Laboratory investigation on freeze separation of saline mine waste water

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  • Abstract: The extraction and upgrading process for bitumen from oil sand deposits in Alberta, Canada currently requires large volumes of process water. This water demand is fulfilled by importing water and recycling/reuse of clarified process water. Reuse of the clarified water results in the steady increase of organic and inorganic (salt) contaminant concentrations in the recycle water. Using a specially designed flume housed in a cold room, trickle freeze separation was evaluated for contaminant separation of saline solutions used as a surrogate for mine waste water. Experiments were conducted at various ambient temperatures, salt concentrations and mass flow rates. Melting proved to be more effective at concentrating salts than freezing. The trickle freeze/thaw process developed during the experiment was very effective at separating and concentrating the salts into a smaller volume. For source waters frozen at an ambient temperature of -15 degrees C and with 3000 mg/L (NaCl) or less, 80% removal of salts was possible after melting 9% of the produced ice. For source waters with higher concentrations (20,000 mg/L), 80% removal was possible after melting 27% of the produced ice.

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    © 2007 Elsevier. This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Cold Regions Science and Technology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Cold Regions Science and Technology, [VOL 48, ISSUE 3, (2007)] DOI: 10.1016/j.coldregions.2006.12.002.
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    • Beier, N., Sego, D., Donahue, R., & Biggar, K. (2007). Laboratory investigation on freeze separation of saline mine waste water. Cold Regions Science and Technology, 48(3), 239-247. DOI: 10.1016/j.coldregions.2006.12.002.