Unload reactors with CATFLOW®





In addition to dense loading activities, PETROVAL has developed a new machine to unload reactor, the Catflow®. It is used to unload catalyst through horizontal dump nozzles. The machine creates a fluidized region inside the horizontal dump pipe, and the catalyst is able to flow by applying a delta P over the pipe. The Catflow® increases the safety, the rapidity and the quality.


The Catflow® was developed by PETROVAL's engineers with the objective to unload the catalyst without workers intervening inside the reactor.

Also, the Catflow® reduces the risk of air entry and self-ignition of catalyst. This unloading method permits to achieve a high level of safety on site.


The Catflow® system has an unloading rate comprise between 10m3 and 12m3 per hour. The installation requires only 1 hour and the machine is easy to handle. Consequently, the time savings are significant.


Thanks to the free flowing of catalyst, the Catflow® limits the catalyst breakage and attrition, and improves the quantity and quality of the recovered catalyst.

Comparison between Catflow®

and other unloading methods

(Vacuuming, catalyst auger and Catflow®)

Vacuuming Catalyst Auger
Reactor Entry YES NO NO
Unloading rate 5m3/hour 4m3/hour 12m3/hour
Catalyst breakage Between 30% and 50% Over 50% Below 2%
Installation / Utilisation Fast but with inert entry in the reactor Time consuming, heavy equipment required, which is difficult on recessed catwalks About 130 kg total with a maximum of 35 kg per element, transportable by air freight, installation within 1 hour