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$3.4M supports petroleum research into cleaner fuel


Fredericton, NB – Researchers at the University of New Brunswick will receive up to $3.4 million over the next five years from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency to develop methods to better analyze petroleum samples for oil producers to develop technologies for cleaner diesel fuel.

The funding will support research at UNB’s Hydroprocessing Laboratory and the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Centre.

The MRI Centre has earned an international reputation for excellence in developing new methods to analyze petroleum core samples. In collaboration with Saudi Aramco, the largest oil company in the world, and Green Imaging Technologies of New Brunswick, UNB researchers will develop measurement techniques for petroleum core analysis that are faster, more precise and more economical than current methods.

The MRI project will receive up to $2.1 million from ACOA’s Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) over a five-year period.

Bruce Balcom, the director of the MRI Research Centre and Canada research chair in material science MRI at UNB, said this project clearly demonstrates how New Brunswick-based researchers are doing work of global significance.

He explained the funding will help Green Imaging Technologies take the project into the marketplace.

“UNB is important to the province’s future,” he said. “And it’s really rewarding to see how the ideas that we develop here, with local researchers, can be taken out into the larger community and really make a meaningful contribution on the world stage.”

UNB’s Hydroprocessing Laboratory will receive $1.3 million in AIF funding. It specializes in fuel analysis, catalyst synthesis and characterization. It will develop technologies to produce high-quality, ultra-clean petro diesel and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from biodiesel.