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Role of Biodegradable Ethyl Cellulose in Bitumen Production Open Access


Other title
Ethylcellulose, bitumen recovery
bitumen recovery
water-in-oil emulsions
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Hou, Jun
Supervisor and department
Xu, Zhenghe (Chemical Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Yu, Tong ( Environmental Engineering)
Yeung, Tony (Chemical Engineering)
Zeng, Hongbo (Chemical Engineering)
Xu, Zhenghe (Chemical Engineering)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Recently, a commercially available biodegradable polymer, ethyl cellulose (EC) has been found to be effective in destabilizing water-in-diluted bitumen emulsions. In this study, the role of hydroxyl content and molecular weight of ECs and the effect of mixing and operating temperature in demulsifiation process were studied. In addition, the behavior of EC at the water-oil interface and changes in surface properties of the protective interfacial films with EC addition were investigated. Finally, the role of EC in bitumen extraction was explored. In this communication, Langmuir trough isotherms demonstrated the ability of EC to soften, weaken and finally displace the interfacial film with progressive increase in EC addition. EC of an intermediate molecular weight operating bitumen-froth cleaning at high temperature was found to be most effective. Furthermore, the bitumen froth quality was improved greatly by the addition of EC-in-toluene solutions during a flotation process without scarifying bitumen recovery.
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
Hou, J.; Feng, X.; Masliyah, J.; Xu, Z. Energy Fuels., 2012, 26, 1740–1745.Feng, X.; Wang, S.; Hou, J.; Wang, L.; Cepuch, C.; Masliyah, J.; Xu, Z. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2011, 50, 6347-6354.

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