Alternative Environmental Technologies reaches Sulfex commercial plant milestone

a milestone in their effort to install and operate the first commercial Sulfex™ diesel desulfurization unit. The Front End Loading (FEL) for the design, construction and installation of the Sulfex™ commercial plant is at the mid-way point. The 1000 barrel per day diesel desulfurization plant design is on-schedule, on-budget and on-quality.  The environmental permit application is about to commence with no issues yet identified as the discharge will primarily be water.  Commissioning and startup is anticipated to occur towards the end of 2023.

“This shows how removing complexity along with significantly reducing safety hazards as well as health and environmental hazards can greatly reduce costs along with cycle times in accordance with LEAN design principles.  Typically, a diesel fuel sulfur reduction project would take 2 to 3 times longer than the speed at which this SULFEX™ FEL process is occurring.  We are thrilled with the results.” stated Barry Dallum, AET’s Vice President of Business Development.

Stringent United States Environmental Protection Agency and global environmental regulations are demanding dramatic reductions in sulfur levels in fossil fuels to less than 15 parts per million (PPM) from several hundred PPM and heavy oils from several percent to less than 1%.

Today this is done globally using Hydrodesulfurization (Hydrotreating or HDS). Besides operating a hydrotreater, many sites also use steam reforming to make hydrogen which adds an additional level of complexity and hazards. AET’s desulfurization technology, Sulfex™, has several major safety advantages as it performs the same desulfurization.

Hydro-Desulfurization uses hydrogen gas, high temperatures (300 to 400 degrees Celsius), and high pressures (30 to 130 atmospheres) to modify sulfur bearing compounds so they can be removed. However, this process is limited to large refineries because capital and operating costs are too high. AET has successfully designed and built a cheaper method of reducing the sulfur content of fossil fuels. The main cost-saving advantage of AET’s patented approach is that the fuel is not processed under high temperatures and pressures. It also does not need large amounts of ancillary equipment. These items are both capital and operationally expensive. Sulfex™ is operationally much simpler and thus not just much cheaper but also much safer to use than traditional processes. AET’s laboratory, pilot plant, and small-scale industrial plants have resulted in as much as 99.9% reductions of all sulfur compounds found in existing high sulfur fuels and middle distillates sourced from various refineries. AET has treated twenty (20) different types of diesel and gasoline fuels including U.S. Navy JP-5 jet fuel, U.S. Marine F-75 diesel fuel, high sulfur kerosene, other middle distillates along with heavier fuels such as mazut, bunker fuel and tire pyrolysis oils. In addition to dramatically decreasing sulfur levels, AET’s process can simultaneously remove other contaminants such as dirt, water and polar chemical contaminants to comply with EPA regulations.

To fully demonstrate its Sulfex™ system, AET has built two pilot plants at its Reno, Nevada, facility. AET’s Sulfex™ processes have been independently verified by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory (www.anl.gov) and has been beta tested in Thailand.


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