Customer driver: Maximising profitability; Margin improvement; changing demand patterns; licence to operate.

Solution: Leading-edge catalysts and technologies, fully integrated, fully integrated technical services and support groups

Value delivered: Creative solutions to address some of the most difficult catalyst problems

Proof point: A CRI catalyst is used in more than half of the world’s EO production

Increasing feedstock costs, legislative constraints, pressure to reduce production costs, the global economic downturn and the subsequent slump in demand for petrochemicals continue to challenge operators. CRI is helping operators meet these challenges in part through state-of-the-art catalytic innovations and solutions.

CRI’s portfolio of leading-edge products includes the following categories:

  • ethylene oxide (EO): CRI offers a range of High-Performance (HP), High-Selectivity (HS), High-Activity and Hybrid catalysts for the production of EO.
  • selective hydrogenation: CRI also supplies base and noble metal catalysts for use in treating ethylene cracker products (C2, C3, C4 and pyrolysis gasoline, pygas), aromatics saturation, olefin hydrogenation, isomerisation and carbonyl saturation. CRI also offers guard beds for sulphur, phosphorus, arsenic and chlorine removal.
  • environmental systems: CRI catalysts facilitate environmental compliance, such as for flue gas treatment for nitrogen oxide reduction; removal of volatile organic compounds or carbon monoxide; and for nitrous oxide decomposition.
  • hydrogen and speciality: CRI provides specialised catalysts for fuel processing, selective and total oxidation, carbon dioxide purification and hydrogen production.

About the technology

Regardless of the unit design, the operating conditions, the feed properties or the product targets, Shell Global Solutions and CRI work with customers to help them with their catalyst needs.

Shell Global Solutions designs its EO production processes around the latest generation of CRI EO catalysts. For more than 40 years, CRI has been a leader in the industry in catalyst technology breakthroughs and safe, efficient and environmentally responsible production of EO and ethylene glycol (EG). Roughly one third of the world’s EO is produced in Shell-licensed plants, and CRI’s catalysts are responsible for more than half of the world’s EO production.

Through its CRI Leuna (formerly known as KataLeuna) brand, CRI provides a comprehensive range of high-performance catalyst products for both first- and second-stage pygas hydrotreating. Over the past seven years, CRI’s share of the pygas catalyst market has grown from ~4 to ~20%, and these products have become the catalysts of choice for some of the world’s major pygas processing companies. CRI Leuna catalysts fully complement Shell Global Solutions’ pygas hydrotreating process technology. 

Process description

CRI’s EO catalysts offer outstanding selectivity performance for efficient EO plant operation, and are designed to reduce ethylene consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

Pygas is normally the last fraction of the various cuts associated with an ethylene steam cracker product stream to be treated. The treatment of pygas typically involves first-stage selective hydrogenation to remove most of the diolefins, followed by second-stage hydrotreatment for sulphur and olefin reduction. Reliable operation of the pygas hydrotreating unit is crucial for uninterrupted cracker operation. CRI Leuna (formerly known as KataLeuna) catalysts are optimised to give maximum performance while mitigating certain operational issues that can be experienced in pygas operations, such as reaction runaway, short catalyst bed life, increased aromatics saturation and reactor bed plugging.

Performance data

CRI was the first company to develop and market HS type EO catalysts, and has continuously improved its products over the last 25 years.

Business value

Have you ever considered how you can

  • Optimise your catalyst choice to your process?
  • Maximise cycle length and unit performance? 

Lessons learned from the use of CRI catalysts in Shell’s commercial production units help in new catalyst development and in understanding process conditions for achieving overall catalyst performance optimisation.

Our highly experienced team will help you to choose the best catalyst for your process, operating conditions and individual constraints. Performance predictions and economic models can also help to optimise unit performance. Where we work closely with our customers in the selection process, we can offer certain unit process performance guarantees for conversion efficiency and catalyst life cycle.

We offer various levels of technical service support and troubleshooting. Our technical service teams include CRI catalyst specialists and engineers* with extensive plant and research experience. We can work with customers to help identify the best catalyst for the plant and production objectives; provide support during turnarounds and operations; predict performance and run length as a function of changing operating conditions; and provide technical support to help address plant problems that may affect catalyst performance.

CRI operates research laboratories, development facilities, manufacturing plants and business units throughout the world.

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Contact Shell Global Solutions

Please contact Shell Global Solutions for further information. Submit your enquiry via the online form and a member of the team will be in touch.