Head start for oil sands technology

Head start for oil sands technology

A Northern Alberta Institute of Technology lab rapidly tests new oil sands technologies to get them in the field faster
November 17, 2014

Haneef Mian and his research team at the Applied Research Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability (NARCOSS) at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) recently collaborated with APEX Engineering, a Canadian company based in Edmonton, to give their new oil sands extraction technology a head start with large oil sands companies. The engineering company had developed an alternative extraction method that eliminates the use of sodium hydroxide, thus reducing the volume of fluid tailings produced and making them easier to reclaim. After a few months of intensive testing, NARCOSS provided their results to oil sands companies which are now in a better position to decide whether to invest in the APEX technology.

In the four years since it opened, NARCOSS has helped more than 20 small- and medium-sized technology companies, as well as several large firms including GE, Dow Chemical and Nalco Champion to rapidly test new oil sands technologies in a lab setting, thereby helping them get their technologies into the hands of oil companies as quickly as possible.