WorldWideScience

Sample records for net oil sand

  1. 2010 oil sands performance report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2011-07-01

    With the depletion of traditional energy resources and the rising demand for energy, oil sands have become an important energy resource for meeting energy needs. Oil sands are a mixture of water, sand, clay and bitumen which is recovered either through open pit mining or in situ drilling techniques. The bitumen is then converted into syncrude or sold to refineries for the production of gasoline, diesel or other products. Shell has oil sands operations in Alberta and the aim of this report is to present its 2010 performance in terms of CO2, water, tailings, land, and reclamation and engagement. This document covers several of Shell's operations in the Muskeg River and Jackpine mines, Scotford upgrader, Peace River, Orion, Seal, Cliffdale and Chipmunk. It provides useful information on Shell's oil sands performance to governments, environmental groups, First Nations, local communities and the public.

  2. Reframing the Canadian Oil Sands

    OpenAIRE

    Patchett, Merle M; Lozowy, A

    2012-01-01

    Reframing the Canadian Oil Sands” is a collaborative exchange between photographer Andriko Lozowy and cultural geographer Merle Patchett that engages photography and photographic theory to evoke a more critical and politically meaningful visual engagement with the world’s largest capital oil project. Since the appearance of Edward Burtynsky’s aerial and abstracted photographic-mappings of the region, capturing the scale of the Oil Sands from ‘on high’ has become the dominant visual imaginary....

  3. Environmental consequences of oil production from oil sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, Lorenzo; Davis, Kyle F.; Rulli, Maria C.; D'Odorico, Paolo

    2017-02-01

    Crude oil from oil sands will constitute a substantial share of future global oil demand. Oil sands deposits account for a third of globally proven oil reserves, underlie large natural forested areas, and have extraction methods requiring large volumes of freshwater. Yet little work has been done to quantify some of the main environmental impacts of oil sands operations. Here we examine forest loss and water use for the world's major oil sands deposits. We calculate actual and potential rates of water use and forest loss both in Canadian deposits, where oil sands extraction is already taking place, and in other major deposits worldwide. We estimated that their exploitation, given projected production trends, could result in 1.31 km3 yr-1 of freshwater demand and 8700 km2 of forest loss. The expected escalation in oil sands extraction thus portends extensive environmental impacts.

  4. Nuclear energy in the oils sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arsenault, J.E.

    2014-09-15

    The major Canadian oil sands are located in Alberta and Saskatchewan, with most production from the strata along the Athabasca River in Alberta. The economically recoverable oil sands reserves are estimated to be 168 billion barrels which at a current production rate of 1.8 million barrels per day (2012), are projected to last a very long time. Canada has been blessed with vast energy resources which make it potentially energy-independent and able to provide significant exports but there are concerns that their development cannot be managed in a wholly acceptable manner. Comparable concerns have been applied to nuclear energy in the past and in recent times to the oil sands. The technologies associated with these energy sources have always been controversial because they are at the confluence of economics and politics where finding a balance between risk and reward is difficult. So it should be no surprise that when these technologies get linked together in certain proposals their prospect for success is doubly difficult. The possible use of nuclear energy for production of oil from the oil sands dates back to the late 1950s, when an experiment to mine the oil by detonating an underground nuclear device was proposed. It was predicted that the heat and pressure released from such a device would create a large cavern into which oil would flow, and from where it would be pumped to the surface. Almost at the same time, oil sands research using conventional sources of energy had culminated with the development of practical refining processes, essentially those still in use today. These methods require large amounts of heat energy in the form of hot water and steam. In this century nuclear energy was proposed as the source for the heat required by the oil sands production processes. To date neither of these nuclear proposals for oil sands projects have been successful, because the economic and political balance could not be struck. (author)

  5. Supercritical solvent extraction of oil sand bitumen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imanbayev, Ye. I.; Ongarbayev, Ye. K.; Tileuberdi, Ye.; Mansurov, Z. A.; Golovko, A. K.; Rudyk, S.

    2017-08-01

    The supercritical solvent extraction of bitumen from oil sand studied with organic solvents. The experiments were performed in autoclave reactor at temperature above 255 °C and pressure 29 atm with stirring for 6 h. The reaction resulted in the formation of coke products with mineral part of oil sands. The remaining products separated into SARA fractions. The properties of the obtained products were studied. The supercritical solvent extraction significantly upgraded extracted natural bitumen.

  6. Geochemical evidence for a Cretaceous oil sand (Bima oil sand) in the Chad Basin, Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bata, Timothy; Parnell, John; Samaila, Nuhu K.; Abubakar, M. B.; Maigari, A. S.

    2015-11-01

    Paleogeographic studies have shown that Earth was covered with more water during the Cretaceous than it is today, as the global sea level was significantly higher. The Cretaceous witnessed one of the greatest marine transgressions in Earth's history, represented by widespread deposition of sands directly on underlying basement. These sand bodies hold much of the world's heavy oil. Here, we present for the first time, geochemical evidence of a Cretaceous oil sand (Bima oil sand) in the Chad Basin, Nigeria. Bima oil sand is similar to other Cretaceous oil sands, predominantly occurring at shallow depths on basin flanks and generally lacking a seal cover, making the oil susceptible to biodegradation. The bulk properties and distribution of molecular features in oils from the Bima oil sand suggest that they are biodegraded. Sterane maturity parameters and the trisnorhopane thermal indicator for the oils suggest thermal maturities consistent with oils generated as conventional light oils, which later degraded into heavy oils. These oils also show no evidence of 25-norhopane, strongly suggesting that biodegradation occurred at shallow depths, consistent with the shallow depth of occurrence of the Bima Formation at the study locality. Low diasterane/sterane ratios and C29H/C30H ratios greater than 1 suggest a carbonate source rock for the studied oil. The Sterane distribution further suggests that the oils were sourced from marine carbonate rocks. The C32 homohopane isomerization ratios for the Bima oil sand are 0.59-0.60, implying that the source rock has surpassed the main oil generation phase, consistent with burial depths of the Fika and Gongila Formations, which are both possible petroleum source rocks in the basin.

  7. Response to Oil Sands Products Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-01

    indoors or leave the area to limit their exposure to toxic fumes. Specific information about the diluent added to an oil sands mixture of concern would...known as upgraders. These refineries essentially strip much of the carbon from the bitumen and produce a light synthetic crude oil (known as Syncrude...Minnesota’s new law, states: (Douglass, 2014) “ Essentially , there’s no meaningful regulation or requirements or standards for oil spill response for

  8. Fracturing in the oil-sands reservoirs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yuan, Y.; Yang, B. [Society of Petroleum Engineers (Canada); Xu, B. [BitCan G and E Inc (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    Oil sands reservoirs stimulation requires the use of steam or solvent in order to reduce oil viscosity, making for better recovery. Injection of these stimulants is generally achieved by hydro-fracturing and, given concerns over the impact of this on caprock integrity, a better understanding is needed of the phenomena involved during fracturing. Based on a review of the literature and on analytical, numerical and field data, this paper aims to explore the phenomena involved during hydro-fracturing of oil sands. Review of existing test data shows that oil sands have a clear dilatation tendency. Analytical derivation then compares the effects and occurrence of dilatation and tensile parting during hydro-fracturing, showing a dominance of dilatation, resulting in much higher porosity in the sands formation. Field data then confirmed these derivations, thus giving them an experimental validation. Glaciation is proposed as a cause for the presence of these phenomena in oil sands, thus the results can safely be extrapolated to other similar rock formations.

  9. New production techniques for alberta oil sands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrigy, M A

    1986-12-19

    Low world oil prices represent a serious threat to expanded commercial development of the Canadian oil sands in the near term, as they do to all of the higher cost alternatives to crude oil such as oil shales and coal liquefaction. Nonetheless, research and field testing of new technology for production of oil from oil sands are being pursued by industry and government in Alberta. New production technology is being developed in Canada to produce synthetic oil from the vast resources of bitumen trapped in the oil sands and bituminous carbonates of northern Alberta. This technology includes improved methods of mining, extraction, and upgrading of bitumen from near-surface deposits as well as new drilling and production techniques for thermal production of bitumen from the more deeply buried reservoirs. Of particular interest are the cluster drilling methods designed to reduce surface disturbance and the techniques for horizontal drilling of wells from underground tunnels to increase the contact of injection fluids with the reservoir.

  10. Oil sands fever : the environmental implications of Canada's oil sands rush

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woynillowicz, D.; Severson-Baker, C.; Raynolds, M.

    2005-11-01

    This report puts forward recommendations to improve the environmental management of oil sands while calling for an accelerated transition towards sustainable energy in Canada. It presents a historical discussion and background of Canada's oil sands rush and discusses making oil from tar, fuel consumption by oil sand operations, and transportation to refineries. Climate change consequences such as escalating greenhouse gas emissions, emissions intensity, the Kyoto commitment and taking meaningful action are identified along with the cumulative environmental impacts on water, land and air. The paper addressed the issue of managing these cumulative impacts and protecting the environment. Government assistance and subsidies were discussed with reference to Alberta's favourable royalty regime and federal tax breaks. Last, the report discussed stewardship and leadership for responsible oil sand use, climate protection, regional environment protection and establishment of an equitable fiscal regime. 266 refs., 7 tabs., 34 figs.

  11. Incipient Motion of Sand and Oil Agglomerates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, T. R.; Dalyander, S.; Jenkins, R. L., III; Penko, A.; Long, J.; Frank, D. P.; Braithwaite, E. F., III; Calantoni, J.

    2016-12-01

    Weathered oil mixed with sediment in the surf zone in the northern Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, forming large mats of sand and oil. Wave action fragmented the mats into sand and oil agglomerates (SOAs) with diameters of about 1 to 10 cm. These SOAs were transported by waves and currents along the Gulf Coast, and have been observed on beaches for years following the spill. SOAs are composed of 70%-95% sand by mass, with an approximate density of 2107 kg/m³. To measure the incipient motion of SOAs, experiments using artificial SOAs were conducted in the Small-Oscillatory Flow Tunnel at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory under a range of hydrodynamic forcing. Spherical and ellipsoidal SOAs ranging in size from 0.5 to 10 cm were deployed on a fixed flat bed, a fixed rippled bed, and a movable sand bed. In the case of the movable sand bed, SOAs were placed both proud and partially buried. Motion was tracked with high-definition video and with inertial measurement units embedded in some of the SOAs. Shear stress and horizontal pressure gradients, estimated from velocity measurements made with a Nortek Vectrino Profiler, were compared with observed mobility to assess formulations for incipient motion. For SOAs smaller than 1 cm in diameter, incipient motion of spherical and ellipsoidal SOAs was consistent with predicted critical stress values. The measured shear stress at incipient motion of larger, spherical SOAs was lower than predicted, indicating an increased dependence on the horizontal pressure gradient. In contrast, the measured shear stress required to move ellipsoidal SOAs was higher than predicted, even compared to values modified for larger particles in mixed-grain riverine environments. The laboratory observations will be used to improve the prediction of incipient motion, transport, and seafloor interaction of SOAs.

  12. Microwave processing of oil sands and contribution of clay minerals

    OpenAIRE

    Robinson, John; Binner, Eleanor; Saeid, Abdul; Al-Harahsheh, Mohammed; Kingman, Sam

    2014-01-01

    This study establishes the feasibility of microwave heating for extracting oil from Oil Sands in ex-situ processes. Previous studies in this area have shown some potential, but have not characterised the dielectric properties of the Oil Sands used, nor related them to the mineral composition, both of which are vital if successful scale up is to be achieved. In this work the fundamental interactions of microwave energy with Oil Sands are investigated and understood for the first time, and the ...

  13. Policy Analysis of the Canadian Oil Sands Experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None, None

    2013-09-01

    For those who support U.S. oil sands development, the Canadian oil sands industry is often identified as a model the U.S. might emulate, yielding financial and energy security benefits. For opponents of domestic oil sands development, the Canadian oil sands experience illustrates the risks that opponents of development believe should deter domestic policymakers from incenting U.S. oil sands development. This report does not seek to evaluate the particular underpinnings of either side of this policy argument, but rather attempts to delve into the question of whether the Canadian experience has relevance as a foundational model for U.S. oil sands development. More specifically, this report seeks to assess whether and how the Canadian oil sands experience might be predictive or instructive in the context of fashioning a framework for a U.S. oil sands industry. In evaluating the implications of these underpinnings for a prospective U.S. oil sands industry, this report concentrates on prospective development of the oil sands deposits found in Utah.

  14. New international developments in oil sands projects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vercoe, J. [Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, London (United Kingdom)

    2008-09-15

    Governments and oil companies from a variety of different countries are now working to create alternative oil and gas operations and the policies required to enable their financial success. The Africa Energy Commission was developed to coordinate policy and act as a framework for the African energy sector. Several large oil and gas operators have become involved in the creation of new contracts to develop training and human resources policies for the petroleum industry in Congo. Issues related to national oil companies and value creation in African countries are currently being studied by the World Bank. A biofuel alliance was recently signed between Congo and Brazil, and a Congo Forest Fund has also been created to help the inhabitants of the Congolese rainforest protect their environment. Congo is also offering opportunities for international companies to implement greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction programs to trade emission credits when requirements are satisfied. It was concluded that several African countries are suitable candidates for oil sands development. 1 fig.

  15. Proceedings of the 7. annual Athabasca oil sands conference : oil sands trade show and conference

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2007-07-01

    The Athabasca Oil Sands Projects are considered a major source energy supply for North America, which means increased commitments from producing companies to improve environmental impact and enhance the technology used for extraction and refining. This annual conference, which was hosted by the world's leading group of experts in the unconventional oil industry, provided a venue to network, do business and discover new strategies and innovations for the industry. The presentations highlighted thermal recovery methods, transportation infrastructure, and government policies designed to ensure project success. The four sessions of the conference were entitled: the oil sands landscape, technology advances; project updates; and, research and development. The conference featured 12 presentations, of which 4 have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. tabs., figs.

  16. Dewatering Behaviour of Fine Oil Sands Tailings : An Experimental Study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yao, Y.

    2016-01-01

    Oil sands tailings are a warm aqueous suspension of sand, silt, clay, residual bitumen and naphtha. The tailings are hydraulically transported and stored in tailing ponds where they segregate, with the sand settling from suspension forming beaches and the remaining tailings flowing to the middle of

  17. Geophysical mapping of the occurrence of shallow oil sands in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ISHIOMA

    Oil sands are known to be an alternate source of energy and of great economic value. To map the occurrence of shallow oil sand deposits in Idiopopo, Okitipupa area in Ondo state southwestern. Nigeria, vertical electric sounding (VES) in 11 stations along 3 profiles were carried out using the. Schlumberger configuration.

  18. Geophysical mapping of the occurrence of shallow oil sands in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Oil sands are known to be an alternate source of energy and of great economic value. To map the occurrence of shallow oil sand deposits in Idiopopo, Okitipupa area in Ondo state southwestern Nigeria, vertical electric sounding (VES) in 11 stations along 3 profiles were carried out using the Schlumberger configuration.

