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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3CK85

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Understanding the Role of Caustic Addition in Oil Sands Processing Open Access

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Other title
Subject/Keyword
Naphthenic Acids
Caustic
Bitumen Extraction
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Zhu, Qian
Supervisor and department
Xu, Zhenghe (Chemical Engineering)
Liu, Qingxia (Chemical Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Liu, Qingxia (Chemical Engineering)
Zhang, Hao (Chemical Engineering)
Xu, Zhenghe (Chemical Engineering)
Szymanski, Jozef (Civil Engineering)
Department
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
Specialization
Chemical Engineering
Date accepted
2013-01-31T12:31:57Z
Graduation date
2013-06
Degree
Master of Science
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) is used as a chemical additive to enhance bitumen recovery from oil sands by surface-mining extraction process. The addition of NaOH adjusts the pH of the slurry water to pH ~8.5 (approximate pH of process water). The change in pH of oil sand slurry affects the process performance. In the current study, the effect of pH was investigated by varying the caustic usage up to about 0.7 wt. % (based on the mass of oil sand). Many parameters such as: Naphthenic acid, divalent cations and the surface charges of particles, bitumen and air bubbles have a significant impact on bitumen recovery and froth quality. A Study of the extraction process at a fundamental level improves our understanding of the key parameters that govern bitumen recovery. Four oil sand ores of different composition were studied. Two ores were classified as high fines (CN912 and AS), and two as average fines (MA and AZ). Using Denver cell flotation, the recovery of high fines ores was observed to be caustic dependent, in contrast to little variation in bitumen recovery with increasing pH for average fines ores. Unlike recovery, the froth quality showed a general improvement with increasing pH for all the ores tested. Such behavior is believed to be related to the fundamental steps of bitumen extraction process such as: air-bitumen attachment (induction) time and slime coating defined as the coating of bitumen droplets by ultrafine particles. The induction time is shown to increase almost linearly with increasing pH for all the ores, while slime coating is shown to be most severe at low pH, improving with increasing pH. The severity of slime coating is shown to be somewhat dependent on the type of ores.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3CK85
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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