Robotic catalyst removal - CAROL

Did you know, CAROL is the industry’s first commercial robot for catalyst unloading from refinery and petrochemical vessels? 

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.

Award-winning technology

Winner Best Process Controls/Automation Technology (2019 Hydrocarbon Processing Awards)

Winner Innovation in Downstream Product Development (2019 Downstream Awards)

Winner Spotlight on New Technology (2020 Offshore Technology Conference Awards)

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 at temperatures 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 the catalyst is reduced compared to a person standing on the bed.

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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 provides buoyancy and allows CAROL to move in all directions and to turn on a dime.

Aerial view of refinery

Value delivered

LNG Plant, Western Australia – CAROL unloaded a dehydrator under inert conditions and with no need for human entry, achieving an unloading rate of up to 12m3/h

Power Plant, Mississippi USA – CAROL unloaded a gas shift reactor at vessel temperatures that exceeded 50oC (120oF)

Oil Refinery, Alberta Canada – CAROL removed dense loaded catalyst and ceramics from a diesel hydrotreater

LNG Plant, Gladstone Australia – CAROL unloaded ceramics from above the top tray, and 30m3 of wet mercury guard bed material, in less time than one shift

Oil Refinery, Texas USA – CAROL unloaded a chloride treater and naphtha hydrotreater, reducing the crew size by two people

Fertilizer Plant, Georgia USA – CAROL unloaded a molecular sieve with continuous operation at 8m3/h

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.