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Research Council of Alberta

Nature volume 158, page 700 (16 November 1946) | Download Citation



THE twelev-sixth annual report of the Research Council hot Alberta (Edmonton, Alberta: King's PrinfepR covering the year 1945, includes lists of memHsbrs of the Council and the Technical Advisory Committee, the technical staff and of the publications of the Council. Most of the investigations in progress in the previous year were continued, new investigations including a soils survey in co-operation with the Dominion Government and studies of the possibilities for the commercial utilization of cereal straws and of Alberta poplar. Difficulties in obtaining technical staff, services and supplies continued to handicap the work. Much of the work on bituminous sands was concerned with the critical problem of freeing the crude oil, recovered by the separation unit, from water, sand and silt, and preparation of it in suitable form for the refinery. Study of the hot-water separation method continued, and the most significant advance in the year was the discovery that the silt and clay present in bituminous sand powerfully assist displacement of the oil from the sand by hot water. Three papers on this work were published during the year. A detailed report on the use of Alberta coals in automatic domestic stokers was issued as Report No. 46. Other fuel investigations related to briquetting, while the major geological project was a field investigation of part of the Highwood coal area. A report on the “Geology of the Red Deer and Rosebud Sheets” was published during the year, and a study of the Fischer — Tropsch synthesis of petrol and other liquid fuels from natural gas has been concerned with the reduction and conditioning of catalysts. A co-operative soils survey programme was planned with the soil survey department of the Dominion Government, but was not completed owing to shortage of qualified staff, and it will be some time before the detailed reports are available. A study is also in progress of the periodic rise and fall in the number of rabbits, fur-bearing and other animals and birds at intervals of about ten years.

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