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Research & Development

Research & Development

Research and Development

Exploration & Production,  Refining and Petrochemicals,  Green Energy:  like three arrows in flight

CPC has always attached great importance to research and development (R&D) as being fundamental to corporate innovation and developing sustainability in its operations. The company now has an Exploration & Development Research Institute (EDRI) in Miaoli, its Refining & Manufacturing Research Institute in Chiayi and a Green Technology Research Institute as well as a Materials Testing & Certification Center in Kaohsiung. These facilities are responsible for all in-company research in their respective domains, with the Taipei office-based Planning Department responsible for oversight of all CPC R&D operations, as well as their management and control.

The Exploration & Development Research Institute is primarily focused on evaluating geological and stratigraphic data and samples for their oil and gas production potential and on research into exploration methodology and drilling/ extraction technology. The Refining & Manufacturing Research Institute leads in developing solutions for on-site production bottlenecks in manufacturing lubricants, other refined products and petrochemicals. The Green Technology Research Institute is concerned with technological development related to biofuels, renewable energy and green materials; and with aiding the high-value petrochemical industry promotion policies of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, for example by assisting manufacturers with the methodology for conducting pilot production runs.

CPC's expenditure on R&D in 2020 amounted to about NT$3.428 billion. The R&D results are described below:

Exploration & Development Research Institute

  • Exploration technology was refined in several ways: boosting the pre-processing efficiency of calcareous nano-fossil rock sample production, strengthening high-temperature gas chromatography technology for crude oil with a high wax content, effectively using a formation's water salinity to identify paleo-sedimentary environments, improving seismic data interpretation and attribution analysis, providing for more accurate forecasting of reservoir rock distribution and establishing non-conventional biogas assessment.
  • Drilling  technology was upgraded, in a number of respects, including: shale oil single well final recoverable volume analysis and application, estimation of porosity using well logs, use of well logging and core testing data to carry out underground stress analysis, sand control design for producing wells (grain size and mineralogical analysis), gasoline freshness determination and setup and analysis of soil gas simulation test models.
  • Overseas oil field and prospect studies were carried out. These  included pressure volume temperature (PVT) analysis of well-bottom oil samples at Benoy-1 Reentry well, along with capacity characteristic and instantaneous pressure analysis of Mouroumar-3, Benoy-4, and Mbaikora-2 wells in Chad. There were also comprehensive studies of geology and oil systems in the greater Gulf of Mexico area, with an eye to bidding on promising blocks there in the future.
  • Completed an assessment report on the Qingshui private geothermal energy BOT project and updated the underground temperature and fissure models of the Qingshui geothermal area.
  • Assessment of onshore and offshore fields in Taiwan was carried out, including an economic evaluation of the development of the F Structure gas field along with appraisal of prospective resources (P10) and contingent resources (P50) in promising nearby areas. Appraisal of total contingent natural gas resources was carried out onshore in the Dongzailiao, Guanziling, and Zhonglun areas in accordance with the interpretation of well data and follow-up work on six oil and gas formations. Further, dynamic geological simulation and verification were carried out on Formation 28 in the Jinshui gas field in order to understand the extent of the remaining reserves and predict the amount recoverable.
  • Assistance was provided for geological studies related to geothermal energy exploration in the Tuchang and Renze areas of Yilan County; and the drilling of Renze Well No. 3 started in November 2018.

