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IFPEN develops innovative solutions for catalysts, processes and other cutting edge technology to achieve  providing fuel and intermediate chemical products in a cleaner, safer and more economical process - with reduced environmental impact.
These innovations are placed on the market by industrial partners, who are responsible for their extrapolation at industrial scale and commercialization. One such partner is IFPEN affiliates Axens, a major global player in refining and petrochemical technologies and products.

Development of innovative refining processes

Conversion of heavy fractions


  • Catalytic cracking: the FCC (Fluid Catalytic Cracking) process is an essential stage in refining, and one which must be capable of adapting to new challenges in terms of variations in feedstock and flexibility of target products (fuel, propylene) while reducing the environmental footprint of the process (FlexEne™, R2R™).
U550 Pilote FCC © IFPEN

The FCC Alliance: an alliance for developing FCC technology
4 partners: IFPEN, Axens, Total and Technip Stone & Webster Process Technology
Over 50 units licensed around the world

  • The H-Oil™ ebullated bed deep conversion process: this is an eco-efficient technology for achieving deep conversion, via hydrocracking, of heavy, less volatile cuts to produce distillates which are further refined downstream. This technology therefore contributes to the incorporation of heavy fractions in the refining process.
  • Hyvahl™ residue hydrotreatment processes and catalysts: these processes and catalysts are designed to purify residue so that it can subsequently be upgraded or used as bunker fuel in a context of increasingly stringent regulation (MARPOL future IMO’s standards).




Petroleum fuels


  • Gasoline
Unité industrielle Prime G+ désulfuration des essences de la raffinerie de Fortum Naantali en Finlande © Axens

- Gasoline desulfurization processes and catalysts (Prime-G+™): they are designed to produce gasoline bases that comply with the most stringent regulations on sulfur content (Euro VI, Tier 3 and China 4) while retaining excellent combustion quality (high octane index).


- Innovative catalytic reforming processes and catalysts (Symphony™) are designed to convert light petroleum cuts into aromatic hydrocarbons, which are used for improving the properties of base fuels. They are also upgraded to petrochemical base materials.


243 Prime-G+ implementations worldwide


  • Distillates

    - Catalysts and hydrocracking processes (Craken range): they make it possible to meet tomorrow’s challenges in the conversion and clean production of distillates in terms of product yield, quality and production cycle. Hydrocracking is a key refining process. The leading products marketed by Axens include, for example, the latest generation of Craken HYK 733 catalysts, which present improved performances in terms of activity, cracking selectivity towards the target products and the quality of the products obtained.


- Hydrotreatment processes and catalysts (the Prime-D™ process for desulfurization of diesel cuts, Impulse™, HyC-10™): these are designed to purify middle distillates before their incorporation in diesel/kerosene fuel pools.


Oligomerization processes and catalysts: these are essential tools for ensuring balance between gasoline and diesel pools (Polyfuel™).
- Distributor platforms designed to improve hydroprocessing processes (Equiflow™).


Over 120 Prime-D implementations worldwide


  • GTL
    The Fischer-Tropsch (Gasel®) process






  • Olefins
    Olefin purification catalysts, adsorbents and processes (ethylene, propylene etc.) produced by steam cracking and FCC enable the most stringent requirements on purity to be met, especially for the production of plastics via polymerization. 



  • Aromatics

Production of paraxylene (Eluxyl, ParamaX suite), a major component of polyester fibres and plastic bottles.


18 Eluxyl units worldwide with combined paraxylene production capacity in the order of 9 Mt/year

Eluxyl, simulated counter-current xylene separation process - © IFPEN

+ Research theme > Refining-petrochemicals, a rapidly evolving sector

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For further information, please mail to:

Fabrice Bertoncini

Fabrice Bertoncini
R&D program manager:

- Conversion of residues and heavy crudes
- Distillate production and purification
- Gasoline production and purification

Slavik Kasztelan

Slavik Kasztelan
R&D program manager:

- Petrochemicals
- Biobased chemistry

Key figure

150 G$
Estimated total investments in refining facilities dedicated to deep and moderate conversion up to 2035.

Key figure

42 %

of the world's refineries equipped with a technology licensed by Axens.