The raw feedstock for an upgrader is known as "bitumen froth" which consists of bitumen, water and some residual sand and clay particles. The upgrading process requires significant water use along with a source of heat. Our researcher seeks to improve the understanding of solvent-bitumen-clay interactions so that a new generation of extraction processes might be developed, ultimately reducing the demand on water and energy supplies.
Studies over the past year have demonstrated the potential of exploiting interfacial phenomena to capture and eliminate unwanted fine solids that are suspended in oil. Since our micro-scale experiments have shown a strong attraction between water droplets and hydrophilic solid particles, we expect that particle capture can ultimately be controlled using this type of knowledge.
Principal Investigator: Tony Yeung
Research Team: Qi Liu, Leyli Mirmontazeri, Ying Jin, Maryam Forovati, Dave Sharp, Kavithaa Loganthan
Project Number: COSI 2006-05
Close Date: August 31, 2010