Karl Adolf Clark | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Karl Adolf Clark

Clark, Karl Adolf
Karl Adolf Clark developed a successful process for extracting oil from tar sands (artwork by Irma Coucill).

Clark, Karl Adolf

Karl Adolf Clark, chemist (b at Georgetown, Ont 20 Oct 1888; d at Saanichton, BC 8 Dec 1966). A pioneer of the hot-water recovery process for extracting oil from tar sands, Clark developed an interest in tar during his first job after leaving university as chief of the federal Mines Branch's Road Materials Division (1916-20). He then joined the ALBERTA RESEARCH COUNCIL, founded in 1919 by H.M. Tory and J.L. Côté expressly to apply science to local resources; the ARC functioned in its early years as part of the University of Alberta, where Clark worked until retirement (1954). The first tar-sands plants were built in the 1920s but were uneconomic. Clark's process was installed in the first successful plant, Great Canadian Oil Sands (later Suncor Ltd), opened in 1967 at Fort McMurray, Alberta, and the later Syncrude plant.

See alsoBITUMEN.