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Characterization of Clay Minerals and Kerogen in Alberta Oil Sands Geological End Members Open Access


Other title
Oil Sands
Clay Minerals
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Zheng, Limin
Supervisor and department
Etsell, Thomas (Chemical & Materials Engineering)
Liu, Qi (Chemical & Materials Engineering)
Ivey, Douglas (Chemical & Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Ivey, Douglas (Chemical & Materials Engineering)
Liu, Qi (Chemical & Materials Engineering)
Etsell, Thomas (Chemical & Materials Engineering)
Chung, Hyun-Joong (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Dehghanpour, Hassan (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
The high degree of variability of oil sands ores can be attributed to a mixture of different geological end members, i.e., estuarine sand, estuarine clay, marine sand and marine clay. This study focused on the mineralogy, especially of clay minerals, and toluene insoluble organic matter, referred to as kerogen, in different oil sands end members. Clays and kerogens will likely have a significant impact on solvent recovery from the gangue following non-aqueous bitumen extraction. The bitumen-free solids were subjected to mineralogical and geochemical analysis. Kerogens were isolated and analyzed by various characterization methods. The types of clays were identified in oriented samples by X-ray diffraction analysis. The nitrogen to carbon ratio in the isolated kerogens is found to be higher than in bitumen. There are more type III kerogens in estuarine samples and more type II kerogens in marine samples.
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