Catalysts for Environmental and Energy Applications
The global market for energy and environmental catalysts was worth an estimated $12.2 billion in 2006. The market is projected to grow to $13.0 billion in 2007 and $18.5 billion in 2012 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4% from 2007 to 2012.
The refinery industry accounted for almost 90% of the energy catalyst market, but refinery catalysts are projected to lose market share from 2006 to 2012 as other energy applications, particularly synfuels and biofuels, consume increasing amounts of catalysts. However, refining will still account for nearly three-quarters of the energy catalyst market in 2012.
Mobile source air pollution remediation applications, particularly vehicle catalytic converters, accounted for almost 50% of the environmental catalyst market in 2006, followed by stationary source air pollution applications (e.g., power plant emissions controls) with 31% of the market.
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 which 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.
In addition to increasing supplies of naturally occurring and synthetic oil and gas, catalysts are in the forefront of technologies such as fuel cells and photovoltaic cells being developed to replace conventional fossil fuels. Catalysts also indirectly contribute to increasing energy supplies by increasing the efficiency with which hydrocarbon and other fuels are utilized.
Energy consumption is a major source of pollution (e.g., auto and industrial emissions), along with other waste-generating activities. Many people consider the prevention of global warming and other forms of environmental degradation to be a greater priority than increasing energy supplies.
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, for example, through cleaner-burning fuels and the production of products such as refrigerants that pollute less than the substances they replace.
SCOPE OF STUDY
- Characterizes the current energy and environmental catalyst market, in quantitative as well as qualitative terms
- Identifies segments of the energy and environmental markets with the greatest commercial potential in the near to mid-term (2007 to 2012)
- Identifies and where possible quantifies the major demand drivers of energy and environmental catalysts
- Describes existing and new catalyst technologies under development to meet market requirements
- Projects future demand for different types of energy and environmental catalysts
- Evaluates the technical and other challenges that must be overcome for the market to realize its full potential.
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 online databases, to produce the baseline market estimates contained in this report.
With 2006 as a baseline, market projections for each market segment were developed for 2007 to 2012. 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 2006 constant dollars.
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 BCC Research reports, of which the most recent include the following:
- EGY055A Building the Global Hydrogen Economy: Technologies and Opportunities
- NAN044A Nanotechnology in Energy Applications
- EGY053A Advanced Materials and Devices for Renewable Energy Systems
- ENV003B U.S. Indoor Air Quality Market and Trends
- EGY051A Petroleum Fuel Optimization Technologies
- ENV006A Global Markets for Hazardous Waste Remediation Technology
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.