Photo by Mariah Wilson

U of C receive funding for clean energy projects

By Fibha Nazim, February 2 2018 —

As part of a bid to promote clean energy initiatives, the University of Calgary has received a combined $714,500 grant from the Government of Canada.

The grant, which is part of $3.5 million provided by Ottawa to Calgary-area clean energy initiatives, will be applied to three projects, all aimed at reducing methane and carbon emissions in the atmosphere.

One of the projects, led by Marc Strous, geoscience professor and chair of the Campus Alberta Innovates Program, is designed to reduce harmful emissions by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, burning it with oxygen and then injecting it back into the ground. The process also produces electricity as a byproduct.

“You have a process that takes CO2 out of the air that produces electricity and buries the CO2 in the ground,” Strous said. “So while creating electricity, we are actually removing CO2 from the air.”

Strous and his team are also working on the early stages of a process that uses algae to remove harmful CO2 emissions from the atmosphere.

“Algae are like plants,” Strous said. “They use sunlight, they do photosynthesis.”

Another one of the projects is being facilitated by Carbon Management Canada (CMC) Research Institutes and ran by Faculty of Science members Cathy Ryan and Bernhard Mayer. It focuses on monitoring methane emissions in water, soil and the atmosphere.

The third project funded is led by Chris Hugenholtz from the Department of Geography and Centre for Smart Emissions and Sensing Technologies. The project focuses on new technologies that can be used to find and measure harmful emissions.

The funding, which was also awarded to Calgary-based groups such as the Alberta Clean Technology Industry Alliance, the Capital Road Foundation and CMC, was provided as part of a government policy aimed at reducing carbon emissions and encouraging a low-carbon economy in Canada.

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