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Fang Zheng

Catalysis 2023
Fang Zheng, Speaker at Catalysis Conference
Petrochemical Research Institute of PetroChina Company Limited, China
Title : On-line access to the running state of reforming catalyst based on molecular management


Catalytic reforming is essential in petroleum refining, as it is the primary process for producing chemical raw material and hydrogen. At present, the operating conditions of catalytic reforming units are controlled based on traditional empirical models. The running state of the catalysts needs to be confirmed by off-line evaluation, which may take days or even weeks to acquire a comprehensive result. This time and resource-consuming characterization procedure are insufficient to support the smooth long-term operation of the reforming unit and is also accompanied by intensive carbon emission. The rapidly evolving modern analytical techniques have made understanding feed and product of reforming on a molecular level possible. Molecular management technology combined with process analytical technology (PAT) has been gradually applied in the field of the petrochemical industry, through which online molecular composition analysis of reforming units’ material flow can be accessed. In our study, the online molecular composition modeling methodology is combined with the molecular level reaction kinetic network, the comprehensive offline evaluation of the catalyst and the process operating conditions. This study has managed to online access the running state of reforming catalyst, including carbon deposition, chlorine content, impurity content, iron content, platinum dispersion, specific surface area, and remaining life, as shown in Figure 1.The information acquired about the running status of the reforming is helpful for the real-time optimization of operating conditions and catalyst design, as well as energy conservation and reduction of carbon emissions in petroleum processing

Audience Takeaway:

  • This work provides a new thought for catalytic scientists to evaluate catalysts quickly.
  • Molecular management technology combined with process analytical technology could be
  • applied in the field of the petrochemical industry 
  • This research that other faculty could use to expand their research or teaching.
  • This provide a practical solution to the running state assessment of catalyst a problem that 
  • could simplify or make a designer’s job more efficient


Dr. Fang Zheng currently works at the Petrochemical Research Institute of PetroChina Company Limited. He obtained his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the China University of Petroleum, and in analytical chemistry from the University of Pau. His research interests are catalytic chemistry and molecular management of complex matrices in the field of energy. He has published more than 10 research articles in SCI(E) journals.