Compare catalyst activities in the same way you do on industrial scale

Developing industrially scalable tests with high accuracy at lab scale is a key to success for our customers. In a typical laboratory test, fixed temperature protocols are used to evaluate catalyst performance. While this is good practice when a catalyst is stable over the duration of such a test, in industry most processes are operated at constant conversion rather than constant conditions.

For some catalysts, this means that conditions need to be adjusted continuously in order to maintain constant conversion or performance. A common means of achieving this is to dynamically adjust the operating temperature based on the measured activity in the effluent of the reactor using an automated feedback loop.

In order to provide industrially relevant performance data to our customers, we have developed and applied this feature in our Services offerings and implemented it now in our Flowrence reactor systems. The GC analysis of each reactor is used to dynamically adjust the temperature to maintain a defined target performance value.


In combination with an individual Reactor Temperature Controller (iRTC) this allows a true 16 fold independent reactor system; a key feature to speed up catalyst evaluation (e.g. reforming catalysts).

Our implementation allows for completely
unattended operation, whereby all reactors can achieve and maintain target without any manual adjustments.

As an example, consider the pictures below. The performance of four different catalytic naphtha reforming catalysts is shown with all four being narrowly operated around the same octane (RON) target by adjusting the temperature. The key performance indicators like the C5+ yield is considered including the DHA breakdown as a measure of selectivity.

The catalyst ranking in terms of activity and selectivity clearly changes over time. More importantly, sudden temperature increases and selectivity drops towards the end of the test both provide valuable indications on catalyst lifetime, with some catalyst being better able to deliver suitable performance for a longer period of time.

Such effects can only be observed from a dynamic experiment, and are impossible to identify using a fixed temperature protocol. This approach can be applied to systems that have a noticeable deactivation over the duration of days, or even up to months.

This new feature, combined with iRTC technology will enable our customers to test industrially relevant operating conditions at laboratory scale.