Chiyoda License Titania Catalyst Technology for Hydrodesulfurization of Diesel Oil

Chiyoda Corporation, Japan's leading engineering and construction firm, today announces that it is licensing titania catalyst for ultra deep hydrodesulfurization (HDS) of diesel oil to Axens, a French subsidiary of IFP. Chiyoda is aiming to supply the catalyst for diesel oil in order to meet sulfur content regulation which will be reinforced globally in years to come.

Chiyoda joined a research project sponsored by the "New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization "(NEDO), & "Japan Petroleum Energy Center" (JPEC), and has investigated titania catalyst for ultra deep hydrodesulfurization of diesel oil. The activity of titania catalyst per unit surface area has been known to be more active than that of alumina catalyst which is normally used for hydrodesulfurization of diesel oil; however, technical difficulty to prepare the titania catalyst with large surface area has prevented its commercial application. Chiyoda has come up with its proprietary method to overcome this difficulty.

Axens, headed by Mr. Jean Sentenac, is a global company with activities that include process licensing in the fields of refinery and petrochemical industries, and manufacture and sales of various catalysts used in those fields. Axens is a leading process licensor in the hydrodesulfurization of gasoline and diesel oils, and supplies the catalysts for such processes and is highly-evaluated internationally.

The titania catalyst, which has been jointly developed by Axens and Chiyoda, has very high activity for hydrodesulfurization and it allows oil companies to produce sulfur-free diesel under the reaction condition in which the temperature is around 10-20 degrees Celsius lower than that with conventional alumina catalyst. Also, it is worth mentioning that it has strong interaction with nitrogen-contained aromatic compound and accordingly has higher hydrodenitogenation (HDN) selectivity than that of alumina catalyst. It is estimated that this characteristic may allow its expanded use to hydrotreatment of various distillates with higher nitrogen content in future.
Axens is currently working on the final adjustment of industrial operating parameters and has scheduled the production of first commercial batches of titania precursor and hydrotreatment catalyst in the first quarter of 2008.

In Japan sulfur-free regulation (less than 10 ppm) has been started from 2007. Two years ahead the implementation of the regulation most oil companies in Japan had already started to supply sulfur-free diesel from 2005. In collaboration with Axens and Chiyoda, it is intended to supply commercialized product globally starting from Europe, where sulfur-free regulation starts in 2009.

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