We study different types of localizations of a commutative noetherian ring. More precisely, we provide criteria to decide: (a) if a given flat ring epimorphism is a universal localization in the sense of Cohn and Schofield; and (b) when such universal localizations are classical rings of fractions. In order to find such criteria, we use the theory of support and we analyse the specialization closed subset associated to a flat ring epimorphism. In case the underlying ring is locally factorial or of Krull dimension one, we show that all flat ring epimorphisms are universal localizations. Moreover, it turns out that an answer to the question of when universal localizations are classical depends on the structure of the Picard group. We furthermore discuss the case of normal rings, for which the divisor class group plays an essential role to decide if a given flat ring epimorphism is a universal localization. Finally, we explore several (counter)examples which highlight the necessity of our assumptions.
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