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Refinery Catalyst Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Zeolites, Metallic, and Chemical Compounds), By Application (FCC, Alkylation, Hydrotreating, Hydrocracking, Catalytic Reforming, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI101090



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The global refinery catalyst Market size was USD 4.38 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 4.51 billion in 2021 to USD 5.84 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 3.8% during the 2021-2028 period. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with the product witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a huge decline of 6.7% in 2020. 

Refinery catalysts are chemical ingredients used during the refining process to remove unwanted impurities such as nitrogen, metal contamination, and sulfur. These catalysts include zeolites, calcium carbonate, molybdenum, palladium, and zirconium, which are used independently or in different combinations to improve the operating effectiveness of petroleum. The growing refinery rate to obtain more petroleum products such as gasoline, high-octane fuel, kerosene, diesel, polymers, and others is driving the demand for the catalyst for refining. The rising demand for fuel for transportation applications is expected to boost the growth of the market.

Halt in the Manufacturing Sector Reduced Crude Oil Prices during COVID-19

The global outbreak of coronavirus has led to a slump in crude oil mining, refinery catalysts, and petroleum industries. The drop in demand and unforeseen increase in supply has caused the collapse of crude oil prices, which impacted the prices of refined petroleum products, particularly gasoline. Moreover, according to the International Energy Agency, global refinery intake was expected to grow by 16 mb/d in 2020 due to shutdowns all over the globe, creating fluctuations in price. In 2020, refining activity will slowly recover as the global market moves into deficit.  However, crude petroleum prices started advancing by the end of April 2019. Producer prices of crude petroleum partly recuperated, creating a positive effect on demand. In July, the world's petroleum supplies recovered as the OPEC cuts were lessened from 9.7 million to 7.7 million barrels per day. Thus, this is likely to affect the refinery catalyst Market growth positively.


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Investment to Enhance Catalysts Qualities and Lower Fuel Cost to Create Growth Opportunities

The rising investment in research & development, technologies, and capacity expansion in the refinery industry creates opportunities for refinery catalysts. Leading manufacturers in the market are focusing on adopting new technologies, propriety designs, equipment up-gradation for these catalysts while improving margins. Companies are improving the catalytic properties of the products to ensure stability and reliability. This will help them to produce high-quality fuel with reduced cost. Moreover, the growing demand for the refinery to produce petroleum products and derivatives such as plastics, petroleum wax, naphthalene, paraffin wax, and refined asphalt is driving the growth of the market.


Increasing Demand for High Octane Fuel to Aid Market Growth

Growing demand for high octane fuel from the automotive industry due to consumer need for lower cost of fuel is driving the market. The automobile manufacturers are introducing efficient engine technologies, which in turn is creating demand for higher octane fuels. Moreover, the potential environmental, economic, and engine benefits of high octane are also additional benefits. Ethanol is a high octane fuel with a blending octane rating of 114, making ethanol the cleanest and affordable fuel source. Moreover, the increasing consumption of petroleum derivatives for making various consumer-needs products is also a major factor driving this market.


Fluctuating Prices of Crude Oil and Stringent Regulation over Emissions to Affect Market

Fluctuating prices and decreasing reserves for crude oil have caused the shift to alternative solutions for crude oil extraction. The decrease in the extraction process will reduce the demand. The extraction methods often produce crude oil with a high sulfur content and sour crude oil, making it difficult to remove sulfur content and causing a high emissions rate. The increase in emissions has led to the implementation of stringent regulations related to strict sulfur emission standards. This, supported by the availability of substitutes such as biofuels to protect environmental harm, further restricts fuel production application demand. Moreover, technological advancement has also led to a consumer shift towards the electric vehicle, which acts as another restricting factor.


By Type Analysis

Zeolites Segment has the Dominant Share in the Market

Based on type, the refinery catalyst Market is segmented into zeolite, metallic, and chemical compounds.  

Zeolites are hydrated aluminosilicate minerals having water molecules trapped in between. The majority of zeolites produced are used for the FCC catalysis process for refinery applications due to high-pressure resistance, high-temperature resistance, and high melting points. They are used to produce gasoline, diesel, and petroleum-derived products, and the growing demand for these products is driving an affirmative outlook for market growth.

Metallic catalysts include precious metals such as platinum and palladium, rare earth elements, and transition metals such as molybdenum, tungsten, and zirconium. All these metals are used as refinery catalysts during hydroprocessing and FCC catalytic refining processes. Chemical compounds used for refining applications are calcium carbonate and hydrofluoric acid. Growing demand for refining to obtain fuels is a key factor propelling the segment growth.

By Application Analysis

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FCC Segment is Expected to Have the Highest Share

Based on application, the market is categorized into FCC, Alkylation, Hydrotreating, Hydrocracking, Catalytic Reforming, and Others.

FCC (Fluid catalytic cracking) accounted for the largest share, where it is used for converting high-molecular weight hydrocarbon fractions in crude oil into a more convenient substance for use. The growth in the segment can be attributed to a higher rate of gasoline production and more byproduct gases to produce olefins, thus creating more economic value. The growing consumption of polyolefin to produce different types of plastics is driving the demand for FCC catalysts.

