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SAIT recieves $2.5 million to fund oilsands steam generation research

Original federal donation of $1 million matched by provincial government and Suncor Energy

Aug. 2, 2018 SAIT was awarded a $1 million grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), funding its research into oilsands steam generation according to a new release. 

The aim for this grant according to the release is to fund SAIT’s research and development of cleaner, more sustainable technologies to be used on steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) sites. 

“By investing in modern labs and equipment we are supporting students and researchers to turn made-in-Canada ideas into commercial success,” said Kirsty Duncan, minister of science and sport. 

This federal government donation was matched by the Government of Alberta, alongside an additional contribution of $500,000 from Suncor Energy; thus bringing the total grant to $2.5 million. 

“We appreciate the investments made by government and our partners in SAIT and our applied research infrastructure,” said Dr. David Ross, SAIT president and CEO. 

“Funding is vital to attract and retain talent, for student success in training the next generation of researchers, and to support private-sector industry transformations which boost the Canadian economy while demonstrating leadership in innovation.” 

The grant will support SAIT’s Industrial Research Chair for Colleges (IRCC) led by Dr. Vita Martez. 

The IRCC is working alongside the Canada oil sands innovation alliance, (COSIA) and Suncor to develop direct contact steam generation (DCSG) technologies which combine steam and carbon dioxide to be pumped underground in steam-assisted gravity drainage. 

This process reduces the water used in SAGD by 90 per cent and lowers overall greenhouse gas emissions by making use of typical by-products such as carbon dioxide in the extraction of bitumen. 

Cleaner and more efficient oil sands technologies will result in faster reclamation of areas disrupted by extraction operations, and present a significant opportunity for growth in Alberta’s economy. 



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