Polyamino acids, polysaccharides and other polymers: 
high-performance chemicals, renewable resources, sustainable practices.

Aquero Company provides research and development on a contract basis in the area of polyamino acids, polysaccharides, and related chemical materials.  We provide samples of novel chemical materials up to the kilogram level.  We also offer technologies for license or sale.

 

Aquero Company focuses on discovery, proof of concept, and early commercialization of useful chemical products based on biological feedstocks.  The building blocks are mainly amino acids and carbohydrates, and our products are biodegradable.

Irrigation canal, Imperial Valley, California

Aquero has two product lines that are now commercial, with a number of others in development.  Our products often are commercialized via agreements with partner companies, although Aquero Company also conducts some of its own operations.

 

Our first product was a soil-retention agent for irrigation farming, brandnamed SoilSentry™.  It was introduced in the Imperial Valley of California several years ago and is undergoing adoption elsewhere in California and the western USA.  

 

SoilSentry prevents erosion of soil from the fields and helps to keep agricultural additives like fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides on the field as well.  The runoff water and the receiving streams are thus kept clear and clean.

Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) plant
An oil-recovery operation near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada

Our water-treatment chemicals and protocols are used in de-oiling and clarifying process waters and produced waters that accompany oil recovery operations.  We offer proprietary flocculants and coagulants, along with novel protocols and capital equipment that are designed to optimize the utility of these chemistries. To date, the principal applications for Aquero technologies have been in the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada.

 

The term "oil sands", also often called "tar sands", is quite descriptive.  The oil-sands deposits look like dark sand with oil in it (roughly 10% by weight as oil).  They occur at the surface in some areas and at depths up to 400 meters and more in others.

 

The amount of recoverable oil in oil sands in Canada is about the same as the amount of recoverable oil in the middle east.  There also are sizable oil-sands deposits in the USA, mainly in Utah, that are only lately being brought into production.  There is even more potentially recoverable oil in the oil shale deposits in several western states.  These resources at various intervals have been a focus of R&D for decades.  More recently, due to technological advances, commercial activity is ramping up.  

  

In general, in oil recovery operations in Canada and elsewhere, for each barrel of oil recovered, there are about 2 barrels (or more) of water produced that contain oily residuals.  This "produced water" must be clarified prior to returning it to the environment or recycling it into the recovery operations.  Our chemicals and processes provide quick, highly effective, and clean ways to do this.

   

Suncor plant near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
Processing plant for surface mining of oil sands.

At present, Canada is the number 1 exporter of oil to the USA, providing about 28% of our imports.  In recent months, Saudi Arabia (13%), Mexico (10%), Venezuela (9%), and Columbia (5%) round out the top 5 exporters of oil to the USA.  In a typical month, approximately 70 foreign countries sell oil into USA markets.

 

It is quite a large undertaking to recover this oil and to keep the operations safe, clean, and sustainable.  Aquero Company works to promote environmental health through cost-effective, clean, and biofriendly chemistry.   

Another SAGD Facility near Joslyn, Alberta.
Steam assisted gravity drainage is a deep oil recovery method that employs superheated steam.

Aquero's products and processes are based on renewable resources and sustainable chemistries.  We have been able to solve the cost/performance equation and now have molecules and products that compete favorably on both cost and performance versus conventional vinyl polymers.  Our technology platform is very broad and can address a wide range of consumer, healthcare, and industrial markets.

Untreated SAGD produced water (control)

One minute after AquiClear treatment and separation of oily solids and clarified water

There are circumstances and applications, however, in which the vinyl polymers are preferred.  For example, their carbon-carbon backbones impart greater thermal stability and resistance to microbial attack.  Another attribute is that their method of synthesis can be readily arranged to favor production of very high Mw, linear molecules.  This can be useful in several ways.  One of these is that the very long polymers are capable of bridging of particles at the nanometer level, as is needed in flocculation mechanisms.  

Actually, we like the vinyl polymers and recognize their many useful attributes.  We work with them too and try to recommend the best solution to a problem.  Sometimes this is a wholly vinyl approach, or it may incorporate other conventional chemicals as well.  On other occasions, we have identified interesting and helpful synergisms between the vinyl and the biological polymers.  Some of these compositions and products offer a practical option for improved performance along with a better environmental profile. 

Only search Aquero website