Suncor Energy

Research Areas
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Recent Research Projects

NSERC Chair in Design Engineering

2016/17-2019/20 • $1,365,203
No summary

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Heavy Oil Properties and Processing

2014/15-2019/20 • $1,325,000
Canadian oil sands and heavy oil deposits are a huge resource for Canada with currently recoverable reserves estimated at 27 billion cubic meters, placing it second only to Saudi Arabia. There are considerable technical challenges to developing these resources economically while minimizing the...

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Control of Oil Sands Processes

2016/17-2019/20 • $1,200,000
While the economic benefits to oil sands development are evident, sustainable development of this valuable Canadian resource requires that the costs of oil extraction as well as environmental consequences be minimized. Over the last decade, due to the global demand, the oil sands industry has...

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Unconventional Oil Recovery

2016/17-2019/20 • $686,950
Oil and natural gas are the largest natural energy resources in Alberta and Canada. Currently, Alberta produces70% of Canada's oil and 80% of its natural gas. The extraction and revenue from oil and natural gas is animperative component of the Alberta economy as one-third of the Alberta...

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in strategic construction modeling and delivery

2016/17-2019/20 • $670,000
The construction industry operates in an environment of considerable risk and uncertainty, due largely to the fact that construction processes involve human activities and subjective judgment. Construction projects frequently represent large investments from numerous parties, but modeling and...

Fen creation in the post oil sands landscape: Phase 2

2018/19-2019/20 • $633,606
In Northern Alberta, where oil sands are extracted, open pit mining covers an area of ~895 km2, and peat dominated wetlands fed by groundwater, mostly fens, cover about half of this area. Industry is required to return the landscape to equivalent functionality. This means that functioning...

NSERC / Energi Simulation Industrial Research Chair in Reservoir Simulation

2018/19-2019/20 • $624,000
The long-term goal of this five-year Chair is to provide a reliable tool to explore and validate the best novel*recovery processes that are both economically viable and environmentally sensitive and reduce water use and*greenhouse gas emissions. This research is vital to the viability of the oil...

Colloidal science aspects of crop protection with active pigment formulations

2016/17-2019/20 • $547,400
Mixtures of paraffins and certain insoluble pigments help plants and grasses fight fungal diseases and greatly increase grass tolerance to low moisture conditions. This surprising finding has lead to a new family of crop protection chemicals marketed by Suncor (formerly Petro Canada). A team...

NSERC/Cenovus/Alberta Innovates Associate Industrial Research Chair in Energy and Environmental Systems Engineering

2017/18-2019/20 • $529,851
Canada is a leading energy-producing country, and its energy sector plays a critical role in its economy. Theproduction, conversion, and use of energy has environmental impacts including increases in atmosphericconcentrations of greenhouse gases, fresh water consumption, and land use...

Advanced solutions for efficient alarm monitoring and management of complex industrial facilities

2017/18-2019/20 • $470,400
This collaborative research and development project is to develop, evaluate, and apply advanced solutions and tools for assisting industrial plant operators in their decisions on abnormal situations, and therefore enhance safe plant operations.In operating industrial facilities, it is becoming...

Water quality in the lower Athabasca River

2017/18-2019/20 • $425,943
The mining and refining of bitumen from the Athabasca bituminous sands in Alberta provide enormous economic benefits for Canada, both in terms of jobs and revenue; however, trace element concentrations in the nearby Lower Athabasca River (LAR) could be increased as a result. The LAR is a large...

Solvent/heat-assisted recovery processes (SHARP) for heavy oil and bitumen

2019/20 • $329,000
The efficient utilization of energy to extract bitumen has been a challenge, which has recently pronounced as a result of low oil prices. SAGD has been practiced in Alberta since the late 90s. However, it is energy intensive and has negative environmental impacts which may not be economically...

Ice Structure Interaction Dynamics

2017/18-2019/20 • $311,186
No summary

Improving Screening Methods for Chemical Selection in Fluid Tailings Treatment

2018/19-2019/20 • $300,000
The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability (COSS) will work with Suncor Energy inc. to improve the methodology of the screening, testing and validation of polymer-based solutions for oil sands fluid fine tailings (FFT) management. This research will...

