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Environmental Technologies


The Environmental Technologies (ET) research team leads applied research in clean technology development associated with energy and the environment. The ET research team develops strategies and solutions such as the reduction of industry impacts to air, soil and water.

This research is grounded in science, technology and engineering and focuses on developing novel technologies from bench to pilot scale in order to address today's energy and environmental challenges. ET research at SAIT advances the body of highly skilled knowledge and technological know-how that is of benefit to industry and society while providing experiential learning to students from SAIT's applied science and technology disciplines.

Research themesMan in a tech lab

  • Air quality monitoring, strategic solutions and technologies for greenhouse gas challenges
  • Soil characterization, soil salinity reduction and impacted soil remediation technologies
  • Frac-and produced-water treatment, wastewater remediation, water de-oiling and desalination using a membrane and thermal technologies



Advanced Mobile Labs

There are four state-of-the-art Advanced Mobile Labs managed by the Environmental Technologies research area and the IRCC program. These labs are used to facilitate on-site pilot testing and off-site pilot demonstration or field trails of clean technologies. The mobiles labs are also employed in research associated with quantification, treatment and remediation.

Taking the lab to the researcher

The Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS) at SAIT supports industry partners in the evaluation of advanced environmental technologies. One of the ways in which we offer this support is by supplying access to our mobile testing and field sample collection facilities. Each lab is housed within a self-contained trailer that can be transported for field research at remote locations as needed.

Facility highlights

Mobile Water Treatment Laboratory
  • A 48-foot temperature controlled trailer, with lavatory, sink and cold storage for samples
  • Skidded modular process equipment (e.g. UV-AOP water treatment, Modular Steam generators high temperature and high-pressure systems)
Mobile Air Quality Monitoring Laboratory
  • A 26-foot, temperature controlled trailer
  • Analyzers for CO2, SO2, NOx, CO, Methane-Non Methane, PM 2.5/PM 10.0, O3 and H25
  • Dilution Calibrator
  • Zero Air Generator
  • Meteorological sensor to measure wind speed, wind direction, temperature, humidity, pressure, precipitation and solar radiation
  • Remotely monitored - DR Das SCADA
Mobile Greenhouse Gas and Atmospheric Emissions Laboratory
  • A 48-foot temperature controlled trailer, with lavatory, sink and cold storage for samples
  • Methane Gas Chromatography (GC)
  • Analysis of C1 to C5 GC
  • Analysis of CO2, CH4, N2O in an air matrix GC
  • Multi-gas Analyzer Fourier Transform Infra-red (FTIR)
  • H2, N2 and Zero Air generators with dedicated compressor
  • Remotely monitored - DR Das SCADA
Mobile Chemical and Environmental Analytical Laboratory
  • A 48-foot, temperature controlled trailer, with lavatory, sink and cold storage for samples
  • Electro-Magnetic Salinity Meter for determining salt contamination in soil
  • Oil Sands Tailings verification of remediation technologies
  • Chemical and environmental instrumentation will be fitted up based on specific field trails

Chemical and Environmental Analysis Lab

The Chemical and Environmental Analysis Lab is managed by the Environmental Technologies research area. The lab was built in 2012 and is housed within the Aldred Centre utilizing 440,000 square feet of space. The lab is equipped to conduct a range of analyses including wet chemistry, spectrometry and chromatography.

Supporting the development of clean technologies

The Environmental Technologies team works in partnership with other ARIS research areas and with industry small-to-medium sized enterprises, technology providers and other collaborators to explore clean technology applications.

This lab supports the development, testing and verification of clean technologies through chemical composition analysis of water, air, greenhouse gases, tailings and soil.

Facility highlights

Analysis capabilities include measurements for trace metals, anions, cations, alkalinity, salinity, total organic carbon, total inorganic carbon, total carbon, total dissolved solids, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semi-VOCs, particle size and greenhouse gases.

Lab equipment and processes include, but are not limited to:

  • X-ray diffractometer (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis
  • Microwave digestion and preparatory systems
  • Potentiometric titration
  • Gas chromatography and mass spectrometer (GCMS)
  • FTIR analyzer
  • Inductively coupled plasma with atomic emission
  • TOC analyzer
  • Ion chromatography (IC) system
  • Laser diffraction particle size analyzer

Process Operations Lab

The Process Operations Lab refers to space and equipment that supports process engineering capabilities available within the Enerplus Centre for Innovation. It is managed by the Environmental Technologies research area and the IRCC Program.

Pilot-projects that solve real-world problems

The Environmental Technologies research area utilizes process engineering capabilities at the Enerplus Centre to develop prototype pilot systems in collaboration with industry partners and many stakeholders.

Facility highlights

Process operations prototype systems include:

  • Electrodialysis pilot water treatment for water destination of saline groundwater for drinking, agriculture, livestock and industrial steam boilers etc.
  • Ceramic membrane filtration to remove suspended solids, turbidity, oil and grease and organic carbon from produced water for recycling and reuse in industrial steam boilers and other sectors.
  • Reverse osmosis desalination to produce pure water for drinking, agriculture, livestock, industrial steam boilers etc.
  • Fractional distillation to separate components within a liquid mixture using evaporation and condensation and to conduct studies on renewable (solar) energy desalination.
  • Advanced oxidation processes to reduce total organic carbon and related contaminants, including removal of pathogens.
  • Chemical vapour deposition (CVD), plasma-enhanced CVD, and plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition to create a variety of thin film layers/coatings for industrial and applied research applications.

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