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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
Canadian Petroleum Heritage
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InventorsCanada has a long history of petroleum innovation and inventions. Kerosene was developed by Abraham Gesner from New Brunswick in the 1860s. In the 20th century, progress in the oil and gas field can be attributed to inventions. Many innovations were team efforts, such as Dr. Karl Clark’s bitumen recovery process and Dr. Florin Esanu ceramic composite for the prevention of corrosion in oilfield equipment.

Today, inventors are usually associated with or are provided funding within a research institute. The National Research Council (NRC) is a Government of Canada organization. Its mandate is centred on undertaking, assisting, or promoting scientific and industrial research in different fields of importance to Canada. It funds initiatives in many areas including environmental and sustainable development, manufacturing, and fuel cell technologies. Currently, the NRC Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology (NRC-ICPET) is developing bitumen and heavy oil processing fundamentals, in collaboration with Syncrude Canada Ltd. and the University of Petroleum in Beijing, People's Republic of China.

This project is typical in that educational institutions, government, and industry work together. Another example is Imperial Oil’s Research and Technology Development Centre at the University of Calgary; it is a world class facility. Their focus is on developing and enhancing current technology in the recovery of bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands, thereby making the process more economical.



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