NSERC/Energi Simulation Industrial Research Chair in Reservoir Geomechanics

2019/20 • $240,000
Reservoir Geomechanics,Unconventional Resources

Study of additives in oil sands recovery processes

2019/20 • $233,000
The steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) process has proven to be the most promising technology for thecommercial in-situ recovery of heavy oil and bitumen in Alberta, Canada. In thick reservoirs, the SAGDprocess can recover over 50% of the original oil in place (OOIP), with a steam-oil ratio...

Scale-up, design and optimization of industrial multiphase processes

2019/20 • $208,591
In Canada's heavy oil and oil sands industries, nearly every process involves multiphase mixtures (combinations of gas, liquids and solid particles). The specific ways that these materials are mixed together and transported are critical to the overall process performance. For example, if intense...

Demonstration Pit Lake research & monitoring program for evaluating permanent aquatic storage structure technology & closure management for generating a self-sustaining ecosystem

2019/20 • $206,750
Alberta's oil sands play a vital role in the provincial, Canadian, and global economies, supplying stable, reliable energy to the world, and important revenue to Alberta and Canada. However, Alberta's oil sands development has faced severe and increasing criticism by Canadian and international...

Alternative Energy Management

2019/20 • $200,000
As the interest in alternative energy increases and inquiries become more mainstream, research into the effective use of these energy sources is required. Red Deer College (RDC) is uniquely equipped to study and explore the management of multiple alternative energy sources through data...

Production of polyoxymethylene dimethyl ethers (OME) from sustainable feedstocks

2019/20 • $162,000
One of the Grand Challenges faced by Canadian energy and petrochemical industry is the need of large scale, commercially deployable technology for synthesizing renewable liquid energy carriers. Through this project, researchers from a broad discipline across the Universities, North-American...

Engineering a novel biocatalyst for the production of bio-diluents

2018/19-2019/20 • $157,786
In 2015, GHG emissions totaled 20.5 million tonnes across all their facilities. More broadly, CO2 emissions from Canadian oil and sands account for 9.3 per cent of Canada's GHG emissions. Suncor is motivated to reduce the GHG footprint of their oil sands products in order to achieve their...

Heavy Oil Properties and Processing

2019/20 • $157,600
Canadian oil sands and heavy oil deposits are a huge resource for Canada with currently recoverable reserves estimated at 27 billion cubic meters, placing it second only to Saudi Arabia. There are considerable technical challenges to developing these resources economically while minimizing the...

Energi simulation industrial research consortium in reservoir geomechanics

2019/20 • $150,000
Energy innovation is critical to our future. With the limitations of current technology to convert our natural resources to marketable energy supplies while ensuring a cleaner environment, there is a dire need to continue developing cutting-edge technologies for increasingly efficient and...

Electrosynthesis of Ethanol from CO2

2019/20 • $149,500
The emergence of low-cost, low-carbon electricity has resulted in a significant interest in power-to-chemicals, particularly synthetic fuels, for utilization of CO2 and storage of variable electricity. Significant advances have been made in the selective and efficient conversion of CO2 to CO,...

Removing water from diluted bitumen in naphthenic froth treatment of oil sands production and the underlying interfacial science

2019/20 • $127,500
The proposed project focuses on a challenging issue confronting the Canadian oil sands industry: destabilization and removal of water-in-diluted bitumen emulsions in naphthenic froth treatment process. Canada has the third largest oil reserves in the world, after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela....

CanBreach (Canadian Tailings Dam Breach Research) - an integrated tailings dam breach research and technology development project

2019/20 • $80,000
Mining produces massive volumes of waste, called tailings, which are stored forever behind large dams. If a tailings dam breaks, as one did recently at the Mount Polley mine near Williams Lake, British Columbia, the tailings can flow long distances, and major safety, environmental and economic...

Cyclic Freeze-Thaw to Assist the Dewatering of Oil Sand Tailings

2019/20 • $75,000
The mining of bitumen in Canada's oil sands generates large volumes of fluid fine tailings, a waste materialwhich presents significant challenges to de-watering and consolidation. With over 1,250 million cubic metres of tailings inventory as of 2018, finding a holistic and environmentally...

