Phillips, Marathon Ashland ink S Zorb licensing deal

Phillips Petroleum Co. has signed a field licensing agreement with Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC to design and install Phillips�s S Zorb sulfur removal technology (S Zorb SRT) at Marathon Ashland�s refineries. S Zorb SRT is a new technology that lowers sulfur content in gasoline blending streams.


Phillips Petroleum Co. has signed a field licensing agreement with Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC to design and install Phillips�s S Zorb sulfur removal technology (S Zorb SRT) at Marathon Ashland�s refineries. S Zorb SRT is a new technology that lowers sulfur content in gasoline blending streams.

Phillips�s agreement with Marathon Ashland, the sixth largest US petroleum refiner, represents the first field license for the S Zorb technology. The license covers Marathon Ashland�s seven refineries, which, at a crude capacity of 935,000 b/d, represent 6% of US refining capacity.

Phillips� S Zorb sulfur removal technology was developed to help oil companies comply with the US Environmental Protection Agency�s Tier II gasoline sulfur regulations. By 2004, gasoline sold in the US must have a sulfur content no higher than 30 ppm vs. an average 340 ppm today.

�We believe our technology is superior to any other being developed to satisfy EPA requirements,� said Brian Evans, Phillips�s fuels technology manager.

S Zorb SRT uses a regenerative sorbent that chemically attracts sulfur and removes it from gasoline blend stocks. Conventional technologies can result in a loss of octane and volume in the manufacturing process, according to the company. The S Zorb process costs no more to implement than current sulfur removal processes, says Phillips. It has little octane loss, very low volume loss, and maintains product vapor pressure, the firm claims.

The sorbent material can be regenerated on line, allowing for run lengths that match fluid catalytic cracker unit operations. As an additional advantage, the process consumes very little hydrogen, a scarce resource in many refineries, and also has the ability to use low-purity hydrogen. The first commercial unit at Phillips� Borger, Tex., refinery will come on stream in early 2001.

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