2019 Student & Post-Doctoral Fellow Colloquium

Tuesday, May 7, 2019
8:30 AM - 5:45 PM

Telus Centre, University of Alberta
87 Avenue & 111 Street 
Edmonton AB Canada

Featuring presentations, pitches, and posters from Future Energy Systems students and post-doctoral fellows, this event showcased research and provided unique interdisciplinary networking opportunities for all participants.

Watch the sessions:

Energy Systems: Our People, Our Communities

Session 1: Enhancing Current Energy Systems (Click for Abstracts)

Session 2: Addressing Environmental Impacts (Click for Abstracts)

Session 3: Harnessing Renewable Energy - Part 1 (Click for Abstracts)

Session 4: Harnessing Renewable Energy - Part 2 (Click for Abstracts)

Session 5: Energy In Our Communities (Click for Abstracts)

Winning Presentations, Pitches, and Posters

Presentation & Pitch Winners

Ten-minute presentations and three-minute pitches were judged for the organization of their information, time management, content, and communication skills by three judges:

Click each winner's name to watch their presentation:

Ten-Minute Presentation

Three-Minute Pitch

Poster Winners

Winning posters were selected by votes from Colloquium attendees. Presenters could only receive votes from FES participants and attendees outside their strategic area (posters could not receive votes from immediate colleagues). 

  • Annapurna Sri Sowmya Turuga, Heavy Oil - NAE
  • Laura Bony, Land and Water
  • Tanveer Hassan Mehedi, System Wide

Session 1 - Enhancing Current Energy Systems

10-Minute Presentations

1. Low cost catalysts for hydrodesulfurization and biomass conversion

Presenter: Orain Brown   Supervisor: Jeffrey M Stryker

Abstract: Alberta’s economic push towards partial upgrading demands the development new methods for selective and limited hydroprocessing of heavy crude oils. We have shown that inexpensive; earth-abundant first row transition metal catalysts combined with potassium salts afford an effective system for the desulfurization of dibenzothiophene and other polycyclic  sulfur–bearing molecules; under mild conditions. Critically; the potassium ions allow high selectivity for C–S bond cleavage in fused polycyclic molecules compared to simple thioether compounds; making this system ideal for targeting the heavier fractions of crude oil. Separately we will show that similar catalysts are very effective for selective cleavage of carbon–oxygen bonds in lignin-model compounds. In particular; supported copper; catalysts promote intramolecular transfer hydrogenolysis of the C–O bonds in β–O–4 model  compounds; which represent one of the most abundant linkages in the lignin.

2. Real-Time Steam Allocation Workflow Using Machine Learning for Digital Heavy Oil Reservoirs

Presenter: Najmudeen Sibaweihi   Supervisor: Japan Trivedi

Abstract: In this study; we propose a proactive steam allocation workflow that can learn the effect of steam injection pattern on heavy oil recovery by using machine learning. We employ data analytic predictive system identification models for the short-term forecast of the key performance indicators (KPIs). Model parameters are updated continuously by using a moving horizon approach that considers selected prior data including real-time measurements. An objective function containing predicted KPIs is maximized by manipulating the amount of steam allocated to various injectors in the oilfield. The workflow is repeated on a daily basis for continuous optimum steam allocation.

3. Role of fines; water; and bitumen content on the evaporation of cyclohexane from non-aqueous solvent extraction gangue

Presenter: Reza Khalkhali   Supervisor: Phillip Choi

Abstract: Non-aqueous solvent extraction (NAE) of bitumen from oil sands has the potential to replace the existing hot-water extraction process. One of the challenges of NAE is minimizing the residual solvent in the resulted gangue-the mixture of solids; connate water; residual solvent and residual bitumen after extraction. In my research; the evaporation of cyclohexane from gangue samples with different compositions was studied. Gangue samples with different contents of water; fines; and bitumen were prepared. Weight loss of samples was measured at room temperature and ambient pressure to measure cyclohexane initial evaporation rate. The evaporation rate dropped by 25% in the sample with 20% fines compared to the sample with 10% fines. The sample with 3.7% Water showed the highest evaporation rate compared to other samples with different amounts of water. Bitumen content showed the most drastic impact with a 30% reduction of evaporation rate when only 1%bitumen is present in the gangue mixture.