NSERC Industrial Biocatalysis Network

2014/15-2018/19 • $5,150,000
Oil and gas are converted to plastics, chemicals, and other industrial and consumer products through energy-intensive manufacturing processes. These products would be more environmentally sustainable if they were made from renewable resources, such as agricultural and forestry waste, and if they...

Foundation CMG Consortia on Reservoir Geomechanics for Unconventional Resources

2014/15-2018/19 • $3,380,000
Canada's energy resources, in particular Alberta's large and challenging unconventional resources (including oil sands, coalbed methane, bitumen carbonates and more recently shale gas), have advanced significantly in their potential to supply energy to world markets. The need to protect the...

Towards broadband multicomponent seismology and practical iterated inversion

2014/15-2018/19 • $2,143,000
Seismic images provide the best possible views of the earth below its surface; but, despite an 80 year history, they are still far from optimal. Today, seismic computational techniques are transitioning from a standard methodology (SM), which incorporates an evolved blend of physical theory and...

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Oil Sands Engineering

2017/18-2018/19 • $1,019,132
No summary

Partnering to innovate for sustainable development

2016/17-2018/19 • $980,457
Sustainable development poses one of the greatest challenges of our time -- for organizations, for society, and for our planet -- through issues, such as climate change, income inequality, and biodiversity loss. Organizations have responded to these challenges by innovating new products,...

Microfluidics for analysis of solvent-based bitumen recovery methods and rapid measurement of relevant fluid properties

2015/16-2018/19 • $510,975
This proposal describes the development and application of microfluidics for analysis of solvent-based bitumenrecovery methods and rapid measurement of relevant fluid properties. The work will directly inform andimprove Canadian oil recovery operations, in close partnership with Calgary-based...

Development of advanced polymeric membranes for SAGD produced water treatment

2017/18-2018/19 • $435,550
Fluctuating oil prices and recent Federal and Provincial efforts to address climate change and protect water resources are motivating the oil sands industry to develop and deploy technologies that can reduce the operating cost per barrel of product and reduce the amount of energy and fresh water...

Development of an unmanned marine vehicle for autonomous monitoring and observation tasks

2017/18-2018/19 • $379,220
The objective of this project is to design and build an innovative unmanned marine submersible surface craft to serve the needs of the off-shore operators in monitoring, inspection and profiling tasks.The vehicle will operate at the surface and also have the ability to dive, profiling in the...

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Petroleum Microbiology

2012/13-2017/18 • $2,000,000
Meeting the ever-increasing demand for energy is a difficult challenge. Fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) are the main staple of our energy supply. A replacement by alternatives (wind, solar, biofuels) is not expected in the next 10 years, as these will only slowly grow in importance. In the...

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Pipeline Transport Processes

2012/13-2017/18 • $1,737,554
Pipelines have been used as material handling devices for more than a century because this mode of transport represents an energy-efficient way of moving material from a source to a destination. In many industrial applications, however, a pipeline should also be considered to be a "reactor"...

Development of an electron work function - based microstructure diagnosis technique for developing advanced structural materials

2015/16-2017/18 • $522,400
This proposal addresses the "Manufacturing" target area within the context of engineering advanced structural materials through new material technology development. The proposed is a unique microstructure diagnosis technique based on electron work function (EWF) with the aim to improve material...

A monitoring framework to assess changes in hydroecological conditions, and sources, distributions and toxicity of contaminants in lakes of the peace-athabasca delta

2015/16-2017/18 • $409,056
The ecosystem services of the Peace-Athabasca Delta (PAD), northern Alberta, a large freshwater landscape world-renowned for its ecological, historical and cultural significance, are threatened by multiple potential stressors including climate change, hydroelectric development and oilsands...

Development of Commercializable High-Performance High-Cr Cast Irons through Multi-Level Control

2016/17-2017/18 • $240,000
With the third-largest proven crude oil reserve in the world, the Alberta/Canadian oil sand industry is playing an important role in guaranteeing the national fuel self-sufficiency. However, the high cost of extracting oil from oil sand makes this industry vulnerable to oil price fluctuations,...

