Monday, April 15, 2024

Nanosized solution is making a big impact in Alberta’s oil sands

This says nothing about the tech except to say it utilizes nano particles which is novel.  Understand that industry insiders really want this problem solved and that it still exists after forty years  should tell you something.

what happens is that available fresh water is used as hot process water and this dissolves all soluables in the sands to produce a more mineralized water.  Several cycles of this and we cannot use it anymore, nor can we release it back into the Mackenzie river watershed.  The amount is simply not small enough.

so we have these lovely lakes of pseudo salt water that is no good for fish or birds.  which we need to preserve forever and noone wants them on their balance sheet.

I do want to say that this is the first effort that shows legitimate progress.  Even dropping part of the junk out of the water column will be a major gain.  Enough of the right nasties and we can actually drain these lakes, perhaps leaving a this layer for the geological record.

No one really understands just how big all this is and i am sure it is exactly the tar sands that are now encouraging monster builds in Saudi arabi and even global reforestration.  gives new meaning to Go BIG or Go HOME!

Nanosized solution is making a big impact in Alberta’s oil sands

Unlocking the power of the sun with H2nanO’s sustainable water treatment technologyBy Jordan FlemmingUniversity Relations

Zac Young (BASc ’15, MASc ’20, P.Eng.)
Alum, Faculty of Engineering
> Founder and COO, H2nanO

The oil sands industry relies heavily on water for its extraction processes, resulting in significant volumes of contaminated water. For every barrel of oil, it takes two to five barrels of water to extract crude bitumen from oil sands. Although oil producers recycle this water in their extraction processes, ponds of contaminated water eventually form that can’t be utilized or returned to the environment.

Working closely with Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), an alliance of oil sands companies working with scientists, academics and innovators to make Canadian energy part of a sustainable environment, H2nanO is committed to addressing the pressing need for new, sustainable water treatment solutions.

The startup’s patented technology, SolarPass, harnesses sunlight to produce oxidants that degrade contaminants in process-affected water. This remediation can work within days to reduce aquatic toxicity — outperforming more energy-intensive and harsh chemical-dependent methods to improve water safety and reuse potential.

Zac Young, COO for H2nanO, believes Waterloo provided an ideal environment for incubating their technology. “The freedom to operate and maintain ownership of the intellectual property, the collaborative research relationships that the university fosters, the access to talent through the co-op program and Velocity’s entrepreneurial ecosystem helped us grow and navigate the transition from research to commercialization smoothly,” he says.

As the world seeks sustainable alternatives in industries noted for their environmental impact, H2nanO has emerged as a trailblazer, offering both effective water treatment and a tangible contribution to restoring the environment from the effects of oil extraction. Their journey from lab-based research to full-scale commercialization underscores the immense potential for visionary startups to shape a cleaner, greener future.

Watch how H2Nano is addressing the need for new sustainable water treatment solutions