The OSTRF was designed to provide maximum research flexibility. It is an intermediate scale continuous-flow-through facility capable of accommodating a number of interdisciplinary research projects concurrently. The infrastructure consists of three independent modules for delivery/production, treatment and deposition of tailings. Each module contains interchangeable units, skid-mounted with self-contained instrumentation. The modules are easily re-configured to access and/or bypass any piece of process equipment during a given set of experiments, with quick return of bypassed equipment into the test circuit. The OSTRF is also highly instrumented to allow fundamental understanding of the internal and external interactions between the fluid and mineral particles.
The OSTRF has been designed to process tailing slurries at 600 kg solids per hour and 2000 kg solids per hour. The 2000 kg/hr capability is to ensure upward scalability of the process data to full scale operations. The lower capacity is to reduce the material handling challenges as significant research and development studies are undertaken. The OSTRF’s equipment and infrastructure provide the opportunity for innovative research related to the challenging issues of oil sands tailings management.