Air jet interaction with a wetted surface: towards designing the next generation auto wash facilities

2015/16-2017/18 • $123,077
The use of salt and other harsh chemicals is common in Canada to keep roads safe for driving in winter. These chemicals, while effective at keeping ice at bay on the roads, lead to premature degradation of vehicles. Suncor has developed a next-generation car wash facility, called Glide Wash,...

Advanced techniques for geostastical modeling considering complex geological features

2014/15-2017/18 • $120,000
Determining accurate geological boundaries and domains is critical for a sound implementation of any numerical model applied to mineral or petroleum reserves. Complex geological environments are difficult to model but there are a number of techniques available based on the geological...

Development of geochemical approaches to monitor the fate, transport, and retention of CO2 in steam-assisted gravity drainage reservoirs in the Canadian oil sands

2017/18 • $25,000
Suncor Energy is a global leader in the recovery of bitumen from the Canadian oil sands using Steam AssistedGravity Drainage (SAGD) technology. Steam injection techniques are effective for oil extraction from bitumen;however, the process is energy intensive as relatively high steam to oil ratios...

Colloid and surface interaction understanding in warm lime softening of SAGD produced water treatment

2017/18 • $25,000
Suncor uses both surface mining and steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) to recover bitumen. In SAGDoperations, almost all the steam injected is recovered as produced water at the surface. It is highly desirable torecycle the maximum possible amount of water of SAGD process to reduce...

Development and Validation of Stabilization and Controlled Release Vehicles for Light-Responsive Plant Immune Aids

2017/18 • $12,500
Increasing the productivity of agricultural fields is essential to secure our existing food supplies and provide forthe growing world population. In this context, agrochemicals play an essential role in both increasing cropyields and enhancing crop defenses against environmental stresses such as...

Evaluating the success of fen creation in the post oil sands landscape

2011/12-2016/17 • $2,659,374
In the oil sands development areas near Fort McMulTaypeatlands comprise up to 65% of the landscape. Oil sands mining of over 250 km2 disturbs large tracts of these peatlands, which require reclamation to a functioning natural ecosystem. Essentially, a fen peatland must be created from fen peat...

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Oil Sands Engineering

2014/15-2016/17 • $1,580,867
This proposal is put forward for the renewal of the current NSERC-Industry Research Chair in Oil Sands Engineering at University of Alberta, in partnership with NSERC, Alberta Innovates-Energy and Environmental Solutions, Syncrude Canada, Suncor Energy, Shell Canada/Albian Sands, Canadian...

NAIT Applied Research Centre for Oil Sands Sustainability (NARCOSS)

2013/14-2016/17 • $1,550,000
The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) of the Government of Alberta implemented Directive 074, "Tailings Performance Criteria and Requirement for Oil Sands Mining Schemes" in September 2009. The Directive specifies performance criteria for the reduction of fluid tailings and the...

Pore-scale microfluidics for improved efficiency in thermal oil recovery with steam assisted gravity drainage

2013/14-2016/17 • $355,157
This proposal describes the development of a microfluidic platform to inform and improve Canadian oil recovery operations, in partnership with Calgary-based Suncor Energy. Two microfluidic platforms will be developed to study pore-scale transport phenomena in the steam assisted gravity drainage...

Development of an electron work function - based microstructure diagnosis technique for developingadvanced structural materials

2016/17 • $285,700
This proposal addresses the "Manufacturing" target area within the context of engineering advanced structural materials through new material technology development. The proposed is a unique microstructure diagnosis technique based on electron work function (EWF) with the aim to improve material...

Management of bentgrass cultivars for improved resistance to Fusarium patch under climate change

2014/15-2016/17 • $204,788
Management of bentgrass cultivars for improved resistance to Fusarium patch under climate changeAtmospheric CO2 concentrations are expected to reach between 500 to1000 ppm by the end of the century and, as a consequence, Canada and other northern countries may experience a seasonal temperature...

Nomination of Dr. Zhangxing Chen

2016/17 • $200,000
No summary

Investigating the toxicity, microbial response and biogeochemical composition of gamma irradiated end products in oil sands process material

2014/15-2016/17 • $173,000
The oil sands deposits of north-eastern Alberta are one of the largest oil reserves in the world, containing an estimated 2.5 trillion barrels of recoverable bitumen held in a mineral matrix consisting of sand, clay and water. Traditional methods used to extract bitumen from excavated oil sands...

