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Characterization of process-affected using fluorescence technology Open Access


Other title
naphthenic acids
oil sands
process-affected water
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Ewanchuk, Andrea Marie
Supervisor and department
Dave C. Sego (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Ania C. Ulrich (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Lingyun Chen (Agricultural Food and Nutritional Science)
Tong Yu (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Geoenvironmental Engineering
Degree level
Fluorescence technology was examined as an analytical tool for identifying naphthenic acids in process-affected water. The fluorescence signal from process-affected water was narrowed down to the extractable organic acid fraction, known to contain naphthenic acids. A characteristic intensity peak was observed in a consistent location in the emission spectrum when scanned at 280nm excitation wavelength for water obtained from three oil sands operations. The signals obtained for each water source exhibited similar shapes but varied by intensity. The intensity observed was compared to naphthenic acid concentration determined by the industry standard analytical method. When examined individually there was a strong linear correlation between fluorescence intensity and concentration for the water sources. Models developed using the parallel factor analysis method found that process-affected water from each oil sand operation had five fluorescent species which contributed to the overall signal, and that the species were similar between process-affected water from each company.
License granted by Andrea Ewanchuk ( on 2011-08-24 (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 otherwise made available in digital form, the 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 permission.
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