Our research group has a strong track record of working successfully with industry on a wide variety of projects. Our current and past partners and sponsors include:
- Saskatchewan Power Corporation (SaskPower)
- Saskatchewan Industry and Resources
- Prairie Coal Ltd.
- Wascana Energy Inc.
- Fluor Canada Inc.
- SaskFerco Inc.
- Sulzer Chemtech (Switzerland)
- Fluor Corporation (USA)
- Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology (CANMET)
- Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
- Arctic Container Inc.
- National Research Council (IRAP program)
- Alberta Research Council
- EnCana Corporation
- Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE)
- Petróleo Brasileiro S.A (Petrobras)
- E.ON, UK
- Babcock Wilcox, help USA
- Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia
- Neill & Gunter
The following highlights some of our research results.
Recently we reported on mass transfer studies using high efficiency structured packing that is 10 to 30 times better than conventional packing. As a result, one of our industrial partners is using this research finding to design and build a more efficient CO2 production system. In another project, our research group designed and constructed an industrial-scale CO2 production unit for the food processing industry in the Canadian Arctic region. This unit is one of the world’s most compact and highly efficient CO2 production systems for the food processing industry. Thanks to the project, a number of jobs were created for local aboriginal workers.
In addition to these successes, our group also acts as a technical advisor on CO2 separation and supply issues to Governments and industry. According to the Saskatchewan Department of Energy and Mines, a large amount of crude oil worth multi-billions of dollars can be recovered using CO2 flooding techniques in southern Saskatchewan.
Recently, this department began developing a project that is based on our studies. Stage 1 of this project is valued at more than two billion dollars in total capital investment and operating costs over 20 years if implemented.
At the pilot plant and demonstration plant scales, we have established baseline operating conditions and costs for CO2 capture from flue gases (produced at either a coal-fired or natural gas-fired power plant) using an MEA solvent. This research was reported at the GHGT7 Conference (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – September 5-9, 2004). After base operating standards and costs for MEA systems were established, cost and operating improvements were investigated for the base MEA process. Results indicate that the overall parasitic energy penalty to operate a retrofit MEA CO2 capture facility could be reduced to 50% of the previously reported values. Mixed-amine (MEA-MDEA) has also been examined to investigate cost/energy optimization beyond the base and optimized MEA process. This research indicated that even further reduction in reboiler heat duty is achievable.
Pilot Plant Facilities
SaskPower’s Boundary Dam Power Station Pilot Plant (Technology Demonstration Plant)
The first component of the Test Centre is the pre-commercial carbon dioxide capture unit, which uses an existing facility attached to the Boundary Dam Power Station, near Estevan, Saskatchewan. This is a chemical absorption unit which is used for technology demonstration as well as for conducting tests leading to commercial applications. Other uses include:
- Testing the technical and economic feasibility of a proposed process prior to commercialization
- Evaluating process integration with the overall system
- Evaluating the economic feasibility of various chemicals and components proposed after laboratory and pilot-plant studies
The $1.2 million Canada/Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA) contribution paid for retrofitting the existing unit, including modifying the fly-ash controls and corrosion control equipment and providing instrumentation and data acquisition systems. Replacement packing materials were provided by a manufacture as its contribution to the test facility.
This unit is fully instrumented to allow remote monitoring from Regina or any other location in the world with Internet capability. The unit is able to operate unattended most of the time.
View photos of the Boundary Dam Power Station Pilot Plant.
Regina Pilot Plant (Technology Development Plant)
Work at this plant, located at the University of Regina, explores new technologies and seek to optimize their use prior to final testing at Boundary Dam. This pilot plant is small enough to provide ease and flexibility of operation, yet large enough to gather extensive operating data.
The Technology Development Pilot Plant can be used for conducting research and development for new CO2 capturing technologies such as:
- High capacity column packings
- High efficiency separator units
- Membrane separation units
- Membrane separation for the separation of CO2 from flue gas stream
- Co-generation units
View photos of the Regina Pilot Plant.