Locus Biotechnology is Innovation in the Oilfield Industry
Innovation is at the heart of all great industries, and the oil industry is no exception. The USA shale revolution was facilitated by innovative drilling and fracturing technologies that allowed operators to drill longer wells, pump more sand and increase the number of fracturing stages per well to recover more oil and gas from tight and shale formations. As a result, the USA is the only country extracting shale oil and gas commercially. Many oil companies are looking for the next big breakthrough methods in oil recovery, and Locus Bio-Energy has found a unique one: Biotechnology.
Biosurfactants are a structurally diverse group of surface-active substances produced by microorganisms. All biosurfactants are amphiphiles, they consist of two parts—a polar (hydrophilic) moiety and non polar (hydrophobic) group. Biosurfactants have attracted interest in the Oil & Gas Industry for the last 10 – 15 years as promising alternatives to petroleum-based surfactants. Aside from their green profile, they have remarkably low critical micelle concentrations (minimum effective dosage rates), reducing surface and interfacial tensions to very low levels and are excellent wetting agents, all of which make them highly attractive for oilfield applications.
To date biosurfactants have only been used at small scale in the personal care, household cleaning and selected pharmaceutical applications mainly due to limits in manufacturing capacities and high costs. However Locus Bio-Energy Solutions can produce these materials in commercially viable quantities for the oil industry thanks to our innovations in microbiology and our patented fermentation processes.
Biotechnology is an interdisciplinary field of science and technology that has arisen at the intersection of biological, chemical and technical knowledge and allows Locus to create new and exciting products. These Biotechnological methods also allow Locus to produce complex organic molecules which cannot be synthesized by traditional synthetic chemical methods. A vast array variety of molecules with unique and very interesting physicochemical characteristics.
So, what are surfactants? Surfactants are compounds with inherent properties that lower the surface tension between two liquids, a gas and a liquid, or a liquid and a solid. They are used as lubricants, coolants, carriers for other process materials, emulsifiers, viscosity builders, dispersants, detergents, cleansers, degreasers, and wetting, and foaming/defoaming agents. They are a crucial part of global industries such as Petroleum, Agricultural, Food and Beverage, Cosmetic and Personal Care, Mining, Waste/Water industry, Bioremediation, Medicine and many more. Surfactants are classified into two major groups: chemical surfactants and biosurfactants.
For years, oil production has relied heavily on petroleum-based chemical surfactants. Almost all drilling and production related chemicals from flowback aids to emulsion breakers, corrosion, wax and asphaltene inhibitors rely on these surface active chemicals for their effectiveness.
In the oil and gas chemical industry “Green” used to signify – “environmentally acceptable but not quite as effective”. Locus biosurfactants mean you no longer have to choose.
Unlike chemically derived surfactants, biosurfactants are completely biodegradable and leave no toxic waste from their production processes. With lower effective dosages compared to chemically derived alternatives and no hazardous effects to the environment, biosurfactants can be the answer oil industry has been waiting for. Previously, production of biosurfactants on a large scale has been too expensive and inefficient to be considered a viable option. The key word here being “previously”.
Locus scientists have perfected and patented methods to identify non-bacterial microorganisms with the appropriate gene clusters that can produce high yields of the most effective biosurfactants. Locus’ properitary fermentation systems enable us to establish multiple fermentation complexes at “on-site” locations, allowing the system’s cost to be significantly lower than other commercially available fermentors.
Traditionally the biosurfactant recovery and purification stage of the production process is the most expensive and time consuming. However, Locus has developed methods of producing highly pure and homogenous biosurfactants.
The market potential for clean, energy efficient, and cost effective biosurfactants has existed for years. With Locus’ patented technological advancements and bioinformatics platform, we are finally able to make this dream into a reality. Locus biosurfactants can be applicable in any field of petroleum industry, as well as in other industries such as agriculture, mining, paint and coating and many more. The future of the oil industry is reliant on innovative technologies that can meet the growing demands of oil production and recovery. Locus Bio Energy is prepared to meet these demands, finding solutions to the industry’s biggest problems in the most unexpected of places.
Produced By Nature. Perfected By Locus.