  19. Microstructural characterization of a Canadian oil sand

    CERN Document Server

    Dinh, Hong Doan; Nauroy, Jean-François; Tang, Anh-Minh; Souhail, Youssef; 10.1139/T2012-072

    2013-01-01

    The microstructure of oil sand samples extracted at a depth of 75 m from the estuarine Middle McMurray formation (Alberta, Canada) has been investigated by using high resolution 3D X-Ray microtomography ($\\mu$CT) and Cryo Scanning Electron Microscopy (CryoSEM). $\\mu$CT images evidenced some dense areas composed of highly angular grains surrounded by fluids that are separated by larger pores full of gas. 3D Image analysis provided in dense areas porosity values compatible with in-situ log data and macroscopic laboratory determinations, showing that they are representative of intact states. $\\mu$CT hence provided some information on the morphology of the cracks and disturbance created by gas expansion. The CryoSEM technique, in which the sample is freeze fractured within the SEM chamber prior to observation, provided pictures in which the (frozen) bitumen clearly appears between the sand grains. No evidence of the existence of a thin connate water layer between grains and the bitumen, frequently mentioned in th...

  20. Effects of oil sands sediments on fish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parrott, J.; Colavecchia, M.; Hewitt, L.; Sherry, J.; Headley, J. [Environment Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada); Turcotte, D.; Liber, K. [Saskatchewan Univ., Regina, SK (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This paper described a collaborative project organized by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Panel of Energy Research and Development (PERD) with researchers from Environment Canada and the University of Saskatchewan. The 4-year study was conducted to assess the toxicity of oil sands sediments and river waters, and reclamation ponds and sediments on laboratory-raised fish. Three sediments from rivers were evaluated for their potential to cause adverse impacts on fathead minnow eggs and larvae for a period of 18 days. The study monitored hatching, larval survival, development, and growth. Naphthenic acids (NA), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metals were measured in the sediments to determine if the compounds can be correlated with observed toxicity. The study will also assess walleye eggs exposed to sediments, and in situ fish exposures. Toxicity identification and evaluation (TIE) studies will be conducted to isolate the fractions that may affect fish development and growth.

  1. The state of oil sands wetland reclamation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foote, L. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    The state of oil sand and wetlands reclamation was the subject of this presentation. Wildlife habitat and response, plant community and production, and microbial biology were examples of research areas surrounding this body of knowledge. Hydrological research and landscape ecology were discussed along with peatlands and marshes such as the Corvette and the Kia. A few examples of what has been learned in the area of wetlands reclamation was presented. Other topics were also discussed, such as timeframes, pragmatic policy approaches, reclamation costs, research needs and some ideas on maturing the field. It was concluded that environmental conditions change with time and area because of time, chemistry, physics, stoichiometry, as well as biotic mediation and facilitation. figs.

  2. Sustainable water management in Alberta's oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Byers, Bill; Usher, Robyn; Roach, Andrea [CH2M HILL, Englewood, CO (United States); Lambert, Gord; Kotecha, Prit [Suncor Energy Inc., Calgary (Canada)

    2012-07-01

    The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers forecast published in 2011 predicts that oil production from oil sands will increase by 50% in the next 3 years and double by 2020. This rate of growth will result in significant pressure on water resources; water use per barrel of oil sands production is comparable to other energy resources - about 2.5 barrels of fresh water per barrel of oil produced are used by mining operations and 0.5 barrels by in-situ operations. Suncor Energy Inc. (Suncor) was the first company to develop the oil sands in northern Alberta and holds one of the largest oil sands positions in Canada. In 2010, Suncor announced plans to increase production to more than 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020, which it plans to achieve through oil sands production growth of approximately 10% per year. Because water supply and potential impacts to water quality are critical to its future growth, in 2010-2011 Suncor conducted a risk assessment to identify water-related business risks related to its northern Alberta operations. The assessment identified more than 20 high level business risks in strategic water risk areas including water supply, water reuse, storm water management, groundwater, waste management and river water return. The risk assessment results prompted development of a strategic roadmap to guide water stewardship across Suncor's regional operations. The roadmap describes goals, objectives, and specific activities for each of six key water risk areas, and informs prioritization and selection of prospective water management activities. Suncor is not only exploring water within its own boundaries, but is also collaborating with other oil sands producers to explore ways of integrating its water systems through industry consortia; Suncor is a member of the Oil Sands Leadership Initiative and of the recently formed Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, among others. (author)

  3. Canadian Oil Sands Investments: FOCUS on a Controversial Energy Source

    OpenAIRE

    Palombizio, Ennio A.; Borchert, Jan Moritz

    2009-01-01

    Rising energy demand and prices, particularly for oil, has led to a search for solutions to quell this increase. With the advent of the Oil Sands, we have stumbled upon an opportunity to increase Oil supplies and thus stabilize prices and satisfy demand. A large portion of the oil sands are located in Canada and this gives Canada an opportunity to improve its economy. Since the discovery, Canada has seen a vast influx in investment for the purpose of extracting these oil deposits. Using the U...

  4. Proceedings of the 8. annual Athabasca oil sands conference : oil sands trade show and conference

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2008-07-01

    This conference featured the latest information on challenges, strategies, technologies, and labour issues facing the heavy oil industry. It was hosted by the world's leading group of experts in the unconventional oil industry and offered prime networking opportunities in an interactive setting for over 500 delegates from around the world. The Athabasca Oil Sands Projects are considered a major source energy supply for North America, which means increased commitments from producing companies to improve environmental impact and enhance the technology used for extraction and refining. Advances in thermal recovery operations, notably steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), were highlighted along with new pumping technologies and tailings management issues. The sessions of the conference were entitled: project updates; pumping for the future; and, operational concerns. The conference featured 16 presentations, of which 5 have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. tabs., figs.

  5. The Impact of Foreign Investment Restrictions on the Stock Returns of Oil Sands Companies

    OpenAIRE

    Eugene Beaulieu; Matthew M. Saunders

    2014-01-01

    On December 7, 2012 the Government of Canada released a policy statement and revised the guidelines for investments by State-Owned Enterprises in the Canadian oil sands. This policy statement was in response to the proposed purchase of Nexen by the Chinese SOE, CNOOC. According to the new guidelines, foreign investors must convince the Minister of Industry that a particular investment is likely to be of net benefit to Canada and those investments by foreign SOEs to acquire controlling interes...

  6. Food web structure in oil sands reclaimed wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovalenko, K E; Ciborowski, J J H; Daly, C; Dixon, D G; Farwell, A J; Foote, A L; Frederick, K R; Costa, J M Gardner; Kennedy, K; Liber, K; Roy, M C; Slama, C A; Smits, J E G

    2013-07-01

    Boreal wetlands play an important role in global carbon balance. However, their ecosystem function is threatened by direct anthropogenic disturbance and climate change. Oil sands surface mining in the boreal regions of Western Canada denudes tracts of land of organic materials, leaves large areas in need of reclamation, and generates considerable quantities of extraction process-affected materials. Knowledge and validation of reclamation techniques that lead to self-sustaining wetlands has lagged behind development of protocols for reclaiming terrestrial systems. It is important to know whether wetlands reclaimed with oil sands process materials can be restored to levels equivalent to their original ecosystem function. We approached this question by assessing carbon flows and food web structure in naturally formed and oil sands-affected wetlands constructed in 1970-2004 in the postmining landscape. We evaluated whether a prescribed reclamation strategy, involving organic matter amendment, accelerated reclaimed wetland development, leading to wetlands that were more similar to their natural marsh counterparts than wetlands that were not supplemented with organic matter. We measured compartment standing stocks for bacterioplankton, microbial biofilm, macrophytes, detritus, and zoobenthos; concentrations of dissolved organic carbon and residual naphthenic acids; and microbial production, gas fluxes, and aquatic-terrestrial exports (i.e., aquatic insect emergence). The total biomass of several biotic compartments differed significantly between oil sands and reference wetlands. Submerged macrophyte biomass, macroinvertebrate trophic diversity, and predator biomass and richness were lower in oil sands-affected wetlands than in reference wetlands. There was insufficient evidence to conclude that wetland age and wetland amendment with peat-mineral mix mitigate effects of oil sands waste materials on the fully aquatic biota. Although high variability was observed within

  7. Gouging abrasion resistance of materials for oil sands service

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Llewellyn, R.J. [National Research Council of Canada, Vancouver, BC (Canada); Tolfree, D.J.; Hall, R.A. [British Columbia Univ., Vancouver, BC (Canada). Dept. of Mining and Mineral Process Engineering; Liang, P. [British Columbia Univ., Vancouver, BC (Canada). Dept. of Metals and Materials Engineering

    2004-07-01

    Hydraulic ore transportation in the oil sands industry has brought about a need for effective and reliable crusher and classifying systems to pulverize, screen and handle mined frozen oil sands lumps and large solids before they get slurried and pipelined to bitumen extraction plants. Improved product development, assessment methods for materials for oil sands applications have generally focused on low and high stress abrasion and slurry erosion resistance because these wear mechanisms are considered to predominate in oil sands mining, transportation and bitumen recovery. With the increased use of crusher and slurry handling systems, materials of construction are required to have good toughness and gouging abrasion properties to withstand impact and ploughing forces. Tests of gouging abrasion were conducted using a modified ASTM G81 procedure on a range of materials associated with oil sands processing. The objective was to assess material property requirements for mitigating these conditions. The wear losses that occurred for reference wear plates were compared to feed rock that was pulverized in a laboratory jaw crusher. The classes of evaluated materials were abrasion resistant (AR) steel plates, austenitic manganese steel castings, chromium and chromium molybdenum white irons (as plain castings and in laminated forms), and chromium carbide and tungsten carbide overlaid wear plates. 8 refs., 1 tab., 11 figs.

  8. Understanding the Canadian oil sands industry's greenhouse gas emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charpentier, Alex D.; Bergerson, Joule A.; MacLean, Heather L.

    2009-01-01

    The magnitude of Canada's oil sands reserves, their rapidly expanding and energy intensive production, combined with existing and upcoming greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions regulations motivate an evaluation of oil sands-derived fuel production from a life cycle perspective. Thirteen studies of GHG emissions associated with oil sands operations are reviewed. The production of synthetic crude oil (SCO) through surface mining and upgrading (SM&Up) or in situ and upgrading (IS&Up) processes is reported to result in emissions ranging from 62 to 164 and 99 to 176 kgCO2eq/bbl SCO, respectively (or 9.2-26.5 and 16.2-28.7 gCO2eq MJ-1 SCO, respectively), compared to 27-58 kgCO2eq/bbl (4.5-9.6 gCO2eq MJ-1) of crude for conventional oil production. The difference in emissions intensity between SCO and conventional crude production is primarily due to higher energy requirements for extracting bitumen and upgrading it into SCO. On a 'well-to-wheel' basis, GHG emissions associated with producing reformulated gasoline from oil sands with current SM&Up, IS&Up, and in situ (without upgrading) technologies are 260-320, 320-350, and 270-340 gCO2eq km-1, respectively, compared to 250-280 gCO2eq km-1 for production from conventional oil. Some variation between studies is expected due to differences in methods, technologies studied, and operating choices. However, the magnitude of the differences presented suggests that a consensus on the characterization of life cycle emissions of the oil sands industry has yet to be reached in the public literature. Recommendations are given for future studies for informing industry and government decision making.

  9. Geophysics comes of age in oil sands development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bauman, P. [WorleyParsons Komex, Calgary, AB (Canada); Birch, R.; Parker, D.; Andrews, B. [Calgary Univ., AB (Canada). Dept. of Geology and Geophysics

    2008-07-01

    This paper discussed geophysical techniques developed for oil sands exploration and production applications in Alberta's oil sands region. Geophysical methods are playing an important role in mine planning, tailings containment, water supply, and land reclamation activities. Geophysics techniques are used to estimate the volume of muskeg that needs to be stripped and stored for future reclamation activities as well as to site muskeg piles and delineate the thickness of clay Clearwater formations overlying Cretaceous oil-bearing sands. 2-D electrical resistivity mapping is used to map river-connected deep bedrock Pleistocene paleovalleys in the region. Geophysical studies are also used to investigate the interiors of dikes and berms as well as to monitor salt migration within tailings piles. Sonic and density logs are used to create synthetic seismograms for mapping the Devonian surface in the region. The new applications included the calculation of bitumen saturation from surface sands and shales; muskeg thickness mapping; and non-intrusive monitoring of leachate plumes. Geophysical techniques included 2-D electrical resistivity imaging; transient electromagnetic (EM) technologies; ground penetrating radar; and high-resolution seismic reflections. Polarization, surface nuclear magnetic resonance and push-probe sensing techniques were also discussed. Techniques were discussed in relation to Alberta's Athabasca oil sands deposits. 4 refs.

  10. Interaction forces in bitumen extraction from oil sands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jianjun; Xu, Zhenghe; Masliyah, Jacob

    2005-07-15

    Water-based extraction process (WBEP) has been successfully applied to bitumen recovery from Athabasca oil sand ore deposits in Alberta. In this process, two essential steps are involved. The bitumen first needs to be "liberated" from sand grains, followed by "aeration" with air bubbles. Bitumen "liberation" from the sand grains is controlled by the interaction between the bitumen and sand grains. Bitumen "aeration" is dependent, among other mechanical and hydrodynamic variables, on the hydrophobicity of the bitumen surface, which is controlled by water chemistry and interactions between bitumen and fine solids. In this paper, the interaction force measured with an atomic force microscope (AFM) between bitumen-bitumen, bitumen-silica, bitumen-clays and bitumen-fines is summarized. The measured interaction force barrier coupled with the contacted adhesion force allows us to predict the coagulative state of colloidal systems. Zeta potential distribution measurements, in terms of heterocoagulation, confirmed the prediction of the measured force profiles using AFM. The results show that solution pH and calcium addition can significantly affect the colloidal interactions of various components in oil sand extraction systems. The strong attachment of fines from a poor processing ore on bitumen is responsible for the corresponding low bitumen flotation recovery. The identification of the dominant non-contact forces by fitting with the classical DLVO or extended DLVO theory provides guidance for controlling the interaction behavior of the oil sand components through monitoring the factors that could affect the non-contact forces. The findings provide insights into megascale industrial operations of oil sand extraction.

