CERC Facilities and Services

The Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Materials Engineering for Unconventional Oil Reservoirs laboratory at the University of Calgary is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to curiosity, exploration driven research, and problem-solving. Our highly experienced team of engineers and scientists, in combination with research-grade laboratory and bench-scale core evaluation equipment, have produced a significant body of high-impact knowledge and results. This includes numerous patents, start-up companies, and publications in the fields of energy research, carbon reduction, pipeline protection, and enhanced oil recovery from unconventional reserves.

Our lab services are available to both academia and industry, and cover a very broad range of analytical techniques. These techniques can be adapted to unique applications through vigorous method development, resulting in consistent and meaningful data production.

Contact us if you are interested in booking a tour of our facility, or meeting our team of experts.


Services for Business and Academia

Oil and Gas Industry

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Environmental Analysis

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Materials Analysis

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Industrial Hygiene

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Specialty Projects

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Training

Facility

The CERC Lab is located in the state-of-the-art 850 m2 space in the Energy Environment Experiential Learning (EEEL) building. The lab houses unique equipment and acts as a fully functioning wet and analytical lab space, and a high-tech workroom for creative ideation.

Equipment

Elemental Analysis

Agilent 8900 ICPQQQ with SPS4 Autosampler

Agilent 8900 ICPQQQ with SPS4 Autosampler

Description:

This ICPQQQ is a state of the art elemental analyzer capable of identifying and measuring most of the elements on the periodic table down to part per trillion levels.  Solid and/or organic samples must be digested into a liquid matrix while liquid matrices can be processed as received.  The instrument is additionally capable of running a single nanoparticle analysis (elemental and particle size distribution) and isotope analysis. The following link outlines the instrument's applications.

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Services:

Environmental, wastes, Materials (Nanoparticles and Metals), Geological Samples, Isotopes, Industrial Hygiene

Shimadzu TOC -V  (Total Organic Carbon and Nitrogen Analyzer)

Shimadzu TOC -V (Total Organic Carbon and Nitrogen Analyzer)

Description:

The TOC-V measures total carbon, total organic carbon, total inorganic carbon and total nitrogen in aqueous and digested liquid samples. The instrument is capable of measuring low part per million levels and is fully automated with a 120 position autosampler. 

Services:

Total Carbon, Total Organic Carbon, Total Inorganic Carbon, Total Nitrogen

Chromatography Systems

Shimadzu 8040 HPLCMSMS with UV-VIS Detector

Shimadzu 8040 HPLCMSMS with UV-VIS Detector

Description:

This HPLCMSMS system incorporates an ultra-high pressure (16,000 Psi) LC with a triple Q mass spectrometer and sequential UV-VIS detector for screening,  identifying and measuring organic compounds in a variety of matrices through selective and multiple reaction monitoring (SRM/MRM). The instrument may also be used for the rapid screening of organic samples and the identification of very large organic compounds. This instrument is an excellent tool for identifying compounds that are difficult to measure by traditional GC techniques such as highly polar compounds in an aqueous matrix.

Learn more about the analysis of phenols in drinking water.

Learn more about the multi-residue analysis of 210 pesticides in food samples.

Shimadzu QP2010 GCMS

Shimadzu QP2010 GCMS

Description:

This instrument is a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer system with the NIST 2014 Spectral Library used for identifying and measuring organic compounds. The instrument operates in the part per million range in open scan mode and is capable of measuring in the part per billion range in selected ion mode (SIM). GCMS is an excellent tool for screening samples to identify compounds of interest or for performing precision organic analysis.

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Services:

Sample (water, soil) Screening, Detailed Hydrocarbon Analysis, BTEX, Solvent Scan, Alcohols, Fatty Acid Profile, Amine Scan, Glycols, Air Quality (volatile organics)

Shimadzu GC2010 High-Temperature Simulated Distillation  (SIMDIST)

Shimadzu GC2010 High-Temperature Simulated Distillation (SIMDIST)

Description:

This instrument is a high-temperature gas chromatograph (max 450 C) with dual flame ionization detectors for evaluating petroleum samples. The instrument performers simulated distillations generating boiling point distribution and petroleum fraction data. Simdist data replaces traditional D86, D1160 distillations and can be used to calculate flashpoints, cut points and evaporative loss of petroleum fractions.