3-Minute Pitches

4. Steam injection optimization of multiple well-pads in heavy oil reservoirs using reinforcement learning

Presenter: Jose Guevara   Supervisor: Japan Trivedi

Abstract: In thermal oil recovery operations; finding the optimal steam injection strategy (policy) represents a major challenge due to the complex dynamics of the physical phenomenon including its nonlinear and time-varying nature. This challenge is typically addressed using the adjoint method or model predictive control strategies. In contrast; this work presents reinforcement learning as an alternative method that can potentially overcome the drawbacks of the cited approaches. The goal of this study is to identify the steam injection policy that will maximize net present value (NPV) over the entire production horizon. Here; the environment is represented by a synthetic reservoir model inspired from a heavy oil reservoir located in northern Alberta; Canada and Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is considered using three well pairs. Results show that the optimal steam injection policy improves NPV by at least 30% compared to steam injection strategies implemented in the field.

5. The development of modeling oil sands production in an integrated assessment model: Energy consumption and CO2 emission

Presenter: Rui Xing   Supervisor: Evan Davies

Abstract: Bitumen production in Canada has increased from 47.4 thousand bbl/day in 1975 to 2530 thousand bbl/day in 2015. In comparison with this increased production from oil sands; Canada has developed carbon emission reduction targets in its Nationally Determined Contributions and Mid-Century Strategy. Quantification and projection of GHG emissions from the oil sands industry is therefore necessary to track progress toward meeting emissions reduction targets and This study uses an integrated assessment model; GCAM; to examine the energy consumption of oil sands extraction through 2050. Five extraction technologies including both traditional and co-generation technologies compete in model simulations in terms of production costs.  Results show that energy consumption will triple by 2050 due to the expected increase in oil sands production. Co-generation technologies result in significantly lower CO2 emissions.

6. Wireless Power Transmission over SAGD Lines

Presenter: Fabiano Domingos   Supervisor: Pedram Mousavi

Abstract: Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) is the main thermal method for in situ heavy oil production in Canada. This procedure employs high-pressure steam to reduce the viscosity of the heavy oil; allowing it to be pumped out. Due to the harsh environment of SAGD liners; the use of sensors is restricted due to the long fiber optic cables necessary to power them; which are extremely fragile and require specialized equipment to be installed.This project proposes a power transfer method mixing inductive; capacitive and single-conductor power transfer that allows efficient charging of receivers positioned over these liners. The transmitter unit wirelessly creates a standing wave on top of the metallic pipe. This wave then transfers power to the receiver. While most wireless power transmission technologies suffer from the presence of metal; ours uses it to enhance the delivery of both communication and power.


Session 2 - Addressing Environmental Impacts

10-Minute Presentations

1. Assessing the impacts and costs of using low-carbon energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oil sands

Presenter: Ryan Janzen   Supervisor: Amit Kumar

Abstract:The purpose of this research is to evaluate the potential of incorporating renewable and other low-carbon energy technologies into Alberta oil sands processes. The current literature lacks an analysis of the potential for renewable technologies to penetrate into the oil sands and the associated costs and greenhouse gas mitigation possible. This research addresses this gap by applying market penetration modeling and bottom-up energy modeling techniques to create a novel framework for evaluating these technologies in the oil sands. Using this framework; ten feasible technology scenarios were evaluated under three different carbon pricing scenarios; a total of 30 scenarios. Results for the 2018-2050 study period show that industry-wide emissions can be reduced by 0.7% to 5.3% with costs ranging from $20.70/tonne of CO2e to -$5.80/tonne of CO2e depending on the carbon price scenario. Mitigation potential was largely driven by scenarios using nuclear energy for in situ mining processes.

