Greenhouse Gases Innovation Opportunities

If you're an academic, researcher, innovator, inventor, entrepreneur, large company, or really anyone with an idea or potential innovation—we want to hear from you.

What is an innovation opportunity?

COSIA's Innovation Opportunities provide focused, actionable descriptions of the current state of opportunities related to environmental processes and impacts of the oil sands industry. Each represents a possibility that, if realized, would contribute towards the achievement of COSIA's environmental aspirations.

The Innovation Opportunities include research and technology opportunities, from incremental - because the small things add up - through to the game-changers with the potential to propel industry forward.


Greenhouse Gases

Greenhouse Gases

Quantification of Area Fugitive Emissions
COSIA’s GHG Environmental Priority Area Steering Committee is seeking transformative, cost-effective technologies to accurately and precisely quantify area fugitive greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands tailings ponds and mine faces.
Direct Hot Water Production for an Oil Sands Mining & Extraction Process
The COSIA Greenhouse Gas Environmental Priority Area has identified Direct Hot Water Production as a technology which could improve the environmental performance of mineable oil sands. New technology is sought which could replace conventional hot water production approaches, which use economizers or low grade steam, in either new or existing mining operations.
Higher Value Use of Low-Grade Heat
COSIA’s GHG Environmental Priority Area Steering Committee is seeking technologies that create value from excess low grade heat resulting from Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) oil sands production and/or related surface facility operations.
Natural Gas Decarbonization
The COSIA GHG Environmental Priority Area (EPA) Steering Committee (SC) has identified natural gas decarbonization as an opportunity area in which to explore for technologies that will materially reduce oil sands GHG emissions. These technologies will partially or completely remove the carbon content of natural gas. The emissions associated with producing the decarbonized gas, plus the emissions from combusting the decarbonized gas, will be less than the emissions from combusting natural gas.
New Heat Exchanger Technology
COSIA’s GHG Environmental Priority Area Steering Committee is seeking technology which could replace heat exchanger technology in either new or existing thermal in situ operations.
Post Combustion CO2 Capture from Natural Gas Combustion Flue Gas
Activities in this opportunity will increase understanding of how to dramatically reduce the cost of capture, especially CAPEX, from diluted CO2 streams (<8 vol%), and how the most advanced and emerging Post Combustion Capture (PCC) technologies and processes can be economically applied to current oil sands production. Also of interest is the identification and development of promising early technology readiness level (TRL) processes and technologies for CO2 capture at a significantly lower cost (OPEX and CAPEX).
Enrichment of Combustion Air
Activities to close this gap will focus on decreasing the costs of oxygen enrichment technologies and improving their integration with oil sands facilities. Material energy efficiency improvements will also be targeted and could be achieved through lower energy intensity oxygen (O2) production.
Finding steam additives for SAGD performance improvement
COSIA’s members have identified ‘de-risking steam additives for SAGD performance improvement research priority’, which if realized, would help reduce the amount of steam needed per barrel produced.
Electromagnetic Simulation Tools
COSIA’s members have identified ‘Electromagnetic (EM) Simulation Tools innovation priority’, which if realized, would help accelerate adoption of EM reservoir heating and dramatically reduce the amount of water needed and emissions per barrel of oil produced.


CO2 Pipeline Infrastructure Tool

This model replicates a pipeline network in North East Alberta and terminates at delivery locations in Alberta and one delivery point in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. This tool has been develop to help analyse and provide general guidance on key pipeline design considerations including purity specifications, pressures, etc.

Development of a SAGD Reference Facility

This tool helps technology vendors become more familiar with SAGD operations, including the material and energy balances for various kinds of oil sands facilities. It helps them better identify how their technologies might integrate with existing equipment so they can better quantify the potential GHG and water benefits of their technology. 

Cost Benefit Analysis Tool

The COSIA Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) Tool (Version 1.0) is an MS-Excel based tool used to assist solution providers with providing technology submissions to COSIA. The CCBA Tool is a screening tool used to provide a consistent directional basis to assess technology submissions.


InsituSIM is an interactive cloud-based software that innovators can use to help design their solution so that it can be more easily integrated in an oil sands facility. This tool can also provide a high level indication of the costs and benefits of the technology which innovators can use to promote their offering.

Material and Energy Balance for an Oil Sands Surface Mining and Bitumen Extraction Reference Facility

This report provides a description of an oil sands surface mining bitumen extraction process, and a methodology used to create material and heat balances and calculate GHG emissions for the process. The resulting Material and Energy balances are intended to facilitate the evaluation of GHG reduction opportunities and water and heat recovery possibilities by providing a common basis of process information needed for prospective technology developers to better quantify the benefits and complete the analysis of their technologies.

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