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

  • Author / Creator
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • 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.