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Services:

ASTM D2887, D7169 and detailed hydrocarbon analysis

SRI GC for Fixed Gases and Light Hydrocarbons

SRI GC for Fixed Gases and Light Hydrocarbons

Description:

This instrument is a dual TCD / FID with Methanizer gas chromatograph and measures O2, N2, CO2, CO, H2S, H2, C1 - C5. CO2 and CO are measured as CH4 through the methanizer for enhanced detection. Samples may be provided for manual injection in a Tedlar bag, or the GC injector can be configured for online/real time analysis. 

Services:

Fixed Gases, Hydrocarbon Gases, Hydrogen, Argon, Helium

Characterization of Surfaces and Interfaces

Dataphysics OCA15EC Optical Contact Angle & Contour Analysis

Dataphysics OCA15EC Optical Contact Angle & Contour Analysis

Description:

Capable of performing contact angle of liquid-solid interfaces, surface tension, and interfacial tension measurements ranging 0.1mN/m - 2000mN/m at room conditions.

Services:

Surface energy, surfactant evaluations, pendant drop analysis, interfacial tension analysis, surface tension determination

KRUSS SDT- Spinning Drop Tensiometer- Thermostated

KRUSS SDT- Spinning Drop Tensiometer- Thermostated

Description:

This spinning drop tensiometer is capable of measuring interfacial tension as values as low as 10 ^-6 mN/m at temperatures up to 90C. Fitted with an electric heating jacket and circulating water chiller.

Services:

Surfactant evaluation, interfacial tension at ranging temperature conditions.

Dataphysics DCAT 9T- Thermostated Wilhelmy plate

Dataphysics DCAT 9T- Thermostated Wilhelmy Plate

Description:

The dynamic contact angle measurement system is used for Wilhelmy plate determinations. 

Services:

Dynamic contact angles, surface tension, and interfacial tension

Surface Area Analyzer Gemini VII 2390  Micromeritics

Surface Area Analyzer Gemini VII 2390 Micromeritics

Description:

Surface area and pore volume analyzer. Capable of measuring low surface area materials. Coupled with a preparation device FlowPrep 060 (applies both heat and a stream of inert gas to the sample for pretreatment).

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Services:

Surface characterization of porous materials

Thermal Analysis

Premium Performing TGA Thermogravimetric Analysis

Premium Performing TGA Thermogravimetric Analysis

Description:

The TGA is a thermo-balance used to determine the change in mass on heating. It determines the sample composition by measuring the weight of each component as it volatilizes or decomposes under controlled conditions of temperature, time, and atmosphere.

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Services:

Ideal instrument for basic research in academic or industrial labs that need quality results. 

Characterization of polymers, organic and non-organic volatile analysis, the thermal stability of materials, oxidative stability of materials, the composition of multi-component samples.

High-Temperature Steam/Foam Core-flooding Apparatus

High-Temperature Steam/Foam Core-flooding Apparatus

Description:

High-temperature multiphase core flooding apparatus configured with two microfluidic Q5000 quizix pumps, 10 K-type thermocouples, an inline high-pressure densitometer, automated fraction collector, 4 absolute pressure transducers (MAWP 6000psi) 3 differential pressure transducers (6000 psi MAWP, 600 PSID), a superheated steam generator, condenser, high-temperature visual cell, mass flow controller, and a state of the art labview based data acquisition software configured to national instruments data acquisition system, this apparatus can be configured in many ways to suit the needs of experimental measurements.

For a full description of each instrument, please inquire within. This instrument was designed by InnoTech Alberta.

Services:

A wide range of SCAL techniques including but not limited to: Steam flooding coreflood tests, steam additive evaluation, static foam tests, thermal EOR evaluation, permeability. Can be configured for full scale core analysis with #D confinment of pressures up to 5000 psi

Multi-Phase Core Flooding Apparatus

Multi-Phase Core Flooding Apparatus

Description:

Multi-phase rig configured with two sets of Quizix 5200 positive displacement pumps, absolute and differential pressure transducers, a hydrostatic coreholder (3-D stress), an online densimeter, and piston accumulators. Can be used for core flooding tests at reservoir pressure and temperature conditions up to 10,000 psi confining stress, 5,000 psi reservoir pressure and 100 oC.

