Biochar + Nexen Oil Spill

Aerial shot of pipeline cut into the forest, leading to sprawl of factories.

Pipeline leading to Nexen’s Long Lake facility (2014 publicity photo).

Today, we talk about charcoal and tar. But we use fancy words! So you might not catch it at first. We’ll explore the world of biochar, an innovative climate & resource solution with a millennia-old history. And we’ll give you a rundown on Nexen’s bitumen emulsion spill in Northern Alberta.

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Ecobabble: Biochar

Environmental biologist Tracy Flach explains how new use of an ancient technology could help stabilize our climate and our soil.

Links: Calgary Journal, Alberta Oil Magazine, Alberta Biochar Initiative

Biochar Innovation Heating Up

Chris Olson is President of Innovative Reduction Strategies, a startup he formed in 2014. Building a company from the ground up is no easy task. To do so with new and unproven technology? Even tougher. But IRSI has a promising business plan. They want to take waste destined for the landfill and turn it into biochar.

Nexen oil spill: what you need to know

On July 15, 2015, a contractor was walking near by the Long Lake bitumen upgrader facility, operated by Nexen, when they happened upon what would turn out to be 5 million litres of bitumen and water leaking out of a pipeline that’s not even a year old.

To help you understand what’s happened, we’ve collected as much information as we could about the spill. We share the essential details: what happened, who is being impacted, what’s being done about it.

Header photo courtesy of Nexen.


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