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Rheological Behaviour of Heptane-Diluted Bitumen in the Presence of Precipitates Open Access


Other title
rheology, porous media, asphaltene
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Rostami Najafabadi, Zahra
Supervisor and department
Yeung, Anthony (Chemical and Materials Engineering)/ Afacan, Artin (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Yeung, Anthony (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Li, Zukui (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Afacan, Artin (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Zeng, Hongbo (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
One of the challenges that Vapor Extraction process might be conducted is the unpredictable precipitation of asphaltene from solvent-diluted bitumen that can cause process problems during bitumen extraction in porous media. The objective of this study was to investigate the rheological behaviour of Athabasca bitumen and n-heptane solutions in the present of precipitates using a rheometer and flow through porous media. Rheometry measurements shown for solutions have the viscosity higher than 0.001 Pa·s and less than 0.0005 Pa·s, the phase angle is around 90° out of phase and the solutions are purely viscous; while for the solutions having the viscosity around 0.0007 Pa·s, the phase angle is around 84° out of phase and the solution behave as a non-Newtonian liquid. Also, the flow of heptane-bitumen solutions through a porous media experiments shows that for bitumen-heptane solution having viscosity around 0.0007 Pa·s, after 24 hours mixing of the solutions, the predicted and measured friction factor did not agreed. This disagreement might be because of both decrease the void area between the particles due to the presence of solids and non-Newtonian behaviour of the solution, which is in consistent with the rheology measurement results.
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