Dense Loading

Dense loading is a technology that maximises catalyst performance and therefore the performance of the reactor itself. Commonly used in the petroleum refining and petrochemical industries. It offers the following advantages:

  • Increases volume of catalyst loaded therefore increase reactor processing capacity
  • Improves liquid/gas distribution
  • Controls local differential pressure build-ups and prevents the generation of hot spots
  • The flat loading of catalyst at a uniform density, without damaging the catalyst, is vital to reactor operations
  • Loading rate up to 20 tonnes per hour
  • Successful loading from 0.5m – 6.0m ID Reactors
  • Ability to load up too 300mm under the distribution tray and fully reversible to help mitigate against shadowing of TI’s and Transfer Tubes
  • Only technology available to allow dynamic variable cycle (DVC) speed control for maximum profile efficiency for real time adjustments
  • Quick setup by 1 x man with the latest generation machine less than 20kg, reducing downtime and increase loading efficiency
  • Dedicated team of experts to assist with your needs

However, conventional Dense Loading methods have, at times, caused flow mal-distribution, differential pressure build-up, and other such problems stemming from catalyst damage resulting from uneven loading density or loading surface and poor loading machine performance.  The operation of the equipment is also key, as you are only as good as the Technician operating it and having been in business for over 40 x years we have been witness to many of our customers receiving sub-standard dense loads from well-established operators and traditional equipment.

In order to solve these problems, a high-performance loading technology called the JE loader has been developed.

The JE loader has been in existence for over 20 years (having been established in Japan in the late 1990’s) and has been used and trusted by many of the largest petroleum and petrochemical operators globally.

This industry leading technology which has been subject to several significant upgrades; is the most modern and technologically advanced system available in the market.  Rather than being air driven and using whips and brushes to strike the catalyst at constant rates, the JE loader is electrically operated and offers an unparalleled amount of bed profile management with adaptive control (DVC) allowing responsive and instant adjustments.  In addition, the current generation of JE Loader is small enough to be carried by the operator as luggage for international travel, as such we can respond quickly, efficiently and without delay if required.

Alongside class leading training and ongoing customer support, with operators based in the US, Europe and Asia, we can cover all continents and geographical locations quickly.  With over 100 million+ Kg’s loaded to date and trusted by many of the largest catalyst manufacturers and process operators we welcome the opportunity to show you what we can do.

Cat Tech also offer the TURBOcat Dense Loader. This unique air driven technology can load rates of up to 25m3 per hour and provides an alternative to the class leading JE loader.

The synergies between our vast experience as Catalyst Handlers and our specialist Dense Loading division allows us to provide a best in class catalyst loading service.

Dense Loading

CATcap Tubular Loading

CATcap tubular loading technology is a system which pioneers the way in which tubular reactors are loaded. Due to the success of our systems many have tried to imitate it and failed. We have found that no other technique produces the same high level of uniformity and consistent loading.

Cat Tech has always been a technology pioneer in the tubular market

  • Air lances and specialised nozzles
  • CATcap insert loading
  • Inline dedusting system
  • Dehumidification and climate control
  • Timer controlled grit blasting
  • Automated DP Capture with variable timing and combined blow
    down for single step process

Our trained professionals have decades of experience managing tubular change outs including

  • Fish Tape, Template loading, Multi Zone Loading, tube and dome grit blasting, foam swab cleaning

With some reactors containing over 10,000+ tubes, our knowledge and technology in this field allows us to offer a fast, reliable and trusted method which has been used in a number of the world largest and valuable tubular vessels in the world.

Tubular Reactors

CATnap® Catalyst Passivation

A major breakthrough in catalyst unloading technology is now available and Cat Tech are proud to be setting new standards for safety in the Industry.

CATNap® patented technology eliminates the need for working in dangerous nitrogen filled environment typically created in Hydrotreaters and Hydrocrackers whilst routine maintenance is carried out. Whilst standard industry practice has historically dictated that the removal of self-heating and pyrophoric catalyst means an inert atmosphere is a must, this is no longer the case. Instead a proprietary CATnap® chemical applied as part of a modified reactor shutdown procedure coats the catalyst surfaces suppressing self-heating and toxic/pyrophoric dust allowing your catalyst to be safely unloaded in air.

Cat Tech’s proprietary Catalyst Passivation Process gives you safer, faster and cleaner change outs on your treating, cracking and reside units.

  • Eliminates all inert entry
  • Shortens reactor shutdown by days
  • Eliminates hot H2 Strip
  • Eliminates LEL
  • Eliminates dust during unloading
  • Eliminates waste water treatment from wet dumping
  • Catalyst fully regenerable

Catalyst passivation eliminated hazards, improves productivity and delivers financial benefit to your site.

