Oilsands challenge selects two hot water production technologies for sprint phase

Image: JWN

Western Canada-based (Alberta and B.C.) Inproheat Industries Ltd. and Ontario-based Combustion & Energy Systems have been selected to advance their technologies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increasing energy efficiency during mining and extraction processes in the oilsands.

The two companies were selected from a global pool of innovators competing in the Mining Hot Water Production Challenge sponsored by Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre, Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) and Alberta Innovates.

The companies will participate in the next phase of the program: a six-month “sprint” to ready their technologies for field demonstration with COSIA members. The sprint will include water chemistry testing and a comparative analysis of GHG avoidance costs as well as water heating performance.

Following the sprint phase one solution will be selected for additional funding for field testing.

“Canada punches above its weight when it comes to cleantech innovation, and these two sprint winners are an exciting reflection of our potential in the sector,” Neil Huff, managing director of Foresight, said in a statement. “Our goal is to help them get to the point where they can not only help solve a pressing industry problem in Canada, but tap in to the $1 trillion global market for clean technologies.”

“At COSIA we are constantly uncovering ways to mobilize the world’s best minds towards solving our challenges and improving environmental performance,” added Dan Wicklum, COSIA chief executive. “The ARCTIC and ASBIRI [Alberta Small Business Innovation and Research Initiative] programs are fantastic platforms for connecting with solution providers. We’ve discovered two more promising technologies for helping us to reduce emissions, and at the same time we’re helping to advance Canada’s clean resource innovation.”

Combustion & Energy Systems is a pioneer in the field of condensing flue gas heat recovery and the inventor of the ConDex Condensing Economizer System. Condensing economizers provide the most energy recovery and efficiency gains possible in the modern power plant, the company says. By taking currently wasted heat from exhaust gas and transferring that energy into a process stream that is currently consuming purchased energy to heat, a Condex System can reduce fuel costs and commensurate CO2 emissions as well as recover substantial amounts of reusable water.

An industrial energy solutions provider, Inproheat’s patented submerged combustion (SubCom) technology to heat or evaporate liquids and slurries boasts efficiencies approaching 100 per cent. The heat transfer occurs directly between the products of combustion and the solution so that there are no heat transfer surfaces to foul and the flame does not come in contact with the solution, according to the company.

The challenge is sponsored by the federal and Alberta governments, in partnership with COSIA and the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) which will also be involved in testing one of the technologies. The partnership was made possible through the ARCTIC Challenge program (funded with support from Western Economic Diversification, BC Innovation Council) and the ASBIRI platform (funded by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Government of Alberta). Consulting partners Tessellate Inc. and The Delphi Group are providing advisory services.