MSAR® technology is supplied under licence by AkzoNobel, the world’s leader in surface chemistry. Use of AkzoNobel’s expertise ensures the QIL are able to offer cost competitive and highly stable emulsified fuels suited to the practical requirements of transportation, storage and application from virtually any oil refinery residue or extra-heavy crude feedstock.
QIL operates under a long-term alliance agreement with AkzoNobel, with regular exchange of commercial and marketing information and joint development of specific projects for MSAR® production. The Alliance Agreement applies to all countries of the world other than members of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Japan and China - business development in these countries being treated on a case-by-case basis as required.
QIL’s role is the “Integrator developer” of MSAR® based projects. In order to achieve this QIL has to engage with some of the world’s largest energy players in the downstream oil, utility and transportation industries to develop MSAR® production and use.
MSAR® - Joint Research & Project Development
The alliance nature of the agreement with AkzoNobel is structured to ensure co-operative development of the technology on specific and unique projects. Each project is generally different, requiring a case by case optimisation of the MSAR® chemicals package to meet client requirements.
The surfactant chemicals for the asphalt business are ‘specialities’ manufactured by AkzoNobel, and a limited number of competitors. Experience has shown that a different technical solution to the asphalt business is required for the emulsion fuel business due to more stringent standards for fuel additives and increased stability requirements. This understanding is based on detailed knowledge gained by Quadrise members when developing Orimulsion®.
Effective surfactants, or blends, can vary for each application because of the different chemical and physical nature of the feedstocks (e.g. type of crude oil processed, configuration of a particular refinery, level of severity of operation of the candidate refinery process unit). Resolution of the emulsion package issue is handled by testing on the specific feedstock on a case by case basis prior to making commitments and commercial guarantees to the client. The MSAR® chemical package is very much non-standard when compared to conventional asphalt emulsions and even Orimulsion®.
The conventional quality control methods and standards applicable for asphalt emulsion have been demonstrated to be ineffective for MSAR®, again Orimulsion® experience has been vital.
Resolution of the emulsion package is but one element of the steps needed to develop a successful project. The project development and specialist skills detailed below are mandatory. These are embedded in Quadrise personnel through their refinery engineering background coupled with over 100 man years of experience across all facets of the commercially successful Orimulsion® business:
- Refinery configuration analysis and economic evaluation of feed-stocks is fundamental to ensuring specific projects are commercially viable. Quadrise has developed proprietary techno-economic analysis models to expediently appraise each specific refinery opportunity.
- Engineering design and operational considerations for handling and transporting MSAR® through a conventional fuel supply chain are of critical importance to maintaining delivered MSAR® quality. The know-how concerning batching operations, transfer conditions, types of fuel delivery equipment and many other factors must be incorporated into the appraisal and design of the overall system.
- The supply chain must then be supported by custom designed and intensively policed QA/QC systems specific to MSAR®. Through adaptation of Orimulsion® experience and fuel system analysis models, Quadrise has a unique capability to expedite projects and eliminate costly operational errors.
- Finally the behaviour and impact of MSAR® at its point of use, including fuel handling combustion characteristics in the existing boiler, furnace or engine and impact on efficiency, output and environmental impact are especially relevant to end-users and organisations that legislate their continued operation; as is a total knowledge of competitor fuels and their technical, economic and environmental characteristics relative to MSAR®. Techno-economic and environmental models developed during the implementation of Orimulsion projects worldwide have again been adapted for MSAR® applications and are an essential tool in convincing stakeholders of the benefits of MSAR® fuel over competing fuel options.
AkzoNobel and Quadrise thus have a mutual interdependence in respect of a successful outcome for the business as each party brings different skills sets to project development. AkzoNobel provide expertise in emulsion formulations and manufacture, whilst Quadrise brings the overall technical and commercial expertise for an MSAR® project development through the alignment of a producer (e.g. oil refiner) and consumers (e.g. power generator or marine operator), very different businesses.