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hte and BP Chemicals Announce Research Collaboration in the Field of Gas-to-products

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hte – the high throughput experimentation company and BP Chemicals Limited celebrate the fourth consecutive year of a successful working relationship.

Over the past four years hte has helped BP Chemicals to develop an entirely new gas-to-products process. By using hte’s proprietary high throughput technology, BP has been able to take its ideas from the initial conception phase right through to process development in a considerably short space of time.

The relationship began in 2004, with hte providing BP Chemicals with Stage I catalyst screening technology for gas-to-products testing. This has allowed screening of a diverse range of materials classes under varying conditions in the quest to discover the most promising leads, whilst greatly accelerating the process.

The subsequent steps, using hte’s Stage II testing technology, then allowed for the refinement of catalyst compositions and recipes thus optimizing catalyst conditions. Several hundred catalysts were tested using hte custom-made parallel reactor technology. BP Chemicals were able to take full advantage of hte’s expert catalyst and technology knowledge and experience to carry out work that would typically have taken more than 50 reactor years.

For the final stage hte has designed and constructed a Stage III unit, which has concentrated on the process development. This has given BP a detailed kinetic data framework for future plant design. The process optimization phase is currently still on-going at hte and BP.

hte and BP Chemicals scientific and technical personnel have worked in very close collaboration throughout the projects. “The use of such integrated teamwork has been fundamental to the project’s success, with the continuity of the team allowing for close discussions over programme definition and design stages”, says Mark Roberts, Team Leader at BP Chemicals. The in-depth knowledge shared among the teams and their involvement throughout the entire programme has helped to move into future project phases in shorter periods of time.

“It has been really exciting to be involved in the creation of this new, revolutionary gas-to-products process,” says Stephan Schunk, Senior Scientist at hte, “I am very happy to have been part of its development in which we were able to bring to bear the best of hte’s technology portfolio.”

This development comes at a critical time, when energy companies are looking towards alternative fuels due to the global resources situation, and taking advantage of alternatives to oil. hte’s validated experimental workflows for high throughput development and testing of catalysts in gas-to-products applications are ideally suited for accelerating the process from the initial idea phase through to its successful commercialization.

“hte’s technology and research services have significantly increased our chances of success whilst dramatically cutting our development time”, says Mark Roberts, “this has led to a more secure IP positioning, meaning we can successfully maintain our current market position.”