Parallel testing of Hydroprocessing Catalysts

Conventional refinery catalyst development and selection are done in micro or bench scale reactors and pilot plants. Evaluation at this scale is time, material and labor intensive. We have developed a small scale parallel fixed bed reactor systems designed for catalyst intake up to 1 ml (Single-Pellet-String Reactors) in order to enhance catalyst development and optimization for refinery applications.

Experimental details for hydrotreating of SRGO under commercial conditions

In the project the 3 refining catalysts were tested in the Flowrence® in quintuples to study the reproducibility under commercial conditions using 16 parallel reactors (1 blank reactor). In all experiments, the catalysts were loaded in the presence of diluent particles in order to avoid catalyst bypassing and to ensure plug flow conditions.

Temperature: 320 – 360°C
Pressure: 30 bar
LHSV: 1.0 h-1
Catalyst loading: 0.5-1.0 ml
Whole extrudates: 1.6 mm


Across all experiments, a low relative standard deviation of 0.2% and 0.7% for pressure and gas-to-oil ratio respectively, were achieved by our microfluidic technology. The activity results shown below demonstrate the excellent reproducibility between duplicate reactors of <0.8°C for the temperature required to achieve the target sulfur conversions up to 99.98% – sulfur slip down to 8 ppm.

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