Addressing Crude Oil by Rail Challenges
Many of Maxxam’s customers in the crude oil industry transport an increasingly significant amount of their product by rail, resulting in a number of challenges relating to the crude’s quality, handling, transport, and efficient processing.
In 2013, Maxxam’s experts increased their efforts to help address the complex challenges related to the transportation and characterization of crude oil by rail and developed a number of sophisticated analytical methods supported by field service sampling capabilities.
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To address the issue of crude oil solidifying in rail cars during cold winter months, Maxxam developed an innovative characterization process to determine the specific freezing point of each load of crude tested. Based on this information, Maxxam experts advise customers whether the oil will be readily removed from the train cars at the destination refinery, or if it needs to be handled in an alternate manner (such as steam heating). Maxxam’s results are also being used to determine whether crude transported by rail meets the customers’ expectations, whether it will require special processing at the receiving end, or even be rejected due to contamination concerns.
As one of only a few laboratories that can produce detailed characterizations of specific refined portions of crude oil, Maxxam’s Petroleum group has seen new customers from across North America in the past 12 months and continues to work on new methods for its crude oil customers.
Please review our 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report for more examples of Maxxam’s innovative R&D efforts that advance science and our industry.