Polyamino acids, polysaccharides and other polymers:
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
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
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. Due to technological advances over the past 10 years, commercial activity
continues to ramp 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 by far the number 1 exporter of oil to the USA, providing about 36% of our imports. In recent
months, Saudi Arabia (13%), Mexico (8%), Venezuela (8%) round out the top 4 exporters of oil to the USA. In a typical
month, approximately 70 foreign countries sell oil into USA markets.
Domestic production at present
(2014) accounts for about 50% of total consumption (ranging around 18 million barrels per day) of crude oil in the USA. Production
in Texas is by far the largest at roughly 2.5 million barrels per day, with California production at about half of that, and
now North Dakota in third place at a little more than 1 million barrels per day.
It is quite a large undertaking to recover this oil and to keep the operations efficient,
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