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What we do

Robotic Catalyst Removal – CAROL

Did you know, CAROL is the industry’s first and only commercial robot for catalyst unloading from refinery and petrochemical vessels? First developed in 2017, this innovative solution completed it’s first in-plant job in 2018 and there are currently four robots available globally.

Traditional catalyst unloading

Catalyst unloading from refinery and petrochemical vessels is usually achieved by vacuuming out the remaining spent catalyst in atmospheric or inert conditions. Until now, catalyst unloading has typically been performed by catalyst contractors who enter the vessel with breathing apparatus, because the nitrogen atmosphere does not support life.

Person controlling CAROL

Until now, catalyst unloading has typically been performed by catalyst contractors who enter the vessel with breathing apparatus, because the nitrogen atmosphere does not support life.

Why CAROL is a better choice

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Puts people safety first

The use of CAROL minimizes the time spent by workers in confined spaces. It also provides an alternative to water flooding and the associated disposal of the potentially contaminated water.

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Improves productivity and efficiency

With the ability to operate twenty-four-seven and in harsh conditions, CAROL can significantly reduce plant downtime. CAROL can operate in vessel conditions that are not suitable for human entry.

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Supports catalyst management

CAROL supports comprehensive catalyst management by allowing for catalyst samples to be taken at each point of the fixed bed. Damage to catalyst is reduced compared with manual vacuuming.

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Easy to set up and operate

CAROL is a lightweight, highly precise hydraulic robot, equipped with cameras for remote operation. The amphirol (screw propelled vehicle) design allows CAROL to move in all directions and to turn on a dime.

Aerial view of refinery

Successful trial of CAROL

CAROL was trialled at an LNG plant in Australia, removing catalyst remotely from a dehydration vessel, avoiding the need for workers to enter confined spaces under inert conditions. CAROL remotely removed more than 95 per cent of the catalyst from the vessel, including the ceramic support material at the top of the bed.

Inert conditions were maintained throughout and the requirement for confined space worker entry in the oxygen-deficient atmosphere was eliminated. CAROL was also successfully deployed in another vessel under water flood conditions.

Chris Jansen

Chris Jansen

Manager - Robotic Catalyst Removal

Chris Jansen is program manager and co-inventor of Advisian Digital's robotic catalyst removal technology, CAROL, the world’s first commercial catalyst unloading robot. He is a chartered chemical engineer with a strong track record for innovation and problem solving in the oil and gas industry.