Role of Bitumen Viscosity in Bitumen Recovery from Athabasca Oil Sands

  • Author / Creator
    Zhang, Mei
  • Viscosity, as a fundamental physical property of bitumen, has been studied extensively for the past several decades. By and large, nearly all the bitumen samples used in viscosity measurement were from hot water extraction processes that were further cleaned by solvents. A drawback of this approach is inevitably incomplete evaporation of solvent or losses of light ends of bitumen. Such a gain or loss can have a significant influence on the measured bitumen viscosity. To accurately understand the role of bitumen viscosity in bitumen recovery by water-based extraction processes, viscosity measurement of raw (solvent-free) bitumen is necessary. In this study, bitumen samples from good ore, artificially weathered good ore, average ore, and naturally weathered poor processing ore were prepared through direct centrifugation method. The viscosity of isolated bitumen at different temperatures and with different solvent (kerosene and naphtha) additions was measured. A correlation between solvent addition and temperature was established via viscosity measurements. Based on correlations established in this study, processability of oil sands was evaluated to identify the critical role of bitumen viscosity.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2012
  • 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.