  11. Clean and Secure Energy from Domestic Oil Shale and Oil Sands Resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spinti, Jennifer [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Birgenheier, Lauren [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Deo, Milind [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Facelli, Julio [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Hradisky, Michal [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Kelly, Kerry [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Miller, Jan [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); McLennan, John [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Ring, Terry [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Ruple, John [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Uchitel, Kirsten [Inst. for Clean and Secure Energy, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)

    2015-09-30

    This report summarizes the significant findings from the Clean and Secure Energy from Domestic Oil Shale and Oil Sands Resources program sponsored by the Department of Energy through the National Energy Technology Laboratory. There were four principle areas of research; Environmental, legal, and policy issues related to development of oil shale and oil sands resources; Economic and environmental assessment of domestic unconventional fuels industry; Basin-scale assessment of conventional and unconventional fuel development impacts; and Liquid fuel production by in situ thermal processing of oil shale Multiple research projects were conducted in each area and the results have been communicated via sponsored conferences, conference presentations, invited talks, interviews with the media, numerous topical reports, journal publications, and a book that summarizes much of the oil shale research relating to Utah’s Uinta Basin. In addition, a repository of materials related to oil shale and oil sands has been created within the University of Utah’s Institutional Repository, including the materials generated during this research program. Below is a listing of all topical and progress reports generated by this project and submitted to the Office of Science and Technical Information (OSTI). A listing of all peer-reviewed publications generated as a result of this project is included at the end of this report; Geomechanical and Fluid Transport Properties 1 (December, 2015); Validation Results for Core-Scale Oil Shale Pyrolysis (February, 2015); and Rates and Mechanisms of Oil Shale Pyrolysis: A Chemical Structure Approach (November, 2014); Policy Issues Associated With Using Simulation to Assess Environmental Impacts (November, 2014); Policy Analysis of the Canadian Oil Sands Experience (September, 2013); V-UQ of Generation 1 Simulator with AMSO Experimental Data (August, 2013); Lands with Wilderness Characteristics, Resource Management Plan Constraints, and Land Exchanges

  12. Geophysical applications for oil sand mine tailings management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parker, D.; Bauman, P. [WorleyParsons, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    Geophysical techniques are applied throughout a mine's life cycle to facilitate siting, constructing and monitoring of tailings dumps and ponds. This presentation described 3 case studies from the Athabasca region in northeast Alberta that demonstrated some of the concerns associated with oil sand mine tailings, and the information that geophysical surveys can provide. The objectives of these studies were to determine the lateral and depth extents of elevated conductivities of soil and groundwater that have high salt concentration from the tailings sand pore fluid. Due to high chloride concentrations within the tailings material, salt within the root zone may affect vegetation. A terrain conductivity survey was designed to map the lateral extents of salinity impact, while an electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) survey was used to delineate the tailings sand leachate at depth. The proper management of oil sand tailings facilities is vital to the life cycle of a mine. It was concluded that geophysical techniques can be instrumental in managing several engineering and environmental challenges, from Pleistocene channel mapping, to tailings pond settling characteristics, to reclaiming tailings sands. 1 ref., 7 figs.

  13. Erosion/corrosion testing of materials for oil sands applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fisher, G.; Wolodko, J.; Alemaskin, K.; Been, J.; Danysh, M. [Alberta Research Council, Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    Erosion and corrosion are common wear mechanisms for components used in oil sands processing facilities. This paper described a slurry jet test apparatus designed to evaluate and assess materials for oil sands service conditions. The jet testing apparatus was designed to mimic the wet erosion phenomena typically found in oil sands applications. Wear- and corrosion-resistant materials tested by the apparatus included carbon steel, tungsten carbide metal matrix composite (WC-MMC) overlays, and a range of polymer and rubber liner materials. Polymeric materials included hydrogenated nitrile rubber (HNBR); polyurethane elastomer; and high density polyethylene (HDPE). Material losses were determined by measuring the mass of the samples before and after testing. Normalized rates of abrasion were calculated by dividing total mass lost in the specimens by the total mass of sand impinged on the sample surface. Samples were also visually assessed and analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) in order to determine failure modes. Tests were conducted for a 2-hour period at an impingement angle of 90 degrees. Results of the study showed that the average abrasion rates of the polymeric samples are lower than rates seen with the carbon steel and overlay materials. Future work on the apparatus will include testing the materials under varying slurry jet parameters. 15 refs., 5 tabs., 10 figs.

  14. Tar sands : dirty oil and the future of a continent

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nikiforuk, A.

    2008-07-01

    This book exposes the environmental, social and political costs of oil sands development in Alberta's Athabasca Deposit. It argues that the earth-destroying production methods of bitumen cost nearly 20 times more than conventional crude to produce and upgrade. Most of the tar sands lie in such deep formations that bitumen must be steamed out of the ground using an array of pumps, pipes and horizontal wells. Steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), which is the most popular in situ technology used to recover oil sands can have detrimental effects on the boreal forests, wildlife and their habitat. The book emphasized the high greenhouse gas emissions, high energy consumption and suspected health problems associated with oil sands development. It also highlighted the industry's poor record on reclamation. Although some industry players have taken measures to reduce water consumption, more will have to be done to treat and reuse water. The author advocates that changes must be made in order to ensure sustainable development. refs., figs.

  15. Microbial processes in the Athabasca Oil Sands and their potential applications in microbial enhanced oil recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harner, N K; Richardson, T L; Thompson, K A; Best, R J; Best, A S; Trevors, J T

    2011-11-01

    The Athabasca Oil Sands are located within the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, which covers over 140,200 km(2) of land in Alberta, Canada. The oil sands provide a unique environment for bacteria as a result of the stressors of low water availability and high hydrocarbon concentrations. Understanding the mechanisms bacteria use to tolerate these stresses may aid in our understanding of how hydrocarbon degradation has occurred over geological time, and how these processes and related tolerance mechanisms may be used in biotechnology applications such as microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR). The majority of research has focused on microbiology processes in oil reservoirs and oilfields; as such there is a paucity of information specific to oil sands. By studying microbial processes in oil sands there is the potential to use microbes in MEOR applications. This article reviews the microbiology of the Athabasca Oil Sands and the mechanisms bacteria use to tolerate low water and high hydrocarbon availability in oil reservoirs and oilfields, and potential applications in MEOR.

  16. Laboratory Observations of Artificial Sand and Oil Agglomerates Video and Velocity Data: False-Floor Experiment Interpretive Video

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Weathered oil in the surf-zone after an oil spill may mix with suspended sediments to form sand and oil agglomerates (SOA). Sand and oil agglomerates may form in...

  17. Laboratory Observations of Artificial Sand and Oil Agglomerates Video and Velocity Data: Sea Floor Interaction Experiment Interpretive Video

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Weathered oil in the surf-zone after an oil spill may mix with suspended sediments to form sand and oil agglomerates (SOA). Sand and oil agglomerates may form in...

  18. Laboratory Observations of Artificial Sand and Oil Agglomerates Video and Velocity Data: Sea Floor Interaction Experiment Flow Velocity

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Weathered oil in the surf-zone after an oil spill may mix with suspended sediments to form sand and oil agglomerates (SOA). Sand and oil agglomerates may form in...

  19. Laboratory Observations of Artificial Sand and Oil Agglomerates: Video and Velocity Data: Sea Floor Interaction Experiment Video (GoPro)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Weathered oil in the surf-zone after an oil spill may mix with suspended sediments to form sand and oil agglomerates (SOA). Sand and oil agglomerates may form in...

  20. Opportunities in oil sands production bi-products

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gunardson, H. [Air Products Canada Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2006-07-01

    This presentation investigated potential by-products from oil sands production and upgrading facilities, and examined the extent to which carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) enhanced oil recovery (EOR) projects can absorb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from oil sands developments. Oil sands production by-products included bitumen and petroleum coke; heat; hydrocarbon off-gases; hydrogen; syngas; sulfur; metals; and CO{sub 2} sources from combustion processes and hydrogen production. CO{sub 2} concentrations from flue gases are typically less than 17 per cent, and contain contaminants such as nitrogen, particulates, nitrogen oxide (NO{sub x}) and sulphur dioxide (SO{sub x}). CO{sub 2} concentrations derived from hydrogen production have a high purity and contain water vapour, unreacted hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulphide (H{sub 2}S) and volatile metals. Existing carbon capture technologies are currently not capable of processing large volumes of CO{sub 2}. However, small volumes of CO{sub 2} are used in the manufacturing of carbonated beverages. Larger volumes of CO{sub 2} are used in EOR and coalbed methane (CBM) recovery as well as in CO{sub 2} sequestration. Carbon capture technologies include amine scrubbers, selexol and rectisol gasification processes, and Benfield Catacarb processes. The market price for CO{sub 2} in EOR and gas recovery is approximately $35 per tonne. However, combustion processes typically cost $103 per tonne. CO{sub 2} sources and sinks were also identified. It is estimated that total CO{sub 2} sequestration using EOR will equal 200 mega tonnes by 2030. Apart from gasification processes, all CO{sub 2} sources are uneconomic using current technology. The oil sands industry is in need of a policy framework and support for infrastructure investments for CO{sub 2} pipelines and sequestration facilities. tabs., figs.

  1. Monitoring of the Canadian Oil Sands from the Aura Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLinden, C. A.; Shephard, M. W.; Fioletov, V.; Cady-Pereira, K. E.; Krotkov, N. A.; Boersma, K. F.; Li, C.; Luo, M.; Joiner, J.; Bhartia, P. K.

    2014-12-01

    Two instruments on-board the NASA Aura satellite, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES), have been used to monitor air pollution over the Canadian oil sands region. Between them they provide a unique perspective on the distributions, evolution, and sources of several key pollutants. This presentation will detail some highlights from these Aura-based oil sands studies: (i) the evolution of OMI-measured nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide enhancements over the past decade, including comparisons with other nearby sources, (ii) two years of ammonia, carbon monoxide, methanol, and formic acid observations from TES special-observation transects, and (iii) preliminary insights into emissions derived from these observations.

  2. Recent advancements in the geotechnical characterization of oil sands tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sharp, J. [Conetec, Richmond, BC (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    The technical aspects of soft oil sands tailings in-situ geotechnical site investigations were discussed. Geotechnical studies are conducted to determine containment structure stability as well as to determine volumetric and mass balances. The results of the studies are used in tailings management plans and construction activities. Flow penetrometers, field vane shear tests, and Gamma-CPTu tests are used in in-situ oil sands tailings geotechnical studies in order to determine pore pressure dissipation, and measure shear strength. Ball penetration tests are conducted to determine tailings strength. Methods of interpreting data from the tests were presented, and data from the tests were also compared and evaluated. Recommended procedures for strength screening were presented. Statistical methods for determining tailings behaviour types were outlined. The study showed that Gamma-CPTu data can be used to obtain reasonable preliminary estimates of solids and fines when combined with tailings behaviour type analyses. tabs., figs.

  3. Field observations of artificial sand and oil agglomerates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalyander, Patricia (Soupy); Long, Joseph W.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; McLaughlin, Molly R.; Mickey, Rangley C.

    2015-01-01

    Oil that comes into the surf zone following spills, such as occurred during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout, can mix with local sediment to form heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates (SOAs), at times in the form of mats a few centimeters thick and tens of meters long. Smaller agglomerates that form in situ or pieces that break off of larger mats, sometimes referred to as surface residual balls (SRBs), range in size from sand-sized grains to patty-shaped pieces several centimeters (cm) in diameter. These mobile SOAs can cause beach oiling for extended periods following the spill, on the scale of years as in the case of DWH. Limited research, including a prior effort by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) investigating SOA mobility, alongshore transport, and seafloor interaction using numerical model output, focused on the physical dynamics of SOAs. To address this data gap, we constructed artificial sand and oil agglomerates (aSOAs) with sand and paraffin wax to mimic the size and density of genuine SOAs. These aSOAs were deployed in the nearshore off the coast of St. Petersburg, Florida, during a field experiment to investigate their movement and seafloor interaction. This report presents the methodology for constructing aSOAs and describes the field experiment. Data acquired during the field campaign, including videos and images of aSOA movement in the nearshore (1.5-meter and 0.5-meter water depth) and in the swash zone, are also presented in this report.

  4. Energy Return on Investment of Canadian Oil Sands Extraction from 2009 to 2015

    OpenAIRE

    Ke Wang; Harrie Vredenburg; Jianliang Wang; Yi Xiong; Lianyong Feng

    2017-01-01

    Oil sands, as unconventional oil, are so essential to both Canada and the world that special attention should be paid to their extraction status, especially their energy efficiency. One of the most commonly used methods to evaluate energy efficiency is the Energy Return on Investment (EROI) analysis. This paper focuses on EROI analysis for both in situ oil sands and mining oil sands over the period of 2009 to 2015. This time period represents an extension to periods previously considered by o...

  5. Ecotoxicological impacts of effluents generated by oil sands bitumen extraction and oil sands lixiviation on Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Debenest, T., E-mail: tdebenest@yahoo.fr [Environment Canada, Fluvial Ecosystem Research, 105 McGill Street, 7 floor, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 2E7 (Canada); Turcotte, P. [Environment Canada, Fluvial Ecosystem Research, 105 McGill Street, 7 floor, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 2E7 (Canada); Gagne, F., E-mail: francois.gagne@ec.gc.ca [Environment Canada, Fluvial Ecosystem Research, 105 McGill Street, 7 floor, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 2E7 (Canada); Gagnon, C.; Blaise, C. [Environment Canada, Fluvial Ecosystem Research, 105 McGill Street, 7 floor, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 2E7 (Canada)

    2012-05-15

    The exploitation of Athabasca oil sands deposits in northern Alberta has known an intense development in recent years. This development has raised concern about the ecotoxicological risk of such industrial activities adjacent to the Athabasca River. Indeed, bitumen extraction generated large amounts of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) which are discharged in tailing ponds in the Athabasca River watershed. This study sought to evaluate and compare the toxicity of OSPW and oil sands lixiviate water (OSLW) with a baseline (oil sands exposed to water; OSW) on a microalgae, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, at different concentrations (1.9, 5.5, 12.25, 25 and 37.5%, v/v). Chemical analyses of water-soluble contaminants showed that OSPW and OSLW were enriched in different elements such as vanadium (enrichment factor, EF = 66 and 12, respectively), aluminum (EF = 64 and 15, respectively), iron (EF = 52.5 and 17.1, respectively) and chromium (39 and 10, respectively). The toxicity of OSPW on cells with optimal intracellular esterase activity and chlorophyll autofluorescence (viable cells) (72 h-IC 50% < 1.9%) was 20 times higher than the one of OSW (72 h-IC 50% > 37.5%, v/v). OSLW was 4.4 times less toxic (IC 50% = 8.5%, v/v) than OSPW and 4.5 times more toxic than OSW. The inhibition of viable cell growth was significantly and highly correlated (<-0.7) with the increase of arsenic, beryllium, chromium, copper, lead, molybdenum and vanadium concentrations. The specific photosynthetic responses studied with JIP-test (rapid and polyphasic chlorophyll a fluorescence emission) showed a stimulation of the different functional parameters (efficiency of PSII to absorb energy from photons, size of effective PSII antenna and vitality of photosynthetic apparatus for energy conversion) in cultures exposed to OSPW and OSLW. To our knowledge, our study highlights the first evidence of physiological effects of OSPW and OSLW on microalgae.

