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Hydrodynamic Simulation of Oil Sand Multiphase Flow in At Face Slurry System Open Access


Other title
Oil Sand
Multiphase Flow
Computational Fluid Dynamics
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Supervisor and department
Tim Joseph (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Jozef Szymanski (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Marek Reformat (Electrical&Computer Engineering)
Tim Joseph (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Jozef Szymanski (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Mining Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Hydraulic transportation efficiency and production cost optimization are required in the surface extraction of Athabasca oil sand deposits. Currently, stationary pipelines are used for slurry transportation in many mines. In order to reduce the dependence on haulage truck for long haulage distances, there is a desire to extend the hydraulic transport system to production faces in oil sands mines using mobile At Face Slurry System (AFSS). The AFSS consists of pipelines connected together with flexible joints and would be capable to create slurrified minerals from the mining faces to be transported to the processing plant. Slurry transportation based on mobile pipelines has been shown to be more effective than the shovel-truck haulage system. This flexible arrangement introduces a unique set of hydraulic transport problems. Rigorous modeling and experimentation of oil sand slurry multiphase flow in this mobile system are required to understand its technical viability and effectiveness. The thesis focuses to develop the mathematic models governing the friction loss of oil sand slurry associated with the AFSS. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation of slurry flow using the academic package Ansys-Fluent 14.5 is conducted. A flexible arrangement of pipe loops imitating the AFSS are set up in the laboratory. Experimental and modelling results are compared to test the accuracy of CFD modelling to predict friction loss in the flexible pipeline system. Results indicate that Granular-Eulerian Multiphase model is reasonably effective in predicting the pressure drop of the at face slurry loop (with a percentage error in the range ±10%) at all the solid concentrations under different configurations. For oil sand slurry with specific gravity 1.44, solid volume fraction 0.27 and velocity 4 m/s, the simulated pressure gradient associated with the AFSS of diameter 0.762m is 220Pa/m, compared with the 158Pa/m for the existing stationary system at Syncrude under the same conditions.
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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