Improving seed longevity of shrubs for oilsands reclamation

2015/16-2016/17 • $123,200
Alberta's oil sands contain between 1.7 and 2.5 trillion barrels of oil and considerable deposits are also present in Saskatchewan. Lands must be reclaimed after oil extraction. To responsibly reap the economic benefits of oil sands for oil extraction, it is imperative that technologies be...

Data-driven vehicle health management framework

2016/17 • $80,000
Successful operations of any equipment depend on its proper maintenance. This is even more important in the case of large and heavy machinery such as mining and off-highway trucks, as well as shovels, dozers, loaders and graders. The problems and issues associated with maintenance of the earth...

Microstructure of jagged crack formation in coke drum cladding

2016/17 • $25,000
Coke drums are critical components for high efficiency extraction of fuels from oil sands. The mechanical integrity of coke drums contributes to plant safety, extended service life, and production of greener energy. Suncor Oil Sands and In Situ has experienced recurring cases in which jagged...

Applied research program in produced water treatment and waste water remediation

2010/11-2015/16 • $2,298,960
Global sustainability requires a complete array of Clean Energy Technologies to be deployed across all industrial sectors to meet the challenges of the 21st century. The massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico highlights the urgent need for effective energy, water and environmental...

FORWARD III: Modelling to contribute to cumulative effects management in the Canadian Boreal Forest

2011/12-2015/16 • $1,750,000
We propose to directly link watershed-based research to the petroleum and forestry industries operating in the Canadian Boreal Forest. We will quantify and model the impacts of landscape-scale disturbances and recovery trajectories through reclamation of soils, vegetation, streams and...

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Unconventional Oil Recovery

2011/12-2015/16 • $1,374,998
No summary

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Control of Oil Sands Processes

2011/12-2015/16 • $1,000,000
No summary

Abnormal situation monitoring and management of complex industrial facilities

2013/14-2015/16 • $448,400
This collaborative research and development project is to develop, evaluate, and apply advanced tools for assisting industrial plant operators in their decisions on abnormal situations, and therefore enhance safe plant operations. In operating industrial facilities, it is becoming increasingly...

Renforcement de la capacité de recherche en technologies de l'eau au cégep de Saint-Laurent

2013/14-2015/16 • $200,000
Le cégep de Saint-Laurent forme depuis plus de 40 ans des techniciens en assainissement de l'eau. Notre étroite collaboration avec le milieu de pratique nous a permis de constater le grand besoin de transfert de connaissances et le besoin d'innovation pour les PME du secteur. En 2008, le Centre...

Embedding sustainability: developing a co-creation knowledge portal and process

2014/15-2015/16 • $194,450
The challenge: Companies are under increasing pressure to integrate social and environmental considerations into their corporate operations. While the business case for sustainability has been made, many companies struggle with how to address sustainability in their day-to-day operations....

The Canadian Environmental Governance Partnership

2013/14-2015/16 • $176,720
Environmental challenges in Canada and around the world are increasingly complex and difficult to solve, implicating many economic, political and societal interests. At the same time, the means by which Canadians are seeking to address these challenges are undergoing change. Some reviewers of...

Real-time optimization for performance and efficiency in manufacturing systems

2014/15-2015/16 • $127,486
Global market pressures have had a dramatic impact on the management and operation of manufacturing systems. The increasing frequency of market and energy cost fluctuations has caused a drastic change in the way that manufacturing sites must be managed and operated. Many Canadian companies are...

The research network for business sustainability

2010/11-2014/15 • $1,350,000
No summary

Sustainable prosperity research and policy network

2010/11-2014/15 • $1,005,000
No summary

Challenging the conventional materials design principle and develop hybrid high-entropy microstructures against wear and erosion-corrosion - a phase-two project

2012/13-2014/15 • $440,800
The Canadian oil sands industry is playing an important role in guaranteeing the national fuel self-sufficiency for the present and foreseeable future. However, severe wear of oil sands operation facilities, e.g., erosion of oil sands slurry pumps and pipelines, erosion of cyclones in bitumen...

