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Polymer Aids for Settling and Filtration of Oil Sands Tailings Open Access


Other title
Tailings, filtration, settling, polymer, flocculation, Al-PAM
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Wang, Xiaoyan
Supervisor and department
Xu, Zhenghe (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Masliyah, Jacob (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Masliyah, Jacob (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Xu, Zhenghe (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
Liu, Yang (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Commercial Magnafloc 1011and in-house synthesized Al-PAM were used as flocculants for model tailings, laboratory extraction tailings and tailings from paraffin froth treatment unit. The polymers were tested for their flocculation ability in settling and filtration. For model tailings, both polymers showed excellent ability to improve the settling and filtration performance. Magnafloc 1011 is found sensitive to overdosing, but Al-PAM is not sensitive to the dosage within the tested range. For the laboratory extraction tailings, both polymers showed excellent ability to enhance settling. Al-PAM performed very well as a filtration aid. The moisture of the cake obtained from tailings derived from a low fines ore was 6.6 ± 1.2wt% and that from a high fines ore was 16.9 ± 0.8wt%. However, Magnafloc 1011 was found not effective as a filtration aid. For the froth treatment tailings, Al-PAM improved the settling and filterability dramatically. Although the moisture of the cake obtained was 42.5wt%, no free water is seen visually in the cake. The solid cake is self-supportive and remains intact. This class of Al-PAM polymers can provide an alternative approach for oil sands tailings disposal that can potentially eliminate tailings ponds.
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