Estimating Precommercial Heterogeneous Catalyst Price: A Simple Step-Based Method

Frederick Baddour, Kurt Van Allsburg, Lesley Snowden-Swan, John Super

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus Citations


Developers of novel catalysts often have limited access to information on the costs of their catalytic materials. The R&D and commercialization decisions made by these researchers would benefit from cost estimates that are accurate and directly comparable to the prices of incumbent catalytic materials, but developing such estimates requires detailed knowledge of industrial synthesis methods and their costs. In order to address one critical part of this need for cost information, namely, the capital and operating costs of using catalyst manufacturing process equipment, a simple and researcher-accessible "step method" is described herein. This method is based on the estimating techniques that contract manufacturers of industrial catalysts use to develop price quotes for their services. It allows the development of an estimate of catalyst synthesis costs by selection of individual processing steps from a list. Data and methods to allow estimation of processing cost via the step method are provided for synthesis quantities of 1-1000 tons. Price estimates for three example materials, including Pt/C, Ni/Al2O3, and fluid catalytic cracking catalysts, are described in detail and shown to compare favorably (within ±20%) with market prices for those materials. Finally, the step method is placed in the context of a forthcoming free and publicly available catalyst cost estimation tool that will incorporate raw materials pricing, dedicated catalyst plants for higher-volume syntheses, spent catalyst value, and other features.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1599-1605
Number of pages7
JournalOrganic Process Research and Development
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5100-72595


  • catalysts
  • heterogeneous
  • precommercial
  • price
  • step method


Dive into the research topics of 'Estimating Precommercial Heterogeneous Catalyst Price: A Simple Step-Based Method'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this