2. Fractionation of oil sands process water and the identification of natural inorganic photosensitizer

Presenter: Rui Qin   Supervisor: Mohamed Gamal El-Din

Abstract: Oil sands process water (OSPW) contains both organics and inorganics. In this study, organic fraction in OSPW (OSPW-OF) was extracted by solid phase extraction using HLB cartridge with 95% of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) recovered and inorganic fraction (OSPW-IF) were obtained after 96% of DOC was removed by activated carbon. Higher NA degradation was observed for the photolysis of OSPW than when the inorganics was removed, indicating that the inorganics in OSPW enhanced the photodegradation of NAs. Nitrate had demonstrated to be the photosensitizer in OSPW responsible for the enhanced photodegradation of OSPW. In the presence of nitrate, both hydroxyl radical (•OH) and reactive nitrogen species were generated, where •OH was the dominant reactive species. By-products ranging with –OH, -NO2, -NO and =O were proposed to be produced. This study demonstrated that nitrate could act as natural photosensitizer for the passive solar remediation of OSPW without the addition of external catalysts.

3. Low Cost BioSorbents from Keratin Biopolymers for the Treatment of Wastewater Produced during Energy Generation

Presenter: Irum Zahara   Supervisors: Tariq Siddique; Aman Ullah

Abstract: The water used for energy production becomes contaminated through several ways and carries inorganics; organics & other water-soluble products. Efforts are being made to control energy-related water pollution. We have developed seven chemically modified keratin biopolymer KBP-II; KBP-III; KBP-IV; KBP-V; KBP-VI; KBP-VII and KBP-VIII including native chicken feathers (NCF) as KBP-I and characterized them for surface morphology; structural integrity; functional group changes & surface area through SEM; TGA; DSC; FTIR; XRD and BET analyses. Developed bio-sorbents were tested for a range of trace metals in synthetic waste water prepared with increased ionic strength (I=0.05) & pH 7.5; spiked with 9 transition and redox sensitive metals collectively at 100 μg L-1 each.  Based on the initial screening of biosorbents; KBP-I removed ≤ 98% of As & Cd; KBP-IV removed 70-100% of VV & Cu; KBP-V removed 66-100% of Co; Ni & Zn whereas KBP-VII removed 100% of CrVI from synthetic wastewater.

3-Minute Pitches

4. Structure-reactivity relation and degradation kinetics analysis for naphthenic acids during anodic oxidation on graphite

Presenter: Abdallatif Satti Abdalrhman   Supervisor: Mohamed Gamal El-Din

Abstract: Among the constituents of OSPW, a group of carboxylic acids known as naphthenic acids (NAs) are causing a lot of concern because they are recalcitrant and can persist in the environment for many years. It was reported that there is a strong correlation between the molecular structure of NAs and their biodegradability, toxicological properties and amenability toward oxidation. Understanding the kinetics, selectivity and structure–reactivity relation is a key factor to evaluate any process proposed for NAs degradation. The main objectives of this work were to investigate the degradation of NAs by anodic oxidation (AO); understand the involved mechanisms; and examine the structure-reactivity relationships. Graphite electrodes were selected due to their low cost making them attractive at large scales; considering the huge amount of accumulated OSPW in tailing ponds. The results from this work have shown that AO using graphite electrodes can be an attractive option for OSPW treatment.

5. Growth optimization and metabolic network analyses of Methylocystis sp. strain Rockwell for production of bioplastic precursors

Presenter: Marina Lazic   Supervisors: Lisa Stein; Dominic Sauvageau

Abstract: Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that accounts for two-thirds of the global warming effect. From a biological perspective; methane represents a carbon and energy source for a group of bacteria known as methanotrophs. The goal of this study is to investigate the potential of methanotroph Methylocystis sp. strain Rockwell for the production of biopolymers that will be a platform for bioplastic synthesis. To achieve this goal; we aimed to determine the optimal growth conditions of M. sp. strain Rockwell; analyze metabolomic data under specific nutrients conditions; investigate biosynthetic pathways for these conditions; assess potential bottlenecks of carbon and nitrogen flux; and optimize biopolymers production in self-cycle fermentation bioreactor. Finally; the study will propose a potential metabolic pathway for biopolymers’ production and identify target enzymes that can be modified; replaced or knocked out via genetic engineering.

