CT - Quantitative Imaging Centre

Latest News

  • Digital Rock in Heavy Oil

    Digital rock technology obtains properties from high resolution images that show differences in the morphology and composition of rock. InnoTech Alberta combines X-ray scanning and digital imaging to provide insight into reservoirs on the pore scale...

  • Modern Coral

    This image is a reconstruction of computed tomography data acquired through scanning 2 cm thick slabs of modern coral from the waters around the Grand Caymen Islands. The coral is formed of aragonite, which has the same composition as calcite but a different crystal structure. Growth lines are like the growth rings on trees and are used to judge the age of the coral. 
    Courtesy Dr. Brian Jones, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta

  • Geode

    These images are reconstructions of computed tomography data acquired through scanning an uncut geode. Geodes are geological secondary structures, which occur in certain sedimentary and volcanic rocks. They commonly have a chalcedony shell lined internally by various minerals, often as crystals. There is no easy way to tell what the inside of a geode holds until it is cut open or broken apart. However, computed tomography reveals the internal structure non-destructively

  • Novel CT scanner use grabs media attention

    CT scanners tend to be used in the medical industry and less commonly in the oil industry. In a recent European edition of its Visions magazine, Toshiba profiled Reservoir & Geosciences' Aquilion ONE™ CT scanner, manufactured by Toshiba. The company included the article in in the Canadian 14-2 edition...

  • Peering inside a dinosaur mummy

    CT scanners tend to be used in the medical industry and less commonly in the oil industry. In a recent European edition of its Visions magazine, Toshiba profiled InnoTech's Quantitative Imaging Centre CT scanner. When it opens next July, Grande Prairie's hottest new attraction, Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, will bear the name of the U of A's Philip Currie...

The CT - Quantitative Imaging Centre at InnoTech provides tomography imaging, image processing and visualization with an emphasis on the accurate extraction of quantitative information. Depending on the application, this may include structural or compositional information in a static or dynamically changing environment.

The Centre's primary focus is support for applied research and development in the areas of petroleum recovery, digital rock, and advanced materials. The services of the Centre are also available for industrial and academic use; InnoTech's expertise is geared toward unique and specialized needs. 

Main Services

X-Ray CT Imaging

Non-destructive examination of internal structure is provided by an Aquilion ONE helical CT scanner on a fee-for-service basis. This medical scanner produces high-resolution 3D images of items such as geological core samples, sand packs during recovery processes, and mechanical devices.

A wide variety of reconstruction algorithms and post-processing options are available to suit the object material and imaging requirements. The speed of the scanner makes it possible to track processes that change on a scale of minutes. Full 3D image reconstruction is fast enough to permit real-time interpretation and control. 

CT is a non-destructive technique, which allows digital examination of specimens using X-rays to reveal interior details

Using targeted noise-reduction techniques, fine resolution of radiodensity can be achieved. Multiple energy scanning can provide further discrimination of materials by exploiting subtle differences in their attenuation spectra. Quantitative information can be extracted via customized calibrations.


  • 0.5 mm x 0.35 mm x 0.35 mm voxels
  • Maximum 50 cm field of view
  • 1.9 m scan range
  • 80 – 135 kV energy range
  • 300 kg maximum weight
  • Orbital sync and custom mountings for accurate registration

X-Ray Diffraction

InnoTech provides x-ray characterization of powdered samples ranging from corrosion products and oil sands fines, to paint and soils. We use a nondestructive analytical method to identify and semi-quantitatively determine crystalline phases in unknown samples.

The diffractogram or x-ray diffraction pattern, obtained from an unknown sample is compared with reference patterns from the International Centre for Diffraction Data (ICDD) database for the purpose of identification. We are also able to provide a semi-quantitative measure of phase concentration based on relative peak intensity and full clay analysis.

3D Visualization Centre

A number of software tools are available for image processing, measurement, and manipulation of quantitative data.

The 3D Visualization Centre provides stereoscopic viewing and exploration of data in three or four dimensions, in a venue sized for collaborative work or presentations to small groups.

Other Services

  • 3D printing
  • Fluid flows in geological cores and sand packs
  • Low-attenuation vessels and materials for x-ray use
  • Thermal experiments
  • High-pressure experiments
  • Triaxial cell testing for mechanical properties
  • PVT, solubility, diffusion/dispersion, and viscosity measurements for fluids
  • Handling of specialized/hazardous materials
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • X-ray fluorescence spectrometry


Put our expertise to work for you

Mike London
Senior Researcher
Reservoir & Geosciences

Philip Chong
Research Technologist
Reservoir & Geosciences