MGX Minerals Inc (CSE:XMG, OTCQB:MGXMF) updated further on its petcoke collaboration with Highbury Energy Inc.
As reported in January this year, Highbury's work included preparing a detailed process to extract metals like nickel, vanadium, and cobalt from petroleum coke, or petcoke, which is a by-product from the oil and gas industry.
To date, work has been focused on the extraction of these metals.
But now the pair has announced expanded research and development (R&D) on the re-processing of petcoke waste product to a synthetic crude oil.
"The goal is to produce a fuel which can seamlessly integrate into existing refinery operations," it said.
"This represents a potential long-term use for the large existing stockpiles of petcoke as well as ongoing output of petcoke and other waste products without significant changes to the existing refinery infrastructure."
Petcoke is a by-product of the oil and gas industry that forms during the refining process. As refineries have become more efficient at processing extra heavy crude oils (bitumen) over the last two decades, global output of Petcoke has risen significantly.
The province of Alberta in Canada is known to host vast stockpiles of petcoke. According to energy regulator there, petcoke inventories are estimated to have reached 106mln tonnes in 2016.
The majority of Canadian petcoke output occurs close to oil sand producing regions, where bitumen is upgraded into synthetic crude oil.
Highbury is also helping MGX to design a process to generate hydrogen gas and concentrate metals in the form of ash byproduct.
Highbury has completed a Phase I report on potential processes and markets for primary and secondary byproduct, while a Phase II study has kicked off, including analyses of locations, lab bench top feedstock results, advanced process design and initial plant design parameters.