Characterization and mitigation of air pollutant emissions from oil sands tailings

2010/11-2014/15 • $408,800
Alberta's oil sands deposits are second only to Saudi Arabia reserves. The oil sands are contained in theAthabasca, Cold-Lake and Peace River Regions of Northern Alberta, an area larger than the state of Florida.Due to the operational necessities in the oil sands industry, tailings ponds are...

Computational Intelligence based Analysis of Data for Prediction of Earth-moving Equipment Problems

2014/15 • $25,000
Successful operations of any equipment depend on its proper maintenance. This is even more important in thecase of large and heavy machinery such as mining and off-highway trucks, as well as shovels, dozers, loadersand graders. The problems and issues associated with maintenance of the earth...

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Oil Sands Engineering

2010/11-2013/14 • $2,136,158
No summary

Carbon and nitrogen fluxes in reconstructed oil sands soils

2010/11-2013/14 • $696,247
The Athabasca Oil sands located near Fort McMurray, in northeastern Alberta, contain an estimated 1.3 trillion barrels of bitumen. Approximately 10% of this deposit is shallow enough to be surface mined. Following surface mining, reclamation involves soil reconstruction using organic and mineral...

Reliable life prediction and design methodology for thermal-mechanical fatigue of coke drums

2010/11-2013/14 • $227,000
Coke drums are primary equipment associated with the processing of oil sand bitumen. Damage of coke drums, in the form of bulging deformation or cracking have been reported from time to time. Every year, millions of dollars are spent on repairs and even more (~ $2 million per day) are lost due...

Bridging the implementation gap embedding sustainability in corporate culture

2011/12-2013/14 • $199,800
This project proposes to develop a new process of engaged scholarship called 'working groups.' In these working groups, researchers and businesses will partner to co-create, mobilize, and implement best practices related to business sustainability. The SSHRC funds being requested will allow...

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Petroleum Microbiology

2010/11-2012/13 • $800,000
Meeting the ever-increasing demand for energy is a difficult challenge. Fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) are the main staple of our energy supply. A replacement by alternatives (wind, solar, biofuels) is not expected in the next 10 years, as these will only slowly grow in importance. In the...

Oil Sands Environmental Sustainability: Center for Green Chemistry and Engineering at NAIT

2011/12-2012/13 • $750,000
The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) of the Government of Alberta implemented Directive 074, "Tailings Performance Criteria and Requirement for Oil Sands Mining Schemes" in September 2009. The Directive specifies performance criteria for the reduction of fluid tailings and the...

Development of a geomechanical model for shale and oil sand interactions with steam in heat stimulation processes

2010/11-2012/13 • $334,875
The process of creating an extensive steam chamber in oil sand formations to melt the bitumen and produce the oil by gravity drainage as in SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) is seriously compromised by the presence of interbedded shale in oil sand. If the interbedded shale is damaged, then...

Soil pH Effects on Selected Species of Boreal Plants

2010/11-2012/13 • $262,999
Oil sands mining causes disturbance to boreal ecosystems as it involves complete removal and reconstruction of landforms. The impacts of this development on the environment are mitigated through reclamation, reforestation and soils closure activities. In many of the oil sands reclamation areas,...

Improving seed longevity of shrubs for oilsands reclamation

2010/11-2012/13 • $189,147
Alberta's oil sands contain between 1.7 and 2.5 trillion barrels of oil and considerable deposits are also present in Saskatchewan. Lands must be reclaimed after oil extraction. To responsibly reap the economic benefits of oil sands for oil extraction, it is imperative that technologies be...

Potential for activated biochar in the remediation of water from oil sands operations

2011/12-2012/13 • $99,750
The management and use of water is a major challenge for the oil sands industry. One of the key issues needing to be addressed is the development of a cost-effective technology to remove the dissolved organic compounds, many of which are toxic, from the water in legacy tailings ponds or from the...

Bioremediation of hydrocarbon and organic contaminated wastes

2012/13 • $25,000
Oil sands facilities operated by Suncor Energy Inc in northeastern Alberta extract bitumen from the ore by use of a hot water digestion process. This extraction process generates large volumes of waste water containing sand, fine clay and silt particles (mature fine tailings, or MFT) and...

