REVOLUTIONIZING FCC RESEARCH: THE GRACE DCR™ PILOT UNIT AND THE SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN W.R. GRACE & CO. AND ZETON
June 6, 2023
On March 16, 2023, Sohar University and W. R. Grace & Co. held an inauguration ceremony for their jointly-operated DCR™ Pilot Unit that shipped from Zeton’s Oakville, ON facility in 2022. This important event marks the beginning of a 15-year partnership between Sohar University, Grace and OQ that will enable the transition of Grace’s laboratory from a purely analytical focus to a world class research facility.
For context, the Grace DCR™ Pilot Unit is a proprietary circulating riser Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) pilot plant which has become the industry standard for pilot-scale FCC plants. With its superior performance, the DCR™ pilot unit has become the leading choice among major energy and petrochemical companies as well as research institutions, with 34 plants already licensed worldwide and counting.
The DCR™ Pilot Unit emulates all the operations that occur during commercial FCC operation and has the ability to function under conditions that are different from the standard FCC operating mode, allowing for the analysis of different feedstocks. For this reason, the Grace DCR™ Pilot Unit has proved to be an exceptional tool for industry, providing high-quality data for research and development purposes, and paving the way for innovation in the energy and petrochemicals sectors.
Grace and Zeton have had a close and successful partnership, starting when Zeton built its first DCR™ unit in 1989 for British Petroleum. Through this collaboration, Grace and Zeton have been able to leverage each other’s strengths and build a strong foundation for long-term growth and success. As a result, multiple DCR™ units have been shipped worldwide and important design improvements have been made to the DCR™ units both by Grace and Zeton that ensure the design is up to date in safety and performance standards, as well as control system and data handling systems.
Zeton is excited to continue our long-standing partnership with W.R. Grace and congratulates Sohar University and Grace on this major achievement!
“In 1989, the first Grace-licensed DCR™ Pilot Plant was built and delivered by Zeton and I have been excited to see the improvements and innovations that have been made since,” said Scott Purnell, VP R&D, Refining Technologies, W. R. Grace & Co. “Our long relationship with Zeton and the smooth communication that fosters recently led to the successful installation of a new DCR™ Pilot Plant at Sohar University in Oman. The new plant, one of 24 provided by Zeton, will expand our research capabilities to support the energy transition, help us serve key regional customers and provide in-country value to the Sultanate of Oman.”
Zeton Director, David Beckman: “Grace’s endorsement of Zeton as a fledgling company in the late 1980’s was paramount to our future growth and success. Myself and all our staff will always be grateful for this, and the important role Grace played in Zeton’s history.”