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CAROL Robotic Catalyst Unloading

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The world’s first remote controlled commercial catalyst removal robot

Page last modified
Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 12:56

CAROL (Catalyst Removal Amphirol) is a robot that sits on the surface of the catalyst, moving around on the material as it is vacuumed. The hydraulically powered screws (amphirols) provide buoyancy, propulsion and manoeuvrability on the loose granular material. A vacuum hose is connected to the robot via a remotely adjustable nozzle, allowing for maximum catalyst removal rates. The robot is lowered through the vessel manway on a winch and is controlled remotely via joysticks and video monitors.


20% increase in uptime – vacuum for 10+ hours per shift
Performs as fast, if not faster than a human worker
Operates in conditions not suitable for humans (up to 75ᵒC, 167ᵒF)
Camera system is hazardous area compliant
Sampling is possible at different points in the bed
High reliability due to simple robust design
Cannot break up heavily fused catalyst and cannot remove internal trays
Hazardous area temperature rating limited to 55ᵒC (131ᵒF)
Overall ATEX approval of the system is in progress


Capabilities Remote vacuuming of entire bed down to the ceramics so vessel can be switched to air for final clean | Vacuuming of angle of repose post gravity dump | Co-current vacuuming and dumping to avoid developing an angle of repose
Certifications / licences All electrical equipment in vessel is certified for use in hazardous areas (IEC Ex Zone 1, ATEX Zone 1, Class 1 Division 2, AEx Zone 1).
Implementation time Set-up of equipment on site achieved in less than one shift.
Non man entry No requirement for human entry during bulk catalyst unloading operation.
Patents National patents filed in over 15 countries | Patent approved in Australia and South Africa (pending in other territories)
Power Robot is hydraulically powered. Hydraulic power unit is 3-phase power from plant or generator.
Repeatability Extensive testing conducted in test vessels in Australia, USA and Canada. 24 hour endurance test.
Safe operating Safe operating procedure | Risk register reviewed and approved by Chevron and BP | eLearning operator training module.
Suitability Suitable for most fixed bed catalyst vessels with top manways. Catalyst needs to be relatively free flowing. Tested on a wide range of catalyst including wet cat, molecular sieve, dense loaded hyrdoprocessing catalyst and ceramic balls.
Temperature Hazardous area certification limits ambient temperature rating to 55ᵒC, 131ᵒF | Catalyst bed temperature rating is 82ᵒC, 180ᵒF

Relative Business Impact

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Technology Readiness Level


Development Technology demonstration Mature / Proven
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About Advisian Digital (Worley Group)

Advisian Digital is the technology arm of Worley, a global energy, chemicals and resources engineering company. Advisian Digital's products help you create business value by facilitating your ability to capture and leverage data to enable machine or human decision making, driving the right action at the right time. They’ve been created to address specific and known industry challenges through efficient decision making and action – completely machine or computer automated, or working in concert with the human worker.

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