry issues have been as discussed by refiners over the last several years as the upcoming IMO regulations on marine fuel quality. In most refineries, the FCC bottoms is a reasonably high sulfur stream (1wt%+), and the combination of the high sulfur and the suspended catalyst particulates create a specific challenge for marine fuel blending under IMO 2020. At the same time, the value of middle distillates, including FCC LCO, is pushing toward a relative maximum – purely based on non-IMO market drivers. Together, these forces line up to drive the incentive to upgrade FCC bottoms to LCO to an all-time high. Prior to the new IMO regulations, upgrading FCC bottoms to higher value products was often the fastest route to higher profitability. With the onset of new marine regulations, this incentive is expected to become the most significant economic driver for even more FCCs globally.​​

​Close collaboration was key to helping Hellenic Petroleum S.A.'s (HELPE) Aspropyrgos refinery enhance FCC unit profitability. Aspropyrgos refinery's FCC unit is an Exxon FlexiCrackeR® design, aiming at propylene production and minimum bottoms yield. To enhance profitability, HELPE made a series of improvements to debottleneck certain downstream units. Grace provided an enhanced catalyst system using MIDAS® catalyst and OlefinesUltra® MZ additive technologies. Clear target setting from the HELPE FCC team, as well as the reliability of the data provided aided in the reformulation, while Grace worked to ensure a smooth transition to the new catalyst system. The estimated improvement in the unit's profitability via the new technology amounts to at least 0.60​ $/bbl. excluding any gasoline octane premium.​

For many refineries meeting new, challenging ultra-low sulfur gasoline regulations (Tier 3) will require operating adjustments, catalyst formulation changes, and/or capital investment. Many operating strategies that reduce sulfur may reduce gasoline octane, which is often undesirable due to refinery octane requirements. Find out more about octane fundamentals and the specifics of the Tier 3 regulations through several case studies from Grace that illustrate strategies for preserving octane, maximizing alkylation rates, and reducing sulfur to maintain regulatory compliance. ​​

download icon2.pngTurning an IMO 2020 Problem into a High Profit Solutiondownload icon2.png

Improving FCC Unit Profitability

download icon2.pngDriving Octane in an Ultra-Low Sulfur Gasoline ​Market


Innovative Catalyst Solution Unlocks FCC Value

​Maximising Propylene in the FCC Unit​

​​Maximizing diffusion of feed into and products out of an FCC catalyst is critical to unlocking the full value potential of an FCC unit in which the riser residence time is only a few seconds.  Through a collaborative effort between Motiva, Grace, and Rive, an innovative catalyst solution incorporating Rive’s mesoporous zeolite was designed and trialed at a Motiva USGC refinery.  The trial results demonstrated the​​ significant value that this technology can bring to an FCC unit.  During and since the trial, Motiva has been able to realize uplift in the range of $0.40 to $1.20 /BBL (within the boundary of the FCC unit) depending on the market economics. ​ ​

​Comparative trials with FCC catalyst formulations identified a winner on olefins selectivity and other factors. In this case study, Grace shows the comparative advantage of our catalyst system of ProtAgon 4G/Olefins Ultra MZ. At this integrated international oil and gas company headquarterd in Vienna, the FCCU’s profitability improved due to higher propylene and isobutylene selectivity, improved dry gas selectivity, better bottoms-to-coke yield, improved bottoms upgrading, excellent attrition resistance, and somewhat lower catalyst usage. Moreover, the catalyst change did not affect CO promotion and helped maintain unit particulate and NOx emissions. Read more about the factors that went into the development of this profitable change for the refiner. ​

download icon2.pngMotiva Unlocks Value in the FCCU through an Innovative Catalyst Solution from Rive and Grace download icon2.png