NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                    APRIL 2012

Thermal and Catalytic Emission Reduction Generate a $20 Billion Market

Thermal treatment to oxidize pollutants from stationary and mobile sources has created a $20 billion market which is growing at more than five percent per year. This is the latest forecast of the McIlvaine Company based on its latest updates in Thermal/Catalytic World Air Pollution Markets  

The basis of the technology is simple. When a gas containing oxidizable contaminants is raised to a critical temperature, oxidation will occur. Harmful carbon compounds are converted to CO2 and water. This principle is utilized in a wide range of applications from the reduction of volatile organic compounds from printing operations to the treatment of gas emissions from refineries. Stationary internal engines and a range of vehicles from commercial passenger cars to heavy duty trucks also utilize this principle.

The critical temperature for oxidation is lowered in the presence of catalysts such as palladium, platinum and even gold. As a result catalysts are widely used in both stationary and mobile applications. Burners are often needed to ignite the combustible gas or to burn supplemental fuel to raise the temperature of the polluting gas. In each case, some sort of a housing or structure is needed for the oxidation to take place. Given these components the major players are as follows:

  • System suppliers
  • Catalyst manufacturers
  • Precious metals suppliers
  • Precious metal reclaimers
  • Burner manufacturers

System Suppliers: The mobile market represents 85 percent of the total market. The system suppliers are the automotive companies which incorporate the catalytic converters manufactured by others. However, the market tends to utilize an intermediary who furnishes the entire vehicle exhaust system. Faurecia became the world’s largest automotive exhaust system supplier with the purchase of EMCON. Others include Tenneco, Eberspacher, Sango, Futaba and Yutaka.

Market leaders in the stationary VOC market include Megtec, Eisenmann, Dürr and Linde. There are also a number of smaller but active competitors such as Anguil, Alstom and Adwest in North America. Each region has its own set of system suppliers.

Flare systems are widely used in the refining industry. Despite the fuel value, gas is combusted at many sites because there is no economic way to transport it. The rapid increase in drilling for oil in shale deposits has resulted in an expansion of this market. John Zink (Koch) and Callidus (Honeywell) are major suppliers of flare systems.

Ninety percent of the catalysts sold to this segment are used in mobile applications. The four companies who dominate this segment are BASF, Johnson Matthey, Umicore and Cataler (Toyota) Corning and NGK sells the majority of the ceramic monoliths on which the precious metals are impregnated.

Forty two percent of the worlds platinum supply comes from AngloPlatinum. Johnson Matthey is the sole marketing agent for AngloPlatinum. South Africa is a major platinum producer. BASF has recently manufactured its 50 millionth automotive catalyst at its Port Elizabeth plant in this country.

Demand is growing robustly due to the following factors:

  • Rapidly expanding sales of automobiles in Asia
  • Tightening stationary VOC limits in developing countries
  • Tougher standards for diesel powered vehicles in Europe and the U.S.
  • Tightening vehicle standards in Asia

For more information on Thermal/Catalytic World Air Pollution Markets