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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3S46HF2N

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Role of Sodium Hydroxide in Bitumen Extraction: Production of Natural Surfactants and Slime Coating Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
surfactants
slime coating
clay
bitumen extraction
Sodium hydroxide
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Tamiz Bakhtiari, Marjan
Supervisor and department
Jacobe Masliyah (Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Zhenghe Xu (Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Rajender Gupta (Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Jason Zhang (Faculty of Chemical and BiologicalEngineering)
Anthony Yeung (Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Department
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Specialization
Chemical Engineering
Date accepted
2015-02-05T13:59:50Z
Graduation date
2015-06
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
Alkaline environment by addition of NaOH in bitumen extraction process often shows a positive effect on bitumen recovery from Athabasca oil sands by mining-extraction method. NaOH ionizes organic acids in the bitumen to produce surfactants. These species are essential for bitumen liberation. Understanding the role of NaOH in the processing of different types of oil sands ores is important in designing the processes to enhance bitumen recovery from variable oil sands ores and minimizing bitumen loss in the tailings. This study focuses on responses of 15 different ores to the addition of variable amount of NaOH in generation/release of natural surfactants from the ores. An existing FTIR technique was modified to quantify the concentration of carboxylic surfactants in tailings water. The results showed that the concentration of carboxylic type of surfactants in tailings water depends not only on the amount of NaOH addition, but also on bitumen content and composition, concentration of divalent cations and concentration of carbonate/ bicarbonate ions in the ores. The content of pyrite in the fines fraction of the solids was found also to affect the release of carboxylic type of natural surfactants in tailings water. The critical role of NaOH addition in levitating bitumen slime coating (bitumen-clay interaction) on a single ore using QCM-D method was also studied. The QCM-D measurements showed that illite clay particles formed layers of slime on bitumen in tailings water prepared at weak alkaline conditions while kaolinite did not. A key contribution of this work was to identify the positive effect of humic acids released from ores processed at high pH (pH > 10) on avoiding the slime coating of bitumen by clays. After determining a strong adsorption of humic acids by illite clays, the results of QCM-D measurements showed that the presence of humic acid released in tailings water at high pH reduced slime coating of bitumen by illite clay particles, which was initiated by the presence of surfactants in tailings water. The results revealed that the reduction in the slime coating was attributed to the increased hydrophilicity of the bitumen layer and steric hindrance caused by adsorbed humic acids on both bitumen and illite surfaces.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3S46HF2N
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.
Citation for previous publication
Role of Caustic Addition in Bitumen-Clay Interactions

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