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Home > Resource Centre > News Well Resources Granted Patent for Environmentally Friendly Uses for Petroleum Asphaltenes

Well Resources Granted Patent for Environmentally Friendly Uses for Petroleum Asphaltenes

Calgary, AB, November 12, 2019 – Well Resources (the “Company”), a leader in clean technology development and process licensing in the petroleum sector, announces that the Canadian Intellectual Property Office has granted a patent to the Company for environmentally friendly, non-combustion uses for petroleum asphaltenes. The invention meets the criteria for classification under the federal clean technology category, and accordingly, was eligible for accelerated examination service.

Asphaltenes, the most carbon-intensive constituents in petroleum, are found in large quantities in heavy oils, and are not suitable for processing into transportation fuels from both economic and environmental perspectives. The asphaltene content in petroleum-derived from the Canadian oil sands can be as high as 18% by weight. Well Resources' commercial SELEX-Asp process cleanly and selectively removes the asphaltenes from petroleum, leaving behind a cleaner and lower carbon intensity oil.

Well Resources demonstrated that asphaltenes have characteristics similar to activated carbon, and can be used as a low-cost material for addressing important environmental issues such as wastewater treatment and soil remediation. Asphaltenes were shown to be good adsorbents for trapping pollutants, as well as key materials for bioreactors. Well Resources' patent also covers the transformation of asphaltenes into carbon fibers, mats, and fillers for environmental applications.

According to Warren Chung, President of Well Resources, “The petroleum industry, particularly the heavy oil producers in Canada, are often criticized for the high carbon intensities of their oil. We now have a way to remove the most carbon-intensive portion from the barrel and use it to help the environment without the need for combustion - and by extension, greenhouse gas emissions. This creates a win-win scenario for everyone involved, and is an important step towards decarbonization.”

Well Resources has partnered with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to deploy asphaltenes in major water decontamination projects in China.

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