Biochemical Upgrading of Petroleum ("BUP")
Source: Brookhaven National Lab
Date: 3/1/96    Record No.: 10280
Contact: Ed Beardsworth, 415-328-5670; Phil Palmedo, LIRI, 516-361-6800

Biochemical Upgrading of Petroleum ("BUP")
Work at Brookhaven National Lab has shown that certain catalysts can effectively upgrade crude and processed oils in ways that have significant economic potential. These processes enhance lighter oil fractions, reduce organic sulfur and nitrogen content, and remove trace metals such as nickel and vanadium.

To date, processes have been demonstrated at 50 gallon bench scale. BNL, assisted by the Long Island Research Institute (LIRI), has set up a company and is seeking industrial partners. They've prepared a detailed commercialization plan that discusses a wide range of potential applications.

The technology can be applied in upstream and downstream processing of oils and oil fractions, and in pretreatment of oils in many applications. Calculations show net financial benefits (i.e., after capital and operating costs) of $0.30 to $1.20 per barrel from changing high-sulfur oil into low-sulfur oil.

Related technology can also treat waste streams from geothermal energy production, recovering valuable trace metals and converting geothermal sludges into commercially viable products.

Keywords: oil