Oil shale and heavy oil upgrading
Hydrotreating Alternative

Oil shale reserves in the Green River Basin of Western Colorado, Eastern Utah, and Southwestern Wyoming potentially will provide a major energy source for the United States. Prior to conventional refining or shipment through a pipeline, several impurities must be removed, including nitrogen, sulfur, and arsenic. The process of impurity removal and partial hydrogenation is called “upgrading” and the conventional process is called hydro-treating, requiring processing with hydrogen and catalysts.

Ceramatec is developing an alternative upgrading process utilizing sodium or lithium molten metals with the shale oil to promote removal of the impurities. Ceramatec also is developing an electrolytic process to regenerate the alkali metals directly from the sulfide. The process is expected to provide improved operational flexibility and economics. The process also can be utilized for “heavy” oil which increasing is being utilized to meet energy needs.

The technology in development will be ready for pilot testing in 2012. Ceramatec expects to partner with multiple parties interested in evaluating the technology for their upgrading requirements both for shale oil and heavy oil.