Hydroprocessing is a catalytic refining process that includes hydrotreating and hydrocracking. These processes are used to remove unwanted impurities such as metals, sulfur, and nitrogen from crude oil by reacting with hydrogen. The substantial increase in hydroprocessing catalysts volumes can be associated with the rapid growth of distillate hydrotreating capacity to meet the demand for ultra-low sulfur transportation fuels.

The alkylation process is done to convert crude oil into a high octane gasoline component, alkylate. The process provides clean-burning and antiknock properties and uses catalysts such as sulfuric acid, hydrofluoric acid, and ionic liquids. Moreover, Reforming catalysts segment growth can be attributed to the rising expansion and investment in refineries from leading companies is creating demand for catalytic reforming units.


Asia Pacific Refinery Catalyst Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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The refinery catalyst market in Asia Pacific stood at USD 1.52 billion in 2020. The growth in the region is due to economic development, high crude oil production, and refineries present. China is a major contributor to refining and accounted for 15.6% of the total oil refining capacity in 2018. India stood at second position with 4.97 million bpd and had prime oil refining capacity in the Asia-Pacific region. The rising demand for transportation fuel is driving the market.

North America is expected to have substantial growth in the consumption of refinery catalysts during the estimated period. The high number of oil reserves and the increasing oil imports in the region support the market. The U.S. is the largest importer of crude oil, with a production rate of 15.3 million bpd and having oil reserves of 61,200 million barrels. Moreover, technological adoption of processes to reduce fuel costs is further expected to contribute to market growth.

Europe is anticipated to have growth associated with favorable regulations from the European Union and development to improve oil recovery and promotion of biofuels. The initiative to provide sustainable solutions for fuels such as ethanol is creating refinery catalysts demand.

In Latin America, Brazil, Venezuela, and Mexico are major countries producing crude oil supplies. The countries had oil capacities of 2.6 million bpd, 1.5 million bpd, and 2 million bpd. Fastest growing fuel consumption for transportation applications is boosting the market.

The Middle East & Africa is the major petroleum and crude oil-producing region. Saudi Arabia is the largest petroleum producer, contributing to approximately 90 million tons per annum in 2018. Saudi Aramco, an oil-producing company, and Total agreed to expand joint venture SATORP in Saudi Arabia. This will increase the demand for refinery catalysts in the market in the forthcoming years.


Expansion in Production Capacities of Major Companies to Strengthen Their Positions

The key players present in the global market are Albemarle Corporation, BASF SE, Haldor Topsoe A/S, Honeywell International Inc., and Clariant. Albemarle Corporation is one of the major players in the market that primarily provides FCC catalysts processing for petroleum refining. The company also has hydroprocessing and catalyst reforming manufacturing units. Secondly, Haldor Topsoe A/S uses the latest and upgraded technologies for refining through hydroprocessing. Companies profiled are adopting strategies such as global and capacity expansion, new product development, and investing in technological advancement to gain a competitive edge.


  • Albemarle Corporation (U.S.)

  • BASF SE (Germany)

  • Haldor Topsoe A/S (Denmark)

  • Honeywell International Inc. (U.S.)

  • Clariant (Switzerland)

  • Axens (France)

  • Johnson Matthey (UK)

  • China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (China)

  • Royal Dutch Shell plc (Netherlands)

  • Arkema (France)


  • Other Key Players


  • February 2021 –Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited subsidiary, Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL   has designated Axens for supplying advanced technologies in the gasoline block for its Numaligarh Refinery Expansion Project (NREP). The company has planned to expand the refinery capacity 9000 KT per annum.

  • September 2020 – Clariant announced the construction of    a new catalyst production site in China. The company invested a significant amount which further strengthens the position in China while also enhancing the ability to support the customer base in the local region. The production facility will be producing CATOFIN catalyst for propane dehydrogenation.


An Infographic Representation of Refinery Catalyst Market

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The global refinery catalyst market report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, applications, and types. Also, the report offers insights into market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors that have contributed to the growth of the market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion); Volume (Kiloton)


  By Type, By Application, and By Geography

By Type


  • Zeolites

  • Metallic

  • Chemical Compounds

By Application


  • FCC

  • Alkylation

  • Hydrotreating

  • Hydrocracking

  • Catalytic Reforming

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (By Type, By Application)

    • U.S. (By Type)

    • Canada (By Type)

  • Europe (By Type, By Application)

    • Germany (By Type)

    • France (By Type Type)

    • Italy (By Type)

    • Spain (By Type)

    • Russia (By Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Type)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, By Application)

    • China (By Type)

    • Japan (By Type)

    • India (By Type)

    • South Korea (By Type)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Type)

  • Latin America (By Type, By Application)

    • Brazil (By Type)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Type)

  • The Middle East & Africa (By Type, By Application)

    • Saudi Arabia (By Type)

    • Iran (By Type)

    • UAE (By Type)

    • Rest of Middle East & Africa (By Type)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global Market size was USD 4.38 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 5.84 billion by 2028.

In 2020, the Market size stood at USD 4.38 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 3.8%, the Market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).

Based on type, the FCC segment is expected to be the leading segment.

The increasing demand for fuel in transportation applications is expected to drive market growth.

Albemarle Corporation, BASF SE, Haldor Topsoe A/S, Honeywell International Inc., and Clariant are a few leading market players.

Asia Pacific dominated the global market in 2020.

The growing demand for high octane fuels is a driving factor leading to product adoption.

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