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A conceptual approach to subterranean oil sand fragmentation and slurry transport Open Access
- Other title
- Type of item
- Degree grantor
University of Alberta
- Author or creator
Lam, S.C. Anthony
- Supervisor and department
Nobes, David (Mechanical Engineering)
Lipsett, Michael (Mechanical Engineering)
- Examining committee member and department
Joseph, Tim (Mining Engineering)
Kumar, Amit (Mechanical Engineering)
Department of Mechanical Engineering
- Date accepted
- Graduation date
Master of Science
- Degree level
Oil sand deposits are found at three depths; shallow, intermediate, and deep. Shallow deposits are processed by surface mining while deep deposits are processed using thermal extraction methods. There are currently no production methods to extract oil sand at intermediate depths. The motivation for this research is to demonstrate the technical applicability of methods to access oil sand that is too shallow for thermal extraction methods and too deep for economical surface mining.
This work consisted of developing a system concept as a method for accessing, fragmenting, and removing oil sand at intermediate depths. A technical analysis and a cost estimate were also performed. In addition, the applicability of a comparative methodology was demonstrated with case studies.
A key gap in the understanding of how to implement the system concept is tooling design and power requirements for fragmenting oil sand and interburden; and so a set of laboratory experiments was conducted to investigate the power required to cut oil sand. Oil sand blocks were formed from oil sand samples for the experiments. These blocks underwent various tests to examine their characteristics. Tests included: shear testing, extraction testing, porosity measurements, and scanning electron microscopy.
Lab-scale experiments were conducted in dry, wet, and frozen conditions in support of the fragmentation aspect of the system concept. Thermal imaging was used to qualitatively view temperature variation during the testing process and cutter wear was viewed using a digital microscope. Results were compared against a steady-state cutting model with recommendations for future work.
- License granted by Anthony Lam (firstname.lastname@example.org) on 2010-07-22T18:06:29Z (GMT): 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
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University of Alberta will advise potential users
of the thesis of the above terms.
The author reserves all other publication and
other rights in association with the copyright in
the thesis, and except as herein 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
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