  6. Alberta's economic development of the Athabasca oil sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinmann, Michael

    This dissertation examines the 61-year evolution of public policies pertaining to development of Alberta's non-conventional source of crude oil. The Athabasca oil sands contain an estimated 1.5 trillion barrels and provide for a safe continental supply. The Provincial Government first sponsored this undertaking in 1943. The period from then to 1971 was one of a transition from a wheat economy to a natural-resource economic base. A stable government emerged and was able to negotiate viable development policies. A second period, 1971 to 1986, was marked by unstable world conditions that afforded the Alberta government the ability to set terms of development with multi-national oil firms. A 50% profit-sharing plan was implemented, and basic 1973 terms lasted until 1996. However, 1986 was a critical year because the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reduced prices, causing the Alberta economy to lapse into recession. During a third period, 1986 to 1996, the Alberta Government was unable to adapt quickly to world conditions. A new leadership structure in 1996 made major changes to create ongoing fiscal and development policies. That history provides answers to two primary research questions: How do public policies affect the behaviors of the modern corporation and visa versa? What are the implications for development theory? Two sources of information were used for this study. First, it was possible to review the Premier's files located in the Provincial Archives. Materials from various government libraries were also examined. Some 7,000 documents were used to show the evolution of government policymaking. Second, interviews with leaders of oil companies and federal research facilities were important. Findings support the thesis that, to facilitate oil sands development, government and the private sector have closely collaborated. In particular, revenue policies have allowed for effective R&D organization. Relying on intensive technological

  7. The extraction of bitumen from western oil sands: Volume 1. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oblad, A.G.; Dahlstrom, D.A.; Deo, M.D.; Fletcher, J.V.; Hanson, F.V.; Miller, J.D.; Seader, J.D.

    1997-11-26

    The program is composed of 20 projects, of which 17 are laboratory bench or laboratory pilot scale processes or computer process simulations that are performed in existing facilities on the University of Utah campus in north-east Salt Lake City. These tasks are: (1) coupled fluidized-bed bitumen recovery and coked sand combustion; (2) water-based recovery of bitumen; (3) oil sand pyrolysis in a continuous rotary kiln reactor; (4) oil sand pyrolysis in a large diameter fluidized bed reactor; (5) oil sand pyrolysis in a small diameter fluidized bed reactor; (6) combustion of spent sand in a transport reactor; (7) recovery and upgrading of oil sand bitumen using solvent extraction methods; (8) fixed-bed hydrotreating of Uinta Basin bitumens and bitumen-derived hydrocarbon liquids; (9) ebullieted bed hydrotreating of bitumen and bitumen derived liquids; (10) bitumen upgrading by hydropyrolysis; (11) evaluation of Utah`s major oil sand deposits for the production of asphalt, high-energy jet fuels and other specialty products; (12) characterization of the bitumens and reservoir rocks from the Uinta Basin oil sand deposits; (13) bitumen upgrading pilot plant recommendations; (14) liquid-solid separation and fine tailings thickening; (15) in-situ production of heavy oil from Uinta Basin oil sand deposits; (16) oil sand research and development group analytical facility; and (17) process economics. This volume contains an executive summary and reports for five of these projects. 137 figs., 49 tabs.

  8. The extraction of bitumen from western oil sands: Volume 2. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oblad, A.G.; Dahlstrom, D.A.; Deo, M.D.; Fletcher, J.V.; Hanson, F.V.; Miller, J.D.; Seader, J.D.

    1997-11-26

    The program is composed of 20 projects, of which 17 are laboratory bench or laboratory pilot scale processes or computer process simulations that are performed in existing facilities on the University of Utah campus in north-east Salt Lake City. These tasks are: (1) coupled fluidized-bed bitumen recovery and coked sand combustion; (2) water-based recovery of bitumen; (3) oil sand pyrolysis in a continuous rotary kiln reactor; (4) oil sand pyrolysis in a large diameter fluidized bed reactor; (5) oil sand pyrolysis in a small diameter fluidized bed reactor; (6) combustion of spent sand in a transport reactor; (7) recovery and upgrading of oil sand bitumen using solvent extraction methods; (8) fixed-bed hydrotreating of Uinta Basin bitumens and bitumen-derived hydrocarbon liquids; (9) ebullieted bed hydrotreating of bitumen and bitumen derived liquids; (10) bitumen upgrading by hydropyrolysis; (11) evaluation of Utah`s major oil sand deposits for the production of asphalt, high-energy jet fuels and other specialty products; (12) characterization of the bitumens and reservoir rocks from the Uinta Basin oil sand deposits; (13) bitumen upgrading pilot plant recommendations; (14) liquid-solid separation and fine tailings thickening; (15) in-situ production of heavy oil from Uinta Basin oil sand deposits; (16) oil sand research and development group analytical facility; and (17) process economics. This volume contains reports on nine of these projects, references, and a bibliography. 351 refs., 192 figs., 65 tabs.

  9. Energy Return on Investment of Canadian Oil Sands Extraction from 2009 to 2015

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ke Wang

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Oil sands, as unconventional oil, are so essential to both Canada and the world that special attention should be paid to their extraction status, especially their energy efficiency. One of the most commonly used methods to evaluate energy efficiency is the Energy Return on Investment (EROI analysis. This paper focuses on EROI analysis for both in situ oil sands and mining oil sands over the period of 2009 to 2015. This time period represents an extension to periods previously considered by other analyses. An extended Input-Output model is used to quantify indirect energy input, which has been ignored by previous analyses of oil sands extraction. Results of this paper show that EROI of both mining oil sands (range of value: 3.9–8 and in situ oil sands (range of value: 3.2–5.4 display an upward trend over the past 7 years; EROI of mining oil sands is generally higher, but is more fluctuating than the EROI of in situ oil sands. Compared with EROI of other hydrocarbons, the EROI of oil sands is still quite low, despite the fact that it is increasing gradually.

  10. Bitumen recovery from oil sands using deep eutectic solvent and its aqueous solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulati, Nuerxida

    Oil sands compose a significant proportion of the world's known oil reserves. Oil sands are also known as tar sands and bituminous sands, are complex mixtures of sand, clays, water and bitumen, which is "heavy" and highly viscous oil. The extraction and separation of bitumen from oil sands requires significant amount of energy and large quantities of water and poses several environmental challenges. Bitumen can be successfully separated from oil sands using imidazolium based ionic liquids and nonpolar solvents, however, ionic liquids are expensive and toxic. In this thesis, the ionic liquid alternatives- deep eutectic solvent, were investigated. Oil sands separation can be successfully achieved by using deep eutectic solvents DES (choline chloride and urea) and nonpolar solvent naphtha in different types of oil sands, including Canadian ("water-wet"), Utah ("oil-wet") and low grade Kentucky oil sands. The separation quality depends on oil sands type, including bitumen and fine content, and separation condition, such as solvent ratio, temperature, mixing time and mechanical centrifuge. This separation claims to the DES ability to form ion /charge layering on mineral surface, which results in reduction of adhesion forces between bitumen and minerals and promote their separation. Addition of water to DES can reduce DES viscosity. DES water mixture as a media, oil sands separation can be achieved. However, concentration at about 50 % or higher might be required to obtain a clear separation. And the separation efficiency is oil sands sample dependent. The highest bitumen extraction yield happened at 75% DES-water solution for Utah oil sands samples, and at 50 60% DES-water solutions for Alberta oil sands samples. Force curves were measured using Atomic Force Microscopy new technique, PeakForce Tapping Quantitative Nanomechanical Mapping (PFTQNM). The results demonstrate that, by adding DES, the adhesion force between bitumen and silica and dissipation energy will

  11. Producing quality synthetic crude oil from Canadian oil sands bitumen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yui, S. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Edmonton Research Centre

    2008-07-01

    This study discussed the bitumen upgrading process and bitumen properties. Recent research on bitumen upgrading was reviewed, and methods of processing bitumens in conventional oil refineries were discussed. The study determined that bitumens contain large amounts of sulfur, aromatics, carbon residues, asphaltenes, and nitrogen, the majority of which is located in the last 15 per cent of the bitumen, or end cut. New upgrading processes used by Syncrude included an extraction and froth treatment plant, a diluent recovery unit (DRU) and vacuum distillation unit (VDU). Liquid products from the hydrotreaters were blended as synthetic crude oil (SCO) and shipped to refineries. The study also reviewed hydrotreating methods for gas oils; hydrocracking technologies; olefins and diolefins hydrogenation of coker naphtha; and aromatics hydrogenation. Tools to monitor the performance of commercial hydrotreaters were discussed, and the kinetics of aromatics hydrogenation were reviewed. Details of molecular structure analyses were presented. It was concluded that hydrotreating is an effective means of producing good quality SCO. 53 refs., 6 tabs., 10 figs.

  12. Sulfur Biogeochemistry of an Oil Sands Composite Tailings Deposit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Lesley A; Kendra, Kathryn E; Brady, Allyson L; Slater, Greg F

    2015-01-01

    Composite tailings (CT), an engineered, alkaline, saline mixture of oil sands tailings (FFT), processed sand and gypsum (CaSO4; 1 kg CaSO4 per m(3) FFT) are used as a dry reclamation strategy in the Alberta Oil Sands Region (AOSR). It is estimated that 9.6 × 10(8) m(3) of CT are either in, or awaiting emplacement in surface pits within the AOSR, highlighting their potential global importance in sulfur cycling. Here, in the first CT sulfur biogeochemistry investigation, integrated geochemical, pyrosequencing and lipid analyses identified high aqueous concentrations of ∑H2S (>300 μM) and highly altered sulfur compounds composition; low cell biomass (3.3 × 10(6)- 6.0 × 10(6) cells g(-1)) and modest bacterial diversity (H' range between 1.4 and 1.9) across 5 depths spanning 34 m of an in situ CT deposit. Pyrosequence results identified a total of 29,719 bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences, representing 131 OTUs spanning19 phyla including 7 candidate divisions, not reported in oil sands tailings pond studies to date. Legacy FFT common phyla, notably, gamma and beta Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi were represented. However, overall CT microbial diversity and PLFA values were low relative to other contexts. The identified known sulfate/sulfur reducing bacteria constituted at most 2% of the abundance; however, over 90% of the 131 OTUs identified are capable of sulfur metabolism. While PCR biases caution against overinterpretation of pyrosequence surveys, bacterial sequence results identified here, align with phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) and geochemical results. The highest bacterial diversities were associated with the depth of highest porewater [∑H2S] (22-24 m) and joint porewater co-occurrence of Fe(2+) and ∑H2S (6-8 m). Three distinct bacterial community structure depths corresponded to CT porewater regions of (1) shallow evident Fe((II)) (<6 m), (2) co-occurring Fe((II)) and ∑H2S (6-8 m) and (3) extensive ∑H2S (6-34 m) (Uni

  13. Sulfur Biogeochemistry of an Oil Sands Composite Tailings Deposit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lesley A Warren

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Composite tailings (CT, an engineered, alkaline, saline mixture of oil sands tailings (FFT, processed sand and gypsum (CaSO4; 1 kg CaSO4 per m3 FFT are used as a dry reclamation strategy in the Alberta Oil Sands Region (AOSR. It is estimated that 9.6 x 108 m3 of CT are either in, or awaiting emplacement in surface pits within the AOSR, highlighting their potential global importance in sulfur cycling. Here, in the first CT sulfur biogeochemistry investigation, integrated geochemical, pyrosequencing and lipid analyses identified high aqueous concentrations of ∑H2S (> 300 uM and highly altered sulfur compounds composition; low cell biomass (3.3 x106 to 6.0 x106 cells g-1 and modest bacterial diversity (H’ range between 1.4 to 1.9 across 5 depths spanning 34 meters of an in situ CT deposit. Pyrosequence results identified a total of 29,719 bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences, representing 131 OTUs spanning19 phyla including 7 candidate divisions, not reported in oil sands tailings pond studies to date. Legacy FFT common phyla, notably, gamma and beta Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi were represented. However, overall CT microbial diversity and PLFA values were low relative to other contexts. The identified known sulfate/sulfur reducing bacteria constituted at most 2% of the abundance; however, over 90% of the 131 OTUs identified are capable of sulfur metabolism. While PCR biases caution against overinterpretation of pyrosequence surveys, bacterial sequence results identified here, align with phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA and geochemical results. The highest bacterial diversities were associated with the depth of highest porewater [∑H2S] (22-24 m and joint porewater co-occurrence of Fe2+ and ∑H2S (6-8 m. Three distinct bacterial community structure depths corresponded to CT porewater regions of (1 shallow evident Fe(II (< 6 m, (2 co-occurring Fe(II and ∑H2S (6-8 m and (3 extensive ∑H2S (6-34 m (UniFrac. Candidate

  14. Sensitive clay sands respond to chemical oil recovery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nugent, G.E.; Bessenyei, Z.; Sloat, B.

    1975-11-01

    The Almy sands in the Green River Basin of northwest Wyoming contain water sensitive clays. To promote clay stabilization of the injection well bores, a long term potassium chloride soak of a week or more with a 5 percent solution and a follow-up treatment of phosphate and surfactant to coat clay surfaces was used. This stabilization treatment was followed by a slug of high molecular weight polyacrylamides, which gave a continued degree of clay stabilization by effectively insulating the clay surfaces from contact with the injection water. The nonionic polyacrylamides (10 percent anionic charge) were also used to improve volumetric sweep by permeability unification of the sand reservoirs. Following the permeability unification stage, a wettability adjustment was initiated to flood the tighter zones and promote inhibition. This flood of phosphates in the presence of very low concentrations of acrylamide was continued for the balance of flood life. The projected oil recovery efficiency of the above treatment was about 50 percent, while waterflood projects in the same area were only expected to reach 30 percent before water-oil ratios become uneconomic. A microemulsion flooding project is currently being planned for this area. It will include a brine preflush and micellar solution made up of petroleum sulfonate, phosphates, and polymer. The drive solution will be polyacrylamide.

  15. Identification of causes of oil sands coke leachate toxicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Puttaswamy, N.; Liber, K. [Saskatchewan Univ., Regina, SK (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    The potential causes of oil sands coke leachate toxicity were investigated. Chronic 7-day toxicity tests were conducted to demonstrate that oil sands coke leachates (CL) are acutely toxic to Ceriodaphnia dubia (C. dubia). CLs were generated in a laboratory to perform toxicity identification evaluation (TIE) tests in order to investigate the causes of the CL toxicity. The coke was subjected to a 15-day batch leaching process at 5.5 and 9.5 pH values. The leachates were then filtered and used for chemical and toxicological characterization. The 7-day estimates for the C. dubia survival were 6.3 for a pH of 5.5 and 28.7 per cent for the 9.5 CLs. The addition of EDTA significantly improved survival and reproduction in a pH of 5.5 CL, but not in a pH of 9.5 CL. The toxicity of the pH 5.5 CL was removed with a cationic resin treatment. The toxicity of the 9.5 pH LC was removed using an anion resin treatment. Toxicity re-appeared when nickel (Ni) and vanadium (V) were added back to the resin-treated CLs. Results of the study suggested that Ni and V were acting as primary toxicants in the pH 5.5 CL, while V was the primary cause of toxicity in the pH 9.5 CL.

