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Advances in Digitalization of Catalysis

Advances in Digitalization of Catalysis; How IR4.0 is Revolutionizing the Way We Go About Catalysis

A recently issued technical investigation commissioned by the members of the Catalytic Advances Program (CAP) details recent advancements in the digitalization of the catalytic process industries 

See PPT Deck here (as PDF) | See Report TofC here (as PDF)

This TCGR report provides an analysis on how the industry relating to catalysis and process engineering can approach IR4.0 and take advantage of the possibilities and opportunities in the advent of new technologies. Overall, it is expected that digitalization and IR4.0 will have a big impact on catalysis and process engineering related industries. The catalyst industry, in particular, is in the very early stage of adoption of digital technologies, with limited application across both operating and manufacturing environments. Digitalization will become a critical capability for companies using or making catalysts to build long-term competitiveness to foster future growth and as a tool to achieve global sustainability targets as well as safety and operational excellence.

Figure 1: Progress toward autonomous operations. Source: Key steps for delivering autonomous operations (info.us.yokogawa.com, 2020)

Now, more than 200 years after the first industrial revolution, many consider that we are in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution (IR4.0). This time, the key technologies that impact and change the industrial landscape center around the topic of digitalization, together with high-speed communication and exchange, and analysis of large amounts of data and information. In this aspect, it is interesting to look at the catalysis-related industries like the chemical, oil, catalyst companies, and process engineering industry which can be considered as more traditional industry branches. Compared to consumer industries, the chemical industry has been generally slow in its adoption of digital technologies, similar to other heavy industries. It is led by refining with Advanced Process Control (APC) at Digital 3.0 and approaching AI Digital 4.0, followed by petrochemicals implementing APC technologies, and trailed by chemicals at the transition of DCS Digital 2.0 to APC Digital 3.0. The age and complexity of existing assets may be the primary limitation for companies to evolve further. Catalyst operators are ahead of catalyst manufacturers in digitalization due to existing digital infrastructure.

A major challenge in the transformation of the field of catalysis and process engineering to digital catalysis and process engineering is associated with handling the sheer amount of data and how to administer it. Without standard data formats and strict data governance policies, no enterprise will be able to monetize their data in a cross organizational effort – if we make the span broader and think about multi-party collaborations and even standardization efforts of a whole community, policies need to be much more stringent. The role of artificial intelligence (AI) is currently a major focus. This technology field is moving forward quickly propelled by efforts in academia; the utilization of AI in the industry relating to process catalysis is still in its advent.

TCGR’s deep analysis and timely report address real-world, industrially-focused challenges…

As in other CAP reports, the focus is on the more recent developments, with the background analysis limited to necessary aspects to understand the topic, and with the discussion and analysis oriented to highlight trends, novel aspects and prospects as well as current gaps. This report thus provides a window to the future of this important area of catalysis, which will certainly be a key technology in the next decades.

The PPT Deck as well as a PDF containing the completed report’s TofC, List of Figures and Tables are available for download below:

See PPT Deck here (as PDF) | See Report TofC here (as PDF)

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TCGR works with its members to identify and foster competitive advantage and opportunity. This value-added relationship, along with active participation by the membership, leads to improved (or unique) external R&D and commercial investment possibilities. Members maintain strong relationships with contact points (“liaisons”) and benefit from preferred communications between themselves.

In addition to the reports, CAP membership deliverables include weekly monitoring communications via email (CAP Communications) and scheduled meetings of members (either in-person or via webinar). Access to deliverables is exclusive to members.

Depending on their membership choice, CAP members may receive all three or just two annual technical reports as well as the weekly newsletter known as CAP Communications. This newsletter provides the latest updates on technical breakthroughs, commercial advancements, noteworthy conference proceedings, and exclusive development opportunities. Membership also includes attendance at a CAP Annual Meeting, with dates, location, and topics selected by the membership.

More information, including a “Membership Agreement” delineating the deliverables and how the Catalytic Advances Program (CAP) membership works, click here.

More information about this report and other services of CAP can be seen at https://www.catalystgrp.com/tcg-resources/member-programs/catalytic-advances-program/.
Call +1-215-628-4447 or e-mail Chris Dziedziak at cdziedziak@catalystgrp.com, and we’ll be happy to discuss these and other interesting membership benefits.

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The Catalyst Group Resources (TCGR), a member of The Catalyst Group, is dedicated to monitoring and analyzing technical and commercial developments in catalysis as they apply to the global refining, petrochemical, fine/specialty chemical, pharmaceutical, polymer/elastomer and environmental industries.