The global market for catalysts for environmental and energy applications is estimated to reach $16.3 billion in 2010 and to soar to nearly $22.5 billion in 2015, for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.6%, according to a new study from BCC Research. The largest segment of the market, which includes environmental catalysts, is expected to increase at a five-year CAGR of 6%, rising from an estimated $12.3 billion in 2010 to nearly $16.5 billion in 2015.The other segment, made up of energy catalysts, is expected to rise from $4 billion in 2010 to nearly $6 billion in 2015, for a CAGR of 8.1%.
Among the most important applications of catalyst technologies are meeting rising energy requirements and protecting the environment. Broadly speaking, a catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction by reducing the required activation energy, but which is left unchanged by the reaction.
The petroleum industry is the largest single user of catalysts, especially in producing refined products such as gasoline and diesel fuel. Catalysts also contribute to increasing the supply of petroleum by making it commercially possible to produce oil from sources once regarded as uneconomical, such as tar sands and heavy oil deposits. Catalysts are also being used to produce increasing quantities of synthetic oil and gas from coal and oil shale.
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