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Innovative Canadian companies receive funding to improve air quality

(July 28, 2003 - CALGARY) A consortium consisting of NOVA Chemicals, the Alberta Research Council Inc. (ARC) and the University of Waterloo is one of seven groups approved for first-round funding by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to develop innovative technologies to improve emission reductions and air quality. Overall contribution to the three-year project from all parties amounts to approximately $2 million Cdn.

The consortium is developing an improved separation process for the production of olefins from petrochemical plants. This process, based on a new membrane technology, offers a viable alternative to the high-cost, energy consuming operation currently performed by large distillation columns. The new technology could significantly reduce the energy required in separation applications.

"This is an exciting technology," says John Zhou, manager of the Alberta Research Council's Advanced Materials business unit. "It has significant potential to reduce the capital cost and CO2 emissions associated with olefin production. Olefin producers can benefit both ways."

Paul Clark, Vice-President, Research & Technology at NOVA Chemicals, explains, "We know that membrane separation technology works in a laboratory setting. What we're trying to answer through this study, is to assess the potential commercial viability of this technology. ARC has developed specialized expertise in polymer membrane technology. Our expertise is fitting this into the petrochemical process. Our ability to facilitate testing at commercial pressures, temperatures and operating parameters - real world applications that run on a 24/7 basis - makes a significant contribution to this program."

The Alberta Research Council and University of Waterloo have developed specialized expertise in polymer membrane technology, and will lead the membrane module development. NOVA Chemicals will lead pilot plant demonstration, application and eventual commercializati
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Contact: Bernie Poitras
780-450-5145
Alberta Research Council Inc.
28-Jul-2003


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