Tech Transfer eNews Blog
Industry-Sponsored Research Management

U of Calgary innovation designed as headache capsule pivots to oil delivery system


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 13th, 2017

A professor at the University of Calgary has developed a pellet composed of heavy oil and bitumen that acts as a liquid-filled capsule for headache relief. According to inventor Ian Gates, the novel material of the capsule also provides a solution for getting Alberta’s largest oil reserves to market in an inexpensive and sustainable manner.

 “There are [only] so many pipelines, but there are rail tracks everywhere, and anywhere rail goes, so can these pellets,” says Gates. “Pipelines are finite and go to finite spots. Railcars go to virtually every port on every coast.” In addition, the pill-sized pellets greatly reduce the likelihood of a damaging oil spill. Once shipped, they can be refined just like regular bitumen.

 “The way we designed it, you can reconstitute it back into bitumen, so if you wanted the original product, we can reverse it,” says Gates. “We can ship it to an end market, reconstitute it back to bitumen, and that can be used in any upgrader just as it was before.”

Gates developed his technology with support from Innovate Calgary, the university’s tech transfer and incubation center, to help him in the commercialization process.

 “We were able to not only protect technology through intellectual property management, but connect with potential industry partners and customers who might help advance the technology to a field trial, and ultimately, a full scale solution,” says Stace Wills, vice president of energy at Innovate Calgary. Gates’ goal is to be producing the fully automated bitumen pellets by the barrel come November.

Source: U Today

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

Twitter Facebook Linkedin Pinterest Email

No Comments so far ↓

There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment