In recent years the cost of research is increasingly dear to the sponsoring organizations, whether we speak of the public or private sector. Yet to meet the demand to make advances in product-generating technologies and to do so with slimmer margins, cost savings have to be developed along the chain of process events needed for production. In addition, the public atlarge has voiced their mandate for more environmentally benign operations. One look at the program for the 5th World Congress of Chemical Engineering (San Diego, 1996) would quickly show this trend. Both of the above-mentioned concerns merge together in the world of the chemical producer, generating a call for breakthroughs in the synergy of combining advanced catalytic materials with novel engineering processes. Thus, catalysis remains a focal point for technological progress .
Zeolites continue to be used as advanced catalytic materials, their contribution of molecular size discrimination, potential stability and high activity highlighting them as candidates for use in developing new process chemistry. Production of alkyl aromatics has seen recent trends in the replacement of existing corrosive catalyst technology by the safer solid acid zeolite catalysts . The lube oil business has experienced the introduction of new Isodewaxing catalysts, capable of producing higher yields of desired product, and thereby reducing waste loss in the overall process scheme .