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Interaction between Bitumen and Fines in Oil Sands Extraction System: Implication to Bitumen Recovery

Authors

  • Jianjun Liu,

    1. Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB, Canada, T6G 2G6
    Current affiliation:
    1. Mining Chemicals Research, Cytec Industries Inc, Stamford, CT 06904, USA
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  • Zhenghe Xu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB, Canada, T6G 2G6
    • Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB, Canada, T6G 2G6
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  • Jacob Masliyah

    1. Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB, Canada, T6G 2G6
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Abstract

Colloidal interactions between bitumen and fines, extracted directly from oil sand ores, were investigated with zeta potential distribution measurement and surface force measurement using an atomic force microscope (AFM). Fines from good processing ores exhibit a negligible attachment to bitumen surfaces, due to hydrophilic nature of the fines. Fines from poor processing ores exhibit a stronger attachment to bitumen surfaces by an attractive hydrophobic force between bitumen and fines, due to hydrophobic nature of the fines and the presence of high concentration divalent cations in the processing water.

Abstract

Les interactions colloïdales entre les bitumes et les fines, extraits directement des minerais de sables bitumineux, ont été étudiées par la mesure de la distribution du potentiel zeta et la mesure de force de la surface à l'aide d'un microscope à force atomique (AFM). Les fines provenant de minerais à taux de récupération élevé montrent une liaison négligeable aux surfaces de bitume, en raison de la nature hydrophile des fines. Les fines provenant de minerais à faible taux de récupération montrent un plus grande liaison aux surfaces de bitume causée par une force hydrophobe attractive entre le bitume et les fines, en raison de la nature hydrophobe des fines et de la présence d'une haute concentration de cations divalents dans le traitement de l'eau.

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