6. Solar photocatalytic degradation of naphthenic acids using bismuth tungstate (Bi2WO6) as a semiconductor photocatalyst

Presenter: Lingjun Meng   Supervisor: Mohamed Gamal El-Din

Abstract: Novel treatment approaches are needed for the safe release of treated OSPW into the environment. Semiconductor photocatalysis, as a kind of green technology for environmental remediation has received more attention. Traditional semiconductor photocatalysts have been applied to OSPW. The disadvantage is they can only be activated by UV. In this study, Bi2WO6 based semiconductor photocatalysts, which could be activated by visible light was fabricated by hydrothermal method. The performance of the photocatalysts for the degradation of NAs under simulated solar irradiation and the effect of operation conditions on the photocatalytic efficiency of Bi2WO6 were assessed. This research will provide valuable information for the treatment of NAs by engineered passive solar-based approaches.

Session 3 - Harnessing Renewable Energy - Part 1

10-Minute Presentations

1. Electrochemical Reduction of CO2 on Mo-Containing Electrodes

Presenter: Jaya Pal   Supervisor: Steve Bergens

Abstract: Electrochemical conversion of CO2 into valuable chemicals and fuels is a highly promising method to mitigate atmospheric CO2.1 Developing efficient; stable and cost-effective catalysts for this reaction is of paramount importance. Selective production of products at low overpotentials and with high turnover number and minimal activity towards hydrogen evolution reaction are the major challenges for this important reaction. We have synthesized a molybdenum-containing catalyst on Ni foam by an easy and cost-effective electrochemical deposition. Our electrochemical results show that the catalyst has a very low onset potential and is quite active for CO2 reduction. Long-term electrocatalysis indicates that our catalyst is quite stable. Analysis of the CO2 reduction products using NMR and GC-TCD will be presented.References1.Qiao; J.; Liu; Y.; Hong; F.; Zhang; J. A Review of Catalysts for the Electroreduction of Carbon Dioxide to Produce Low-Carbon Fuels. Chem. Soc. Rev. 2014; 43; 631.

2. Hydrothermal and Enzymatic Treatment Mediated Co-production of Fermentable Sugars and Cellulose Nanocrystals

Presenter: Dawit Beyene   Supervisor: David Bressler

Abstract: Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are isolated from wood pulp by acid hydrolysis that degrades less ordered celluloses and fragments highly crystalline domains. Moist heat promotes new crystal formation in semicrystalline chains. If heat treatment increases pulp crystallinity; then CNC recovery and yield can be improved. Residual amorphous regions in the heat-treated pulp can be hydrolyzed with cellulase to recover fermentable glucose and concentrate CNC precursors. We propose to sequentially treat pulp with moist heat (150-225 °C) and cellulase prior to acid hydrolysis. Crystallinity index of heat-treated pulp improved from 77 ± 1 (control) to 84 ± 2% (200 °C). Subsequent acid hydrolysis increased CNC recovery and yield by up to 4 and 2 folds; respectively. This implies that heat-treatment facilitated the formation of new CNC precursors. Going forward; cellulase hydrolysis of heat-treated pulp to recover fermentable sugars and concentrate CNC precursors will be assessed.

3. Improving the thermodynamic performance of a Stirling engine using unconventional non-harmonic drive mechanisms

Presenter: Michael Nicol-Seto   Supervisor: David Nobes

Abstract: The Stirling heat engine operates on a closed thermodynamic cycle that converts thermal potential energy to mechanical work via the cyclic heating; expanding; cooling; and compressing of a gaseous working fluid. The power production potential of the cycle is maximized for a given thermal potential when the thermodynamic processes are completed sequentially. In most mechanical Stirling engines the system boundaries take the form of pistons that are constrained to a sinusoidal motion via a conventional slider-crank style drive mechanisms. This sinusoidal piston motion causes overlaps in the thermodynamic processes of the Stirling cycle that results in lower power production potential for a given thermal potential. An unconventional drive mechanism using non-circular gears is being developed to achieve non-harmonic piston motion that better replicates the ideal discrete cycle with the goal of improving the power production of an experimental low temperature difference Stirling engine.

3-Minute Pitches

4. Development of a process model for producing renewable jet fuel through intermediate pyrolysis of woody biomass

Presenter: Wasel Rahman   Supervisor: Amit Kumar

Abstract: It is estimated that the fuel requirements in worldwide aviation industry will double over the next 20 years. Awareness towards depletion of fossil fuels reserves has spurred major interest in renewable jet fuels, such as biomass-derived jet fuels (bio-jet fuel). A novel approach to produce bio-jet fuel could be Thermo- Catalytic Reforming (TCR) of biomass which integrates intermediate pyrolysis and post reforming stage. In the post reformer, pyrolysis products are catalytically reformed into bio-oil with enhanced physical and chemical properties. In this study, a process model is developed to estimate material and energy balance to convert woody biomass into bio-jet fuel through TCR of plant capacity of 500 dry ton/ day. The outcomes of this work will be presented in form of mass and energy balance of TCR, and will be further used to estimate the cost of production of bio-jet fuel in $/litre.

