The oil & gas industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by low-carbon hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, and biofuels, and growing importance of technologies such as electrolyzers, auto-thermal reforming and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). In the last three years alone, there have been over 523,000 patents filed and granted in the oil & gas industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Environmental sustainability in oil & gas: biofuel catalytic cracking. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 196,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the oil & gas industry, there are 60+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Biofuel catalytic cracking is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

Biofuel catalytic cracking refers to a process by which solid particulate biomass or bio-oil is converted into useful fuel fractions such as bio-gasoline, bio-diesel, and bio-fuel oil using a catalyst and reaction conditions such as high temperature and pressure. The process may involve separating the bio-oil into different boiling point fractions, using mixed metal oxide catalysts, and incorporating recycled content into the process.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 80+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established oil & gas companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of biofuel catalytic cracking.

Key players in biofuel catalytic cracking – a disruptive innovation in the oil & gas industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to biofuel catalytic cracking

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Anellotech 153 Unlock Company Profile
UPM-Kymmene 82 Unlock Company Profile
Shell 74 Unlock Company Profile
KiOR 56 Unlock Company Profile
Arkema 35 Unlock Company Profile
TotalEnergies 34 Unlock Company Profile
IFP Energies nouvelles 31 Unlock Company Profile
Lurgi 29 Unlock Company Profile
Elevance Renewable Sciences 25 Unlock Company Profile
Biogenic Reagents 24 Unlock Company Profile
Poet 22 Unlock Company Profile
Albemarle 22 Unlock Company Profile
Expander Energy 20 Unlock Company Profile
Valmet 20 Unlock Company Profile
POET Research 20 Unlock Company Profile
Fortum 20 Unlock Company Profile
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research 19 Unlock Company Profile
Energy Absolute 15 Unlock Company Profile
Air Liquide 14 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International 14 Unlock Company Profile
Wilmar International 13 Unlock Company Profile
Phillips 66 13 Unlock Company Profile
SK 12 Unlock Company Profile
NewMarket 12 Unlock Company Profile
Farmer’s Business Network Canada 12 Unlock Company Profile
W. R. Grace 11 Unlock Company Profile
Poet Investments 10 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Haixin Energy Technology 10 Unlock Company Profile
Petroleo Brasileiro 9 Unlock Company Profile
BioCube 9 Unlock Company Profile
G4 Insights 8 Unlock Company Profile
BDI- BioEnergy International 8 Unlock Company Profile
Archer Daniels Midland 8 Unlock Company Profile
Steeper Energy Aps 8 Unlock Company Profile
Poet Plant Management 7 Unlock Company Profile
Inaeris Technologies 7 Unlock Company Profile
Benefuel 7 Unlock Company Profile
The Hong Kong and China Gas 7 Unlock Company Profile
Biobtx BV 7 Unlock Company Profile
LP Amina 7 Unlock Company Profile
Poet Biomass 6 Unlock Company Profile
Cibus Europe BV 6 Unlock Company Profile
Poet Nutrition International 6 Unlock Company Profile
Poet Leasing 6 Unlock Company Profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 6 Unlock Company Profile
POET Design & Construction 6 Unlock Company Profile
RAG-Stiftung 6 Unlock Company Profile
Brown & Brown 6 Unlock Company Profile
Petroliam Nasional 5 Unlock Company Profile
Catalytic Distillation Technologies 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Anellotech is one of the leading patent filers in biofuel catalytic cracking for the oil and gas industry. The company develops sustainable technologies to enable production of renewable chemicals and other circular economy materials. Its Bio-TCat technology offers an efficient thermal catalytic process for biofuel production. The company also has collaborations with other similar technology developers to promote the use of its proprietary technology. Some other key patent filers in the space include UPM-Kymmene, Shell, and KiOR.

In terms of application diversity, Energy Absolute leads the pack, while Wilmar and UPM-Kymmene stood in the second and third positions respectively.  Energy Absolute, a green energy company based in Thailand, holds one of the diverse sets of patents related to biofuel catalytic cracking. It produces crude palm oil and biodiesel products in its biofuel portfolio.

By means of geographic reach, Valmet held the top position, followed by UPM-Kymmene, Biogenic Reagents and Fortum. Valmet is a Finnish automation company that offers equipment and parts for biofuel production, among other things. It has one of the wider geographical reaches with its biofuel catalytic cracking-related patents, with presence in North America, Europe, Asia, as well as in Australia.

Advancements in biofuel catalytic cracking technology will help drive the growing adoption of biofuels in blending applications and as sustainable aviation fuel.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the oil & gas industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) in Oil and Gas.              

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.