Refining & Manufacturing Research Institute

  • Developments in new production processes: these included the introductory assessment of a new light diesel engine motor oil formulation under the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) C3 5W/40 standards; development and application of CPC's amorphous carbon anode vehicular battery research; artificial graphite electrochemical/mechanical hybrid shear exfoliation graphene; environmentally-friendly precision machinery cutting oil; on-site application of chemical oxidation technology for the Xinguang Community; analysis and discussion of the styrene recycling project; establishment of alicylic polycarboxylate hydrogenation technology; utilization of distillates from microwave decomposition of waste solvents; planning of a trial production process for extract oil; and development and application of first-generation magnetic filters and packing technology.
  • A study of quality, together with a performance assessment of gasoline and diesel for sale in urban areas; heavy-duty diesel engine testing; gasoline and diesel fuel additive and cleansing performance testing; and testing the effect of mixing nitrogen with natural gas on nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from furnaces were carried out in the interests of environmental protection.
  • Groundwater pollution remediation and testing services in CPC’s refinery sites; airborne volatile organic compounds (VOC) monitoring; planning for waste-water treatment and recycling; and testing for leaks in equipment components using infrared imaging were all carried out.
  • The effect on pipelines of stray electric currents from the Kaohsiung and Taipei MRT systems was continuously monitored; and assistance was provided in diagnosing boiler pipe problems in order to ensure pipeline integrity and safety.
  • Optimization research was carried out on the production process  for gasoline and diesel and also petrochemical feedstock. Related advisory services were offered so as to resolve on-site problems, enhance operational efficiency and conserve energy.
  • Technology was transferred for newly-formulated motorcycle engine oil, circulation oil, cold forging oil and anti-rust products.
  • Kuo-Kuang brand Superpower SN Fully Synthetic Motor Oil 5W/40, Mirage Pro SN Fully Synthetic Motor Oil 5W/40, Mirage Vigor A3/B4 10W/40 Synthetic Motor OIL, Kuo-Kuang Racing C3 Fully Synthetic Diesel Engine Oil. 5W/40, Kuo-Kuang 9000 C3 Fully Synthetic Diesel Engine Oil 5W/30, Mirage Pro SN Synthetic Motor Oil 5W/30, and Kuo-Kuang Super Jetpower Motor Oil SN 5W/50 were developed.
  • Microparticle diffusion synthesis technology was established; therapeutic eyecare lights were developed in cooperation with a well-known company in that field, and then were distributed to elementary schools in remote areas as a CSR  public benefit activity.

Green Technology Research Institute

  • Established green energy-related technologies, including:  a platform for the standardized quantitative analysis of rice bran enzyme activity; key technology for energy-saving imitation-stone paint; development of a formula for enzymatic shirt collar cleaner; an environmentally friendly green stone exterior wall coating system; development of rice bran oil products; supercritical extraction of gamma oryzanol from rice bran oil; development of low formaldehyde thermosetting biomass phenolic resins; water-based masonry paint; improvement of carbon deposits in 5kW-class natural gas reformers; lead-free perovskite solar battery production process technology; carbohydrate oxidation enzyme cloning and method for determination of activity; preparation of low-cost lithium-titanate anode material; technological research in the production of high-value 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid from water-based cellulose; improved technology for lithium-titanate first-irreversibility capacity damage; use of thermogravimetric analysis to rapidly evaluate the absorption capacity of activated carbon; preparation of composite nano titanium dioxide-nickel photocatalysts; use of the high-temperature steam method for activating carbon; under-insulation surface coating for steel material; application of reactive polyurea systems to storage tank rim corrosion prevention engineering; explosion-proof LED lighting; a rapid screening platform for antibacterial ability; technology for biocomposite 3D printing materials; and development of new ionization-purified sanitary drinking straw products.
  • Assistance was provided for the installation of rooftop solar power panels at 160 CPC- branded filling stations; cloud monitoring of solar power generation was introduced; and 156 monitoring points were brought under monitoring and maintenance management. A standardized solar power system architecture was also laid out, improving convenience and safety in both operation and maintenance.
  • Perovskite solar cells were developed using laser cutting technology; and both a module voltage of 5.5V and maximum power transfer of 25.5mW were achieved.
  • Technology for two new environmentally-friendly paint formulas was transferred for CPC to use in establishing reference indicators for painting oil storage tanks.
  • Four types of explosion-proof LED lamps passed explosion-proof electrical apparatus testing by the Industrial Technology Research Institute.
  • Completed the sintering of lithium titanium oxide (LTO) material at the energy storage testing workshop in Chiayi and produced a total of 370kg of LTO substances.
  • Evaluation of  adulterated and unadulterated specifications of high-voltage LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 (LNMO) cathode material was carried out; and this material will be matched with the lithium titanium oxide (LTO) anode material currently under development as a means of boosting the overall energy density of batteries.
  • Three purified enzymes were successfully extracted from the purified esterase and lipase crude enzyme in rice bran.
  • A platform for the rapid testing of polyhydric alcohol was established for screening out bacterial strains with the potential for use in its production.

  • Completed production of 2,900 kilograms of soft carbon products, which matched expectations of both full battery 5C quick charge verification and prismatic cell full battery life verification.

  • Trial mass production is scheduled to begin in 2019 for making the soft carbon needed for development of CPC own-brand batteries. An expanded  plan for trial mass production was completed, with the addition of two coke reactors; basic testing and acceptance were also carried out.

  • Production of the first batch of kilogram-class transesterification catalysts was completed, with testing results being the same as for small-volume-production catalysts.