Mangrove Technologies is an on-site solution for reducing environmental impact for the oil and gas sector. Its innovation helps an oil and gas producer to reduce costs, logistical headaches, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and wastewater disposal.

Mangrove Technologies started as a PhD project at UBC, when David Wilkinson’s team of Saad Dara, Arman Bonakdarpour and Alfred Lam sought to understand whether they could couple carbon dioxide conversion and desalination into a single process.

After initial exploration in 2013, the team started seeing significant market applications in the oil and gas sector, which prompted them to focus on commercialization of the technology.

Reducing costs and environmental impact

Currently, the most prevalent option within the oil and gas sector for wastewater produced is downhole disposal into an injection well. However, there is a significant trend towards both recycling wastewater and reducing GHG emissions, as the number of wells available for disposal are shrinking and regulations for wastewater disposal and GHG emissions are tightening.

Mangrove Technologies solution addresses these concerns by converting the waste carbon dioxide and saline wastewater into desalinated water and chemicals for on-site utilization. Mangrove’s unique process allows oil and gas companies to simultaneously recycle their wastewater and generate chemicals required on-site. This reduces the significant industry wide need for water, wastewater and chemical supply management.

Significant cost savings

Conventional desalination technologies such as reverse osmosis are energy intensive and only produce desalinated water and will always be a cost to the user. However, Mangrove’s ability to produce chemicals allows Mangrove to offset the costs of desalination through the value created by the chemicals. In addition, companies don’t need to transport or dispose of water, which greatly reduces their overall consumption and costs. The cost savings that result for producers are significant – adding up to on average $2 per barrel of oil produced.

Preparing for in-field pilot

Mangrove Technologies is working with their commercialization partners NORAM Engineering, Questor Technologies and Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) towards a fully integrated commercial scale field pilot demonstration of the technology. The Mangrove pilot reactor, constructed by NORAM, will be demonstrated at a Questor site in Alberta by late 2017. Mangrove has engaged SRC to provide key market and product validation of the chemicals produced through Mangrove’s technology.

The venture has raised funding from Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), and the National Sciences and Research Council (NSERC).

Mangrove Technologies team

Saad Dara, CEO, is a PhD Candidate and Research Assistant in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of British Columbia. Saad has expertise in desalination, fuel cells, redox flow batteries, and electrochemical carbon dioxide conversion. He is also part of UBC’s Entrepreneurial PhD program.

Dr. Arman Bonakdarpour, Technical Advisor, is a Research Associate in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Bonakdarpour has over 15 years of experience in fuel cells, batteries, water electrolysis and catalyst synthesis.

Dr. David Wilkinson, Technical Advisor, is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Clean Energy at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Wilkinson is an inventor on 75 patents and has over 400 peer-reviewed journal articles. Prior to joining the university, Dr. Wilkinson was VP-Research at Ballard Power Systems and part of one of Canada’s most successful IPOs. Dr. Wilkinson has a proven track record of taking technologies from the lab to commercialization.

Alfred Lam, Start-up Advisor, is Vice President at Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital. Dr. Lam joined Chrysalix in 2012 with 10+ years R&D experience and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from UBC. Dr. Lam has worked with a number of start-ups and is a Board Director at Agilyx and an Observer at Liquid Light and Axine. He currently focuses on Oil & Gas and Water treatment investments.

Contact Mangrove Technologies

Mangrove Technologies is located in Vancouver, at UBC. Their pilot plan is located at BC Research Incorporated in Burnaby. Please contact Saad Dara at saaddara@mail.ubc.ca for further information.