Air Products’ Hydrogen Reactions Lab, located at its corporate headquarters in Allentown, PA, is now operational and receiving material for laboratory trials. 

The new lab consists of three continuous, trickle bed reactors and has the design capability to handle hydrotreatment and hydrogenation reactions at pressures up to 2,000 psig. The new lab enables customers to optimize existing hydrogenation and hydrotreatment reactions or switch from batch to continuous operation.

Air Products’ Hydrogen Reactions Lab has been designed to test the hydrogenation of various feedstocks with up to three fixed-bed catalytic reactors. The company is able to evaluate for its customers the impact of feed quality, catalysts, and additional operating parameters on product quality, throughput, and process economics.

Growth in hydrotreatment

“Hydrotreatment is a growing trend in the used oil re-refining and transmix processing markets,” says Tim Lebrecht, Applications Engineer at Air Products. “With Group II base oil becoming the norm for re-refiners and ULSD limits on sulfur for transmix-derived diesel fuel, both areas are seeing an immediate need for polishing and sulfur reduction techniques.”

“Similarly, in the chemicals processing industry, hydrogenation units have begun focusing on the cost reduction that continuous processes offer,” Lebrecht continues. “Our new lab will help customers pursue the higher yields, better product quality and, ultimately, the reduction in scale that is common when switching to continuous processes. We look forward to working with them to test and optimize hydrotreatment, as well as assist those who are looking to switch to continuous hydrogenation.”