The reaction rate: what is behind the eco-friendly gasoline

Скорость реакции: что стоит за экологичным бензиномChemistry is life, and the acceleration of chemical reactions – the basis of any production, be it medicine or gasoline. What is it used for catalysts, and how their creation has reached the status of a national project in Russia – in the article “Газета.Ru”.

Some modern children think that bread grows on trees. Clothing, medicines, pans, cars and petrol we are so used to everyday things that don’t reflect what processes are behind their production. But notice: the fabric becomes easier, drugs – more efficient pans – durable, gasoline – environmentally friendly. Moreover, the realities of the modern economy and the consumption dictate the need not only new materials, but “upgrade” the old one. Behind all this are, surprisingly, chemists. And one of the main weapons in their hands – a chemical reaction, the speed of which depends on at times the survival of man. Wait, of course, no one wants to and cannot, and then in the course are substances that accelerate the reaction catalysts.

For example, scientists from the University of Colorado has recently invented a new catalyst that accelerates reactions that contribute to the synthesis of dipeptides (dipeptides semisynthetic derivative of the antibiotic). What is important is that no foreign products of this reaction are no, I mean scientists may have paved the way for the production of new medicines against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They are called superbugs, which in the United States die every year 23 thousand people, and in Europe – 33 thousand

And if in the Middle ages, alchemists wanted to transform common metals into precious gold, right now gold be the catalysts. For example, humanity is literally stuck in the garbage, so scientists around the world are working on methods of accelerating the decomposition reactions. No wonder one of the most notable “children’s” discoveries of recent time was the opening of a 16-year-old Egyptian girl inexpensive catalyst, through which the plastic decomposes to methane, propane and ethane, and the development picked up a pencil in the Egyptian scientific-research Institute of oil.

Of course, to bring any development to industrial application in power not to everyone, so major companies – from oil to food – has long been increasing their centers of scientific research. One of the main trends – the increase environmentally friendly fuel. To on the streets it was easier to breathe, Russia along with the European countries switched to the standard gasoline “Euro-5”, which places high demands on the content of harmful substances in exhaust gases. For industry this means the modernization, increase of depth of processing and purification of the fuel. But it also leads to an increased demand for the products of catalytic cracking, one of the key processes in the production of gasoline “Euro-5”. The catalysts used in refining processes is nanostructured substances, engaging in a cycle of intermediate interactions, provide reactions in plants producing fuels components.

And if in 2011 the needs of the oil industry in formulations for cracking was 7.2 thousand tons, in 2020 – it is 18.2 thousand tonnes 70% of this strategically important raw materials is imported.

Because friends is good, but it would be better and themselves to develop, the Ministry of energy awarded the project “Catalysts for deep processing of oil raw materials on the basis of aluminum oxide” a national status. It is implemented by “Gazprom oil” in Omsk, which is the largest and the most technologically advanced refineries in Russia – the Omsk refinery. By 2020 it is in Omsk will construct a new plant for the production of catalysts. On the scale of the project and said the investment amounts to 18 billion rubles. And is not just a plant in a new integrated business system, which in addition to production involves the development and implementation of new technologies in partnership with Russian scientists test new types of catalysts for the needs of any refinery, setting up of technologies for all market participants.

“Catalytic cracking (including possible modifications) our goal is 70-80% of the market. Although the volume of production will meet 100% of the needs of Russian enterprises. There are still two catalysts, the production of which we have to learn: Hydrotreating and hydrocracking”, — said General Director of “Gazpromneft – Catalytic systems” Alexander Embulaev.

Production of catalysts – as is the case when research and development reach practical application, which in the Russian reality is not so common. Therefore, the development of innovative technologies “Gazprom Neft” has attracted leading Institute profile: Institute of problems of hydrocarbons processing SB RAS (Omsk) together with the company is working on the creation of new and improvement of existing technologies of production of catalysts catcracking, and the Institute of catalysis named after G. K. Boreskov SB RAS (Novosibirsk) – on introduction of technologies of production of catalysts for hydrogenation processes. This synergy of science provides an opportunity not only to earn on the production of the product itself, but also on intellectual property – “Gazprom Neft” has already registered 35 patents for catalysts and technologies for their production, other applications are in the works.

“Gazprom Neft” for several years systematically working to create technologies and development of new types of catalysts. In December, the plants of the Omsk refinery, the company began using the modified catalyst for a new generation.

“In contrast to catalysts of previous generations and their Western counterparts, the new catalyst has an active matrix ultra — porous framework of the catalyst microparticles embedded active components, increases the efficiency of transformation of molecules of hydrocarbons into valuable products. Together with high activity, the catalysts of the new generation is more resistant to elevated temperature,” the company said.

The new composition is the increase in the refining depth, increase fuel octane, higher thermal stability and higher activity.

Moreover, the catalyst production technology allows to “adjust” them under other plants – that is, in the future, provided the possibility of complete import substitution and exports.

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