Applied Research and Innovation Services

Clean water research at SAIT goes international

Sofi Filtration came a long way to further develop its innovative water-filtration technology.

The Finland-based company originally partnered with Fluid Clarification (an industry partner currently working with our Environmental Technologies researchers), to test its new industrial self-cleaning microfilter’s ability to treat produced water from the oil-and-gas sector. This clean technology treats water without chemicals or disposable filters. Through a grant from Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF), the two companies obtained funds to pursue an applied research project at SAIT. ET researchers acted as independent third-party validators of the filter’s capabilities and designed and developed a mobile system for Fluid Clarification and Sofi Filtration to test the technology in the field.

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SAIT’s Environmental Technologies team collaborated with Sofi Filtration and Fluid Clarification to produce a mobile skid and provide validation for Sofi Filtration’s innovative water-filtration technology. Left side of the photo: Marlene Huerta, AITF principal business advisor and Rogelio Lozano, Environmental Technologies principal investigator. Right side of the photo (front to back): Simo Aho, COO of Sofi Filtration, Ville Hakala, CEO of Sofi Filtration and Arthur Potts, president of Fluid Clarification.

“As a small- to medium-sized enterprise, it was very challenging to find the time and other resources to get this project through the laboratory feasibility phase,” explained Arthur Potts, Fluid Clarification president. “SAIT provided the premises…and proceeded with design, procurement and fabrication. We then established how the testing would be conducted.”

Environmental Technologies (ET) researchers helped the two companies define the separation objectives, how the technology would be measured, and what additional analytical techniques would be employed.

“Because the filtration system is self-cleaning, unlike current systems where the solids collect in a filter, our team gained new expertise,” said Rogelio Lozano, ET principal investigator. “We’ve completed the first round of testing and will continue validating the technology.”

Ville Hakala, CEO of Sofi Filtration, looks forward to expanding the current use of the technology.

“We wish to continue our success in the mining and power-generation industries in new geographical markets outside of Finland,” said Hakala, adding that their partnership with Fluid Clarification is helping introduce the technology to a new large-scale market segment – the oil industry.

Recommending an applied research partnership with SAIT’s ET researchers was an easy decision for Dr. Marlene Huerta, AITF principal business advisor.

“I have known about the SAIT Environmental Technologies researchers’ capabilities for a couple of years,” said Huerta. “This group has excellent skills and capabilities in produced-water treatment technologies for Alberta oil sands operations.”

For information about how to work with SAIT’s Applied Research and Innovation Services department, call 403.284.7056, email applied.research@sait.ca or visit our website.

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