The Multi Stage Reaction Catalyst (MSRC) platform developed by BASF takes advantage of staged reactions with different catalytic attributes in much the same way that staged-hydrotreating loading permitted reaction zones in a single reactor vessel. The commercial concept of staged reactions is not new to the refining industry, but its application to a moving bed catalytic system is a true breakthrough in manufacturing technology.
The MSRC platform uses existing BASF catalyst technologies like DMS or Prox-SMZ, but through its novel manufacturing process combines two or more existing FCC catalyst functionalities within a single catalyst particle. The location of the various stages can be specifically engineered to achieve maximum value for the refiner’s FCC unit. This can be related to processing of heavier feedstocks, or to maximize specific product yields in the FCC unit.
The manufacturing process for this multi-stage reaction catalyst is based on BASF’s in-situ manufacturing technology and involves several key manufacturing steps in which the active components for each reaction stage are added at the desired quantities giving each catalyst manufactured under the MSRC concept different characteristics. One of the key success factors to the development of the MSRC is the binding properties given by the BASF’s in-situ manufacturing process, which allows zeolite to grow across the catalyst stages and interface acting as a binder and giving the catalyst particle its attrition resistance properties.
The first product from this new platform is designed for resid applications, where contaminant feed metal passivation is crucial. In particular, traces of nickel in the resid feed have a detrimental effect on the catalyst performance. In state-of-the-art resid FCC catalysts, specialty alumina is integrated in the catalyst formulation to trap the nickel and render it innocuous.
By examining spent FCC catalysts from refineries BASF researchers observed that nickel mainly deposits and accumulates on the outer surface of the catalyst. It would thus be advantageous to concentrate the nickel trapping alumina at the outer layer of the catalysts to make it more effective.
This component staging was realized by using the MSRC manufacturing technology. The inner stage has the DMS structure to allow enhanced diffusion of heavy molecules, maximizing gasoline yields. The outer-stage is also based on DMS technology, but is enriched with specialty alumina to trap the nickel directly where it deposits on the catalyst.