MUSCAT: As a global leader in refining technologies and specialty chemicals, Grace and Sohar University inaugurated a jointly operated DCR Pilot Plant at the University in Oman with a ceremony on March 16, 2023.
“It’s very exciting to move this 15-year partnership between Grace, Sohar University, and OQ to the next level with the installation and commissioning of a Grace DCR Pilot Plant,” said Grace CEO Bob Patel. “This significant investment expands the Grace laboratory from a purely analytical focus into the realm of world-class catalyst research.”
The Grace DCR Pilot Plant, which is an important part of Oman’s Vision 2040, is a proprietary circulating riser pilot Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) unit and the leading, commercially available technology for small-scale FCC pilot units. As of today, 34 pilot plants have been licensed worldwide by major energy and petrochemical companies as well as research institutions. More than one hundred scientific and technical articles have been published based on data from DCR pilot plants.
The DCR Pilot Plant mimics all the processes present in commercial FCC operation and can operate at conditions outside of “typical” FCC conditions to analyze feedstocks. Oman energy company OQ and other regional refiners are able to maximize value from existing, new and unconventional feeds by conducting research using a pilot plant.
The ceremony was attended by Her Excellency Professor Rahma bint Ibrahim Al Mahrooqi, Oman’s Minister for Higher Education, Research & Innovation Sohar University Vice Chancellor along with Dr. Hamdan Al Fazari and various representatives from OQ and Grace, who helped celebrate the inauguration and show support for the project.
“OQ, Sohar University and Grace have a long-standing collaboration providing value to all stakeholders. The DCR Pilot Plant is a realization of this partnership and fulfills a key ICV initiative in line with Oman’s and OQ’s values,” said Kamil Al Shanfari, Managing Director OQ RPI & Plastics.
The DCR Pilot Plant and Ecat Lab in which it operates are 100% staffed by Omani nationals, of whom 75% are women.