There is an essential need for a solution that can assist in the conversion of High Sulphur Fuel Oil - HSFO i.e. Existing Bunker Oil into "On-Spec" Low Sulphur Fuel Oil - LSFO. The solution must in itself have a low energy footprint and be commercially viable whilst remaining within the Spirit of MARPOL Annex VI; "Environmentally Sustainable."
curveMARINE has built on developed commercial methodologies with recent scientific discoveries; [2017 onwards] to create an Advanced Extractive Desulfurization; [EDS] solution. With low energy, and physical footprint Curve's EDS solution can greatly assist the industry to deliver commercially viable VLSFO from high sulphur feedstocks. The Advanced EDS pre-treatment can be containerized and deployed to refiners and bunkering facilities in modular treatment trains to whatever scale is required.
The existing regime for desulfurization in most modern refineries is Hydrodesulfurization [HDS].HDS performs under high reaction conditions, such as high temperature (~300 - 450 ◦C), high pressure (~200 atm), and in a large reaction vessel, HDS can only process the simplest sulphur compounds the thiols. HDS cannot easily remove thiophenes or the more serious dibenzothiophenes. This gives HDS a problematic direct and indirect carbon and ancillary emissions footprint. Additionally, HDS extraction of the Dibenzothiophenes under these severe conditions can compromise the integrity of the fuel oil.
Therefore, newer techniques, such as extractive desulfurization, biodesulphurization, extraction with ionic liquids, selective adsorption, and oxidative desulphurization have been proposed in addition, or as alternatives, to HDS. Amongst these alternative methods, the oxidative desulfurization process has received more attention due to its mild operating condition and high sulphur removal efficiency. However, there still exist many issues with the ODS process, such as high loading of the oxidizing agent, deactivation of the catalyst, increasing investment costs with increasing sulphur concentration in the feedstock, and waste management of the oxidized sulphur compounds.
The challenges for Advanced EDS have been in developing a fast and efficient catalysed process coupled with a cost-effective extractive process. Curve Marine has achieved this through a combination of supported high molecular strength nano catalytic chemistry and innovative engineering. In addition to the removal of Sulphur, viscosity can also be managed.
The solution can be deployed as an "add-on" to existing HDS systems in refineries. In this scenario, the already deployed HDS system could be used at its "efficient-best" to remove phase one S-compounds (the simpler Thiols). The Curve Marine EDS system would subsequently remove the more complex dibenzothiophenes compounds preserving product integrity. Alternatively, the solution can be deployed in a stand-alone arrangement outside of a refinery environment with greater flexibility to upgrade off-spec feedstock to an enhanced VLSFO. The Benchmark VLSFO produced will be free from Hybrid Blending issues and Black Carbon Emissions achieving the MARPOL Annexe VI requirements for 2020.