Program ID: Innovation Anthology #481
Program Date: 06/26/2012
Program Category: Awards and Competitions, Climate Change, Environment, Oil Sands
Emerald Awards: Williams Energy Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Oil Sands
This year the Emerald Foundation’s special Challenge Award focused environmental initiatives in the oil sands.
One finalist was Williams Energy Inc of Fort McMurray.
Company president David Chappell describes their unique off gas recovery system that reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
DAVID CHAPPELL: When a company takes the bitumen and turns it into synthetic crude oil, they put that in an upgrader to do that. And in that process, they create a gas that’s called an off gas. That off gas contains methane but it also contains a lot of other products, such as ethane, ethylene, propane, propylene, butane, and butylene. And the ethylene and propylene and butylene they are actually basic petrochemicals that normally companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars to manufacture. The oil sands companies are producing it as a by-product and the burning it as fuel. Well what we do is we remove those higher value products. And when we do that, we also remove a lot of the sulphur in that off gas that they were previously burning and turning into SO2 in their burning process.
David Chappell says Wilson’s technology has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by two million tonnes and has reduced sulphur dioxide emissions by 1700 tonnes.
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I’M CHERYL CROUCHER