FCC catalyst market size is forecast to reach US$3.3 billion by 2027, after growing at a CAGR of 4.1% during 2022-2027. Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) is a type of processing unit used in petroleum refineries to produce additional gasoline during the refining process. Basically, it is a chemical process that utilizes a catalyst and heat to break long-chain hydrocarbons into smaller-chain hydrocarbons. These catalysts are primarily used to convert the high-boiling point crude oils into gasoline, olefinic gases, and other petroleum products. Vacuum gas oil (VGO) is a key feedstock for fluid catalytic crackers used to make transportation fuels. An electrostatic precipitator (ESP) is used to remove residual particulate in FCC catalyst. Rapid urbanization along with the expansion of chemical processing industries in developing nations is driving the market growth for FCC catalysts. The growing demand for petroleum products, ultra-low sulfur content diesel, and aviation fuel are also driving the demand for the FCC catalyst market. The various governments are also investing in petroleum refining activities in order to meet the demand. According to Investindia estimations, approximately US$58 billion will be invested in E&P by 2023, and US$60 billion will be invested in natural gas infrastructure by 2024. However, high investment, as well as operational costs, are likely to restrain the market growth during the forecast period.
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting different industries; one of the few industries that were primarily hit to some extent was the oil & gas industry. The demand for oil & gas is low during the covid-19 crises which are further impacted the FCC catalyst market. The delay in oil refining activities across the globe impacted the market growth for FCC catalyst during covid-19. However, the FCC Catalyst industry faced problems related to the lack of workforce, and lack of raw materials supply among others.
FCC Catalyst Market Segment Analysis – By Ingredients
The zeolites segment accounted for approximately 26% of the market share in 2021 and is estimated to grow at a high CAGR during the forecast period. Zeolites are microporous, aluminosilicate minerals commonly used as commercial adsorbents and catalysts. Zeolite is the key component that is more active and selective for high-octane number gasoline productions. Zeolite acts as a solid acid catalyst to convert crude oil into a more valuable product, such as gasoline and olefin. According to a research paper, fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts account for more than 95% of the global zeolite catalyst consumption. According to the data published by USGS, In 2019, the United States produced an estimated 98,000 tons of natural zeolites, a 14% increase from that in 2018 and approximately 92,000 tons of natural zeolites were sold in the United States during 2019.
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FCC Catalyst Market Segment Analysis – By Application
The vacuum gas oil (VGO) feed segment accounted for approximately 24% of the market share in 2021 and is estimated to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period. Vacuum gas oil is used as a feedstock to enhance gasoline and diesel production from refineries. The primary use of VGO is as feed to cracking units such as the FCC or the hydrocracker. The growing production of petroleum products such as petrol and diesel is supporting the market growth for VGO feed. According to the facts published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, The U.S. crude oil production reached almost 11.8 million b/d in November 2021 and the administration estimated that the production will rise to an average of 12.0 million b/d in 2022.
FCC Catalyst Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
Asia Pacific region held a significant share in the FCC catalyst market in 2021, up to 35%, owing to the rapid growth in oil refining plants in the region. The presence of developing nations such as India and China is driving the market growth in the region. The increasing fuel consumption in developing countries such as China, India, and Indonesia, among others is supporting the market growth for the FCC catalyst market. According to the data published by BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019, the Asia-Pacific region has the largest oil refining capacity in the world, processing about 34.75 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018. China contributed approximately 15.6% of the world’s oil refining capacity in 2018.
FCC Catalyst Market Drivers
Growing investment in oil refining
The oil and gas sector is among the core industries in both developing and developed regions and plays a major role in influencing decision-making for all the other important sections of the economy. The growing demand for petrol, diesel, and other petroleum products is driving the market for FCC catalysts. According to the data published by IBEF, the government of India plans to invest US$ 102.49 billion (Rs. 7.5 trillion) in oil and gas infrastructure in the next five years (2021-2025). The Ratnagiri refinery one of the oil & gas company in India has a significantly high planned FCC capacity of 312 Mbpd. The refinery is expected to start its operations in 2022 with a total capex of US$ 40 billion. The North American region is also expected to hold a significant share during the forecast period. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), there were 129 operable petroleum refineries in the United States.
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FCC Catalyst Market Challenges
Decline in the demand for gasoline in developed nations
The growing usage of electric vehicles in developed regions is one of the major factors impacting the market for FCC catalysts during the forecast period. The growing usage of biofuels such as biodiesel among end-user is hampering the market growth. The increasing emissions that are released into the environment from automobiles and industrial processing units have been harming the environment significantly. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a typical vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of CO2 per year. Hence the growing government regulations are also impacting the market for FCC catalysts.
FCC Catalyst Industry Outlook
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the FCC catalyst market. FCC catalyst top 10 companies include
In July 2020, BASF commercial launched Altrium™, a new Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) catalyst for mild to heavy resid feedstock. Altrium incorporates BASF’s newest Advanced Innovative Matrix (AIM) and the proven technology IZY (Improved Zeolite-Y).
In March 2020, BASF developed a new FCC catalyst, named Fortune, for Gasoil feedstock. The product is based on BASF’s Multiple Framework Topology (MFT) technology to deliver superior butylene over propylene selectivity while maintaining catalyst activity.
In July 2019, McDermott International, Inc. made a contract with Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) for the technology license, basic engineering, proprietary equipment, training, and technical services for a grassroots Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) unit.
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The Asia Pacific is expected to register the highest CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period (2022-2027). Rapid urbanization, emerging economies, and increasing developments in capacities of oil production in oil refineries are the major factors driving the market growth.
The zeolites segment is expected to grow at a high CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period 2022-2027.
The increasing market for valuable products such as gasoline, olefinic gases, and petroleum products among transportation industry is one of the key factors driving the FCC catalyst market
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