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First Customer Order for SulphCo Sonocracking Technology; 30,000 Bbl/Day

SulphCo, Inc., the developer of ultrasound technology to desulfurize and hydrogenate heavy crude oil (earlier post), announced its first customer order for Sonocracking units, with at least thirty thousand barrels per day of processing capacity.

The order comes via Pt. Isis Megah, SulphCo’s new exclusive distributor in India, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

The SonoCracking technology uses high-power ultrasonic energy on a mixture of crude oil and water in conjunction with inexpensive proprietary catalysts. The use of high-power ultrasound induces cavitations in the processed liquid, creating bubbles which grow, contract and eventually burst under the stress of the ultrasound waves. The bursting generates excess heat and pressure in and around every micrometer and submicrometer-sized bubble.

The entire process takes a few nanoseconds and each bubble behaves as a microreactor accelerating the physical reactions owing to the heat released. The high temperature (10,000 K) and pressure (10,000 psi) conditions cause disruption of molecular bonds.

Free radicals form as a result of the breaking of molecular bonds in the water vapor at the thermolic center of the cavitation bubbles. While a large portion of these free radicals rapidly reform into water vapor, a few bring about the displacement of sulfur in the hydrocarbons. It also results in cracking the bonds of residuum elements, thereby enhancing the crude quality.

The transfer of hydrogen from water to the numerous petroleum streams leads to the removal of sulfur from the crude oil present in these streams. Other than desulfurization, the process also brings about the rupturing of the complex hydrocarbon bonds, resulting in upgrading the value of the hydrocarbon fractions owing to increased product volume and American Petroleum Institute (API) gravity.


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