U of Alberta & German Researchers Tackle Oilsands Issues
With the advent of the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change around the corner, the Alberta Oil Sands have been brought to the forefront again. Greenpeace has been in the forefront in smearing the Alberta Oil Sands records. Al Gore (now a Billionaire from his advocacy on climate change) along with President Obama have been recent critics of the Alberta Oil Sands.
A picture is worth 1000 words and the detractors of the Alberta Oil Sands have definitely shown the oil sands at its worst. This story is not in defence of the Alberta Oil Sands, but is an attempt to demonstrate actions taken by the Alberta Government, the Industry and the University of Alberta to tackle environmental solutions for this massive project.
For some time testing has taken place to use carbon sequestration technology to and other reclamation technologies to restore that natural environment as much as possible. The process of land reclamation takes 30 to 40 years from the first shovel in the ground.
Let's be clear why the oil sands exist in first place. The oilsands exist because of North America's and European addiction to oil in the first place. Most companies operating in Fort McMurray are American and so are the pipeline companies.
Alberta's economy and to a large extent the Canadian economy have depended on the oil sands. The revenues derived from the oilsands have made Alberta a have province, which means it contributed to transfer payment to have not provinces and financed some of the social programs that are so dear to Canadian's hearts.
The bottom line is we can.t have it both ways, with one hand we take and with the other whine without considering the source of funding.
The Alberta Government has been intimately involved in working with the industry in resolving some of the environmental issues. The latest project, announced just days ago, was the building of a carbon sequestration pipeline to transfer carbons to a sequestration area just West of Edmonton.
Today it was announced that the University of Alberta has partnered with Hemholtz Associates of Germany to conduct future research on oilstands technology. The Province has partnered in this endeavour by contributing 25 Million Dollars.
The objective of the project is as follows:
Managing (e.g. capturing and storing) the carbon dioxide produced as a result of current oilsands production processes;
· Replacing natural gas with geothermal energy sources as the fuel for oilsands production processes; and
· Developing recycling technology for fresh water and reclamation of lands disturbed by oilsands mining and lands taken over by tailings ponds.
Because of the similarity of key issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, surface mining disturbances and water usage, HAI research and development can also be adopted for coal industry operations in both Alberta and Germany.
Related np stories:
A delegation from the Helmholtz Association was at the U of A on Sept. 29 to sign a memorandum of understanding that will create a five-year agreement, the Helmholtz Alberta Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to transform oilsands production processes by developing technologies that address sustainability challenges.
"This is a project that is much larger than the sum of its two parts," said Lorne Babiuk, U of A vice-president, research. "This is also a partnership between government and industry that we hope to build upon in the years to come."
The U of A, recognized as a global leader in oilsands research, will work with the Helmholtz Association, a collection of 16 elite science and technology centres across Germany. The association, with its staff of 28,000 and its experience with coal industry hydrocarbons, will add capacity to the near 50 individual oilsands research projects currently underway on campus.
Most Recommended Comment
Clearlake, California, United States