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Program at a Glance

Program Status: Active
Business Area: Advanced Hydrocarbons
Priority Area(s): Develops technologies to convert oil sands components into non-combustion products.


Program Status: Active
Alberta-based: No
Organization Type: Academic Institutions & Researchers
Government or Public Entity
Individual or Sole Proprietor
Multi-National Enterprise
Post-Secondary Students
Small to Medium Enterprise


The BBC program develops technologies that convert Alberta oil sands components into non-combustion products (i.e., products that are not fuels, such as gasoline, diesel, and heating oil). Examples of BBC products could include carbon fibres, high-quality asphalts, activated carbon, carbon nanotubes, graphene, polyurethanes, polycarbonates, and controlled-release fertilizers.

What’s New?

The BBC White Paper, linked under ‘Resources’, was prepared by our Clean Resources experts John Zhou, Paolo Bomben, Murray Gray and Bryan Helfenbaum. It lays out how the Alberta oil sands can significantly contribute to achieving net-zero goals and create products that are valued in the world.

Program Objectives

The BBC program’s goals are to enhance the value of Alberta’s oil sands through:

  • Diversifying the uses of oil sands constituents, resulting in high-value products that can be made by or in partnership with Alberta’s oil sands industry.
  • Accommodating increased oil sands production in Alberta by creating new and/or expanded markets for oil sands constituents and its derived products.
  • Offsetting a potential decline in the demand for oil sands-based combustion products like fuels.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • Determine whether the organic constituents of oil sands have considerable global market potential as feedstocks for non-combustion products.
  • Assess the economic feasibility of producing non-combustion products from components of bitumen.
  • Identify knowledge, technology and market gaps for BBC products.
  • Develop projects to develop BBC production projects from R&D to demonstration phases that will lead to commercialization of the technologies.

Open Intakes

Bitumen Beyond Combustion (BBC) - Continuous Intake

Due date: Continuous

More details


Funding is open to all categories of lead applicant including technology developers, industry, industrial associations, small and medium-sized enterprises, research and development (R&D) organizations, post-secondary institutions, municipalities, not-for-profit organizations, government research labs, individuals and others, who are advancing technology development within a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) range of 3-7.

Applicants are not required to be based in Alberta, but must demonstrate a clear value proposition for the Province and be able to clearly demonstrate alignment to the program area priorities.

For full details of eligibility criteria, consult the Clean Resources Continuous Intake Program Guide.

Successful applicants must be legally able to execute the Investment Agreement.

How To Apply

  1. Contact a Clean Resources Project Advisor, listed below, to determine if project scope meets the requirements.
  2. Register on SmartSimple, the online application portal.
  3. Complete and submit the Intake Form on SmartSimple.
  4. Wait for your Intake Form to be reviewed to determine if the proposed proejct will be invited to submit a Detailed Proposal.

For more details on eligibility and the intake process, consult the Program Guide.

If you have determined that your project meets our criteria, please contact a Project Advisor before submitting your Intake Form.

Evaluation Process

During the review process, Alberta Innovates leverages internal staff with subject-matter and business expertise and external reviewers to evaluate applications submitted.   

Proposed projects will be evaluated against criteria in three major categories: Innovation; Execution; and Impacts.  The considerations for each criterion are detailed in the SmartSimple online application form.  


Paolo Bomben, PhD, P.Chem.

Senior Manager, Clean Technology Development

Open and Upcoming Intakes

Bitumen Beyond Combustion (BBC) - Continuous Intake

The BBC program develops technologies to convert oil sands components into non-combustion products, such as carbon fibre, asphalt binder, activated carbon, and other high value carbon materials.

Funded Projects

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