​NAIT working with industry to create nanotechnology to reduce oil and gas spill risk

Image: Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

A one-time federal grant is helping the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and its industry partners to develop nanotechnology that could strengthen critical pipelines, reduce the risk of oil and gas spills and save industry billions of dollars.

NAIT’s Centre for Sensors and System Integration (CSSI; formerly nanoCARTS) received $369,940 through the federal government’s College-Industry Innovation Fund.

The funding supports applied research – currently underway – that is improving the reliability and integrity of micro- and nano-coated pipelines. These coated pipelines can increase the flow of liquid and reduce the likelihood of a failure.

The new technology could save oil and gas companies billions of dollars in downtime and replacement costs, NAIT said.

NAIT’s CSSI provides industry with prototyping, product enhancement, testing and characterization services related to nano- and micro-technology. The facility also helps to expand the range of service available to small and medium enterprises.

“This funding will enable us to purchase high-level equipment to help address challenging technical issues such as improving the reliability and integrity of pipeline infrastructure within Canada. This will also allow us to attract top talent and train students and faculty on the latest technology that is available,” said CSSI director Robert Franz.

CSSI was created in the spring of 2012 with $1.75 million from the federal agency Natural Sciences and Engineering Resource Council.

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