Engineers at General Electric (GE) have teamed up with colleagues at the University of Alberta (UA) and Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF) on a $4m (£2.6m) project to reduce carbon emissions.
The new project is supported by the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC), a not-for-profit organisation whose mandate is to fund green initiatives.
This team of engineers will use zeolite nanomaterials to in an attempt to tackle two of the most pressing environmental challenges facing the Alberta Oil Sands: reducing CO2 emissions associated with the extraction and upgrading process; and treating water generated during the oil recovery process.
Zeolites are widely used in the chemical industry as catalysts. This project seeks to form them into membranes that can be used for high-temperature gas separation. The materials also have the potential to be used as filters for contaminated water.
The CCEMC is providing $2m in support of this project, with an equal cost share from GE and its project partners.
Anthony Ku, a chemical engineer and project leader for GE Global Research on the CO2 capture project, noted that the successful commercialisation and widespread adoption of the technology could reduce CO2 emissions from the production of synthetic crude oil from the Oil Sands by up to 25 per cent.