Capturing waste heat
Imperial recently started up the sixth and final boiler flue gas unit at Kearl. Combined, the six units have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 220,000 tonnes per year – equivalent to replacing more than 47,000 cars with electric vehicles.
The units capture waste heat from a boiler’s combustion exhaust to preheat process water, resulting in less steam usage and lower GHG emissions. The technology is similar to that used in high-efficiency furnaces or water tanks, but approximately 30,000 times the scale.
Boiler flue gas technology at Kearl is an important part of Imperial’s company-wide goal to achieve net-zero emissions in our operated assets by 2050 through collaboration with government and other industry partners. Near-term, it’s a major contributor to our efforts to reduce the intensity of oil sands greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030, compared to 2016 levels.
The project received $20 million in funding through the Government of Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund.