The University of Calgary (U of C)’s first Canada Excellence Research Chair, Steven Bryant, has set up shop on campus with the aim of improving SAGD crude extraction methods using nano particles, reports The Calgary Herald.
An expert in nanotechnology and materials science research, Bryant’s work at the U of C primarily focuses on dispersing various particles into the water used in the SAGD process, which “allows the resulting steam to become chemically thinner and able to give off much more heat, making it much more effective in first loosening and then allowing the recovery of the oil from the sand in which it was caked.” Furthermore, the particles can be coated with a variety of different chemicals, which Bryant hopes will reduce the amount of steam required in the extraction of unconventional oil and greatly decrease the environmental impact of oilsands development.
The SAGD process is currently the most common method of crude extraction of the oilsands, and is widely regarded as the future of oilsands development. Continued innovation and improvement of the process is critically important to ensure our valuable natural resources are developed responsibly.
To read the full article in The Calgary Herald, click here.