To date CATnap® has been applied to over 350 units worldwide and through re-engineering and process development we can ensure that your catalyst unload is first and foremost the safest possible option, and the most cost effective. Whether carrying out a skim or full catalyst removal, CATnap® allows you to exploit a combination of significant risk and cost reduction measures whilst ensuring the catalyst remains fully regenerable.

We offer a full pre-engineering evaluation at zero cost.

Catalyst Passivation

CD Tech Towers

Cat Tech has a deep-seated history in regards to the installation process involved with CD Tech towers.  Cat Tech & CD Tech were at the time Shell owned companies, and due to the shared ownership Cat Tech were approached to assist with the onsite installations alongside CD Tech.    

During the project development phase, Cat Tech’s senior management team held meetings with CD Tech representatives at an early stage in order to develop and trial the most practicable solutions for the catalyst bale removal and replacement.  As a direct result of this, the CD Tech guidance notes for installation and catalyst bale handling were developed.  

The solution and service were a success, which then enabled CD Tech to globally market the technology and licenses were sold around the world.  

CD Tech then went on to be purchased by CB&I, and more recently CB&I became part of McDermott.


Cat Tech has more experience with all licensors, units and processes in the ammonia industry than any other contractor and can deliver success on any unit or process, including refits, revamps, partial unloads, cartridge replacements and inspection or repairs under inert conditions.

  • Sentry 4 Life support system from Breathe safe International
  • Unloading and containerising
  • In situ oxidation
  • Expansion bellow replacement
  • Gray lock removal and replacement
  • Screening and Dense Loading
  • Template vibration
  • Experience on every vessel in the Syn Gas Loop
Ammonia Market

Reformer Tube Loading

Cat Tech’s patent CATcade reformer tube loading system is simple, effective and delivers high quality results in all conditions. CATcade’s patented designs reduces human error and material fatigue making it the best choice for better, faster loading and DP results.

  • Approved by all major catalyst manufacturers
  • Maintenance free-reduced delays and manpower
  • Durable materials eliminate breakage
  • Easily portable for simple shipping
  • More consistent DP results
  • Over 10,000 tubes loaded
  • Better suited for use with local workforce
CAT Cade Reformer

DP Testing

  • To ensure fully homogeneous reactor loading of all tubes of tubular reactors
  • Reduce reactor change out time by combining the blow down and Dp measurement steps
  • Fully adjustable to accommodate customer blow down, Dp pressure, and timing requirements
  • Critical Orifice By-pass for effective high pressure, and greater flow blow down for improved dust removal
  • Problem tubes identified straight away and corrected
  • Varying size measuring devices for even the smallest dome heights
  • Real- time digital measurement, available immediately for review and monitoring
  • Up to 20 x Measurement Devices per vessel, including ability to measure Dp from the bottom tube sheet
  • All tubes can be subject to Dp measurement including Thermowell’s with TI’s in situ utilising Cat Tech designed adaptor providing full seal around the TI.

Inert Entry

Our Industry Leading CE approved Sentry 4 Life Support System by Breathesafe International Ltd, provides the safety platform for all Confined Spare Entry and our trained technicians follow tried and tester Standard Operating Procedures.

Let us put our experience to work for you.

  • Turn Key mechanical services including blinding, bolting, packing and trays.
  • Catalyst Unloading: Inert Vacuuming with recirculation, Gravity Upload, Attrition reduction
  • Catalyst Loading: Dense Loading, Full sock loading: mechanised drum handling
  • Inert welding and repairs
  • Catalyst Screening and segregation
  • Catalyst De-dusting



The world is evolving, and our client’s processes are evolving too.  With a greater focus on alternate technologies, renewable and biodegradable fuels which are needed to meet the pressures of environmental preservation, our clients are introducing ever more renewable & biodegradable feedstocks into their plants.

We recognise that there is a future beyond fossils and Cat Tech are adapting our services to help clients to deal with this change which will help reduce the impact on the environment and help lower polluting emissions.  Due to the various types of biomass feedstock being introduced there can be a need for higher levels of pre-treatment via guard beds and a potentially greater frequency of catalyst change out due to some of the characteristics certain feedstocks can contain and the way these impact the catalyst and potential agglomeration.

At Cat Tech we have developed efficient ways for dealing with ‘gummy’ or agglomerated catalyst, and due to our global network of resources should the need to carry out a change out at short notice we are there if you need us.

We also note that many of our customers are considering altering some of their in-situ production units to service this market, and we can help you with evaluation and execution of the conversions along with installation of new units. Our experts are on hand to work with clients from the design concept to through installation.

We have already carried multiple renewable catalyst change out projects and we are setting the benchmark in this field.  The world is evolving and Cat Tech is.

Bio Fuel

Do you require one of our specialist catalyst services?