Dr. Zhenghe Xu, P.Eng, FCAE

Zhenghe XuProfessor
NSERC Industry Research Chair in Oil Sands Engineering
Canada Research Chair in Mineral Processing

Office: 12-279 Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering
Edmonton, AB T6G 1H9
Phone: 780.492.7667
Fax: 780.492.2881


Research Areas: interfacial phenomena in mineral and material processing; advanced coal cleaning combustion and technology emission control; nanotechnology; atomic force microscopy at interfaces

Research Interests

  • Engineering of nano particles and composites for bio- and environmental applications
  • Interfacial phenomena in minerals and materials processing
  • Surface and interface characterization
  • Advanced combustion technology
  • Mercury emission control in coal combustion
  • Industrial effluent management
  • Fine particle processing
  • Oil sands processing

Graduate Research Opportunities

  • Magnetic carrier technology (M. Eng/Ph.D): This is a rapidly growing research area. It is based on the surface modification of fine magnetic particles using surface coating techniques. The coated particles have potential applications in biological cell separations, removal of contaminants from industrial effluents, coatings on fiber optics for communication systems, biological sensors, diagnostic tools in medicine, and carriers for drug delivery. The student will develop a novel technique to coat magnetic particles with tailored functionalities. The extensive characterization using surface analytical instruments is involved in this project.
  • Interfacial phenomena in oil-sands processing (M. Eng/Ph.D): This is a joint project with professor Jacob Masliyah. We are recruiting two students, one working on the fundamentals and the other, on process development. Processing of Alberta oil-sands to extract bitumen will secure Canadian energy source for the next 200 years, and the flotation shows great promise for primary separation. In flotation, various colloidal interactions determine the success and efficiency of separation. Therefore, it is essential to understand these interactions. The student will measure the forces between various phases directly with the atomic force microscope, complemented by contact angle and zeta potential measurements. The fundamental knowledge derived will be used in understanding the problems encountered in the existing oil extraction process and in developing a more versatile, effective process.
Video: The Frank Spragins Technical Award • Dr. Zhenghe Xu, P.Eng.