Optimizing co-digestion of industrial, commercial and institutional (IC&I) organic waste and developing an integrated nutrient recovery technique

Promoting the use of renewable energy such as biogas produced from organic waste is one the main alternatives to achieve more sustainable development strategies. Anaerobic Digestion (AD) is an efficient and proven technology, which can be employed to convert Organic Waste to Biogas as Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), and to reduce global methane emissions. The main objective of this research is to determine and optimize the input recipe of mixed feedstock organic waste for an Anaerobic Digester (AD) to take advantage of economy of scale and to have synergetic effect on biogas production.

Development of Dynamic Feature Extraction Techniques for Industrial Process Data Analysis with Application to Optimization of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) Process

The Operational Excellence (OpEx) team at Spartan Controls is actively involved in several initiatives for developing advanced process control (APC) solutions to the oil sands industry. The OpEx team collaborates with Professor Biao Huang’s research group through the NSERC Industrial Research Chair (IRC) in the Control of Oil Sands Processes program for solutions that require extensive research and development.

Operating Strategy for Electromagnetic-based Thermal Recovery Method

Canada has the third largest oil reserves in the world, mostly in oil sands located in the northern Alberta, which is estimated to be 166 billion barrels. Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) has been the only commercially viable in-situ recovery method available to date. Application of SAGD is known to be energy intensive and has associated environmental impacts. Electromagnetic heating (EMH) has been the focus of ever-increasing theoretical and experimental studies to examine if it can be used to heat up the geomaterials in field scale.

Determination of groundwater effects of the new Foothills Regional Waste Management Center storm-water management system

A new groundwater monitoring will be conducted consistently throughout the precipitation period (May~October) to collected a seasons worth of data around the “Engineered Forest”. The newly collected data will then be compared to historical values of the FRWMF to see if there are any observable differences between the two. This will prove there is no measurable effect of the “Engineered Forest”.

An innovative process for production of syngas (H2 and CO) for biojet synthesis through hydrothermal liquefaction of biomass/organic wastes followed by supercritical water gasification

This project aims to convert feedstocks to H2-rich syngas for FT biojet fuel synthesis by using a two-stage system. The first is a hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) process, one of the most promising thermochemical pathways to liquefy solid biomass into liquid products including bio-crude with higher heating values and an aqueous product. The second is a gasification process using water in supercritical range (SCWG) and in the presence of a catalyst, during which the liquefied biomass (after separating out char and ash), from first stage can be transformed to clean and H2-rich syngas.

Extended Technology Assessment of Advanced In-situ Recovery Methods for Oil Sands

In-situ recovery methods for oils sands are applied to reservoirs containing bitumen that are too deep for mining. To date there has been only one commercially viable in-situ recovery method, Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), involving high pressure steam injection and bitumen production using horizontal well pairs located near the base of oil sands formations. While SAGD has enabled conversion of significant resources to reserves (about 170 billion barrels), SAGD has many economic and environmental limitations.

BC Pulp and Paper Bioproducts Alliance: Development and demonstration of forest residues to renewable natural gas technologies

This proposed project will support our ongoing efforts in scanning and screening existing technologies and de-bottlenecking key technology barriers in converting low-cost biomass residues to renewable natural gas in British Columbia pulp, paper and lumber mills. Specifically, we will focus on developing a bauxite residue (f.k.a., red mud) based catalyst for the removal of tar from gasification syngas to yield clean syngas for methanation to biomethane, and evaluating and improving the commercial methanation catalyst.

Carbon Materials Production and Utilization

Developed advanced carbonaceous materials from processed biomass is of interest for integration into a variety of high performance applications including, plastics, rubbers, adsorbents, and chemicals. Origin Materials has a patented process that converts waste biomass into 5-chloromethlyfurfural (CMF), furfural and hydrothermal carbon (HTC) as a by-product.

Development of protein and carbohydrate complexation delivery systems for improving the transport, stability, and efficacy of plant immune aids

While modern pesticides have dramatically improved crop yields and food security, the challenges of emerging pest resistance, environmental run-off, and the need to help crops better cope with weather-related stresses like drought and extreme heat all demand new solutions. Our partner, Suncor, has recently developed a new class of plant immune aids that activate a plant’s native immune system to induce a range of beneficial responses to both pest and weather-related stresses while avoiding some of the downstream challenges associated with existing pesticide and fertilizer use. Intern Dr.

The influence of biomass pretreatment technologies on the residual lignin fast pyrolysis

Recently, global society has been trying to develop biorefinery processes to produce renewable, biomass based, fuels and chemicals to enable the transition to a more environmentally friendly economy that is less dependent on fossil fuels. However, it is still very challenging to achieve the cost-effective biorefinery process due to some issues associated with the recalcitrant biomass structure and the potential utilization of lignin. Lignin is world’s second largest biopolymer and a major potential source for production of advanced materials and aromatic chemicals.