The technology uses an advanced low-energy dialysis system to convert excess carbon dioxide and wastewater from the oil and gas sector into reusable water and valuable chemicals.

The funding from the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC) will be utilised to demonstrate efficacy with model and customer wastewater and demonstrate a scaled up commercial-sized dialysis cell.

The novel system is expected to reduce over 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and reduce fresh water use in excess of 2 billion litres annually for tight oil and shale gas extraction in Alberta.

UBC said the technology could serve the dual purpose of reducing global carbon dioxide emissions and addressing the issue of decreasing global water reserves.

University of British Columbia chemical and biological engineering professor and a member of the Clean Energy Research Centre David Wilkinson said, "A lot of technologies look at these issues as two separate problems but we are simultaneously addressing both of them."

The project was one of 24 finalists chosen from over 344 international submissions.

Image: New clean energy developed at UBC is expected to conserve billions of litres of water in Alberta’s oilsands. Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.