Catalyst Carrier Materials from Alumina to Zirconia

Saint-Gobain NorPro has an impressive and lengthy record in the development and commercialization of catalyst carriers utilizing a wide range of materials for countless applications.  Our understanding of raw materials and finished properties is unparalleled in the industry.

Customization of Materials & Attributes

Our team has the ability to tailor pore structure and customize chemistry.  Very close control of calcination conditions is required to produce high phase purity materials such as theta-, chi- and delta-aluminas.  Titanias and zirconias are not only high purity, with no other binder materials, but also may be phase controlled anatase and rutile titanias and monoclinic and zirconias.  Silica carriers have tightly controlled soda and alumina content. Silica-aluminas may show very high surface areas, while silicon carbide carriers offer exceptional thermal conductivity characteristics.  Many mixed oxide materials have been developed as well.

Physical Properties

Internal surface area and porosity are critical physical attributes of the carrier and the catalyst relies on a wide range of physical properties being optimized for a particular reaction.  We have prepared a Materials Selector that will help you identify a variety of Materials, Surface Area, or Pore Volume selections.  The information in these tables represents only some of our extensive capabilities. To view a list of our standard catalyst carriers, please download the brochure under the Related Literature section on this page. If you can't find what you're looking for, please Contact Us.

Tailored Porosity

Catalytic surface utilization is optimized with the tailoring of the pore size distribution -- shifting toward the low or high ends or compacting, where applicable, around a required pore size diameter. The diagram indicates the wide range of pore sizes that may be incorporated into NorPro® carriers. Note especially the ability to make materials with bimodal and trimodal pore size distributions that allow a carrier to be tailored to the exact  requirements of a particular reaction.  


cat carrier pore chart small
Surface Area

Catalyst system optimization requires a surface area necessary to provide the optimum number of active sites and a pore size distribution to maximize the surface utilization.  These optimized variables fix the remaining variable, and this is where Saint-Gobain NorPro's vast experience comes into play -- by tailoring the catalyst carrier to optimum conditions.

Surface area is very important in catalytic reactions.  Surface Area is measured as lowintermediate and high and may vary for many products.  The degree of variation possible depends upon the material.  

Low Surface Area:  0- 10 m2/g

Low surface area carriers are characterized by large pore size plus high mechanical strength, inertness and high thermal stability.  Physical properties are held to strict specifications.

Intermediate Surface Area:  10 - 100 m2/g

Our intermediate surface area carriers have found a place in industry because of their excellent balance of high catalytic activity combined with good mechanical strength.

High Surface Area:  >100 m2/g

Our standard line of high surface area ceramic carriers is only a guideline to our capabilities.  We offer a relatively wide range of values for pore volume, crush strength and packing density.  Yet, we can hold pore volume tolerances to ±0.025 cc/gm, anywhere within the range; this determines crush strength and packing density.

Physical Attributes

Internal surface area and porosity are perhaps the most important physical attributes of the carrier because they allow active and selective catalysts to be produced.  It is recognized, however, that the overall performance of the catalyst relies on a wide range of physical properties being optimized for a particular reaction.

Surface area

0.005 - 400 m2/g

Pore diameters

30 nm - 300 µm

Pore size distribution may be tailored


Pore volumes

to 1.3 cm3/g

Water absorption

to 70%

Size 300 µm spheres to 75 mm rings


Catalyst Carrier Selector

Our catalyst selector tool is designed to help you quickly determine the right carrier for your application. Search below by raw material, surface area, or pore volume to determine which of our carriers will best suit your needs. Not sure what you need? View our standard carriers product list to see what's available. After you receive and test a sample carrier our team can work with you to co-develop a carrier that meets the specifications needed for your specific application. 

Related Literature
Catalytic Products

Catalytic products brochure, shares information on capabilities and products

PDF | 4 pages | 4.21 MB
Catalytic Products
Catalyst Carriers -Typical Properties

Catalyst carriers typical properties brochure shares product information for standard catalyst carriers

PDF | 953.46 KB
Typical Properties Brochure