Just add water
Forget what you think you know about oil and water not mixing. SAIT has partnered with Katal Energy to prove that not only do fuel and water get along, they can do great things together.
The company approached ARIS to help improve their “hydro-refining” process. In simple terms, the researchers add water to diesel fuel and make it go farther, burn cleaner and provide just as much energy as the diesel would by itself.
The science is complicated, seemingly magical and has generated its share of doubters in the academic community.
Ken Omotani, research manager at ARIS, counts himself among the camp of the healthfully skeptical. But he’s delighted to be proven wrong as the data continues to roll in with the proof that the process not only works, but has commercial potential.
“Katal is creating a cleaner diesel fuel,” explains Omotani. “The transportation industry burns a lot of diesel, so making this process available on a commercial scale can help lower emissions by as much as 38%, and reduce the carbon footprint of the trucks and ships that use it.”
SAIT and Katal are one year into a two-year research project funded in large part by NSERC. ARIS is providing the lab space, researchers and lots of analysis. Collectively, the team knows this works, but getting it to work consistently and on a large scale is the job ahead in the coming months.
Omotani is encouraged by the third-party evidence that adds credibility to their efforts. They’re quickly moving from concept to profitable and environmentally-sound reality. “We’re getting really, really close,” he says.