General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) will be partnering with the University of Alberta and Alberta Innovates Technology Futures organization on a $4 million CO2 capture project which will be supported by the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation as part of an effort to find more cost-effective ways to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels.
The group of organizations is hoping to make use of new research in nano-technology to take on some of the most pressing challenges in acquiring oil from Oil Sands—the reduction of CO2 from the extraction process and the treatment of produced water generated during the oil recovery.
The specific technology that General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) will use are naturally occurring zeolites which have been identified by the University of Alberta. The materials are rocks with, according to a statement, “molecularly sized pores, which allow small molecules to enter while excluding larger molecules.” The statement said that, “Zeolites are widely used in the chemical industry as catalysts, and this project seeks to form these materials into membranes that can be used for high temperature gas separation. The materials also have the potential to be used as filters for contaminated water.”
Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation is providing $2 million in support of the project, with an equal cost share from GE and its project partners.
Anthony Ku, a chemical engineer and project leader for GE Global Research on the CO2 capture project, said, “This project is a great example of how partnership between academic research organizations and industry can lead to meaningful innovation. We’re excited to be working with the CCEMC and some of Alberta’s best and brightest research minds to take an interesting material identified in a university lab and figure out how to build a prototype that will be tested in the field.”