Phytoremediation is a promising in-situ technology that uses plants and its associated microorganisms (particularly bacteria and fungi) to clean up contaminated soils. The efficacy of these processes however, requires an in-depth knowledge on the diversity of microbial communities closely interacting with plant roots. Several studies have demonstrated that plants growing in contaminated soils select for competent microorganisms able to degrade these contaminants.
Improving the design and operation of open pit mines by better understanding and modeling of spatial variation of rock mass properties, can bring economic benefits to the mining industry. The proposed research project aims to develop an innovative large-scale discrete fracture network (DFN) model that is spatially constrained based on the recorded fracture data from geotechnical boreholes and photogrammetric mapping of bench face exposures in an open pit mine in Western Africa.
Polyurethane is a class of polymers with the potential of foaming and with excellent mechanical and thermal properties. However, in order to use PU in advanced applications, its physical properties must be improved. Accordingly, in this research proposal, we plan to incorporate graphene oxide (GO), a derivative of graphene, into polyurethane foam to improve its physical properties. GO is a monolayer of carbon atoms hexagonally attached to each other with some oxygen bonding across the carbon nanostructure.
In an underground gold mine, the movement of ore and waste material occurs on a massive scale and short-term excavation activities should be scheduled so that that the right proportions of these materials are moving through the mine in order to meet production targets. In the proposed project, a mathematical optimization model will be formulated and tested on-site, in order to improve the short-term excavation scheduling activities, resulting in the desired balance of ore and waste material flowing through the mine.
Eagle Graphite owns and operates one of only two flake graphite production facilities in Canada, and the only graphite quarry in Western North America. The quarry is located in Passmore, B.C., near the City of Castlegar. This collaboration between Dr. Jian Liu’s group at The University of British Columbia and Eagle Graphite will produce graphite-silicon battery anodes using the Eagle Graphite quarry resource. The objective is to produce a commercialized anode with a capacity that would surpass the benchmark graphite anodes currently produced.
Topsoil is vital to the revegetation success of land affected by oil and gas wellsites and borrow pits. Therefore, the Government of Alberta’s guidelines require that 80% of the topsoil is replaced during revegetation. However, finding topsoil to meet the guidelines is challenging in cases where topsoil was not salvaged during excavation and where salvaged topsoil has been lost during storage and handling.
The mining industry directly employs more than 426,000 workers across the Canada and contributed $97 billion to Canada’s GDP in 2017. However, mining workers are exposed to five-fold higher occupational hazards than the industrial average. Reliable underground communication is essential to alleviate incidents and escalate rescue operations. However, wireless communications in mines is a big challenge. Electromagnetic wave propagation is very poor in mines due to irregular confined shapes and rough walls.
Among various types of graphitic nanomaterials, graphene quantum dots (GQDs) have ignited tremendous interest in the past few years owing to their small lateral size, quantum confinement, and large perimeter per mass. GQDs are categorized based on their emitting colors (e.g. blue, green, yellow, red and white). Among various emitting colors, GQDs with blue and red emission are of paramount importance and used in a wide array of applications, such as bioimaging, LEDs, transistors, waste-water treatment, solar cells, biosensors and drug delivery.
When waste rocks generated by mining activities are exposed to the air and water, various toxic elements may be released to receiving waters and soils. Arsenic (As) is known as one of the most toxic pollutants which can cause damage to the environment and human health. To implement effective source control, it is essential to identify key factors that control the leaching process. The main objective of this research is to determine the rate-controlling steps in the release of toxic elements, with the initial focus on arsenic release.
As the global supply of oil and gas from conventional reservoirs (i.e., porous rock formations) continues to diminish, it becomes increasingly important to produce these fluids from unconventional (“tight”) reservoirs. Hydraulic fracturing is generally required in order to achieve sufficient production rates from these tight reservoirs. Key questions to be addressed in hydraulic fracture design include the following: How much fluid and proppant (sand) should be injected? How many fractures should be created, and at what spacing?