  16. Photoacoustic infrared spectroscopy of Syncrude post-extraction oil sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaelian, Kirk H.; Hall, Robert H.; Kenny, Kimberly I.

    2006-06-01

    Rapid- and step-scan photoacoustic (PA) infrared spectra of three fractions of a Syncrude post-extraction oil sand were analyzed in detail in this work. The rapid-scan spectra showed that the samples were comprised primarily of kaolinite, quartz, silica, siderite, and residual hydrocarbons, and that the proportions of these constituents were different for each fraction. Depth profiling of the three post-extraction oil sands was accomplished using both rapid- and step-scan PA infrared spectroscopy. The results confirmed that kaolinite is more abundant in the near-surface region, whereas quartz and hydrocarbons are concentrated at greater depths. The modulation frequency dependence of the PA intensities for all three fractions was consistent with a model in which the samples are thermally thick; in other words, the thermal diffusion length (roughly equal to the sampling depth) was less than the particle sizes of all three samples. The results of this study are consistent with published reports on the PA infrared spectra of fine tailings generated during bitumen extraction and the spectroscopic and thermophysical characterization of clay soils and an appropriate model clay.

  17. The microbiology of oil sands tailings: past, present, future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foght, Julia M; Gieg, Lisa M; Siddique, Tariq

    2017-05-01

    Surface mining of enormous oil sands deposits in northeastern Alberta, Canada since 1967 has contributed greatly to Canada's economy but has also received negative international attention due largely to environmental concerns and challenges. Not only have microbes profoundly affected the composition and behavior of this petroleum resource over geological time, they currently influence the management of semi-solid tailings in oil sands tailings ponds (OSTPs) and tailings reclamation. Historically, microbial impacts on OSTPs were generally discounted, but next-generation sequencing and biogeochemical studies have revealed unexpectedly diverse indigenous communities and expanded our fundamental understanding of anaerobic microbial functions. OSTPs that experienced different processing and management histories have developed distinct microbial communities that influence the behavior and reclamation of the tailings stored therein. In particular, the interactions of Deltaproteobacteria and Firmicutes with methanogenic archaea impact greenhouse gas emissions, sulfur cycling, pore water toxicity, sediment biogeochemistry and densification, water usage and the trajectory of long-term mine waste reclamation. This review summarizes historical data; synthesizes current understanding of microbial diversity and activities in situ and in vitro; predicts microbial effects on tailings remediation and reclamation; and highlights knowledge gaps for future research. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Performance of wetland forbs transplanted into marshes amended with oil sands processed water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mollard, Federico P O; Roy, Marie-Claude; Foote, A Lee

    2015-03-01

    Companies mining oil sands in Alberta (Canada) face the challenge of reclaiming wetlands under water use restrictions. Wetland reclamation after mining will generate marshes characterized by elevated salinity and residual hydrocarbons. Oil sands wetlands are also impoverished in forbs, suggesting that their establishment may be constrained by water chemistry. We transplanted skullcap, mint, and smartweed plants into experimental trenches that simulated two possible reclamation scenarios: wetlands amended with on-site freshwater or with oil sands processed water (OSPW). The main scientific question was is OSPW a suitable water amendment as freshwater for reclaiming wetland forb habitat? As a surrogate of plant health, we studied plant ecophysiology (gas exchange, leaf fluorescence), leaf chemistry, and plant growth. Results showed that there were no differences in skullcap mineral contents under either treatment; however, mint and smartweed plants subjected to OSPW had a significantly higher Na content than those under freshwater. Smartweed dark-adapted leaf fluorescence showed a reduced photochemistry in OSPW relative to plants in freshwater. Mint leaves exhibited lower stomatal conductance in OSPW than in freshwater, a condition that negatively affected transpiration and carboxylation. Skullcap plants grown in OSPW had lower net CO2 assimilation rates than those in freshwater but did not show any other ecophysiological difference between treatments. Mint plants experienced growth reductions (i.e., shoot height) in OSPW. Our results show, for the first time in the literature, that plants photosynthetic capacity was negatively affected by OSPW. Conditions in OSPW proved to be suitable for establishment as transplanted forbs showed 100 % survival after the first growing season. However, impaired physiological functions in plants subjected to OSPW indicated that OSPW amendment created a less hospitable habitat for wetland forbs than freshwater.

  19. Petroleum coke adsorption as a water management option for oil sands process-affected water

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zubot, Warren [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Research and Development, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6N 1H4 (Canada); MacKinnon, Michael D. [OSPM Solutions Ltd., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8H 6X2 (Canada); Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; Smith, Daniel W. [University of Alberta, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2W2 (Canada); Gamal El-Din, Mohamed, E-mail: mgamalel-din@ualberta.ca [University of Alberta, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2W2 (Canada)

    2012-06-15

    Water is integral to both operational and environmental aspects of the oil sands industry. A water treatment option based on the use of petroleum coke (PC), a by-product of bitumen upgrading, was examined as an opportunity to reduce site oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) inventories and net raw water demand. Changes in OSPW quality when treated with PC included increments in pH levels and concentrations of vanadium, molybdenum, and sulphate. Constituents that decreased in concentration after PC adsorption included total acid-extractable organics (TAO), bicarbonate, calcium, barium, magnesium, and strontium. Changes in naphthenic acids (NAs) speciation were observed after PC adsorption. A battery of bioassays was used to measure the OSPW toxicity. The results indicated that untreated OSPW was toxic towards Vibrio fischeri and rainbow trout. However, OSPW treated with PC at appropriate dosages was not acutely toxic towards these test organisms. Removal of TAO was found to be an adsorption process, fitting the Langmuir and Langmuir-Freundlich isotherm models. For TAO concentrations of 60 mg/L, adsorption capacities ranged between 0.1 and 0.46 mg/g. This study demonstrates that freshly produced PC from fluid cokers provides an effective treatment of OSPW in terms of key constituents' removal and toxicity reduction. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Treatment of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) using petroleum coke (PC) adsorption was investigated. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer PC was effective at adsorbing naphthenic acids with higher cyclicity. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer OSPW treated with PC at appropriate dosages was not toxic towards Vibrio fisheri and rainbow trout. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The adsorption of organic acids fitted the Langmuir and Langmuir-Freundlich isotherm models. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer PC has the potential to be an effective adsorbent to treat OSPW either directly or as a pretreatment step.

  20. A screening study of oil sand tailings technologies and practices : final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Devenny, D.W.

    2009-05-15

    This report presented the results of a study that examined the potential of alternate technologies to reduce fresh water make-up needs in oil sand extraction and processing, and to facilitate projects qualifying for a timely reclamation certificate. The 5 cases studies that were examined in detail were: (1) a conventional oil sand plant producing fluid tailings, (2) a thickener case capable of producing paste, (3) a consolidated tailings (CT) add-on capable of solidifying fluid tailings, (4) a centrifuge case capable of producing waste that approaches a solid state, and (5) a dry tails case centrifuge treatment followed by the addition of dry swelling clay to provide final drying. The tailings technologies were compared on the basis of physical attributes such as water loss, hot water loss and the volume of waste. They were also compared with respect to how well they prepare a project for closure. The cost differences between the technologies were also appraised, particularly life cycle costs in terms of the net present value of the unit cost to process one cubic metre of average ore. The economic analysis showed that centrifuge technology is the preferred technology. 72 refs., 9 tabs., 20 figs.

  1. Nearshore dynamics of artificial sand and oil agglomerates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalyander, P Soupy; Plant, Nathaniel G; Long, Joseph W; McLaughlin, Molly

    2015-07-15

    Weathered oil can mix with sediment to form heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates (SOAs) that can cause beach re-oiling for years after a spill. Few studies have focused on the physical dynamics of SOAs. In this study, artificial SOAs (aSOAs) were created and deployed in the nearshore, and shear stress-based mobility formulations were assessed to predict SOA response. Prediction sensitivity to uncertainty in hydrodynamic conditions and shear stress parameterizations were explored. Critical stress estimates accounting for large particle exposure in a mixed bed gave the best predictions of mobility under shoaling and breaking waves. In the surf zone, the 10-cm aSOA was immobile and began to bury in the seafloor while smaller size classes dispersed alongshore. aSOAs up to 5 cm in diameter were frequently mobilized in the swash zone. The uncertainty in predicting aSOA dynamics reflects a broader uncertainty in applying mobility and transport formulations to cm-sized particles. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Learning from the Past - Evaluating Forecasts for Canadian Oil Sands Production with Data

    OpenAIRE

    Hehl, Friedrich

    2013-01-01

    Crude oil plays an important role for the global energy system. As there is ample evidence that conventional oil production will have peaked by 2020, unconventional oil has attained a stronger focus. In particular, oil derived from bitumen from Canadian oilsands has been proposed as a possible remedy to global oil depletion. This study aims to test the hypothesis that forecasts on the Canadian oil sands published between about 2000 and 2010 have been overestimating production significantly. A ...

  3. Oil sands tailings technology : understanding the impact to reclamation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mamer, M. [Suncor Energy Inc., Fort McMurray, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This paper discussed tailings management techniques at oil sands mines and their effects on reclamation schedules and outcomes. The layer of mature fine tailings (MFT) that forms in tailings ponds does not settle within a reasonable time frame, requiring more and larger tailings ponds for storing MFT. Consolidated tailings (CT) technology was developed to accelerate the consolidation of MFT, although the process nonetheless takes decades. CT is produced from mixing tailings sand, gypsum, and MFT to create a mixture that will consolidate more quickly and release water. However, CT production is tied to the extraction process, making it applicable only when the plant is operational, and a precise recipe and accurate injection are required for CT to work. In tailings reduction operations (TRO), a new approach to tailings management, MFT is mixed with a polymer flocculant, deposited in thin layers, and allowed to dry. TRO has a significant advantage over CT in that the latter takes up to 30 years to consolidate to a trafficable surface compared to weeks for TRO. TRO allows MFT to be consumed more quickly than it is produced, reducing need to build more tailings ponds, operates independent of plant operations, accelerates the reclamation time frame, and offers enhanced flexibility in final tailings placement sites. TRO also creates a dry landscape, to which well established reclamation techniques can be applied. Dried MFT is a new material type, and research is exploring optimum reclamation techniques. 2 figs.

  4. Trace metals in heavy crude oils and tar sand bitumens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reynolds, J.G.

    1990-11-28

    Fe, Ni, and V are considered trace impurities in heavy crude oils and tar sand bitumens. In order to understand the importance of these metals, we have examined several properties: (1) bulk metals levels, (2) distribution in separated fractions, (3) size behavior in feeds and during processing, (4) speciation as a function of size, and (5) correlations with rheological properties. Some of the results of these studies show: (1) V and Ni have roughly bimodal size distributions, (2) groupings were seen based on location, size distribution, and Ni/V ratio of the sample, (3) Fe profiles are distinctively different, having a unimodal distribution with a maximum at relatively large molecular size, (4) Fe concentrations in the tar sand bitumens suggest possible fines solubilization in some cases, (5) SARA separated fractions show possible correlations of metals with asphaltene properties suggesting secondary and tertiary structure interactions, and (6) ICP-MS examination for soluble ultra-trace metal impurities show the possibility of unexpected elements such as U, Th, Mo, and others at concentrations in the ppB to ppM range. 39 refs., 13 figs., 5 tabs.

  5. Bitumen recovery from surface mined oil sands recycle water ponds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mikula, R.J.; Munoz, V.A.; Elliott, G. L. [Natural Resources Canada, CanmetENERGY, Devon, Alberta (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    In surface mined oil sands, high bitumen recovery can be achieved but tailings have accumulated over the years. Several technologies have been proposed for recovering bitumen from tailings, but because this bitumen carries high surfactant concentrations there have been processing problems. This paper presents the application of oxidized ore characterization and processing methods to process tailings pond bitumen. Laboratory tests were carried out to characterize bitumen samples coming from four different tailings sources and tests were run with caustic additive. Results showed that high caustic additions can be applied to surfactant rich tailings pond bitumen to avoid downstream froth treatment emulsion problems; the oxidation degree should be carefully monitored. This study demonstrated that the use of caustic additive, already used for oxidized ores, can be applied to treat the bitumen recovered from tailings streams.

  6. Geotechnical characteristics of in-line thickened oil sand tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeeravipoolvarn, S.; Scott, J.D.; Chalaturnyk, R.J. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    2009-07-01

    This presentation discussed a study conducted to determine the geotechnical characteristics of in-line thickened oil sands tailings. The sedimentation-consolidation behaviour of the tailings was investigated at a field pilot pond in order to determine if small-scale laboratory tests can be used to forecast large-scale field performance. Nonsegregrating composite tailings (CT) disposal processes with mature fine tailings (MFT) were investigated. The in-line thickening process used cyclone over flow to created the thickened tailings deposits with the addition of flocculants and coagulants. Compressibility standpipe, large strain consolidation, and hindered settling tests were conducted, and the hydraulic conductivity of the tailings was analyzed. The experiments indicated that the in-line thickened samples had higher vane shear strengths than other samples. It was concluded that CT made with in-line thickened tailings have higher shear strength and higher hydraulic conductivity. tabs., figs.

  7. Oil sands operations as a large source of secondary organic aerosols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liggio, John; Li, Shao-Meng; Hayden, Katherine; Taha, Youssef M.; Stroud, Craig; Darlington, Andrea; Drollette, Brian D.; Gordon, Mark; Lee, Patrick; Liu, Peter; Leithead, Amy; Moussa, Samar G.; Wang, Danny; O'Brien, Jason; Mittermeier, Richard L.; Brook, Jeffrey R.; Lu, Gang; Staebler, Ralf M.; Han, Yuemei; Tokarek, Travis W.; Osthoff, Hans D.; Makar, Paul A.; Zhang, Junhua; L. Plata, Desiree; Gentner, Drew R.

    2016-06-01

    Worldwide heavy oil and bitumen deposits amount to 9 trillion barrels of oil distributed in over 280 basins around the world, with Canada home to oil sands deposits of 1.7 trillion barrels. The global development of this resource and the increase in oil production from oil sands has caused environmental concerns over the presence of toxic compounds in nearby ecosystems and acid deposition. The contribution of oil sands exploration to secondary organic aerosol formation, an important component of atmospheric particulate matter that affects air quality and climate, remains poorly understood. Here we use data from airborne measurements over the Canadian oil sands, laboratory experiments and a box-model study to provide a quantitative assessment of the magnitude of secondary organic aerosol production from oil sands emissions. We find that the evaporation and atmospheric oxidation of low-volatility organic vapours from the mined oil sands material is directly responsible for the majority of the observed secondary organic aerosol mass. The resultant production rates of 45-84 tonnes per day make the oil sands one of the largest sources of anthropogenic secondary organic aerosols in North America. Heavy oil and bitumen account for over ten per cent of global oil production today, and this figure continues to grow. Our findings suggest that the production of the more viscous crude oils could be a large source of secondary organic aerosols in many production and refining regions worldwide, and that such production should be considered when assessing the environmental impacts of current and planned bitumen and heavy oil extraction projects globally.

