Demulsifying Water-in-Bitumen Emulsions of Oil Sands Froth Treatment

  • Author / Creator
    Chen, Liang
  • The formation of stable water-in-oil emulsions during bitumen extraction poses problems for water separation from diluted bitumen, which leads to equipment corrosion and catalyst fouling in downstream operations. Demulsifiers are used to break the stable emulsions and assist the separation of water from diluted bitumen.
    To study the factors influencing demulsification, the efficiency of four industrial demulsifiers in dewatering of water-in-toluene diluted bitumen emulsions was probed at various temperatures. The ability of the demulsifiers to compete for the interface was assessed by measuring interfacial tension of the toluene diluted bitumen-water interface in the presence and absence of demulsifiers. Demulsification tests were conducted using two different methods. A dynamic method was used to allow in-situ and real-time observation of the demulsification process. A static method was used to probe water removal efficiency of the four demulsifiers by gravity to assist the understanding of the demulsifiers’ performance. In order to understand the impact of temperature on demulsification, the effect of temperature on the viscosity of the diluted bitumen was investigated and correlated to demulsification efficiency.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.