Soil-pipeline interaction for buried hot bitumen pipelines in Fort McMurray area

2012/13 • $24,650
In Alberta, approximately 20% of the recoverable resources of bitumen are located in oil sand at a shallow depth can be exploited using mining technologies. Owing to the extreme thickness (viscosity) of the in-situ production of bitumen, it is impractical to transport bitumen in its natural...

Fate and transport of process affected water in out-of-pit tailings ponds in the oil sands industry in Canada

2010/11-2011/12 • $551,705
The oil sands industry presently produces 400 million barrels of oil annually and is expected to increase to 1,825 million barrels by 2030. Each barrel of oil produced is accompanied by 1.25 m3 of tailings. This corresponds to an increase in tailings production from 500 to 2,280 million m3...

Development of an advanced technology for alarm analysis and design

2010/11-2011/12 • $297,200
This strategic project application is to develop, evaluate, and apply an advanced technology for more efficient operation and management of industrial alarm systems. Industrial accidents often have devastating consequences; moreover, they cost billions of dollars annually in production loss due...

Optimization of manufacturing process automation in the presence of time-varying operating conditions

2010/11-2011/12 • $269,300
Automatic control systems are critical to manufacturing today because they allow for steady process operations, consistent product quality, less waste, and control of emissions. However, most current systems are not designed to optimally handle time-varying operating conditions introduced by...

Challenging the conventional materials design principle - development of high-entropy microstructures against wear and erosion-corrosion

2010/11-2011/12 • $174,400
Recently, an innovative approach for materials design was proposed and proven to be successful. This new approach is based on a concept of developing so-called high-entropy microstructure, which contains more than five elements with the concentration of each in the range of 5%~35%. This concept...

Investigation of the potential of oil sands process-affected waters to impact fish population through immune suppression

2010/11-2011/12 • $161,826
The Athabasca Oil Sands of Northern Alberta supplies about 25% of Canada's petroleum needs. This output is expected to quintuple by 2030 at which time the oil sands will be producing 20% of the North American oil consumption. Conventional surface oil sands mining and extraction produces large...

Environmental constraints to growth of Acorus calamus in oil sands reclamation areas

2010/11-2011/12 • $90,000
Oil sands mining severely disturbs boreal ecosystems since it involves a complete removal and reconstruction of landforms. The impacts of this development on the environment are mitigated through reclamation activities so that the reclaimed land can sustain vegetation and wildlife similar to...

Carbon dynamics, food web structure & reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands wetlands

2010/11 • $283,520
Wetlands will make up 20-40% of the landscape restored after mining for oil sands in NE Alberta. Previous collaboration has helped us understand effects of mine tailings & process waters on composition of these communities but not on their function. Wetlands built with tailings become vegetated...

Evaluation of alternative energy sources for SAGD operation

2010/11 • $25,000
Discoveries of conventional sources of hydrocarbons are becoming less frequent while the rate of extraction is increasing. Therefore, unconventional oil reserves like oil sands are becoming more important. For deposits between 70 and 800 meters below ground surface, bitumen is recovered by...

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MICROBIAL ENHANCED PRE-TREATMENT OF CARBONATE RESERVOIRS FOR IN SITU HEAVY HYDROCARBON RECOVERY

Suncor Energy, University of Alberta

Processes, systems and techniques are provided for treating a carbonate reservoir with a microbial stimulation fluid at a temperature allowing microbial conversion of the fluid to produce a byproduct to promote dissolution of carbonate compounds and increasing the porosity and/or permeability of the carbonate reservoir. For example, the process may include injecting the microbial stimulation fluid into a region of a carbonate reservoir, wherein the region includes heavy hydrocarbons and a...

TREATMENT OF BLOW-DOWN AND MINE TAILINGS STREAMS

KEMIRA OYJ, Suncor Energy, University of Alberta

Techniques for treating by-product and waste streams are provided. The by-product streams may include blow-down (BD) including dissolved organic material (DOM), from an in situ thermal hydrocarbon recovery operation, and fine tailings including suspended fines derived from a mining and extraction operation. The techniques may involve contacting the BD with the fine tailings to induce aggregation of suspended fines and/or removal of DOM from the BD. A DOM-reduced water stream may be produced...