Ergon selects Avantium to perform independent catalyst testing evaluation

AMSTERDAM, 6 October 2021 – Ergon, Inc., has selected Avantium RDS to evaluate two hydroprocessing catalyst systems, utilizing the Avantium Flowrence® technology.

The results obtained in Avantium Flowrence® unit with 16 parallel single-pellet-string reactors corresponded closely to results obtained at Ergon’s conventional unit with a single-reactor pilot and catalyst volume above  500 cc, with relative average deviations less than 1% for HDS and HDN. In the conventional unit, the catalyst schemes were tested one at a time, while in the Flowrence® unit the schemes were tested in parallel and in quadruplicate for increased accuracy – at two different space velocities – see the PTQ article here.

Due to excellent hydrodynamics[1] of the single-pellet-string reactor and sophisticated process control, the Avantium unit achieved high reproducibility resulting in average deviations of less than 0.2 wppm for HDS and HDN across the quadruple reactors with the same loading scheme.

Avantium high-throughput technology unit is a suitable alternative to the conventional pilot plant for the customer’s lube oil hydrotreater and with clear advantages of parallel testing, lower cost and feed amounts. It also has increased flexibility on testing more options. Moreover, due to the small scale of testing, safe operation can be accomplished in a laboratory setting where this would be difficult to achieve with the same number of reactors at conventional scale.

While this particular study considered base oil hydrotreating for a single feedstock, Avantium equipment and methodology can also be employed to evaluate several feedstocks simultaneously. Moreover, the same technology has been used successfully to examine other fixed-bed catalytic processes, including hydrocracking, hydrodewaxing, catalytic reforming, and hydroisomerization.

“This study clearly shows the scalability of Avantium high-throughput technology to much larger conventional pilot plants. Equally important is the reproducibility across the quadruple reactors. We are committed to providing our customers meaningful results to enable fact-based decisions and ultimately increase their competitiveness and profitability.” Tiago Vilela, Director Business Development, Refinery Catalyst Testing

[1] Van der Waal J. C. et al., 2014, “Realistic Catalyst Testing in High-Throughput Parallel Small-Scale Reactor Systems,” in Hagemeyer A., and Volpe A. F., eds., Modern Applications of High Throughput R&D in Heterogeneous Catalysis, Pp. 197-226 (30)

About Ergon

Ergon is a family-owned company that operates in seven business segments: Refining & Marketing, Specialty Chemicals, Asphalt & Emulsions, Midstream & Logistics, Oil & Gas, Construction & Real Estate, and Corporate. Within Ergon’s refining segment, Ergon Refining, Inc., is the world’s largest producer of specialty naphthenic oils and Ergon – West Virginia, Inc., is a major manufacturer of Group I and Group II paraffinic base oils. Product lines include HyGold base oils, HyPrene process oils, HyVolt insulating oils, and HyPrint ink oils.

About Avantium

Avantium is a leading technology development company and a forerunner in renewable chemistry, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Avantium RDS helps customers to accelerate their catalyst R&D – offering innovative systems and services to unveil deeper insights into catalyst properties and performance. Avantium’s proven Flowrence parallel fixed bed reactor platform generates extremely accurate and repeatable data and is optimally configured for side-by-side catalyst performance tests, allowing for a direct comparison of the catalyst performance without compromise data quality (repeatability, reproducibility and scalability) with low amounts of feed (less waste generated). 

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