Novel Methods for Treating Oilsands Tailings

  • Author / Creator
    Thompson, Dominic K
  • Oilsands tailings are a waste product comprising primarily a stable alkaline suspension of clay in water. This waste product of oilsands mining is environmentally hazardous to store and expensive to safely dispose of. This work presents two novel ideas for dealing with the waste. The first is treatment with alkoxysilanes. Five alkoxysilanes were tested: bis(3-trimethoxysilylpropyl)amine; 3- aminopropyltrimethoxysilane; (3-glycidoxypropyl)trimethoxysilane; methacryloxypropyltrimethoxysilane; and tetramethoxysilane. Of these, bis(3- trimethoxysilylpropyl)amine and 3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane were found to be effective at reducing Capillary Suction Time. Further tests were conducted with bis(3- trimethoxysilylpropyl)amine, including: 1) optimisation of pretreatment conditions; 2) determination of the effect of carbon dioxide on its performance; 3) determination of its interaction with a conventional polymer flocculant; and 4) investigation of its effect on suspensions with other solids concentrations. The second is treatment with carbon dioxide close to its critical point. This treatment is found to improve measures of dewatering potential, including Capillary Suction Time. No evidence is found for an additional supercritical effect and the mechanism is found to be the well-documented pH reduction.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2017
  • 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.