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CanmetENERGY in Devon

Clean Energy | Research | Innovation | Leadership

CanmetENERGY in Devon brings together scientists, engineers and technologists in a state-of-the-art research and development (R&D) facility for innovation in energy technology. This research centre provides fundamental knowledge and innovative solutions that extract valuable hydrocarbon resources and reduce the environmental impacts of resource development.

Our research and development programs

Located outside of Edmonton, CanmetENERGY Devon strengthens energy partnerships with industry, provinces and academic institutions. With over 100 scientists, engineers, technologists, managers and support staff, CanmetENERGY Devon:

  • generates knowledge to provide solutions to industry, advice to government policy makers and regulators, and provides Canadians with relevant information on oil sands and heavy oil issues
  • collaborates with industry, provincial/territorial governments, academic institutions and international organizations to develop and demonstrate new technologies

CanmetENERGY Devon’s expertise and research focus areas include:

Downstream and renewables R&D

Bitumen upgrading and petroleum refining technologies

Our R&D is developing heavy oil / bitumen upgrading and petroleum refining technologies from lab and pilot scale to demonstration and commercialization, with the focus on increasing bitumen value and market access, while reducing diluent use for pipeline transportation.

Advanced chemistry and characterization, and artificial intelligence

Our R&D helps better understand the chemistry and composition of petroleum and renewable feedstock and products through developing and utilizing advanced characterization methods coupled with molecular-level modeling, computation, and artificial intelligence approaches.

Bitumen beyond combustion (BBC) and valorization  

Our R&D is supporting valorization of low-value hydrocarbon feedstock through synthesis of high-value products and materials from bitumen, asphaltenes, petcoke, H2S, and light hydrocarbons.

Modeling, simulation, and life cycle analysis on GHG emissions

Our R&D utilizes process modeling, simulation and optimization, and life cycle analysis, to analyze energy use during upgrading, refining, biorefining, and co-processing to help reduce GHG emissions, and support policy and regulation development.

Bioenergy and biofuels

Our R&D is developing technology pathways for the production of renewable transportation fuels, focusing on co-processing of biocrude with petroleum in refineries and biorefining for biojet and biodiesel production.

Processability for refining, bio-refining, and co-refining

Our R&D is addressing oil stability, compatibility, fouling tendency and corrosion issues to reduce their impacts on upgrading and refining operations and performance, and GHG emissions.

Analytical services

Our standardized and specialized analytical services offer support to internal/external R&D and industrial operations.

Upstream and environment R&D

Extractive technologies

Our R&D team is creating strategies and processes to enhance hydrocarbon recovery and reduce the environmental impacts of surface mining and in situ operations.

Oil spill science

Our R&D team is assessing the fate, behaviour and biological Impact of various petroleum products spilled into a range of onshore and offshore environments; supporting the improvement of spill response technologies, the development of reliable remediation technologies and restoration end points.

Tailings research  

Our R&D team is developing and assessing physical and chemical treatments to transform fluid fine tailings into a trafficable and productive reclaimed landscape using dewatering technologies and environmentally friendly tailings pond treatments, remediation methods and monitoring tools.

Applied geoscience

Our R&D is identifying potential impacts of oil and gas development on surface water and groundwater resources related to geologic storage of CO2, oil sands tailings, spills from pipelines, hydraulic fracturing and drilling waste, the environmental fate and behaviour of trace contaminants in aquatic ecosystems and environmental remediation.

Modeling and simulation

Our R&D team is using pore-scale modeling to predict multiphase flow; using machine learning (ML)-enabled predictive engineering models that enhance hydrocarbon recovery from tight rock formations; and researching chemical reactivity descriptors for the accelerated discovery of catalysts for CO2 reduction reactions.

Emerging areas

Our R&D team are investigating new areas, including: energy storage systems; critical minerals from natural brines; carbon capture and utilization technology development; Internet of Things (IoT); and supporting indigenous activities.

Pilot scale operations

Batch processes, hydroprocessing and distillation

CanmetENERGY Devon houses a range of pilot plants to test various processes and conditions for both batch and continuous operations.  These pilot plants range from 300mL autoclaves to a 1 BPH froth treatment plant.

Collaborative research

Multi-Partner Research Initiative

Created under the Oceans Protection Plan to establish an international research program to advance Canada’s oil spill research; increase knowledge and support for technological improvements to help improve oil spill response; and support informed decision-making for oil spill response and remediation.


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Spotlight on CanmetENERGY in Devon

CanmetENERGY Collaborates!

Scientists from CanmetENERGY Devon supporting Canada’s Ocean Protection Plan (OPP) recently teamed up with public and private sector organizations to examine how crude oil spilled into water undergoes biodegradative chemical changes over time, and the toxic effects of the oil-contaminated water on fish populations.

Read the full article here

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