The oil and gas industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the need for improving productivity, minimizing downtime, enhancing safety and reducing emissions, with the growing importance of technologies such as quantum computing, Artificial Intelligence and big data]. In the last three years alone, there have been over 523,000 patents filed and granted in the oil and gas industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in oil & gas: biofuel catalytic crackingBuy the report here.

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However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

60+ innovations will shape the oil & gas industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the oil & gas industry using innovation intensity models built on over 196,000 patents, there are 60+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, high-pressure gas vessels, boil-off gas treatment, and oil recovery CWI are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Green hydrogen synthesis, hydrocarbon lubricants, and oil well surveillance are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are cryogenic gas separation and olefin metathesis catalysts, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for the oil & gas industry

Biofuel catalytic cracking is a key innovation area in oil & gas

Catalytic cracking involves the breaking down or cracking the large molecules into smaller ones to produce distillates and gasoline. Nowadays, it is also being used to synthesise biofuels.

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 and 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 a sustainable technology company that leads the patent filers in biofuel catalytic cracking in the oil and gas industry. Its research and development team actively works on producing petrochemical-based compounds such as benzene, toluene and xylene from non-food biomass by catalytic cracking through Bio-TCat™ technology.

Other key patent filers in this field include UPM-Kymmene, Shell, KiOR, and Arkema.

Biofuel catalytic cracking has huge potential in the oil and gas industry because of its cost effectiveness, biodegradability, and reusability. Unlike other conventional techniques such as thermal catalytic, it has potential for greater yields in biofuels simply by diversifying catalysts. Therefore, it is crucial for companies to invest in innovative solutions that ensure sustainable production of biofuels through catalytic cracking.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the oil & gas industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Oil & 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.