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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R30M5Z

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On Organic Liquid Crystal Transfer from Bitumen-Rich to Water-Rich Phases: A Combined Laboratory and SAGD Field Study Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
Microscopy
Liquid Crystal
SAGD
Produced Water
Bitumen
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Qin,Chuan
Supervisor and department
Shaw, John M.(Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Shaw, John M. (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Ghaemi, Sina (Mechanical Engineering)
Zeng, Hongbo (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Department
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Specialization
Chemical Engineering
Date accepted
2014-01-20T09:19:52Z
Graduation date
2014-06
Degree
Master of Science
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
Hydrocarbon-based liquid-crystal domains were observed in unreacted heavy fractions extracted from Athabasca bitumen and bitumen derived hydrocarbon resource fractions. Transfer of these organic crystalline domains to the water-rich phase during SAGD production is explored here because there removal, required for optimal operation of boilers used for water recycling, is unlike the removal of oil drops and dissolved oil from the water phase and their fate in water recycling processes is unknown. In this work, a fraction of these liquid-crystal rich domains present initially in bitumen are shown to be transferred to the water-rich phase in both laboratory experiments and industrial SAGD production facilities and possible transfer mechanisms are discussed. Tracing the fate of the liquid crystal domains in SAGD surface facilities revealed that SAGD water treatment processes eliminate liquid crystals from the water rich phase, during normal operation, as liquid crystals were not detected in the feed stream to the steam generator. The roles played by chemical additives, and their presence, comprise uncontrolled variables in the field study. Future work will focus on the individual unit operations of the water de-oiling and treatment process at a single facility to determine where and how the liquid crystals are eliminated from the produced water during normal operation. An approach for preparing liquid-crystal enriched samples is also proposed.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R30M5Z
Rights
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.
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