Services:

Foam flood;

Specific or effective permeability to water or oil;

Formation damage assessments include:

  • critical velocity, critical salinity;
  •  water sensitivity;
  • alkaline or acid sensitivity;
  • drilling mud/fracture fluids/acid/completion and other Workover Fluids Evaluation (leakoff and permeability regain), etc. 

Chemical flood, miscible flood EOR tests.

Water/Oil relative permeability

Muffle Furnace

Characterization of Liquid and Solids

Agilent Cary 630 Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectrometer

Agilent Cary 630 Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectrometer

Description:

Series of interfaces, affording both sensitivity and versatility to handle the widest array of samples: Transmission module (classic infrared sample interface. Allows for the measurement of solids or liquids), DialPath multipath liquid transmission module (facilitates long pathlength FTIR transmission measurement of liquids), and diamond attenuated total reflectance (ATR, used to measure solids, liquids, or gels)

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Technical overview of interfaces

Services:

Quantitative and qualitative analysis. Transmission measurements. Sample identification, polymer identification, co-polymer percentage determination, raw material verification, unknown sample identification and concentration determinations.

NanoPlus HD Dynamic Light Scattering and Zeta Potential

NanoPlus HD Dynamic Light Scattering and Zeta Potential

Description:

The Zeta-sizer in the CERC lab is a full spectrum colloidal characterization tool  with the capability to measure colloid physical parameters at concentrations as low as one part per million, in a full range of conductance and in any non-corrosive continuous phase. Specialized sample cells enable analysis for sols, and liquid solid interaction. 

Services:

Zeta potential (surface charge) at a relatively large range of conductivities and temperatures from 20C-100C, hydrodynamic diameter (particle size) in suspensions, molecular weight of polymers.

UV/Vis Spectrometer

Density Meter

Viscometer

pH Meter

Conductivity Meter

Turbidity Meter

Magnetic Susceptibility System

Vibrating-Sample Magnetometer (VSM)

Special Equipment

Parr Reactor Vessel with Parr4848 Reactor Controller

Parr Reactor Vessel with Parr4848 Reactor Controller

Description:

Capabilities of performing reactions at conditions of up to 200C and 3000psi, this reactor has a widely diverse range of applications. Configured with multiple safety checks and reliefs as well as heat quenching exchangers, this apparatus can hold conditions for multiple days at a time and is highly configurable. 

Services:

Hydrothermal synthesis, soaking tests, dispersions in supercritical CO2.

XPlore Micro Compounder

XPlore Micro Compounder

Description:

This instrument is used for creating co-polymer blends. Xplore’s twin screw extruder provides blending that results in consistent rheological properties and is the standard for polymer blend R&D.

Services:

Co-polymer blending at temperature up to 450C

Carver Bench Top Laboratory Hydraulic Press

Carver Bench Top Laboratory Hydraulic Press

Description:

Reservoir condition fluid loss filter press

 

Microscopy

Leica Confocal Microscope with Anton Paar Rheometer

Leica Confocal Microscope with Anton Paar Rheometer

Description:

Combined with purpose-built devices (rheometer) for flow in geometries ranging from single channels to porous media, this infrastructure is a uniquely powerful multiscale/multimode platform for understanding the real-time dynamics of complex nanostructured fluids at sub-millimeter length scales.

Design and Print

Laser Engraver Speedy 100

Laser Engraver Speedy 100

Description:

Laser type: CO

Fiber or Flexx laser

Work area: 24.0 x 12.0 inch

Max. workpiece height: 5.2 inch

Laser power: 10 - 60 watts.

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Services:

Laser engraving of wood, plastic, acrylic, fabrics and many other material

3D Printer

3D Printer

Description:

Build volume: up to 223 x 223 x 305 mm (8.8 x 8.8 x 12 inches). Up to 20 micron (0.001 inch) layer resolution. Optimized for a wide range of materials: PLA, ABS, Nylon, polycarbonate, and co-polyester. 

Technical specifications

Services:

For rapid prototyping and concept models