5. Bacteriophages as a sustainable and reliable way to efficiently lyse methanotroph cells for product recovery

Presenter: Miranda Stahn   Supervisors: Dominic Sauvageau; Lisa Y. Stein

Abstract: Methanotrophs are a subset of bacteria with immense industrial potential; stemming from their capacity to convert methane from industrial waste streams into valuable products; such as biofuels and bioplastics. However; the cost and efficiency of recovering these products has significantly limited the implementation of this technology. Bacteriophages; viruses that infect bacteria; can undergo two types of infection cycles: either lytic – in which they kill their host through cell lysis – or lysogenic – in which they are incorporated in their host genome until a stimulus triggers them to kill their host. This has two industrial implications that are investigated in this project: 1) If a lysogenized phage is induced prematurely in a process; the resulting cell lysis could result in the loss of an entire production batch. 2) By fully elucidating lysogenic infections in methanotrophs; we can develop a reliable procedure to lyse cells and recover their products.

6. Hydrothermal treatment of biomass to produce biofuels

Presenter: Ankit Mathanker   Supervisor: Rajender Gupta

Abstract: Due to increasing pollution from fossil fuels it is time to move towards alternate energy such as biofuels. In this work, Hydrothermal Treatment (HTT) process was used for depolymerization of lignocellulosic biomass into liquid, solid and gaseous fuels at moderate temperature and high pressure. The HTT process can utilize high moisture biomass giving it additional benefits over all the other processes. The key aim of this research work is to optimize the HTT conditions. The experiments were performed in an autoclave batch reactor (Parr 4848) with N2 as an inert medium. The slurry after treatment was processed to separate bio-oil and bio-char. Bio-oil was analyzed for CHNS and further characterized using GC-MS. The biochar obtained were characterized for ultimate analysis, FTIR, SEM-EDX and BET surface area and porosity. As per preliminary conditions, the bio-oil obtained varied between 31.2wt.% to 50.26wt.% and the bio-char yield varied between 21.6wt.% to 30.21wt.%.


Session 4 - Harnessing Renewable Energy - Part 2

10-Minute Presentations

1. Design and Evaluation of Electric Bus Fleet Charging Systems Using Hybrid Energy Storage Solutions Involving Flywheels

Presenter: Muhammad Saad Arshad   Supervisor: Pierre Mertiny

Abstract: The City of Edmonton is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and seeks to convert its fleet of city buses to electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030. This poses serious challenges since conventional charging solutions involving the electrical grid are insufficient to meet fast charging requirements. A solution to this problem is utilizing an energy storage system that provides high power charging capabilities. A flywheel energy storage system (FESS) can meet such requirements while also allowing for quasi-infinite charge/discharge cycles without depth of discharge limitations. This study involves exploring the possibility of integrating a hybrid system for charging of the EV fleet involving both FESS and electrochemical batteries; to achieve greatest performance and economy. The study focuses on the type; size and cost of both the storage technologies for the said application and provides a modeling framework that can be extended to other industrial and residential applications.

2. Optimal Control of Distributed Battery Storage Systems

Presenter: Mohammad Rashedi   Supervisor: Omid Ardakanian

Abstract: Solar-plus-battery systems are becoming increasingly popular in many countries. In this work; we introduce an intelligent system that automatically controls the charge/discharge of a home battery to minimize the homeowner’s electricity bill in a stochastic environment. It solves an optimal control problem over a finite horizon relying on data-driven and physics-based models. We propose two learning-based control (LBC) strategies; namely model predictive control (MPC) and advantage actor-critic (A2C). Using real traces of solar irradiance and electricity consumption of 70 homes in the same jurisdiction; the performance of the proposed LBC is compared with rule-based controllers. Results show that MPC yields the lowest average monthly electricity bill and reduces the average payback period of the installation by 45 months compared with the rule-based controllers; and the average monthly electricity bill of MPC is only 7.6% worse than the best bill that can be theoretically obtained.

