Who We Are

Center of Excellence for Petrochemicals (KOPRC)

KACST and the University of Oxford have created a joint research center called KACST – Oxford Petrochemical Research Centre (KOPRC). This joint scientific cooperation between KACST and the University of Oxford is the first of its type in the Arab world in the refining and petrochemical fields and comes within the strategic plan set by KACST.

The collaboration is hoping to do the following:

  • Transfer and nationalize techniques in the areas mentioned
  • Train staff of the joint institute at the University of Oxford
KOPRC developed wide ranges of catalysts and processes in the field of petroleum refining and petrochemicals. Filed 10 joint patents, covering novel oil refinery processes and catalysts, adding value to heavy oil products and new methods to measure (non-intrusively) coking in operating catalysts. Published more than 20 joint papers, and organized 7 highly successful KOPRC Petrochemical Forums in both Oxford and Riyadh. Two MSc and 1 DPhil students have graduated in the past 5 years.

Featured Projects

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Transformation of LPG and C6/C7 paraffins into aromatics

This project is focused on the preparation of a novel catalyst for LPG and C6/C7 paraffins aromatization under non-oxidative conditions

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Heavy Oil to Olefins

Saudi Arabian natural resources are abundant in oil, however very little gas reserves our present. With this in mind the use of gas would be preferable due to its relatively clean combustion.

Publications and IPs

Microwave treatment in oil refining

In this paper, we discuss the potential of using microwave techniques in the refinement of heavy fraction of petroleums such as bunker oil.

Selective zeolite catalyst for alkylation of benzene with ethylene to produce ethylbenzene

In this work, a selective catalyst of BXE ALKCAT zeolite has been developed with about 30 % of ZSM-5

The Catalyst Selectivity Index (CSI): A Framework and Metric to Assess the Impact of Catalyst Efficiency Enhancements upon Energy and CO2 Footprints

Heterogeneous catalysts are not only a venerable part of our chemical and industrial heritage, but they also occupy a pivotal,


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The 5th KACST-Oxford Petrochemicals Forum 2015 – Oxford, UK

24 Aug 2015    27 Aug 2015   

The Continuing Role of Fossil Fuels in...

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The 6th KACST-Oxford Petrochemicals Forum 2016 – KACST, Riyadh

12 April 2016    13 April 2016   

Towards Competitive and Innovative Petrochemicals Industry...

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The 7th KACST-Oxford Petrochemicals Forum 2017 – The Royal Society, London, UK

24 July 2017    26 July 2017   

Fossil Fuel Decarbonization for Mitigating Global Warming