Download the full-sized PDF of Physico-Chemical Processes for Oil Sands Process-Affected Water TreatmentDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Physico-Chemical Processes for Oil Sands Process-Affected Water Treatment Open Access


Other title
Petroleum Coke
Oil Sands Process Affected Water
Zero Valent Iron
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Supervisor and department
Gamal El-Din, Mohamed (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Mohseni, Majid (Chemical and Biological Engineering)
Buchanan, Ian (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Liu, Yang (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Barreda, Daniel (Biological Sciences)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Coagulation/Flocculation/Sedimentation (CFS), petroleum coke (PC) adsorption, and zero valent iron (ZVI) oxidation-enhanced by PC were applied for the remediation of oil sands process-affected water (OPSW), generated from oil sands operations in northern Alberta, Canada. OSPW is a complex mixture of various organic compounds [e.g., naphthenic acids (NAs)], dissolved and suspended solids, and a stable suspension of fine particles. Alum and cationic polymer, polydiallyldimethylammonium chloride (polyDADMAC), were used as the coagulant and coagulant aid, and the process was optimized to improve the efficiency of NAs and turbidity removals. Alum at 250 mg/L resulted in 96%, 10-37%, and 64-86% removal of turbidity, NAs and oxidized NAs, respectively. Destabilization of the particles occurred through charge neutralization by adsorption of the hydroxides on the surface of the particles. Analysis of the surface functional groups on flocs confirmed the removal of the NAs. Addition of polyDADMAC caused toxicity towards the benthic invertebrate, Chironoums dilutus, thus application of this polymer should be limited. PC, as a waste by-product generated during the oil upgrading processes, was used for the removal of NAs and extractable organic fraction (EOF). EOF and NAs removals of 60% and 75%, respectively, were achieved at a PC dose of 200 g/L after 16 h of contact. Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectra of PC suggested the physisorption of organic compounds onto the PC surface. The calculated mean free energy of adsorption (E < 8 kJ/mol) also indicated the physisorption of organics. The hydrophobic interactions between the NAs and PC¬ were suggested as the dominant adsorption mechanism. Speciation analysis of the leached vanadium from PC into OSPW indicated that vanadium (V) was the predominant specie. In the presence of oxygen, ZVI at 25 g/L, added to PC, enhanced the NAs removal to 90%. PC, as an electron conductor, accelerated the electron transfer to oxygen resulting in the production of hydroxyl radicals. The hydroxyl radicals were responsible for the oxidation of NAs. Oxidized NAs concentration increased by 34% after the treatment. Toxicity of the treated OSPW to Vibrio fischeri bacteria, tested using Microtox® bioassay, showed a decrease in the toxic effects of the ZVI/PC treated samples.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Pourrezaei et al. (2011) Environmental Science and Technology. 45, (19), 8452-8459.

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 3273748
Last modified: 2015:10:12 15:50:53-06:00
Filename: Pourrezaei_Parastoo_Spring2013.pdf
Original checksum: 141bbe4b59ea2e287477123f223229c5
Well formed: true
Valid: true
File author: parastoo
Page count: 210
File language: en-US
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date