Primary Separation and Processing

Overview

The Surface Technologies team improves oil sands surface processes including mining, tailings treatment, in-situ produced fluids treatment and upgrading through process development and evaluation.

Oil Sand Processability

We work with producers to characterize ore bodies based on ore extractability using the standard “Syncrude type” batch extraction unit (BEU) or by the batch style InnoTech Alberta hydro transport-conditioning loop to evaluate solutions for:

  • Underperforming ores
  • Changes in water chemistry
  • Technical validation of new process aides

Separation Technologies

Our group works with producers in both surface mining and in situ bitumen/heavy oil recovery in produced fluid treatment technologies. We will provide assessment of treatment trains by the optimization of the surface separation process through the evaluation of:

  • Degassing
  • Diluent management and mixing performance
  • Rag layer remediation
  • Froth treatment
  • Technical validation of chemical additives
  • Bitumen blending and rheology
  • Asphaltene and waxes deposition

Partial Upgrading

Heavy oil and bitumen processing includes:

  • Upgrading (partial and full)
  • De-asphalting
  • Petrochemicals
  • Non-aqueous desalting & dewatering
  • Naphthenic acids removal
  • Liquid-liquid extraction

Tailings Management 

InnoTech has created a unique platform and service package to validate new and existing tailings technologies from slurry to soils. We work with producers and regulatory agencies to provide technical supports and solutions in: inter-related impacts of upstream process and tailings characteristics, flocculation, sedimentation, chemical additives, geotechnics, etc.

Water Treatment 

We work on the development of technologies to improve water treatment operations.

We provide technical support for evaluation of water treatment technologies for mined oil sands and in-situ production applications.

Sample Banks

Our group provides oil sands samples and mature fine tailings (MFT) samples from the Athabasca deposit for purchase through our Oil Sands and Mature Fine Tailings Samples Bank. See the sample bank.

In-Situ Oil Sand Water Research Testing Program

InnoTech Alberta and participating industry members are working together to gather innovative ideas through research to reduce water usage in in-situ oil sands operations. Under this program, InnoTech Alberta will prepare the in-situ oil sands water samples provided by participating industry members for use in third party research. See the sample bank.