3. Risk Identification and Prioritization for Onshore Wind Farm Projects in Canada Using Fuzzy TOPSIS

Presenter: Emad Mohamed   Supervisor: Simaan AbouRizk

Abstract: Wind energy is considered as one of the most important sources of renewable energy in the projected Renewable Electricity Program (REP) of Alberta. However; the planning and construction of wind farm projects involve different types of risks that hinder the projects’ development. The purpose of this paper is to develop a comprehensive list of risk factors that affect the construction of onshore wind farm projects and rank these risk factors based on their severity from a Canadian perspective. An empirical research methodology is applied through a questionnaire survey. The initial list of factors was collected through extensive literature review; and then experts were asked to identify the probability and impact of each factor on project objectives (i.e.; cost; time; quality; and safety). The fuzzy TOPSIS is used to rank these risk factors based on their severity; with cost; time; quality; and safety considered the criteria for decision-making.

3-Minute Pitches

4. Performance analysis of IOTA; a DAG based distributed ledger

Presenter: Sara Ghaemi   Supervisor: Hamzeh Khazaei

Abstract: For a distributed ledger to be used in IOT applications; it needs to be secure; fast and efficient. In this project; we want to analyze the performance of IOTA; a directed acyclic graph distributed ledger that is mostly used in IOT applications. We mainly focus on finding how the confirmation rate of this distributed ledger changes in different scenarios.

5. Co-Simulation Architecture for Smart Grids

Presenter: Evandro De Souza   Supervisors: Ioanis Nikolaidis; Omid Ardakanian

Abstract: The search for a more inclusive and optimized grid operation has lead to recent efforts to extend the measurement; communication and control infrastructure in power grids. However; the inclusion of new domains; such as network communication and market; adds several domain inter-dependencies. Our approach to address such complex system is the use of co-simulation technique. In this presentation we will show the challenges to integrate simulators from different domains into a consistent tool; and our approach to system architecture to replicate the future grid environment.

6. Using Machine Learning to Fast-Track the Optimization of Solar Cells

Presenter: Aaron Kirkey   Supervisor: Jillian Buriak

Abstract: Organic photovoltaics are based on a sandwich-like structure. Each of the layers contain finely tuned and heavily optimized materials. The centerpiece of the sandwich-like structure is the active layer; which is comprised of two organic semiconducting materials whose morphology greatly affects the performance of the solar cell. Typically; the optimization of materials for solar cell applications is completed in a one-at-a-time optimization process. This method is tedious; time consuming and often only explores a limited parameter space. However; with the help of Machine Learning (ML) and Design of Experiment (DoE); the number of experiments can be dramatically reduced while also increasing the scope of the parameter space that is being investigated. This project uses ML and DoE to optimize the morphology of the active layer using post-process annealing. Finally; we seek to understand which changes in morphology give rise to the best performing photovoltaic devices.

Session 5 - Energy In Our Communities

10-Minute Presentations

1. Power and Protocol: Indigenous Oral Histories and Geothermal Energy Development

Presenter: Vivian Giang   Supervisor: Andie Palmer

Abstract: The Town of Hinton is in the preliminary stages of developing a geothermal feasibility study; and the Government of Alberta has designated Hinton's project as a case study from which to build the province's regulations in this area. However; the Indigenous communities in the vicinity of the proposed geothermal project have not been formally consulted regarding the proposed energy development projects; which may affect the water resources in the Athabasca Watershed. Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation has agreed to collaborate as co-investigators on this research which investigates and communicates oral histories and protocols for geothermal energy to inform policy and land use; as well as communicates risk and scientific expertise from Indigenous and western epistemologies as components of community engagement strategies prior to and throughout the development of a geothermal energy project.

