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The Government of Canada is demonstrating its commitment to stimulating innovation and job creation with an investment of $14.7 in four new clean technology projects.
Lead organization: Switchable Solutions
Project Title: SSI Field Pilot
Environmental Benefits: Climate change/Clean water/Clean soil
Economic Sector: Energy exploration and production
SDTC Investment: $5.2 million
Extracting bitumen from mined ore is an energy- and water-intensive process that relies on technology developed in the 1920's. Switchable Solutions has developed a solvent-based bitumen extraction process that is expected to economically process and recover bitumen from ore, using half the energy of the current process, and only 15 percent of the water. The switchable hydrophilicity solvent (SHS) process uses bubbled CO2 to change the solubility properties of the solvent, to “switch” the affinity of the solvent for hydrocarbons to an affinity for water, enabling its efficient recovery and re-use. This process operates on a cost-competitive basis with current methods and will increase the bitumen recovery efficiency to more than 95 percent for lower grades of ore and more than 98 percent for the richer bitumen ore.
Lead organization: Macrotek
Project Title: Novel MVI Acid Gas Scrubbing Technology Project
Environmental Benefits: Climate Change/Clean Air/Clean Water/Clean Soil
Economic Sector: Waste management
SDTC Investment: $2 million
Vive Crop Protection
Plasco Energy Group
To avoid injecting contaminants into the atmosphere, industries use chemical reactions to “scrub” exhaust before it is emitted from smokestacks. However, current scrubbing techniques use caustic and oxidizing reagents (materials used to produce a chemical reaction). Macrotek has developed a groundbreaking suite of technologies that scrub in a novel, cost-effective and efficient way. The technology is developed initially to eliminate hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which is a major component of acid rain, from industrial gas streams. The technology uses a regenerative reagent, drastically reducing reagent consumption. It also converts H2S into its elemental form of sulphur, eliminating the current need to treat sulphate byproduct in wastewater streams. When full life-cycle costs are considered, this technology could cost less than 50 percent of the operating costs of traditional scrubber technologies, while maintaining or improving contaminant removal efficiency. This technology has the potential to address a multitude of other pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, simultaneously.
Lead organization: Vive Crop Protection
Project Title: Targeted Delivery for Crop Protection
Environmental Benefits: Clean water/clean soil
Economic Sector: Agriculture
SDTC Investment: $3.7 million
Vive Crop Protection
Dow AgroSciences LLC
Loveland Products Inc. (a division of crop production services)
Makhteshim Agan of North America Inc.
University of Alberta – Office of Environmental NanoSafety
University of Toronto – Institute for Optical Sciences
The best crop protection happens when pesticides stay where they are intended to protect the crop, for example on a crop’s leaves or at its roots. Vive has developed Allosperse®, a tiny particle that has unique properties: it has a hydrophilic (water-loving) exterior and an oleophilic (oil-loving) interior. Pesticides, which are also oleophilic, are loaded into the particle before application to crops. The next generation of Allosperse particles will have increased stickiness to leaves, avoiding run-off during the rain, and will penetrate leaves and seeds to offer systemic plant protection. Finally, the specially designed particles will control the movement of the particle through the soil, allowing it to target pests at the plant’s roots. Less product, and therefore less cost, would be required to achieve equivalent results, and growers can get better protection with less accidental surface water run-off and soil contamination.
Lead organization: Solantro Semiconductor
Project Title: Self-forming dynamically scalable renewable energy nanogrids
Environmental Benefits: Climate change/Clean air
Economic Sector: Power generation
SDTC Investment: $3.8 million
Solantro Semiconductor Corp.
Celestica International Inc.
Outback Power Technologies
Infinite Island Power
The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that global demand for electricity will grow by over 70 percent by 2035, requiring an investment of $6.8 trillion to upgrade and extend the worldwide electricity distribution network. Renewable energy is stepping in; however it can be difficult and costly to integrate into the conventional grid, partly because of the need to deal with its varying level of power output. Solantro Semiconductor addresses this through control software running on custom-designed integrated circuits distributed throughout a local electrical grid. The software decides how to balance supply and demand, as well as when to draw on or refill the supplies of stored energy — all in real time and autonomously, eliminating the need for a centralized controller. This project could be a new model for consumer-level deployment of renewables, accelerating the displacement of fossil fuels both on- and off-grid.
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