Technology: Overview

FlexUP™ and FlexULS ™ technologies are novel desulfurization and upgrading processes. Both remove sulfur and nitrogen using oxydesulfurization chemistries. FlexUP is a catalytic process that offers high sulfur content crude oils and refinery streams the disruptive ability to upgrade their quality by additionally removing metals and naphthenic acids. Through this upgrading process, densities and viscosities are decreased and the net value is improved as much as 20%. FlexULS is a simple adsorption based process that offers light streams with low sulfur levels to be brought down below ultra-low-sulfur (ULS) standards. Both technologies have a small physical and carbon foot print allowing producers and refiners to upgrade their current feeds while dramatically improving their economics. FlexUP has been successfully tested on many heavy-sour crude oils as well as bitumen and asphaltene feeds. FlexULS has been successfully tested on numerous low-sulfur feeds.

At the core of Auterra's FlexUP and FlexULS technologies are the FlexOx™ family of catalysts, the FlexDS™ chemical package, and FlexUP Support Services. The first stage of the processes uses FlexOx catalysts to provide highly selective oxidation of sulfur and nitrogen moieties in hydrocarbon streams. Only FlexUP uses the second stage of the process, FlexDS which is a chemical package which cleaves these oxidized species away from the hydrocarbons and removes them as by-products.

FlexOx Catalysts
The FlexOx family of proprietary catalysts is at the core of both FlexUP and FlexULS. They provide world class sulfoxidation as an attractive alternative to hydrotreating processes. It's low energy requirements and immunity to traditional catalyst poisons makes it ideal for both heavy-sour feeds and light sweet feeds.

FlexDS Chemical Package
FlexDS incorporates standard process equipment to support the cleaving chemical reactions used in the FlexUP process. The chemical package is removed from the oil in a final wash process that delivers upgraded, higher quality oil.

FlexUP Technology's elegant chemistry enables the efficient and selective chemical upgrading of heteroatom rich hydrocarbon streams. Efficient recycle loops makes the process more economical than hydrogen-based alternatives.

FlexUP Support Services
FlexUP Support Services provides engineering and technical services for plant design, technical services and support to ensure optimal operation and maximum return on investment.

A robust patent portfolio protects the primary catalysts and process elements of the FlexUP and FlexULS technologies, the novel FlexOx catalyst which oxidizes only heteroatoms and the proprietary FlexDS chemical package which selectively cleaves away the oxidized moieties.