To reduce fresh catalyst acquisition costs, refiners strive to reuse catalyst whenever possible. While catalyst regeneration and Excel® rejuvenation saves money, it is important to know whether or not the regenerated or Excel® rejuvenated catalyst will meet the refiner’s processing objectives and cycle length requirements.


Typically, refiners rely on regeneration acceptance criteria to make this assessment - focusing only on physical and chemical properties. While these guidelines are valuable, additional catalyst activity testing can be extremely useful both before and after industrial regeneration or Excel® rejuvenation. Activity testing also helps refiners assess the quality and performance of resale catalyst before they make the purchase.


In 2009, Porocel acquired a catalyst activity testing laboratory in Singapore equipped with 4 individual reactors working in parallel. In 2014, Porocel bought 8 independent activity pilot test units and built a dedicated laboratory center in Little Rock (Arkansas, USA) to extend its ability.  Now, Porocel is offering 12 activity testing reactors globally to provide an extensive valuable service to the refining industry. This capability is a powerful complement to our global regeneration, Excel® rejuvenation, catalyst products businesses and R&D abilities. 

The lab located in Singapore (Porocel Catalyst Testing Center, PCTC)  is a hydrotreating pilot plant consisting of two independent reactor trains. Each train consists of two paired, fixed bed reactors whereas the lab located in Little Rock (Little Rock Testing Center, LRTC) consists of 8 independent fixed bed reactors.Little Rock Testing Center (LRTC)                                                           Little Rock Testing Center (LRTC)


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 Porocel Catalyst Testing Center (PCTC)


We conduct activity testing under well-defined conditions while using standard straight-run gasoil alone or in combination with cracked feedstock such as Light Cycle Oil (LCO): 

  • Temperature
  • Pressure
  • Liquid Hourly Space Velocity (LHSV) 
  • Hydrogen to feed ratio


Standard procedures or customized procedures are followed for catalyst preparation, loading, sulfiding and activity testing. We analyze the liquid products for nitrogen and sulfur content as low as the <10ppmwt range using a chemi-luminescence analyzer after proper stripping to remove H2S traces. Then, we compare the desulfurization activity of the sample catalyst to a fresh reference catalyst under the same conditions. The test results are reported as Relative Volume Activity (RVA), Relative Weight Activity (RWA), or a delta temperature required to achieve a desired sulfur level in the liquid product. This data can be invaluable in helping the refiner or our R&D team to make the right catalyst choice.


Our technical team works closely with the refiner to plan the activity testing. Some key discussion points during this planning process include:

  • Run Length – A typical test runs 7 – 30 days
  • Sample size – A typical reactor sample is 36 – 96 cc
  • Feedstock – Typical feedstock is SRGO alone or in combination with cracked feed (typically LCO). Refiners may choose to provide their own feedstock
  • Protocols – Refiners may choose to modify test protocols (changes within the capabilities of the test equipment)


Catalyst selection is often a challenging process. With catalyst activity testing, Porocel eliminates the guesswork by defining catalyst activity before refiners make an investment for regenerated or Excel®  rejuvenated catalysts.


Testing conditions:


Feedstock: SRGO







Sulfur content



Nitrogen content



Rx pressure










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 Contact us for more information.  

As of November 3, 2020 Porocel is part of Evonik.
  • Evonik successfully completes acquisition of Porocel
  • All Porocel's products and services will be integrated into the Evonik Catalysts portfolio
  • Porocel sales channels will remain in place for the time being

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. More than 32,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life today and tomorrow.