#GlobalNews: « Calgary professor thinks oilsands crude pellets could be cure for industry’s bitumen transport problems »


A University of Calgary professor says new technology that transforms heavy crude from the oilsands into small pellets is the pill that could cure the industry’s transportation headaches.

Ian Gates says his newly-patented technique creates self-sealing balls of bitumen of various sizes that can then be moved by rail, road or ship with less risk of environmentally- harmful spills, thus reducing the need for new pipelines.

The invention will jump from the lab into a pilot project starting in November to prove whether it will work in the field.

Sorry Canada, gas prices won’t fall back to normal for another few weeks

Canadian National Railway unveiled a similar-sounding technology earlier this year, announcing it had filed a patent application for CanaPux, a process that turns bitumen into a semi-solid for transportation by mixing and coating it with polymer.

But Gates says his system is better because it can be implemented in the field without chemical additives or complex equipment. The resulting pellets can be refined or used in making asphalt by the end user just like regular bitumen.

Albertans want tighter methane rules: poll

Opponents of new oilsands pipelines such as the Trans Mountain expansion through B.C. have argued that bitumen will be hard to clean up if it leaks into water because it sinks, but Gates says it is possible to inject an air bubble into his pellets to make them float.

He says he and his team at the Schulich School of Engineering discovered the technology accidentally.

Lethbridge among the fastest-growing economies in Alberta: report

“We were trying to upgrade bitumen and learned how to degrade it instead,” says Gates.

“We put it on the shelf for quite a while, because who would want bitumen pellets? It turns out there’s a huge market for this stuff.”

Note: « Previously Published on: 6 September 2017 | 5:15 pm, as ‘Calgary professor thinks oilsands crude pellets could be cure for industry’s bitumen transport problems’ on GLOBALNEWS CANADA. Here is a source link for the Article’s Image(s) and Content ».

Global News Canada

Copyright © 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. Corus News. All rights reserved. Distributed by PressOcean Global Media (pressocean.com). Contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material... Articles and commentaries that identify PressOcean.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by PressOcean. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.


No comments!

There are no comments yet, but you can be first to comment this article.

Leave reply

Seuls les utilisateurs enregistrés peuvent laisser un commentaire.