CHALLENGE CASE STUDIES

NATURAL GAS DECARBONIZATION

QUESTION

What technical solutions produce a carbon-lean combustion fuel with lower GHG intensity and a valuable carbon-rich by-product?

Natural gas is used in oil sands operations as a fuel source for power generation, heating applications, and hydrogen source for bitumen upgrading. Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA)  is seeking solutions that can reduce (or remove) carbon from natural gas to provide:

1) a carbon-lean (or depleted) combustion fuel with a lower greenhouse gas (“GHG”) intensity compared to natural gas; and,

2) a valuable carbon-rich or carbon black by-product. This by-product will provide economic and environmental value to users of the solution. Solutions must reduce overall GHG emissions reductions compared to the current natural gas combustion approach.

Submissions Closed

OUR CHALLENGE PARTNER

Cosia

ZERO EMISSIONS CHARGERS

QUESTION

Can we identify zero emission technologies and develop the necessary equipment to operate DC Fast Charging Stations in areas of the province not serviced by the electrical grid?

ZERO EMISSION CHARGERS IN HIGHWAY REST AREAS

The B.C. government has established a goal to increase the use of electric vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To support this, the Province is developing a network of DC Fast Charging Stations to allow electric vehicles to operate throughout the province, including charging stations in provincial highway rest areas which are located between communities. To date, eleven charging sites have been installed with another eight planned for installation in 2019. Some rest areas, however, do not have access to the electrical grid meaning a complete network of charging stations cannot be implemented at this time.

This equipment and technology developed will need to work in a variety of locations throughout the province and must take into account the varied weather and geographical conditions.

OUR CHALLENGE PARTNER

BC Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure

HYDROGEN PRODUCTION

QUESTION

Can we improve the process of hydrogen production (reliability, cost effectiveness, increasing volume for distribution)?

Hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles convert compressed hydrogen from the fuel tank into electricity that powers the electric motor of a vehicle. When driven, such cars do not produce greenhouse gases from their tailpipe – the only emission is water vapour. When renewable electricity is used to make the hydrogen, the vehicle can effectively be powered without generating any emissions.  Hydrogen vehicles have similar performance and acceleration capabilities to petrol and diesel cars. They are quick to refuel and can drive similar distances. Energy is stored in compressed hydrogen fuel, rather than a battery, which means that hydrogen-powered cars can potentially drive up to 700 kilometres without refuelling. The cars take up to five minutes to refuel – similar to current refuelling times for petrol and diesel cars.

The challenge is to provide solutions that improve three important areas of hydrogen production:

  • Cost reduction with a focus on (but not limited to): Compression (develop a high capacity high pressure compression system for heavy duty applications), electrolyzers, valves and manifolding, and/or industrial control and sensors.
  • Reliability improvement of refueling systems or components with a focus on (but not limited to): Compressor, refueling protocol software, nozzles, fittings, chilling systems and hoses.
  • Methods to increase hydrogen by weight and volume for distribution systems such as (but not limited to): Novel designs and configurations for high pressure vessels, liquid organic carriers, low-cost micro liquefaction (Small scale liquefaction is of high interest to enable stranded” low-cost 10-50 MW renewable projects located within 1000 mi. of load centers to be cost effective) and others.

Submissions Closed

OUR CHALLENGE PARTNER

Shell Hydrogen

NURTIENT RECOVERY

QUESTION

What nutrient recovery technologies (NRTs) can produce a concentrated, higher-value product (e.g., organic fertilizer) from the digestate produced from on-farm anaerobic digestion technology and/or make this product more easily and cost-effectively transportable off-site?

The Issue: Cost-effective nutrient recovery from on-farm anaerobic digestate and related product exportability.

The Challenge: This Challenge seeks solutions that can help to improve the economics of British Columbia’s renewable natural gas (RNG) supply chain.  The successful technologies or engineering process improvements will:

  • Improve the business case for pipeline-grade RNG production by developing or adapting a technology to improve nutrient recovery processes and/or the development of higher value products from digestate.
  • Describe a path to commercial viability.

Submissions Closed

FINALISTS

Muddy River Technologies
CH Four
Bio Polynet
Trident Processes

OUR CHALLENGE PARTNER

BC Bioenergy Network
Delphi Group

HOT WATER PRODUCTION (MINING)

QUESTION

What technical solutions can replace or supplement conventional hot water production approaches in either new or existing mining operations without using existing (or new) steam resources for heat exchange purposes?

The Issue: Oil sands mining and extraction processes require commercial scale (1000 – 10,000m3/hr) hot water in the 20-90 °C range. Currently this hot water is produced indirectly through contact with steam produced in natural gas fired boilers, and cogeneration units and waste heat.

The Challenge: Canada’s Oil Sands Alliance (COSIA) is seeking technologies that can replace or supplement conventional hot water production approaches in either new or existing mining operations without using existing (or new) steam resources for heat exchange purposes. Technologies will result in significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions over existing hot water production approaches.

Submissions Closed

SHOWCASE WINNER

Combustion & Energy Systems Limited

FINALISTS

INPROHEAT INDUSTRIES
Combustion & Energy

OUR CHALLENGE PARTNER

Cosia
Alberta Innovates

REMOTE SENSING (FORESTRY)

QUESTION

Can we identify and commercialize innovations that can dramatically reduce the costs associated with forest inventory remote sensing, while maintaining or improving accuracy?

The Issue: FPInnovations’ Strategy has established targets for forest inventory remote sensing costs. Traditionally in British Columbia (BC), forest inventory information is collected infrequently, through photo interpretation and ground-based surveys. It tends to present accuracy and timing challenges for operational planning and it is unsuitable for timber inventory (block or stand and landscape levels). By contrast, timber inventory at the block level (i.e., timber cruising) is conducted based on more intensely field sampling and typically does not include remotely sensed information. Its main objective is to provide detailed information on the distribution of wood volume in the block by species, quality and dimension (usually summarized in the log grades). Remotely sensed timber inventory information for operational or tactical purposes, provides an opportunity to transform current practices and later adapt and extend them elsewhere in Canada. Today, ground-based survey for timber appraisal and for forest inventory costs range between $25-100 per ha, depending on access and on the type of data acquired.

The Challenge: FPInnovations members are seeking to identify and commercialize innovations that can dramatically reduce the costs associated with this process, while maintaining or improving accuracy. This challenge is designed to provide improvements to the Timber Inventory.

Submissions Closed

FINALISTS

Arbonaut
Lim Geomatics
Object Raku Technologies

OUR CHALLENGE PARTNER

FP Innovations

WASTE HEAT

QUESTION

What technical solutions can capture high-grade waste heat and/or low-grade waste heat in steam generation boilers for Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) operations, and transform it into higher-value heat or electricity?

The Issue: Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) operations combust large quantities of natural gas to produce steam. A portion of the heat generated in the process is lost through boiler stacks as high temperature flue gas (200°C ) or as low-grade waste heat (60°C to 80°C ) from process operations.

SHOWCASE WINNER

AMS Energy

AMSEnergy – the first-ever winner of the final stage of an ARCTIC Innovation Challenge. AMSEnergy’s thermosyphon heat pipe technology addresses the ARCTIC Waste Heat Challenge, which is sponsored by Foresight and the Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA).

FINALISTS

AMS Energy
Heat Matrix Group

OUR CHALLENGE PARTNER

Cosia

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER!

Stay in the know about leading-edge transformative technology. Our monthly newsletter covers events, upcoming workshops and all program updates.

Foresight Facebook
Foresight Instagram
Foresight Twitter
Foresight LinkedIn

FacebookTwitterInstagram“LinkedIn"