• What catalyst additive technologies are available to enhance propylene production in our FCC unit?



  • Carl Keeley, Johnson Matthey, carl.keeley@matthey.com

    In general, most FCC operators have several options to increase propylene production:
    • A non-selective route through increasing riser severity
    • A fresh catalyst reformulation to favour propylene production
    • Choosing the correct propylene enhancing additive

    The non-selective route can be implemented fast, which is desirable, but this route uses thermal cracking that will increase dry gas production which has a low product value. A fresh catalyst reformulation takes time to design, implement, evaluate, and fine-tune and does not allow refiners to respond quickly to changing market conditions, so opportunities are missed. The best solution is separate additive additions, allowing units to quickly maximise FCC margins when facing different operating constraints.

    ZSM-5 is a shape selective zeolite that converts gasoline components into propylene, butylene, and isobutane while increasing FCC gasoline octane. ZSM-5 based additives provide the flexibility to optimise catalyst activity, product selectivity, and cost/performance.

    From Johnson Matthey, there are several ZSM-5 based additives that can be used to enhance propylene production. For example, Super Z additive is Johnson Matthey’s most popular olefins enhancement additive. Typically, FCC operations use this additive to enhance LPG production and increase FCC gasoline octane. These users are generally trying to optimise transport fuels production.

    However, sometimes, a higher activity ZSM-5 is desirable. Super Z Excel additive provides higher activity and is popular with refiners that are integrated with petrochemicals production. The higher activity also reduces the potential concern for dilution effects that may be present using higher rates of a lower activity additive. These refiners require the flexibility to move smoothly between fuels and LPG olefins production, and separate, high activity ZSM-5 additions provides this capability.
    In addition, if even more activity is needed, Super Z Exceed additive is available.

    All of Johnson Matthey’s additives have an attrition resistance, bulk density, and particle size distribution fully compatible with the circulating catalyst inventory and are available for delivery in a variety of convenient packaging sizes.

    In addition, Johnson Matthey offers state-of-the-art catalyst and additive addition systems to accurately add catalyst and additive throughout the day, allowing performance and cost optimisation.

    If any clarifications are needed, please do not hesitate to contact Johnson Matthey. We are able to quickly supply additives, field service, technical support, new loaders, and advanced process control providing an industry leading solution for refiners who want to enhance FCC performance.



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