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Alberta Research Council purchases CT scanner for sustainable energy resource recovery research


Edmonton, AB – The purchase of a $1.2 million research x-ray computed tomography (CT) scanner by the Alberta Research Council (ARC) is opening up research opportunities in the area of sustainable energy resource recovery.

The scanner’s high-resolution 3D images the internal structure of items such as geological core samples, sand packs and mechanical devices. It will allow, for example, engineers and geology staff at ARC to see what happens inside a sand pack when a new extraction process, such as using solvents to help the oil flow more easily, is applied.

Testing various methods and comparing the results will show oil sands and heavy oil companies which extraction process will best work for their reservoir to aid with reduced cost, enhanced extraction, reduced water usage and reduced energy input.

This is a fine example of how ARC helps to transfer technology from the lab to industry, says Doug Horner, minister of advanced education and technology.

The scanner can be used in applications beyond the oil and gas industry, and ARC says it plans to work with other industries interested in the technology.