For many years, worldwide demand for energy products has lead industry to pay more attention to the need for unconventional energy sources such as heavy hydrocarbons. Reduction of the negative effects of hydrocarbon processing while enhancing the quality of the bitumen treatment, maximizing water recycling and reuse, and minimizing environmental impact in hydrocarbon processing in Canada is of utmost importance. Research done at C5MPT is aimed at fundamentally changing the way bitumen, asphaltenes and low rank coal is converted and upgraded. The potential to convert low value solids into higher-value liquid products is one of the technical challenges being studied. One such product, asphaltenes, possess the highest molecular weight and the most complex chemical structures among bitumen compounds and their presence has a significant (i.e. negative) influence on the entire process of bitumen upgrading. They provide many challenges on their journey from extraction to the refinery and gaining fundamental understanding of the chemical and physical nature of these products will be beneficial to the industry as a whole.