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Energy Dragons winners present a water reduction solution for the Oil Sands

Winners of the First Prize, Clara Lugo Teran and Henry Bastidas Martinez, students in the Energy Asset Management program, MacPhail School of Energy, recently presented their capstone projects to a judging panel from industry at the Technology Demonstration Center, Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS).

Clara Lugo Teran and Henry Bastidas Martinez, made their winning presentation on a topic titled “Reverse osmosis InsituSIM simulation: An alternative to reduce water rates in the Oil Sands” in April 2019. This capstone project was arranged by Instructor, Lisa Bzdurreck and Academic Chair Ken Rossi with CERCUTS/NSERC-IRCC at ARIS.

InsituSIM is an innovative cloud-based software used in the evaluation of new technologies and operations for some in-situ oil sands facilities. Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) members and associates have explored InsituSIM to simulate the viability of once-through steam generators (OTSGs), analyze the costs and benefits and assess the interactions between water and energy efficiency in Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) processes. Under the mentorship of Dr. Alberto Alva, Process Ecology Inc., the students accessed the InsituSIM software and worked with Mr. Joseph Apawan, research engineer at the OTSG Laboratory, ARIS Steam Generation Research Facility, CERCUTS, with the key goal of evaluating the reverse osmosis membrane-based de-mineralization process as an alternative to reducing water usage in Oil Sands operations. The applications of InsituSIM has the potential to harness the combined strength of IoT (internet of things), in order to provide real-time performance monitoring with predictive functions that can be built in to prevent failures and ensure above optimal operations in water treatment for the Energy Industry, businesses and other industrial sectors.

ARIS supports programs and leveraged funding initiatives which is an important resource for industry and small and medium-sized enterprises working to find relevant, tomorrow’s market solutions today. ARIS’s research division at CERCUTS/NSERC-IRCC catalyzes innovation by fostering the engagement of students, new graduates, and the next generation of young professionals for conducting solution-based applied research and innovation that could potentially benefit the Canadian energy, economy, environment and society.

Acknowledgements: Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)-Industrial Research Chair for Colleges program, Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) and Alberta Government-RCP program, Alberta Economic Development and Trade (EDT) and Alberta Innovates (AI).

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