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Kemira leads creation of industrial research chair at the University of Alberta to focus on sustainable water use in Canadian oil sands


Kemira has joined an industrial research program of the University of Alberta intended to foster sustainable water use in Canadian oil sands extraction. Kemira collaborates with companies Outotec and Suncor Energy Services, the Government of Canada and the Alberta Water Research Institute to establish a Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) industrial research chair at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. The industry research chair is titled “Water Quality Management for Oil Sands Extraction”. Dr. Subir Bhattacharjee, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta, has been appointed chairholder.

The five-year long research program focuses on water quality management studies to address water consumption, reuse and recycling by the in situ oil sands extraction industry. It will also contribute to the science of water treatment, particularly related to physical and chemical processes for removal of water from oil-water-solid systems.

“Kemira led the creation of this industrial research chair. We believe that our global water chemistry expertise will provide essential contribution in developing water quality and quantity management in the oil & gas sector. Proper recycling and reuse of water resources are crucial to the long term viability of the Alberta oil sands. This research investment is part of Kemira’s Center of Water Efficiency Excellence programs we started earlier this year. We are looking for business growth based on new technology in the most rapidly growing water technology application areas”, says Harri Kerminen, President and CEO of Kemira.

“The Alberta government is committed to protecting our water resources as we develop the oil sands,” said Doug Horner, Deputy Premier and Minister of Alberta Advanced Education and Technology. “By forming global partnerships with key strategic industry players such as Kemira, we can pool our resources and bring together our brightest minds to develop solutions that benefit our partners, the environment and society.”

“By leading research in water quality management issues we can promote the development and upgrading of Alberta’s natural resources in an environmentally sustainable manner,” said Dr. David Lynch, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. “The establishment of this research chair will also help educate a new generation of engineers who integrate knowledge across disciplines, working in teams in partnership with industry.”

“Our goal is to strengthen Outotec’s energy and water-related businesses by acquisitions, alliances and research partnerships. The research program of the University of Alberta fits well with our strategy. It also aims to solve a very topical environmental challenge of the oil sands industry. We believe that with Outotec’s expertise in solid liquid separation technologies sustainable solutions can be created for water management in oil sands extraction”, says Pertti Korhonen, President and CEO of Outotec.

The “Water Quality Management for Oil Sands Extraction” research chair is funded jointly by the industry (CAD 750,000), the Alberta Water Research Institute, part of Alberta Innovates - Energy and Environment Solutions (CAD 600,000) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (CAD 750,000) over five years.

Oil & Mining
Kemira’s Oil & Mining segment offers a large selection of groundbreaking chemical extraction and process solutions for the oil and mining industries, where water plays a central role. Utilizing our expertise, our customers are able to improve their efficiency and productivity.
Kemira is a global two billion euro chemicals company that is focused on serving customers in water-intensive industries. The company offers water quality and quantity management that improves customers’ energy, water, and raw material efficiency. Kemira’s vision is to be a leading water chemistry company.


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