Continuous capital investments have been made by CRI Catalyst in the development of IH² technology. Shell Technology Centre Bangalore (STCB) is home to several bench-scale operating units and high throughput testing facilities, as well as catalyst preparation equipment focused on advancing the technology. A new pilot scale facility has recently begun operation at STCB.
A dedicated catalyst development program is funded by CRI since 2010 at STCB with the aim to develop new catalyst formulations that fulfill the process requirements in the hydropyrolysis and hydroconversion reactors in the IH² process. Both reactors demand specific catalyst composition and form factor, dictated by the bubbling fluidized bed technology in the hydropyrolysis step and the fixed bed technology in the hydroconversion step.
From the first proof-of-concept experiments to the latest generation of catalysts, the formulations are specifically selected to maximize the conversion of light oxygen-rich fragments generated by the thermal breakdown of the organic substances (biowaste) into molecules typically found in transportation fuels, such as gasoline, jet fuel and diesel. In the latest generation catalysts currently available from CRI, the formulations are tailored to maximize the yield of hydrocarbons, while meeting the typical product specifications required for transport fuels the various regions across the globe and maintaining the very high greenhouse gas reduction values unique to the IH² technology.
To date, more than 30 process and catalyst patents have resulted from the efforts at STCB and collaboration with GTI.