  8. Divisia decomposition method and its application to changes of net oil import intensity

    OpenAIRE

    Hua Liao; Zhao-Yi; Ce Wang

    2013-01-01

    The existing oil import dependence index cannot exactly measure the economic cost or scales, and it is difficult to describe the economical aspect of oil security. To measure the foreign dependence of one country's economy and reflect its oil economic security, this paper defines the net oil import intensity as the ratio of net import cost to GDP. By using Divisia Index Decomposition, the change of net oil import intensity in five industrialized countries and five newly industrialized countri...

  9. Upgrading oil sands bitumen with FLUID COKING and FLEXICOKING technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kamienski, P.; Phillips, G. [ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co., Fairfax, VA (United States); McKnight, C.; Rumball, B. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    This presentation described EMRE's Fluid Coking and Flexicoking technologies that are well suited for upgrading Alberta's heavy crudes and oil sands bitumen into pipelineable crudes or synthetic crudes, which can be further processed into transportation fuels. The Fluid Coking technology uses a fluidized bed reactor that thermally converts the heavy oils into light gases, liquids and coke. The metals and much of the sulphur are concentrated in the coke. Combustion of the coke provides process heat and the remaining coke is sold or stored on site for later recovery. Syncrude Canada currently operates 3 Fluid Coking units in northern Alberta. Flexicoking extends fluid coking by integrating air gasification to produce a carbon monoxide/hydrogen rich fuel gas that helps meet fuel and energy requirements of bitumen recovery and upgrading. The yields of light gas and liquids are similar to those of the Fluid Coking process. The partial combustion of coke provides the process heat for the thermal conversion and gasification steps. The remaining coke is gasified and desulphurized using Flexsorb technology. At present, there are 5 Flexicoking units in operation around the world. Interest in the technology is growing, particularly in locations with large demand for clean fuel or electricity. It is also suitable for steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operations in Alberta. This presentation outlined the operating principles of the Flexicoking integrated gasification system and compared it with more expensive oxygen gasification processes. tabs., figs.

  10. The Alberta Taciuk Processor (ATP System) for direct thermal processing of oil sands, oil shales and heavy oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rojek, L.; Odut, S. [AECOM Canada, UMATAC Industrial Processes Division, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    This presentation provided an overview of the Alberta Taciuk Processor (ATP) which improves oil recovery, reduces water use and eliminates the needs for tailings ponds that are commonly used in water based oil sand extraction processes. ATP technology has been used successfully to extract and upgrade bitumens and heavy oils. Mineable oil sands are directly processed using ATP technology to pipelineable, low viscosity crude oil. This presentation focused on major scale up achievements of the past decade and processability of the oil products. The ATP process uses a solid heat carrier in a rotating process vessel to thermally crack the hydrocarbons. The ATP also produces much of its own fuel, thereby minimizing the need to import natural gas. The UMATAC division of AECOM Canada maintains test facilities in Calgary which include a 5 ton per hour portable ATP unit. This unit has processed more than 15,000 tons of various grades of oil feeds. It is capable of processing about 60 bbl/day. The technology has also been adapted to processing oil shales in Australia and China. The increased demand for this technology can be attributed to growing environmental concerns regarding water consumption and phased elimination of tailings ponds. It was concluded that the ATP system provides a viable technology to meet these challenges with improved environmental performance. tabs., figs.

  11. Integration of High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor Technology with Oil Sands Processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L.E. Demick

    2011-10-01

    This paper summarizes an evaluation of siting an HTGR plant in a remote area supplying steam, electricity and high temperature gas for recovery and upgrading of unconventional crude oil from oil sands. The area selected for this evaluation is the Alberta Canada oil sands. This is a very fertile and active area for bitumen recovery and upgrading with significant quantities piped to refineries in Canada and the U.S Additionally data on the energy consumption and other factors that are required to complete the evaluation of HTGR application is readily available in the public domain. There is also interest by the Alberta oil sands producers (OSP) in identifying alternative energy sources for their operations. It should be noted, however, that the results of this evaluation could be applied to any similar oil sands area.

  12. Laboratory Observations of Artificial Sand and Oil Agglomerates: Video and Velocity Data: Sea Floor Interaction Experiment Preview Video (GoPro)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Weathered oil in the surf-zone after an oil spill may mix with suspended sediments to form sand and oil agglomerates (SOA). Sand and oil agglomerates may form in...

  13. Laboratory Observations of Artificial Sand and Oil Agglomerates Video and Velocity Data: False-Floor Experiment Flow Velocity and Shear Stress

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Weathered oil in the surf-zone after an oil spill may mix with suspended sediments to form sand and oil agglomerates (SOA). Sand and oil agglomerates may form in...

  14. Sustainable use of oil sands for geotechnical construction and road building

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Anochie-Boateng, Joseph

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available to the extent that they are mined and processed for crude oil � The largest and most thoroughly studied oil sand deposits are located in Canada, United States and Venezuela. The Alberta Province in Canada has the world?s largest deposit What are Oil...

  15. Tracing biogeochemical and microbial variability over a complete oil sand mining and recultivation process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noah, Mareike; Lappé, Michael; Schneider, Beate; Vieth-Hillebrand, Andrea; Wilkes, Heinz; Kallmeyer, Jens

    2014-11-15

    Recultivation of disturbed oil sand mining areas is an issue of increasing importance. Nevertheless only little is known about the fate of organic matter, cell abundances and microbial community structures during oil sand processing, tailings management and initial soil development on reclamation sites. Thus the focus of this work is on biogeochemical changes of mined oil sands through the entire process chain until its use as substratum for newly developing soils on reclamation sites. Therefore, oil sand, mature fine tailings (MFTs) from tailings ponds and drying cells and tailings sand covered with peat-mineral mix (PMM) as part of land reclamation were analyzed. The sample set was selected to address the question whether changes in the above-mentioned biogeochemical parameters can be related to oil sand processing or biological processes and how these changes influence microbial activities and soil development. GC-MS analyses of oil-derived biomarkers reveal that these compounds remain unaffected by oil sand processing and biological activity. In contrast, changes in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) abundance and pattern can be observed along the process chain. Especially naphthalenes, phenanthrenes and chrysenes are altered or absent on reclamation sites. Furthermore, root-bearing horizons on reclamation sites exhibit cell abundances at least ten times higher (10(8) to 10(9) cells g(-1)) than in oil sand and MFT samples (10(7) cells g(-1)) and show a higher diversity in their microbial community structure. Nitrate in the pore water and roots derived from the PMM seem to be the most important stimulants for microbial growth. The combined data show that the observed compositional changes are mostly related to biological activity and the addition of exogenous organic components (PMM), whereas oil extraction, tailings dewatering and compaction do not have significant influences on the evaluated compounds. Microbial community composition remains relatively

  16. Matrix solid-phase dispersion with sand in chromatographic analysis of essential oils in herbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawidowicz, Andrzej L; Wianowska, Dorota; Rado, Ewelina

    2011-01-01

    Matrix solid-phase dispersion (MSPD) is a very simple, cheap and relatively quick sample preparation procedure which involves simultaneous disruption and extraction of various solid and semi-solid samples due to the direct mechanical blending of the sample with a SPE sorbent, mainly C(18). Little is known about MSPD application as a sample preparation method for the analysis of essential oil components in herbs. To evaluate if C(18) sorbent, commonly used in MSPD process, can be substituted with sand in the procedure of essential oil analysis. Essential oil extracts were obtained from mint, sage, chamomile, marjoram, savory and oregano using MSPD with C(18) sorbent or sand, pressurised liquid extraction and steam distillation. Their qualitative and quantitative compositions ware established by GC-MS and GC-FID. The results prove that C(18) sorbent can be substituted with sand in the procedure of essential oil analysis in herbs. The recoveries of essential oil components estimated using MSPD/sand are almost equal to those using pressurised liquid extraction. The results presented in the paper reveal that MSPD with sand is suitable for the isolation of essential oil components from herbs. Its extraction efficiency is equivalent to pressurised liquid extraction, recognised as one of the most efficient extraction methods. The cost of MSPD procedure for essential oil analysis can be significantly diminished by substituting C(18) with sand. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  17. Ecohydrology applications to ecosystem reconstruction after oil-sand mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, Carl; Devito, Kevin

    2014-05-01

    Oil-sand deposits in northeast Alberta, Canada comprise some of the world's largest oil reserves. Open-pit mining of these resources leads to waste-rock piles, tailings ponds and open pits that must be reclaimed to "equivalent landscape capability", with viable forests and wetlands, using only native vegetation. Understanding ecohydrological processes in natural systems is critical for designing the necessary landforms and landscapes. A challenge is the cold, sub-humid climate, with highly variable precipitation. Furthermore, there are competing demands, needs or uses for water, in both quantity and quality, for reclamation and sustainability of forestlands, wetlands and end-pit lakes. On average there is a potential water deficit in the region, yet wetlands cover half of the undisturbed environment. Water budget analyses demonstrate that, although somewhat unpredictable and uncontrollable, the magnitude and timing of water delivery largely control water storage and conservation within the landscape. The opportunity is to design and manipulate these reconstructed landscapes so that water is stored and conserved, and water quality is naturally managed. Heterogeneous geologic materials can be arranged and layered, and landforms sculpted, to minimize runoff, enhance infiltration, and promote surface and subsurface storage. Similarly, discharge of poor quality water can be minimized or focused. And, appropriate vegetation choices are necessary to conserve water on the landscape. To achieve these ends, careful attention must be paid to the entire water budget, the variability in its components, interconnections between hydrologic units, in both space and time, and coupled vegetation processes. To date our knowledge is guided primarily by natural analogues. To move forward, it is apparent that numerous priorities and constraints, which are potentially competing, must be addressed. These include geotechnical and operational requirements, material limitations or excesses

  18. Economic and environmental effects of the FQD on crude oil production from tar sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kampman, B.; De Buck, A.; Afman, M. [CE Delft, Delft (Netherlands); Van den Berg, J.; Otten, G.J. [Carbon Matters, Den Haag (Netherlands)

    2013-05-15

    The production of unconventional crudes in Canada and Venezuela and exports of these crudes to the EU are investigated. In addition the potential economic and environmental impact of the proposed EU FQD measures (Fuel Quality Directive) on the production of crudes from tar sands and on new tar sand exploration projects are examined. CE Delft has analysed the impact by using a dedicated cost model. For existing projects, the model determines the effect on the basis of marginal production costs. For planned projects the model used the net present value (NPV) of proposed investments. The impacts were determined for a range of crude oil prices and FQD price effects. Combined, for existing and new projects together, the maximum effect would be at a price level at 60 USD/bbl, with savings of up to 19 Mt CO2/y at an FQD price differential of 3 euro/bbl. This overall effect would be substantial and come on top of the total emission reduction effect of the FQD of 60 Mt CO2/y, which will be achieved mostly by the blending of low-carbon fuels and reduced flaring and venting. As part of the reduction of transport greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the revised FQD obliges fuel suppliers to reduce these emissions by 6% by 2020 on a well-to-wheel basis. The EU is currently developing a methodology to differentiate fossil fuels on the basis of feedstock and GHG emissions. In the proposal, diesel produced from tar sands, has been given a default emission value of 108.5 gCO2 eq/MJ, while diesel from conventional crude was set at 89.1 gCO2 eq/MJ. The Commission's proposal is currently undergoing an impact assessment and is expected to be resubmitted to the Council later this year (2013)

  19. Sustainable use of oil sands for geotechnical construction and road building

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Anochie-Boateng, Joseph

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available established essential trends in oil sand behavior for developing laboratory guidelines and test protocols and typical material characterization models for their sustainable use in geotechnical and road building applications....

  20. Phytotoxicity of oil sands naphthenic acids and dissipation from systems planted with emergent aquatic macrophytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Sarah A; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Germida, James J

    2008-01-01

    Differences in dissipation and phytotoxicity were measured for two naphthenic acid mixtures in hydroponically grown emergent macrophytes (Typha latifolia, Phragmites australis, and Scirpus acutus). One of the naphthenic acid (NA) mixtures was extracted from tailings pond water of an oil sands operation in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. The other mixture was a commercially available NA mixture. While the oil sands NA mixture was less phytotoxic to wetland plants compared to the commercially available NA mixture, they were not sequestered by wetland plants like their commercial NA counterparts. The small loss of commercial NAs from the spiked hydroponic system appeared to be selective and dependant on the specific NA compound. The results of this study indicate that plants alone may not mitigate NAs from oil sands tailings pond water. In addition, caution should be taken when making predictions on the environmental fate of oil sands naphthenic acids when using commercial NAs as surrogates.

  1. Analysis of Proppant Hydraulic Fracturing in a Sand Oil Reservoir in Southwest of Iran

    OpenAIRE

    Reza Masoomi; Iniko Bassey; Dolgow Sergie Viktorovich; Hosein Dehghani

    2015-01-01

    Hydraulic fracturing is one way to increase the productivity of oil and gas wells. One of the most fundamental successes of hydraulic fracturing operation is selecting the proper size and type of proppants which are used during the process. The aim of this study is optimizing the type and size of used propant in hydraulic fracturing operation in a sand oil reservoir in southwest of Iran. In this study sand and ceramic (sintered bauxite) have been considered as proppant type. Also the various ...

  2. Experimental Investigation on Dilation Mechanisms of Land-Facies Karamay Oil Sand Reservoirs under Water Injection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Botao; Jin, Yan; Pang, Huiwen; Cerato, Amy B.

    2016-04-01

    The success of steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is strongly dependent on the formation of a homogeneous and highly permeable zone in the land-facies Karamay oil sand reservoirs. To accomplish this, hydraulic fracturing is applied through controlled water injection to a pair of horizontal wells to create a dilation zone between the dual wells. The mechanical response of the reservoirs during this injection process, however, has remained unclear for the land-facies oil sand that has a loosely packed structure. This research conducted triaxial, permeability and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) tests on the field-collected oil sand samples. The tests evaluated the influences of the field temperature, confining stress and injection pressure on the dilation mechanisms as shear dilation and tensile parting during injection. To account for petrophysical heterogeneity, five reservoir rocks including regular oil sand, mud-rich oil sand, bitumen-rich oil sand, mudstone and sandstone were investigated. It was found that the permeability evolution in the oil sand samples subjected to shear dilation closely followed the porosity and microcrack evolutions in the shear bands. In contrast, the mudstone and sandstone samples developed distinct shear planes, which formed preferred permeation paths. Tensile parting expanded the pore space and increased the permeability of all the samples in various degrees. Based on this analysis, it is concluded that the range of injection propagation in the pay zone determines the overall quality of hydraulic fracturing, while the injection pressure must be carefully controlled. A region in a reservoir has little dilation upon injection if it remains unsaturated. Moreover, a cooling of the injected water can strengthen the dilation potential of a reservoir. Finally, it is suggested that the numerical modeling of water injection in the Karamay oil sand reservoirs must take into account the volumetric plastic strain in hydrostatic loading.

