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Phase Behavior and Thermophysical Properties of Peace River Bitumen + Propane mixtures Open Access


Other title
Phase behavior
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Dini, Yoann
Supervisor and department
Shaw, John M.
Examining committee member and department
Henein, Hani (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Shaw, John M. (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Narain, Ravin (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
McCaffrey, William (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Oil sands bitumen is increasingly recovered by injecting steam into reservoirs using the energy intensive Steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) process. Interest in improving recovery and energy efficiencies have led to an interest in injecting light hydrocarbons along with or instead of steam as a basis for the development of improved production technologies. Propane and mixtures including propane as a principal component are among the leading potential injectants. In this work, the phase behavior, phase composition and phase densities of propane + Peace River bitumen mixtures are studied using a variable-volume X-ray view cell in the temperature range between 303 K and 393 K at pressures ranging from 1 to 6 MPa. This apparatus permits the study of mixtures that are opaque to visible light and provides real time phase volume and liquid phase density measurements. Pressure-temperature at fixed composition, and pressurecomposition at fixed temperature phase diagrams, and temperature-composition and pressure-temperature phase projections are presented, along with the saturated compositions and densities of the co-existing bitumen saturated propane liquid (L1) and propane saturated bitumen liquid (L2) phases. The phase behavior of this pseudo binary mixture can be categorized as Type III according to the van Konynenburg-Scott nomenclature. One of the key findings is the unexpected magnitude of the volumes of mixing, particularly for the L1 phase. Saturated L1 and L2 phases are both significantly less dense than liquid water phases at the same temperatures and pressures. The data set is expected to provide a benchmark for process development and process design calculations for ongoing bitumen production and de-asphalting applications.
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. 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.
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