Oil sands in situ production uses water for generating steam, requires less than 0.3 barrels fresh water per barrel of oil produced

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) is receiving almost $600,000 from Western Economic Diversification Canada and $200,000 from Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) to design and construct a high temperature, high pressure testing unit that Western Canadian companies will use to implement water technologies in oil sands, according to a press release.

The investment will help establish a Membrane Technology Assessment Program (MTAP) at NAIT’s Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability to support the design and construction of a membrane technology unit.

“This membrane testing unit continues a tradition of leading-edge applied research with industry partners, helping them to become more sustainable,” said Dr. Glenn Feltham, president and CEO, NAIT.

The unit will test membrane and other water treatment technologies designed by companies in controlled conditions that simulate oil sands in situ operations.

The testing unit will help develop 12 industrial water technologies used in oil sands, and train and develop 12 highly qualified people.

“NAIT is an important partner for COSIA in advancing our clean resource innovation. Thanks to this partnership and our government’s commitment, we are advancing the testing and development of a new generation of oil sands technology that we believe offers a potential solution for oil sands water treatment,” said COSIA CEO Dan Wicklum.

“This project is a demonstration of how collaboration brings us closer to reaching our goals for finding solutions to our biggest challenges.”

This will also enable at least six western Canadian oil companies the opportunity to test their technologies and more quickly implement innovations that create environmental and economic benefits.

A focus on clean technology, innovation and growth is a core element of the PanCanadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

“Today’s investment will enable NAIT and western Canadian oil companies to test ideas and apply cutting-edge solutions that will bring about environmental and economic benefits and reinforce Canada’s global competitive advantage in clean technology,”  sand Randy Boissonnault, MP for Edmonton Centre and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 issues.