2. Stakeholder Perspectives on Alberta’s Growing Inventory of Legacy Oil and Gas Wells

Presenter: Bandita Deka Kalita    Supervisor: Joel Gehman

Abstract: The Alberta Energy Regulator currently lists more than 80;000 oil and gas wells as inactive; up 33% from a decade ago. Given the visual prominence of inactive; suspended; and abandoned wells across the Alberta landscape; many stakeholders want to understand the significance of the province’s oil and gas well liabilities. From the perspective of operating companies; it makes strategic business sense to prioritize productive and profitable wells while abandoning those that are neither productive nor profitable. However; oil and gas companies do not operate in a vacuum; other stakeholders (such as regulators; surface rights owners; technical experts; and activist groups) have their own considerations encompassing factors that may go beyond mere dollars and cents. The objective of this study is to examine the perspectives of several such stakeholders representing the public of Alberta; and understand how these perspectives could shape future strategies of oil and gas operating companies.

3. Energy; city; and GHG emission nexus: A Canadian case study

Presenter: Khan Rubayet   Supervisor: Sandeep Agrawal

Abstract: Cities and towns account for between 37 and 49 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Much of this results from burning natural gas to heat residential and commercial buildings; burning gasoline and diesel fuel in the cars and trucks moving throughout the cities everyday; and; of course; consumption of electricity in case of Alberta that comes from coal-fired or natural gas power plants. As a result; the question remains as; can we plan a city or neighborhood for future based on its energy and emission production scenarios. In order to address this complex energy; community; and GHG nexus at community level; we have selected three neighborhoods in Edmonton. Upon collecting relevant information and analyzing them in modeling platform; we have calculated the total GHG emission in three identified areas. Findings will help us understand differences of GHG emission scenarios per capita at community level and provide critical information for developing new communities in future.

3-Minute Pitches

4. Life Cycle Assessment of Mono-crystalline TiO2 Nanorod Array Based Halide Perovskite Solar Cells

Presenter: Harshadeep Kukkikatte   Supervisor: Amit Kumar

Abstract: The study aims to assess the environmental and economic performances of energy technologies; focused on photovoltaic (PV) solar cells. After decades of development; silicon based PV cells have become economically viable means to generate electricity. But; silicon is limited globally. Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) are emerging PV cells that are seen as alternative to silicon solar cells and have the potential to enter the market in the near future. This paper; therefore; aims at evaluating the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy performances of halide PSCs. Monocrystalline TiO2 nanorod array is used as electron transport layer; which could lead to higher photo conversion efficiency and a reduced environmental and economic impact. Further; this paper intends to compare the energy and GHG emissions footprints of halide PSCs with existing technologies. The results and insights from the study will help policy authorities make investment decisions and formulate policies.

5. Community Success Indicators for Oil Sands Reclamation

Presenter: Kylie Heales   Supervisor: Dev Jennings

Abstract: Oil sands impacts are environmental and social. Our project aims to uncover the effects of the spectrum of engagement practices; from one-way transactions to co-designing; on the delocalized and heterogeneous community impacted by oil sands development. We hope to understand how engagement practice impacts (1) community satisfaction with outcome and process and (2) scientific validity of outcomes. We also text the effect of an expectation violation on these outcomes. We explore this in the context of designing constructed wetlands.We use a multi-stage experimental study method. Stage one is a controlled experiment examining how communities respond to different engagement practices. Stage two is a quasi-experiment exploring the effect of stakeholder exposure to mesocosm designs in a laboratory. Stage three is a field experiment; where the wetland design selected with and without community co-design principles tests engagement practices' effect on environmental outcomes.

6. Economic incentives for land reclamation: evidence from the oil-sands industry in Alberta

Presenter: Zhanji Zhang   Supervisor: Vic Adamowicz

Abstract: This paper explores the impact of tax-refund schemes with various tax levels on a stock externality. If a bitumen price results in most projects being profitable; the tax-refund scheme is at least as effective as the pure tax case for providing incentives to reclaim caribou habitat early. Although the estimated marginal damage of linear features per kilometre is 700CDN; early reclamation activities and improvements to caribou habitat arise with a tax rate of 1300CDN under the tax-refund scheme. The estimated social welfare under the scheme quickly approached optimal social welfare with the increase in the tax rate; and the range from 1310CDN to 1350CDN provides a fairly close approximation to the social optimum. In addition; the results show that a high bitumen price would allow more in-situ projects to stay in business. Therefore; there will be more reclaimable linear features; which would lead to a higher number of caribou that will exist 60 years later.