Cybera uses data science to support green tech solutions

Cybera’s data science team is partnering with CMC Research Institutes on a project to mitigate the impacts of man-made climate change. CMC Research Institutes is an Alberta-based, not-for-profit research organization that investigates technologies that can reduce carbon emissions in large-scale industries, including the energy sector.

Over the course of four weeks, Cybera’s data scientists will help interpret data collected from a CMC Research Institutes’ carbon capture and storage (CCS) test facility in Newell County, Alberta (near Brooks). Within this facility, carbon that had been previously captured from an oil sands operation is injected deep underground, directly into sandstone. Once refined, this practice will help reduce the amount of carbon exposed to the earth’s atmosphere by millions — or even billions — of tonnes per year. 

The goal of this particular research facility is to investigate the potential of injecting the carbon into sandstone that is closer to the surface than existing commercial CCS operations. This will make it easier and more affordable to carry out CCS around the globe, which, in turn, will support further innovation and encourage adoption of these practices.

Cybera’s data scientists will be working with CMC Research Institutes to analyze two years’ worth of site data. Their goal is to find the optimal conditions for injecting CO2 into sandstone that is located closer to the surface.

“Utilizing the data will be vital for responding to the global issue of climate change,” says Barb Carra, Cybera’s President and CEO. “We are big believers in the importance of data to drive efficiencies and decision-making, which is why we’re excited to work with CMC Research Institutes to improve their Newell County site’s efficiency. This, in turn, will help them positively impact the planet.”

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Data science and capture: how it works

As well as investigating ways to improve the Newell site’s CO2 injection efficiency, Cybera’s team will also analyze the effects of volatile weather changes on   the carbon capture facility. They hope to identify ways to mitigate the effects of such weather changes, that slows down the operations of the facility.

“When CMCRI came to Cybera with exceptionally complex technical needs, we knew that they’d be able to support us since they explain and exercise their craft so well,” says Greg Maidment, Project Manager for CMC Research Institute. “Cybera has provided us with unparalleled attention to detail and in-depth understanding of our data as we work together to find answers.” 

CMC Research Institutes was selected from a call to action proposal that Cybera’s Data Science For Albertans program issued in December 2019. Visit cybera.ca/datascience to learn more about how Cybera can help your organization engage in data science.

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BACKGROUND

About CMC Research Institutes:

CMC Research Institutes operates with support from the Government of Alberta, Western Diversification, the University of Calgary and industry support from oil and gas including Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance.

About Cybera:

Cybera is Alberta's not-for-profit organization responsible for driving economic growth through the use of digital technology. Our core role is to oversee the development and operations of Alberta’s cyberinfrastructure – the advanced system of networks and computers that keep government, educators, not-for-profits, and entrepreneurs at the forefront of technological change. We work with our members to ensure a connected future for all Albertans.

About Data Science For Albertans:

Cybera’s Data Science For Albertans program is focused on encouraging the adoption of data science in the province through introductory workshops, consultations, providing proof of concepts and industry fellowships.