Catalysts for Environmental and Energy Applications

Published - Aug 2004| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - CHM020B
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for energy and environmental catalysts was worth an estimated $6.4 billion in 2003. The market is projected to grow to nearly $13.0 billion in 2009, an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 12.8%.
  • Refinery catalysts, now 90% of the energy catalyst market, are projected to lose market share from 2004 through 2009 as other energy applications, particularly synfuels and biofuels, consume increasing amounts of catalysts.
  • Mobile source air pollution remediation applications, particularly vehicle catalytic converters, accounted for over 36% of the environmental catalyst market in 2003, followed by stationary source air pollution applications (e.g., power plant emissions controls) with 33% of the market.
  • Stationary source applications are projected to grow rapidly due to new environmental legislation, so that by 2009 they will have a projected 65% share of the environmental catalyst market.

INTRODUCTION

Meeting rising energy requirements and protecting the environment are among the most important applications of catalyst technology. Broadly speaking, a catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction by reducing the required activation energy, but is left unchanged by the reaction.

The petroleum industry is the largest single user of catalysts, especially in producing refined products such as gasoline and diesel fuel. Catalysts also contribute to increasing the supply of petroleum, by making it commercially possible to produce oil from sources once regarded as uneconomical such as tar sands and heavy oil deposits. Catalysts are also being used to produce increasing quantities of synthetic oil and gas from coal and oil shale. Also, catalysts are in the forefront of technologies being developed to replace conventional fossil fuels.

Catalysts are indispensable to many types of environmental remediation, from vehicle emissions control systems to industrial effluent and municipal waste treatment. Catalysts also contribute indirectly to reducing pollution and other adverse environmental impacts, e.g., through cleaner-burning fuels and the production of products such as refrigerants that pollute less than the substances they replace.

This BCC report provides an understanding of how catalysts contribute to meeting the energy needs of the U.S. and world economies while helping to prevent environmental degradation and remediating adverse environmental impacts as they occur and provides complete market coverage.

SCOPE OF STUDY

The report covers catalyst use in:

  • production of crude oil and gas from non-conventional sources such as tar sands and heavy oil reservoirs
  • synfuels production (e.g., coal liquefaction/gasification, shale oil)
  • oil recycling
  • alternative fuels production (e.g., hydrogen)
  • other emerging energy technologies such as fuel cells and photovoltaic cells
  • increasing fuel efficiency (e.g., fuel additives that increase burn efficiency)
  • avoiding or reducing environmental damage
  • mitigating or remediating adverse environmental impacts after they occur

METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES

The findings and conclusions of this report are based on information gathered from a cross-section of catalyst developers, manufacturers, distributors, end-users, and other informed sources. Interview data were combined with information gathered through an extensive review of secondary sources such as trade publications, trade associations, company literature, and on-line databases to produce the baseline market estimates contained in this report.

With 2003 as a baseline, market projections for each market segment were developed for 2004 through 2009. The projections are based on a combination of a consensus among the primary contacts combined with our understanding of the key market drivers and their impact from a historical and analytical perspective. The analytical methodologies used to generate the market estimates are described in detail in the section on Detailed Market Projections.

All dollar projections presented in this report are in 2003 constant dollars.

ANALYSTS CREDENTIALS

Andrew McWilliams, the author of this report, is a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm, 43rd Parallel LLC. He is also the author of numerous other Communications Co. reports, of which the most recent include GB-290 Nanotechnology: A Realistic Market Assessment, GB-265 Semiconductor Microlithography: New Technology Materials and Markets; GB-298 Materials Characterization Instruments, and GB-290 Nanotechnology: A Realistic Market Evaluation.

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