How innovative thinking will create the future of energy transition.

Why An Entrepreneurial Mindset Is Key To Energy Innovation

By Chris Egby on Dec 9, 2019

Shell Catalysts & Technologies is committed to advancing the ideas, equipment, and technology that will drive the transition to more, cleaner energy. To help accelerate this transformation, Shell Catalysts & Technologies continues to push an entrepreneurial mindset that relies on a powerful combination of resourcefulness and innovation. Optimising the current infrastructure and processes of “where we are” to move us to “where we want to be” requires considerable industry expertise, experience, and collaborative problem-solving abilities.

Empowering the Future by Leveraging the Past

As a seasoned Downstream Licensing Marketing Manager, I have witnessed the evolution and improvement of many traditional technologies, as well as the conception and development of technologies that will take us into the future. As an industry, we’re constantly moving technologies forward in positive ways. In that spirit, the ongoing transition to cleaner energy will require leveraging the value and benefits of current assets with cutting-edge technologies that offer long-term ROI in terms of both environmental sustainability and economic viability.

Take, for example, Shell’s Gasification Process (SGP). This technology is actually very old, but I believe it has a large role to play in the future, especially when combined with other existing technologies. In the correct process line-up, SGP can turn the heaviest hydrocarbons into syngas which can then either shift into pure CO2 to be captured or used or converted into petrochemicals and intermediates.

Learn More About Gasification Technology

Other traditional bottom-of-the-barrel technologies and combinations of technologies can also be repurposed to drive up the value of the heaviest molecules. Many of these revolve around the hydrocracker and take advantage of the latest innovations in flexible hydrocracking technology to generate increased naphtha yields for petrochemical feedstock. Combining the benefits of long-existing processes and technologies with modern downstream and petrochemical technologies can help refiners enhance margins and reduce their carbon emissions. Interconnecting the past, present, and future often yields a collective value that is much higher than the value of the individual parts.

Institutional Knowledge Drives Future Innovation

Institutional knowledge is critical to successful and profitable downstream licensing processes. Perhaps no other part of the energy industry requires such a heavy reliance on the combination of personal relationships with owners/operators, legacy operations and assets, established protocols and new equipment and technologies.

Shell prioritises the entrepreneurial mindset by encouraging industry experts to leverage their institutional knowledge in ways that can lead to -- sometimes, very unexpected -- discoveries and innovations. For example, Shell Catalysts & Technologies has partnered with KBR to offer customers an opportunity to utilise the synergies between KBR’s ROSE SDA technology and Shell’s flexible hydrocracking and SGP technologies, as well as forming an alliance with Air Products to offer customers alternative attractive business models for SGP.

Gain Insights From Our Next-Level Flexible Hydrocracking White Paper

An Unparalleled Technology Portfolio

Shell Catalysts & Technologies has the ability to transform the energy system and is leading by example with its comprehensive technology portfolio. The world needs energy leaders who understand what needs to happen with energy over the coming years and decades.

The leaders at Shell Catalysts & Technologies use that understanding to help shape our technology portfolio to meet customer demands as the energy landscape changes. Seeing the future of the energy industry through an entrepreneurial mindset means that our organisation fully realises its responsibilities and role in shaping the future of energy in beneficial ways for our customers and the planet. 

The ability of Shell Catalysts & Technologies to tap into the expertise and resources of the wider Shell organisation gives us the ability to broaden our offerings. For example, our technology portfolio includes expertise in supply, trading, and offtake agreements with technology solutions -- giving us a unique selling point in comparison with our competitors. This know-how helps our customers leverage industry trends such as:

  • the shift in liquid fuels in certain regions from diesel (and gasoline to a certain extent) towards increased jet fuel, petrochemicals, and lubricants;
  • the need to reduce carbon emissions both in the processing and consumption of fossil fuels;
  • the increasing content of 2nd generation biofuels and its impact as the world looks for renewable fuel components.

A forward-thinking technology portfolio helps Shell Catalysts & Technologies lead the forefront of these important trends. Shell Catalysts & Technologies offers global and regional expertise and experience across a huge range of technologies, processes, and services in the energy industry. Customers and the industry can collaboratively tap into this value by working closely with us to bring an entrepreneurial mindset to the energy industry.