VibroChem Treatment of Mature Fine Tailings
OrganoCat conducted tests on mature fine oil sand tailings (MFOT) from Alberta province, Canada. The MFOT was a yellow-brown colored, viscous liquid with a strong oily odor. According to the MSDS, this material is comprised of water; solids including clay, metals, quartz silica, kaolinite, aluminum, calcium, iron, potassium, sulfur; bitumen and petroleum. According to OrganoCat’s evaluation, it was an extremely stable solution (presented by dissolved salts), suspension (presented by mineral particles) and emulsion (presented by emulsified petroleum). It was an organic, mineral sludge. Total solids content was 25.4%. The material did not separate in a centrifuge under 3000 rpm for 20 min.
The VibroChem technology was used in conjunction with a recyclable reagent to separate the solid and liquid phases of the MFOT. The MFOT sample was treated in the VibroChem device along with the recyclable reagent for 1 min. resulting in the MFOT viscosity reduction from 157 cP to 54 cP.
The application of the VibroChem/recyclable reagent looks promising in terms of bitumen bearing emulsion separation to petroleum and effluent at a processing facility. OrganoCat sees several applications for this technology in the oil and gas industry.