  3. Investigation of Thermal Conductivity and Heat Characteristics of Oil Sands Using Ultrasound Irradiation for Shortening the Preheating Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamagata, Shingo; Kawamura, Youhei; Okawa, Hirokazu; Mizutani, Koichi

    2012-07-01

    Oil sands are attractive as an energy resource. Bitumen, which is found in oil sands, has high viscosity, so that it does not flow. Most oil sands are underground and are developed with a method called steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). Hot steam is injected underground to fluidize bitumen and promote its recovery. However, the preheating time is too long. One way of reducing running costs is by shortening the preheating time. Previous studies have found that bitumen can be extracted from oil sands efficiently by applying ultrasonic irradiation, but SAGD was not applied directly in these cases. Thus, the purpose of this study is to apply ultrasonic irradiation to SAGD, thereby shortening the preheating time of oil sands. As a model experiment for SAGD, heat transfer experiments in a sand layer made with Toyoura sand and silicone oil were conducted and the thermal effect with ultrasound was investigated.

  4. Evaluating the oil sands reclamation process: Assessing policy capacity and stakeholder access for government and non-governmental organizations operating in Alberta's oil sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, Tyler

    By employing interpretive policy analysis this thesis aims to assess, measure, and explain policy capacity for government and non-government organizations involved in reclaiming Alberta's oil sands. Using this type of analysis to assess policy capacity is a novel approach for understanding reclamation policy; and therefore, this research will provide a unique contribution to the literature surrounding reclamation policy. The oil sands region in northeast Alberta, Canada is an area of interest for a few reasons; primarily because of the vast reserves of bitumen and the environmental cost associated with developing this resource. An increase in global oil demand has established incentive for industry to seek out and develop new reserves. Alberta's oil sands are one of the largest remaining reserves in the world, and there is significant interest in increasing production in this region. Furthermore, tensions in several oil exporting nations in the Middle East remain unresolved, and this has garnered additional support for a supply side solution to North American oil demands. This solution relies upon the development of reserves in both the United States and Canada. These compounding factors have contributed to the increased development in the oil sands of northeastern Alberta. Essentially, a rapid expansion of oil sands operations is ongoing, and is the source of significant disturbance across the region. This disturbance, and the promises of reclamation, is a source of contentious debates amongst stakeholders and continues to be highly visible in the media. If oil sands operations are to retain their social license to operate, it is critical that reclamation efforts be effective. One concern non-governmental organizations (NGOs) expressed criticizes the current monitoring and enforcement of regulatory programs in the oil sands. Alberta's NGOs have suggested the data made available to them originates from industrial sources, and is generally unchecked by government

  5. Predicting the abundance of clays and quartz in oil sands using hyperspectral measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Entezari, Iman; Rivard, Benoit; Geramian, Mirjavad; Lipsett, Michael G.

    2017-07-01

    Clay minerals play a crucial role in the processability of oil sands ores and in the management of tailings. An increase in fine content generally leads to a decrease in both bitumen recovery performance and tailings settling rate. It is thus important to identify clay types and their abundance in oil sands ores and tailings. This study made use of oil sands samples characterized for quantitative mineralogy by x-ray diffraction, to gain an understanding of changes in the reflectance spectra of oil sands. The sample suite included bitumen-removed oil sands ore samples and their different fine size fractions. Spectral metrics applicable to the prediction of quartz and clay contents in oil sands were then derived with a focus on metrics correlating with sample content in total 2:1 clays (total of illite and illite-smectite) and kaolinite. Metrics in the shortwave infrared (SWIR) and longwave infrared (LWIR) were found to correlate with mineral contents. The best predictions of clays and quartz were achieved using LWIR metrics (R2 > 0.89). Results also demonstrated the applicability of LWIR metrics in the prediction of kaolinite and total 2:1 clays.

  6. Bacteriophage-induced aggregation of oil sands tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Susan B; Dunbar, W Scott; MacGillivray, Ross T A

    2013-03-01

    Very large quantities of tailings are produced as a result of processing oil sands. After the sand particles settle out, a dense stable mixture of clay, silt, water with residual bitumen, salts, and organics called mature fine tailings (MFT) can remain in suspension for decades. Research into developing methods that would allow consolidation and sedimentation of the suspended particles is ongoing. We have studied the ability of a filamentous bacteriophage (called VP12 bearing the peptide DSQKTNPS at the N-terminus of the major coat protein pVIII) to aggregate MFT. To understand the biophysical basis of the aggregation, phage-induced aggregation of diluted MFT was measured at room temperature under varying conditions of pH, salt, detergent. Phage at concentrations of 5.0 × 10(11)/mL to 10(12)/mL induced rapid settling of the diluted MFT. The addition of sodium chloride (10 mM) lowered the concentration of phage required to induce aggregation. Since the non-ionic detergents Triton-X 100 and Tween-20, and the ionic detergent sodium deoxycholate had little effect, hydrophobic interactions do not appear to be a major contributor to the phage-induced aggregation of MFT. However, aggregation was prevented at pH values higher than 9.0 suggesting that positively charged amino acid residues are required for MFT aggregation by phage. Genetic engineering of the pVIII peptide sequence indicated that hydrogen bonding also contributes to phage-induced aggregation. In addition, replacing the basic residue lysine with an alanine in the recombinant peptide of VP12 completely prevented phage-induced aggregation. Three other phage displaying different amino acid sequences but all containing a lysine in the same position had variable aggregation efficiencies, ranging from no aggregation to rapid aggregation. We conclude that not only are the functional groups of the amino acids important, but the conformation that is adopted by the variable pVIII peptide is also important for phage

  7. The extraction of bitumen from western oil sands. Annual report, July 1991--July 1992

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oblad, A.G.; Bunger, J.W.; Dahlstrom, D.A.; Deo, M.D.; Hanson, F.V.; Miller, J.D.; Seader, J.D.

    1992-08-01

    The University of Utah tar sand research and development program is concerned with research and development on Utah is extensive oil sands deposits. The program has been intended to develop a scientific and technological base required for eventual commercial recovery of the heavy oils from oil sands and processing these oils to produce synthetic crude oil and other products such as asphalt. The overall program is based on mining the oil sand, processing the mined sand to recover the heavy oils and upgrading them to products. Multiple deposits are being investigated since it is believed that a large scale (approximately 20,000 bbl/day) plant would require the use of resources from more than one deposit. The tasks or projects in the program are organized according to the following classification: Recovery technologies which includes thermal recovery methods, water extraction methods, and solvent extraction methods; upgrading and processing technologies which covers hydrotreating, hydrocracking, and hydropyrolysis; solvent extraction; production of specialty products; and environmental aspects of the production and processing technologies. These tasks are covered in this report.

  8. Mycorrhizal inoculum potentials of pure reclamation materials and revegetated tailing sands from the Canadian oil sand industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bois, G; Piché, Y; Fung, M Y P; Khasa, D P

    2005-05-01

    Recent improvements in the management of oil sand tailings used by the Canadian oil sand industry have resulted in the production of composite tailing sands (CT): a new challenging material for reclamation work. Jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.), hybrid poplar (Populus deltoides Bartr. ex Marsh. xPopulus nigra L.) and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) plants were used in an 8-week greenhouse bioassay to evaluate the mycorrhizal inoculum potential of CT. This inoculum potential was compared with that of three other reclamation materials [common tailing sands (TS), deep overburden (OB) and muskeg peat (MK)], and with three sites reclaimed in 1982 (R82), 1988 (R88) and 1999 (R99). CT was devoid of active mycorrhizal propagules while all other materials showed some level of inoculum potential. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were observed on roots of clover or poplar grown in TS, OB, and all substrates containing peat (MK, R82, R88 and R99). Pine roots were also colonized by vesicle-forming hyphae of an unidentified fine endophyte and by dark septate fungi. Ectomycorrhizas (ECM) were observed on pine and poplar grown in OB, MK, and in soils from the two older reclaimed sites (R82 and R88). Using morpho- and molecular typing, six ECM fungi were identified to the genus or species level: Laccaria sp., Thelephora americana, Wilcoxina sp. (E-strain), Tuber sp. (I-type), a Sebacinoid, and a Pezizales species. Laccaria sp. and Wilcoxina sp. were the most frequently observed ECM species.

  9. Methods to reduce production of oil sands mature fine tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ozum, B. [Apex Engineering Inc., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Scott, J.D. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This paper discussed experimental findings regarding the use of alternative extraction additives in the Clark Hot Water Bitumen Extraction (CHWBE) process to improve the geotechnical characteristics of the tailings and the salinity of the recycled release water. It also discussed results regarding the production of non-segregating tailings (NST) from the blend of cyclone underflow and thickener underflow using either calcium oxide (CaO) or CaO and carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) as additives. Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) is currently used in CHWBE to increase extraction efficiency, but this additive also creates tailings with poor settling and consolidation properties and high salinity in the recycled release water. The use of CaO for adjusting pH, ozone (O{sub 3}) for producing surfactants from bitumen asphaltenes, and biodiesel as surfactant additives were found to increase the efficiency of the extraction process, produce tailings with friendlier geotechnical properties, and eliminate saline concentrations in the recycled release water. The use of the described alternative extraction additives and the NST production processes has the potential to reduce the environmental impacts of oil sands plants, potentially providing a solution to the problems associated with Low Temperature Extraction and Consolidated Tailings processes. The solubility of CaO and O{sub 3} as a function of temperature could potentially allow the extraction temperature to be reduced. O{sub 3} was found to work better as an oxidant to produce surfactants from bitumen when the ore-slurry is first treated with CaO. Study on a larger scale is required. 23 refs., 7 tabs., 7 figs.

  10. Wettability testing of unconsolidated oil sands using low field NMR technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ji, X.; Kantzas, A.; Bryan, J. [University of Calgary/TIPM Laboratory (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    In an oil field it is important to understand wettability within the reservoir as it has an important impact on several parameters. However it is difficult to measure wettability in oil sands since conventional Amott/USBM testing cannot be applied. The aim of this paper is to develop protocols to assess wettability from NMR spectra in heavy oil reservoirs. Research was conducted on water wet and oil wet conditions; 3 sets of experiments were carried out with oil phases of different viscosity. Results showed that the signal from oil is insensitive to the location of the oil when viscosity increases but that water relaxation times are linked to the presence of water so water peak shifts can be used to determine different wettability states. This study determined that using water phase NMR relaxation presents several advantages to extract wettability information in unconsolidated sand systems and a technique was developed to interpret wettability.

  11. Policy Analysis of Water Availability and Use Issues for Domestic Oil Shale and Oil Sands Development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruple, John [Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Keiter, Robert [Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)

    2010-03-01

    Oil shale and oil sands resources located within the intermountain west represent a vast, and as of yet, commercially untapped source of energy. Development will require water, and demand for scarce water resources stands at the front of a long list of barriers to commercialization. Water requirements and the consequences of commercial development will depend on the number, size, and location of facilities, as well as the technologies employed to develop these unconventional fuels. While the details remain unclear, the implication is not – unconventional fuel development will increase demand for water in an arid region where demand for water often exceeds supply. Water demands in excess of supplies have long been the norm in the west, and for more than a century water has been apportioned on a first-come, first-served basis. Unconventional fuel developers who have not already secured water rights stand at the back of a long line and will need to obtain water from willing water purveyors. However, uncertainty regarding the nature and extent of some senior water claims combine with indeterminate interstate river management to cast a cloud over water resource allocation and management. Quantitative and qualitative water requirements associated with Endangered Species protection also stand as barriers to significant water development, and complex water quality regulations will apply to unconventional fuel development. Legal and political decisions can give shape to an indeterminate landscape. Settlement of Northern Ute reserved rights claims would help clarify the worth of existing water rights and viability of alternative sources of supply. Interstate apportionment of the White River would go a long way towards resolving water availability in downstream Utah. And energy policy clarification will help determine the role oil shale and oil sands will play in our nation’s future.

  12. Forensic source differentiation of petrogenic, pyrogenic, and biogenic hydrocarbons in Canadian oil sands environmental samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhendi; Yang, C; Parrott, J L; Frank, R A; Yang, Z; Brown, C E; Hollebone, B P; Landriault, M; Fieldhouse, B; Liu, Y; Zhang, G; Hewitt, L M

    2014-04-30

    To facilitate monitoring efforts, a forensic chemical fingerprinting methodology has been applied to characterize and differentiate pyrogenic (combustion derived) and biogenic (organism derived) hydrocarbons from petrogenic (petroleum derived) hydrocarbons in environmental samples from the Canadian oil sands region. Between 2009 and 2012, hundreds of oil sands environmental samples including water (snowmelt water, river water, and tailings pond water) and sediments (from river beds and tailings ponds) have been analyzed. These samples were taken from sites where assessments of wild fish health, invertebrate communities, toxicology and detailed chemistry are being conducted as part of the Canada-Alberta Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Plan (JOSMP). This study describes the distribution patterns and potential sources of PAHs from these integrated JOSMP study sites, and findings will be linked to responses in laboratory bioassays and in wild organisms collected from these same sites. It was determined that hydrocarbons in Athabasca River sediments and waters were most likely from four sources: (1) petrogenic heavy oil sands bitumen; (2) biogenic compounds; (3) petrogenic hydrocarbons of other lighter fuel oils; and (4) pyrogenic PAHs. PAHs and biomarkers detected in snowmelt water samples collected near mining operations imply that these materials are derived from oil sands particulates (from open pit mines, stacks and coke piles). Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Communities Perceived Socio-economic Impacts of Oil Sands Extraction in Nigeria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Murtala Ibraheem Chindo

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Nigeria is currently harmonising plans for the exploitation of oil sands in southern part of the country. The findings from a case study suggested that investment and subsequent production in oil sands could have positive outcomes, but could also affect the lives of people in the surrounding communities. The current approach which excludes the communities in the planning process may only lead to trepidation of the crisis which has bedevilled the oil producing region of the country. There is the need to have an all-inclusive involvement of the affected communities in decision making process from initial conception through to the various stages of the mining cycle.

  14. Assessment of Research Needs for Oil Recovery from Heavy-Oil Sources and Tar Sands (FERWG-IIIA)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Penner, S.S.

