EDMONTON, ALBERTA, March 10, 2022 – InnoTech Alberta (InnoTech), a subsidiary of Alberta Innovates, is announcing its success in the Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN): Reducing Environmental Footprint Technology competition. Two projects will share $1.85 million – providing real-world solutions to address high-priority environmental challenges across the oil and gas industry.

The two teams, led by researchers at InnoTech, will examine new technologies that will address environmental concerns that face the industry. CRIN announced the Reducing Environmental Footprint Technology competition in March, 2021. As a result, 17 projects, from across Canada, were awarded $44.6 million to look at:

  • water technology development,
  • methane emissions, monitoring, quantification, and abatement,
  • land and wellsite reclamation, and
  • novel hydrocarbon extraction.

One of InnoTech’s successful projects, led by Haibo Huang, PhD, will look at how bitumen recovery from subsurface can use less water, and produce less greenhouse gasses (GHGs), by utilizing alternatives like dimethyl ether (DME). By using DME in the recovery of bitumen, the process can reduce GHG emissions by up to 86 per cent and reduce water consumption by nearly 79 per cent, when compared to steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). DME is both nontoxic and non-carcinogenic.

The second successful InnoTech project, led by Fred Wassmuth, PhD, will look at alternative technologies to aid in well remediation and closure, preventing the leakage of methane from abandoned wellbores. Canada has around 54 thousand wells that are leaking methane into the atmosphere. Fred and his team are looking at alternative technologies that can aid in the proper sealing and closure of these wells. Working with industry partners, they are proposing real solutions to help Canada meet its NetZero commitments by 2050 by providing solutions to close the backlog of Canadian wells.


“Implementing innovative solutions developed by our team at InnoTech Alberta, will contribute to solve the challenges of GHG omissions along with further reducing the need for valuable water use in our oil & gas industry. We are encouraged by CRIN’s investment and we look forward to aiding industry and tackling some of their biggest concerns.”

Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates

“InnoTech Alberta is pleased to receive this support from CRIN. Our success validates and showcases the high-quality work we do every day. These investments will pay off in dividends for the oil and gas industry. We look forward to the results that flow from these projects.”

Steve McMahon, COO, InnoTech Alberta


Read CRIN’s news release and learn more about the other successful projects in the Reducing Environmental Footprint Technology competition.

Learn more about each of the InnoTech led projects:

  • Haibo Huang, PhD: Accelerated Advancement of Dimethyl Ether (DME) Assisted In-situ Bitumen Recovery Process
  • Fred Wassmuth, PhD: Testing Alternate Products in Place of Cement for Well Decommissioning and Remediation

The Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN)
CRIN is a pan-Canadian network focused on ensuring Canada’s hydrocarbon resources are sustainably developed and integrated into the global energy systems. CRIN, as a ‘network of networks,’ connects a vast array of skills, knowledge and experience from oil and gas and other industries to technology developers, researchers, government, investors, academia, entrepreneurs, youth and many other sectors. By identifying industry challenges, we create a market pull to accelerate commercialization and widespread clean technology adoption with environmental, economic and public benefits for Canada. CRIN is supported in part by a $100 million CAD investment from the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund. Join the CRIN network today to see how the network can support your project! Visit CRIN for more information.

InnoTech Alberta
InnoTech Alberta is a leading research and technology organization serving the needs of industry, entrepreneurs and the public sector. Our leading-edge expertise and industrial-scale research and demonstration facilities accelerate and de-risk technology development and deployment with a focus on industrial solutions and commercial application. We are Alberta’s innovation engine with 100 years of bold ideas that feed, grow, fuel, and build Alberta’s agriculture, energy, environment, and forestry sectors. Visit us at:


Dwayne Brunner

Senior Manager, Media & Strategic Community Relations