Oil refiner receives $1.3 million research grant

Posted: Tuesday, October 17, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage oil refiner has received a $1.3 million grant for a project to determine if a new process to remove sulfur from diesel fuel can be used by small and medium-sized refineries.

The $2.2 million project will look at conversion extraction desulfurization. The current sulfur removal process, hydrodesulfurization, requires refineries to consume large amounts of hydrogen and operate under severe temperature and pressure conditions. As a result, it is too expensive for smaller refineries to use.

The U.S. Department of Energy grant comes from the Alaska Science & Technology Foundation, which co-funded Petro Star's first stage of work in developing the new extraction technology. Continued development of the process is needed because petroleum refineries are having to comply with stricter Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, the foundation said.

Petro Star is a wholly owned subsidiary of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. The company is contributing $900,000 of its own funds to the project.

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