Technology: Downstream

FlexUp™ is a novel desulfurization and upgrading process that removes sulfur, nitrogen, trace metals and increases API on heavy-sour oil feeds. FlexUp significantly reduces the operational and capital costs of the current method of sulfur removal, hydrotreating (HDT) which translates to significant savings and increased margins for your refinery.

Reduction in Hydrogen consumption/Ability to Repurpose Hydrogen. While hydrotreating relies on energy intensive hydrogen to meet sulfur regulations, FlexUp uses air, eliminating the need to use hydrogen to meet these environmental regulations. This allows current hydrogen capacity to be used for hydrogenation, further increasing profit margins.

Lower capital costs. In a direct comparison to hydrotreating, FlexUp is a fraction of the capital cost. For refineries looking to add HDT capacity, FlexUp can save hundreds of millions of dollars for future projects. For refineries with installed HDT capacity, FlexUp can avoid expanding hydrogen gas capacity which can save capital costs by as much as hundreds of millions of dollars. Additionally, FlexUp can enable lower quality crude oils to be used without the cost of expensive capital equipment upgrades that protect against naphthenic acids, metals and higher sulfur levels.

Meet sulfur regulations. FlexUp removes sulfur from the heaviest distillates using low energy inputs. Globally, sulfur regulations for road diesel, marine fuel and other distillates are becoming stricter and more expensive to meet. FlexUp has proven to be extremely effective in removing sulfur down to desired levels on all oil feeds, including heavy fuels where HDT struggles to achieve desired results.

FlexULS™ is a derivative of the FlexUp process but delivers superior sulfur and nitrogen polishing. Feeds that do not benefit from hydrogen saturation but have sulfur levels as high as 2,000 parts per million are ideal for this process. FlexULS can produce polished feeds with sulfur levels below 10 PPM. This process can also be used to reduce overall hydrogen demand for a refinery by reducing desulfurization duties.

Smaller CO2 footprint. FlexUp operates at much lower operating temperatures and pressures than hydrotreating. This means an overall reduction in energy consumption and lower carbon dioxide footprint. In a recent well-to-tank analysis of bitumen, it was estimated that FlexUp will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 10%.

Please contact Auterra to learn more about these processes.