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Delivering world class hydrogen plant performance

The world that we live in today is constantly changing; 50 years from now it will be unrecognisable. We live during a period of significant population growth, with increasing urbanisation and increasing wealth. The population is not only increasing, it is also getting older, and it demands better health and nutrition. There are increasing constraints on our natural resources, with energy security, resource efficiency, alternative energy and recycling becoming global issues. And we face an increasingly diverse set of environmental factors as a result of climate change and ever tightening regulation. All of these factors impact on our industries to a greater or lesser extent.

On-purpose hydrogen production is an essential component of many industrial processes and the growth in this industry is driven by a variety of these global changes. For some, such as industrial gas companies, hydrogen gas is a product, whilst for others, such as oil refineries, it is considered to be a utility. On downstream chemical plants it is a critical feedstock in polymer production and for chemical intermediates such as aldehydes, alcohols, cyclohexane and polyurethanes as well as various hydrogenation reactions. Hydrogen rich gas is also required in processes such as glass making, direct reduction of metals and Towns Gas manufacture. Johnson Matthey Catalysts is a world leading supplier of hydrogen plant catalysts to these industries.

Refinery hydrogen production
In oil refineries, hydrogen is predominately used in oil refinery processes including hydrotreating, hydrocracking, dearomatization and isomerization. Across the world, “onpurpose” hydrogen capacity in refineries is increasing due to tighter fuel specifications, the processing of heavier and sourer crudes, increasing need for lighter crude oil products and strong demand for chemical intermediates.

Estimates suggest growth of 6% to 8% in the hydrogen market over the next five years as demand for hydrogen increases, particularly in Asia. Reliable operation is the key requirement for a refinery hydrogen plant.

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