NORAM specializes in development, commercialization, and supply of leading-edge chemical processes and environmental technologies. These proprietary technologies are typically sold in the form of equipment and engineering packages which are implemented by the end-users` engineering and construction contractors. NORAM offers VERTREAT, an activated sludge process producing reuse quality effluent from industrial and municipal waste streams, and VERTAD, an aerobic digestion process producing pathogen-free Class A biosolids. Efficient oxygen transfer results in half the operating cost of conventional systems,and with less than 20 percent of the land requirements,these systems fit just about anywhere.
- Business Type:
- Industry Type:
- Water and Wastewater
- Market Focus:
- Globally (various continents)
At NORAM we develop, engineer, and commercialize technologies for the process and resource industries.
Since 1988, we have built a global reputation for innovation and excellence in the supply of proprietary engineering and equipment packages to the chemical, pulp and paper, minerals processing and electrochemical sectors. Our six specialized business groups have completed capital projects on five continents. We are recognized worldwide as a leader in the fields of nitration, sulfuric acid and electrochemistry.
In addition to carrying out large assignments for major multi-national clients and municipalities, NORAM works with early-stage technology companies. We provide engineering design and fabrication support, sharing our experience in technology commercialization, and growing with the company as a strategic stakeholder.
NORAM was established in 1988 in Vancouver, Canada by George Cook and John Rae, both Professional Engineers.
From our modest beginnings as a two-person operation, we have expanded to a contingent of some 170 engineers, technologists and tradesmen serving major multi-national clients worldwide. We have built our business by growing organically and continually re-investing in new technologies.
Initially, NORAM's operations were concentrated in the field of commodity chemicals. The steady advancement of our nitration process technologies earned NORAM unprecedented global leadership in this specialized arena. Today, over 50% of the world's nitrobenzene, an intermediate feedstock in the synthesis of polyurethane polymers, is produced in plants designed by NORAM using our proprietary technology and equipment.
Similar technological innovations took NORAM into the sulfuric acid and electrochemical fields, where our expertise is also now widely recognized around the world. Our business subsequently expanded into the pulp and paper and environmental fields. Finally, NORAM became active in the biological wastewater treatment industry with the acquisition of Deep Shaft Technologies Inc. in 1998. Across all six of our business groups, our success is firmly grounded in our ability to tailor processes and equipment packages to fully satisfy client objectives while providing the lowest cost, long-term solution.
In addition to benefiting from the complimentary nature of the markets addressed by our business groups, NORAM's operations have grown around our proven ability to incubate and commercialise new technologies. Each of our six business groups is represented by a core of proprietary technology, with more than 35 primary patents held or pending.
The NORAM group of companies has grown in recent years to include:
• NORAM International AB, based in Sweden, and focused on supporting our European technology partners (www.noram-intl.com)
• BC Research Inc., a technology incubator based in Burnaby, B.C. (www.bcri.ca)
• ECOfluid Systems Inc., providing advanced wastewater treatment systems (www.ecofluid.com)
NORAM's business centres on the supply of proprietary engineering and equipment packages. We work closely with owners to develop efficient plant designs that meet environmental, safety and operability objectives in the most cost-effective manner.
Typically, NORAM does not provide detailed civil, structural and electrical engineering. Rather, we work closely in an advisory role with the owner's engineering and construction firm, which completes the balance of the detailed engineering and construction portions of the project.
Key partnerships with industry allow NORAM to offer clients a full slate of engineering support and equipment supply, including R&D, pilot facilities, fabrication, process design and optimization, construction support and project management.
In addition, NORAM maintains a number of in-house core competencies, with particular depth of expertise in:
- Fluidised bed technology
- Energy storage
- Heat transfer and heat exchangers
- Hydrogen, sulphur and chlorine chemistry
- Effluent System Closure
Advanced engineering tools
Key to our engineering strength is our ability to generate new or improved processes using a combination of fundamental principles, practical engineering experience and modern engineering tools. Our engineers and technologists apply a variety of advanced process, mechanical and piping design tools to analyze and evaluate chemical plant process and equipment design. These include:
- Process flow-sheeting - steady state and dynamic
- with heat and mass balance simulations
- Process simulation - Hysys, Aspen, CADSIM
- Converter/catalyst modelling
- Physical properties data bank and property
- Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
- Finite element analysis for equipment design (FEA)
- Flexibility analysis for ducting and piping design
- Gas exchanger rating
- Acid tower rating
- Distributor hydraulics
- Dynamic modelling - real-time analysis of
- process fluctuations
- Heat transfer software
- Pressure vessel design software
Fabrication and assembly
NORAM owns and operates a fabrication and assembly facility conveniently located near the US border, approximately 20 kms from the Vancouver International Airport. This facility offers river, road and rail access, allowing us to ship very large pre-fabricated components around the world.
Our fabrication facilities include:
- 43,500 square feet of shop space,
- including a 28,000 square foot
- fabrication bay and 12,000 square
- foot machine shop and assembly bay
- Clean shop for stainless steel
- Separate CS and alloy bays (titanium,
- nickel and zirconium)
- In-house sandblast and paint shop
- • 12 bridge cranes, ranging from 5 tons
- - 16 tons (24 - 30 feet high)
- 5-axis NC milling, up to 90' high
- CNC boring mills
- 30' long lathe with up to 54' swing
- ISO 9001
- ASME VIII, Division 1
- QP 102
- ASME III, Class 1, 2 and 3
- ANSI B31 and UL
B.C. Research Inc. is located in close proximity to the Burnaby, BC campus of Simon Fraser University. The facility houses our pilot plants, and provides NORAM and our associate companies with access to the laboratory and R&D space needed to continue to advance our proprietary technologies.
In addition, B.C. Research Inc. provides experimental research, process development, pilot plant services (design, construction and operation), mechanical and materials process engineering consulting, and laboratory analysis and testing, supporting early-stage businesses from start-up through to full-scale commercial demonstration.
NORAM's technologies respond to the environmental, social and economic imperatives of our world today.
In both developing new process technologies and optimizing existing technologies, our engineers and technologists have delivered many notable advancements that allow government and industry to cost-effectively meet environmental objectives while fully satisfying safety and operability requirements.
While at the forefront of process optimization, NORAM:
- successfully revolutionized mononitrobenzene production to mitigate NOx emissions and bio-toxic effluents characteristic of conventional technology;
- has become a world-leader in Effluent System Closure for pulp mills; and
- provides some of the most advanced equipment in the world for processing SO2 gases.
Other significant advancements pioneered by our industry-leading technologists include:
- a process to remove residual bromine from chlorine used in the treatment of drinking water;
- biological wastewater treatment plants that use 50% less energy than their conventional counterparts; and
- a novel technology to address heavy metal contamination from sources such as Acid Mine Drainage.
We have also worked extensively with energy storage technologies, key enablers for firming power supplies from intermittent renewable energy sources, such as solar power and wind.
Our commitment to 'low footprint' technologies finds expression in a wide range of projects in British Columbia, such as engineering of the steam turbines powering a local energy-from-waste facility. NORAM funded and continues to work with the University of British Columbia on Canada's Largest Supercritical Water Oxidation (SCWO) R&D unit. We are also a founding and sponsoring member of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association.
Across our organization, we are proud of our contribution to economic, environmental and social sustainability worldwide.