Ninety percent of all chemical products produced involve the use of catalysts at one stage or another, according to a report from Global Industry Analysts (GIA). The combination of nanotechnology in catalysts has led to the emergence of nanocatalysts, which boast significant economic advantages over traditional catalysts. As environmental regulations continue to impact automotive and other industrial sectors, demand for nanocatalysts is expected to soar.
A wide variety of chemical, petrochemical, and pharmaceutical products require the use of catalysts in production, the report notes. Nanocatalysts, with their extremely small size and a higher surface area, demonstrate superior catalytic activity. Further, nanocatalysts also increase the speed and efficiency of catalysis, which makes the processes relatively inexpensive and economically feasible. In addition, by helping accelerate chemical processes, nanocatalysts help lower the use of energy required for the process, further reducing the carbon footprint of many manufacturing technologies.
The report provides a comprehensive review of the nanocatalysts market, industry overview, trends, growth drivers and issues, and recent industry activity.
The largest market by revenue for nancatalysts comes from petroleum refineries, according to GIA. As demand for oil products continues to grow as a result of rising vehicle ownership and increasing industrial activity, demand for nanocatalysts in oil processing and petroleum refining processes, in particular nano hydroprocessing catalysts, is also expected to expand. In addition, nano zeolites are in great demand as fluidized catalytic cracking catalysts. Nano hydroprocessing catalysts are also finding widespread use in refineries.
Countries such as China and India are forecast to emerge as lucrative markets for nanocatalysts against the backdrop of strong refinery capacity expansion activity, the report notes.
Further gains are being seen in the automotive sector, the report states, fueled by the trend towards low-sulfur content in gasoline and diesel, where nanocatalysts are known to be more successful than conventional catalysts. In particular, nano platinum-based catalysts are being adopted in reforming process.
“Stringent environmental protection and emission control regulations are also driving global demand for nanocatalysts in a range of environmental application areas,” states a press release from GIA about the report. “Governments across the globe are especially focusing on automobiles and the industrial sector, given the growing emission levels from these sources. Nanocatalysts are extensively used in automobile three-way catalytic converters that help reduce harmful emissions from vehicle exhaust such as NOx, HC and CO. Nanocatalysts are also being widely deployed in selective catalytic reduction (SCR) process for reducing NOx emissions from stationary industrial equipment.”
The report also predicts that new innovations, such as bimetallic nanocatalysts, will help accelerate market growth. The market is also expected to benefit from the trend towards green chemistry and the need for efficient bio-diesel and bioplastics production.
The U.S. represents the largest market for nanocatalysts worldwide, according to GIA. Asia-Pacific is forecast to emerge as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 5.7 percent, with growth powered by fiercely expanding auto manufacturing activity in China and India. Increases in oil refinery activity combined with enforcement of stricter automobile and industrial emission norms will also help drive growth in there and in other regions.
Key players covered in the report include BASF SE, CDTi, The Dow Chemical Company, Headwaters Inc., Hyperion Catalysis International, Johnson Matthey Plc, Mach I Inc., Nanophase Technologies Corporation, NexTech Materials Ltd., PQ Corporation, Sachtleben Chemie Gmbh., Umicore, Zeolyst International.