    1982-03-01

    The Fossil Energy Research Working Group (FERWG), at the request of J.W. Mares (Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy) and A.W. Trivelpiece (Director, Office of Energy Research), has reviewed and evaluated the U.S. programs on oil recovery from heavy oil sources and tar sands. These studies were performed in order to provide an independent assessment of research areas that affect the prospects for oil recovery from these sources. This report summarizes the findings and research recommendations of FERWG.

  15. Study of greenhouse gases reduction alternatives for the exploitation of non conventional oil sands in Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bouchonneau, Deborah [Institut Francais du Petrole (IFP), Paris (France)

    2008-07-01

    High energy prices and greenhouse gases reduction represent the main challenges the current worldwide energetic situation has to face. As a consequence, paradox strategies can be highlighted: oil prices are sufficiently high to exploit non conventional oil resources, like extra heavy oils and oil sands. But the production of these resources emits larger GHG than the conventional oil path and implies other major environmental issues (water management, risks of soil pollution, destruction of the boreal forest), incompatible with the rules validated by the protocol of Kyoto. At the light of the new greenhouse gases reduction regulation framework announced by the Canadian Federal government, this work focuses on the study of greenhouse gases reduction alternatives applied to the non conventional oil sands exploitation in Canada. (author)

  16. Extraction of phenanthrene and fluoranthene from contaminated sand using palm kernel and soybean oils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Von Lau, Ee; Gan, Suyin; Ng, Hoon Kiat

    2012-09-30

    Experimental extraction tests are conducted to investigate feasibility of saturated palm kernel oil (PKO) and unsaturated soybean oil (SO) to extract polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from contaminated sand. The extraction rates and efficiencies for lowly contaminated (LC) and highly contaminated (HC) sands at temperatures of 30 °C and 70 °C are evaluated using empirical first order kinetic dissolution models. In LC sand, the extraction is dominated by the diffusion of PAHs adsorbed onto particle surfaces and the direct dissolution of PAH phase. In HC sand, a rapid diffusion of PAHs adsorbed onto particle surfaces and a direct dissolution of PAH phase occur followed by a slower diffusion of PAHs entrapped within the pores and micropores. Larger diffusion resistance during HC sand extractions results in an average 10.8% reduction in extraction efficiencies compared to LC sand. Increased temperature generally increases the mass transfer rates and extraction efficiencies. Additionally, the physicochemical properties of both oils and PAHs also determine the extent of PAH extraction into oil. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes of tree swallows influenced by oil sands aquatic reclamation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farwell, A.; Dixon, D. [Waterloo Univ., ON (Canada); Harms, J. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada); Smits, J. [Calgary Univ., AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This presentation reported on a study in which tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) were studied to evaluate reclamation strategies used by oil sand operators in Alberta. Wetland reclamation involves the transformation of tailings water and solids into functioning aquatic ecosystems. Naphthenic acids (NAs) and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) in tailing/reclamation material are toxic constituents that pose concern for growth rate, reproductive function and immune function in tree swallows. Exposure to xenobiotics from these tailings-based sites was determined by increased detoxification enzyme (EROD) activity. The dietary exposure of tree swallows to oil sands constituents was determined through stable isotope analysis. Previous studies revealed trends of 13C depletion and 15N enrichment in benthic invertebrates from reclaimed wetlands on the oil sands. Since most food consumed by tree swallow nestlings is aquatic, the isotope signatures in tree swallows should provide evidence of exposure to oil sands constituents. Tree swallow feather and muscle tissues were examined in this study to determine if stable isotopes could be used to identify dietary contributions from oil sands reclamation sites versus reference sites containing no tailings materials.

  18. 3D Finite Element Analysis of PWA-Oil Sand Terrain System Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Li

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A simulator for analyzing the interaction between the oil sand terrain and a pipe wagon articulating (PWA system has been developed in this paper. An elastic-plastic oil sand model was built based on the finite element analysis (FEA method and von Mises yield criterion using the Algor mechanical event simulation (MES software. The three-dimensional (3D distribution of the stress, strain, nodal displacement, and deformed shape of the oil sands was animated at an environmental temperature of 25°C. The 3D behavior of the oil sand terrain was investigated with different loading conditions. The effect of the load and contact area on the stress and nodal displacement was analyzed, respectively. The results indicate that both the max stress and max nodal displacement increase with the load varying from 0 to 3.6+7 N and decrease with the contact area varying from 2 to 10 m2. The method presented in this paper forms the basis for evaluating the bearing capacity of oil sand ground.

  19. A review of energy consumption in Canadian oil sands operations, heavy oil upgrading 1990, 1994 to 2001 : Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nyboer, J. [Simon Fraser Univ., Burnaby, BC (Canada). Canadian Industrial Energy End-Use Data and Analysis Centre

    2003-03-01

    The Canadian Industrial Energy End-Use Data and Analysis Centre (CIEEDAC) was commissioned in 1995 by the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI) and the Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation (CIPEC) for the revision of energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions data with regard to the conventional petroleum refining industry and oil sands operators. CIEEDAC received a request from oil sands operators and the Regional Infrastructure Working Group, to examine, apart from conventional refineries, all the oil sands and heavy oil upgrades. It was revealed that energy consumption in Canadian oil sands and heavy oil operations stood at 56 to 66 per cent above 1990 values in 2001. Since 1990, a 56 per cent increase was noted in the case of aggregate carbon dioxide emissions. In 2002, the increase was 20 per cent over the previous year. Carbon dioxide conversion coefficients supplied by the refineries and from Environment Canada were used to calculate emission levels to the physical quantity of each energy form used. On a per unit production basis, energy and carbon dioxide intensity figures were generated. An increase of 14 per cent in year 2002 was noted for production levels of Synthetic Crude Oil compared to 2001. A decline was revealed (14 to 20 per cent) over 1990 by 2001 for energy intensity indicators for refineries. Similar results were obtained for carbon dioxide indicators. Improvements of 20 per cent over 1990 intensities was achieved in oil sands operations in 2001. A number of issues currently under discussion or resolved were identified during the completion of this survey. tabs., 4 figs.

  20. Characterization of Clay Minerals and Kerogen in Alberta Oil Sands Geological End Members

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Limin

    The high degree of variability of oil sands ores can be attributed to a mixture of different geological end members, i.e., estuarine sand, estuarine clay, marine sand and marine clay. This study focused on the mineralogy, especially of clay minerals, and toluene insoluble organic matter, referred to as kerogen, in different oil sands end members. Clays and kerogens will likely have a significant impact on solvent recovery from the gangue following non-aqueous bitumen extraction. The bitumen-free solids were subjected to mineralogical and geochemical analysis. Kerogens were isolated and analyzed by various characterization methods. The types of clays were identified in oriented samples by X-ray diffraction analysis. The nitrogen to carbon ratio in the isolated kerogens is found to be higher than in bitumen. There are more type III kerogens in estuarine samples and more type II kerogens in marine samples.

  1. An assessment of nitrogen saturation in Pinus banksiana plots in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaun A. WATMOUGH

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available During the past 15 years, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of reactive nitrogen (N in the atmosphere, leading to concerns that chronic elevated N deposition may result in negative effects on natural ecosystems. This study examines the response of jack pine (Pinus banksiana plots to N air concentrations within the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR in northern Alberta, which has experienced elevated N emissions since the 1990s. Air concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2, ammonia, and nitric acid at the study plots are generally low although NO2 is strongly correlated with sulphur dioxide indicating an exposure gradient associated with industrial emissions. Nitrogen concentrations in P. banksiana foliage and two lichen indicator species (Hypogymnia physodes and Evernia mesomorpha were significantly correlated with annual NO2 exposure. Relationships between NO2 (or N exposure and other aspects of N cycling were less evident. Nitrogen content and carbon to nitrogen ratio in the forest floor and soil or potential net N mineralization rates were not correlated with N exposure. Nitrification was negligible suggesting efficient ecosystem immobilization of current N deposition. Based on the response of foliage to N exposure, sites closest to industrial activity appear to be in the early stages of N saturation.

  2. Life cycle Greenhouse gas emissions of current Oil Sands Technologies: surface mining and in situ applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergerson, Joule A; Kofoworola, Oyeshola; Charpentier, Alex D; Sleep, Sylvia; Maclean, Heather L

    2012-07-17

    Life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with two major recovery and extraction processes currently utilized in Alberta's oil sands, surface mining and in situ, are quantified. Process modules are developed and integrated into a life cycle model-GHOST (GreenHouse gas emissions of current Oil Sands Technologies) developed in prior work. Recovery and extraction of bitumen through surface mining and in situ processes result in 3-9 and 9-16 g CO(2)eq/MJ bitumen, respectively; upgrading emissions are an additional 6-17 g CO(2)eq/MJ synthetic crude oil (SCO) (all results are on a HHV basis). Although a high degree of variability exists in well-to-wheel emissions due to differences in technologies employed, operating conditions, and product characteristics, the surface mining dilbit and the in situ SCO pathways have the lowest and highest emissions, 88 and 120 g CO(2)eq/MJ reformulated gasoline. Through the use of improved data obtained from operating oil sands projects, we present ranges of emissions that overlap with emissions in literature for conventional crude oil. An increased focus is recommended in policy discussions on understanding interproject variability of emissions of both oil sands and conventional crudes, as this has not been adequately represented in previous studies.

  3. BIOTIGER, A NATURAL MICROBIAL PRODUCT FOR ENHANCED HYDROCARBON RECOVERY FROM OIL SANDS.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brigmon, R; Topher Berry, T; Whitney Jones, W; Charles Milliken, C

    2008-05-27

    BioTiger{trademark} is a unique microbial consortia that resulted from over 8 years of extensive microbiology screening and characterization of samples collected from a century-old Polish waste lagoon. BioTiger{trademark} shows rapid and complete degradation of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, produces novel surfactants, is tolerant of both chemical and metal toxicity and shows good activity at temperature and pH extremes. Although originally developed and used by the U.S. Department of Energy for bioremediation of oil-contaminated soils, recent efforts have proven that BioTiger{trademark} can also be used to increase hydrocarbon recovery from oil sands. This enhanced ex situ oil recovery process utilizes BioTiger{trademark} to optimize bitumen separation. A floatation test protocol with oil sands from Ft. McMurray, Canada was used for the BioTiger{trademark} evaluation. A comparison of hot water extraction/floatation test of the oil sands performed with BioTiger{trademark} demonstrated a 50% improvement in separation as measured by gravimetric analysis in 4 h and a five-fold increase at 25 hr. Since BioTiger{trademark} performs well at high temperatures and process engineering can enhance and sustain metabolic activity, it can be applied to enhance recovery of hydrocarbons from oil sands or other complex recalcitrant matrices.

  4. Metal bioaccumulation and biomarkers of effects in caged mussels exposed in the Athabasca oil sands area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilote, M; André, C; Turcotte, P; Gagné, F; Gagnon, C

    2018-01-01

    The Athabasca oil sands deposit is the world's largest known reservoir of crude bitumen and the third-largest proven crude oil reserve. Mining activity is known to release contaminants, including metals, and to potentially impact the aquatic environment. The purpose of this study was to determine the impacts of oil sands mining on water quality and metal bioaccumulation in mussels from the Fort McMurray area in northern Alberta, Canada. The study presents two consecutive years of contrasting mussel exposure conditions (low and high flows). Native freshwater mussels (Pyganodon grandis) were placed in cages and exposed in situ in the Athabasca River for four weeks. Metals and inorganic elements were then analyzed in water and in mussel gills and digestive glands to evaluate bioaccumulation, estimate the bioconcentration factor (BCF), and determine the effects of exposure by measuring stress biomarkers. This study shows a potential environmental risk to aquatic life from metal exposure associated with oil sands development along with the release of wastewater from a municipal treatment plant nearby. Increased bioaccumulation of Be, V, Ni and Pb was observed in mussel digestive glands in the Steepbank River, which flows directly through the oil sands mining area. Increased bioaccumulation of Al, V, Cr, Co, Ni, Mo and Ni was also observed in mussel gills from the Steepbank River. These metals are naturally present in oil sands and generally concentrate and increase with the extraction process. The results also showed different pathways of exposure (particulate or dissolved forms) for V and Ni resulting from different river water flows, distribution coefficient (Kd) and BCF. Increasing metal exposure downstream of the oil sands mining area had an impact on metallothionein and lipid peroxidation in mussels, posing a potential environmental risk to aquatic life. These results confirm the bioavailability of some metals in mussel tissues associated with detoxification of

  5. Air quality over the Alberta oil sands: Satellite observations of NO2 and SO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLinden, C. A.; Fioletov, V.

    2011-12-01

    A vast reserve of bitumen - oil mixed with sand, clay, and water generally referred to as oil sands - resides in northern Alberta, Canada. Extraction of bitumen and its upgrade to liquid fuel is very energy intensive and generates significant emissions, including nitrogen and sulphur oxides. Satellite observations of NO2 and SO2 vertical column densities have been used to assess the magnitude and distribution of these pollutants throughout the oil sands. Preliminary results indicate a statistically significant enhancement in both species over an area (~30 x 30 km2) of intensive surface mining. Quantifying the burden of these enhancements and their recent changes over such a small area, comparable to the resolution of the best air quality satellite instruments, represents a significant challenge. The methodology used to meet this challenge will be presented, as will initial results including trends over the past decade, comparisons with other large industrial operations, and an assessment of consistency with emission inventories.

  6. Satellite Monitoring Over the Canadian Oil Sands: Highlights from Aura OMI and TES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shephard, Mark W.; McLinden, Chris; Fioletov, Vitali; Cady-Pereira, Karen E.; Krotkov, Nick A.; Boersma, Folkert; Li, Can; Luo, Ming; Bhartia, P. K.; Joiner, Joanna

    2014-01-01

    Satellite remote sensing provides a unique perspective for air quality monitoring in and around the Canadian Oil Sands as a result of its spatial and temporal coverage. Presented are Aura satellite observations of key pollutants including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), ammonia (NH3), methanol (CH3OH), and formic acid (HCOOH) over the Canadian Oil Sands. Some of the highlights include: (i) the evolution of NO2 and SO2 from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), including comparisons with other nearby sources, (ii) two years of ammonia, carbon monoxide, methanol, and formic acid observations from 240 km North-South Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) transects through the oils sands, and (iii) preliminary insights into emissions derived from these observations.

  7. Applications in the oil sands industry for Particlear{sup R} silica microgel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moffett, B. [DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprise, Wilmington, DE (United States)

    2009-07-01

    This presentation demonstrated the use of Particlear{sup R} silica microgel in the oil sands industry. The silica-based coagulant is an amorphous silicon dioxide microgel solution. The surface area of a football field can be obtained using 2.7 grams of the substance. The coagulation mechanism is achieved by charge neutralization and inter-particle bridging. The microgel is manufactured at the point of use from commodity chemicals, water, and carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}). Applications for the microgel include potable water treatment, paper retention, and animal processing wastewater. In the oil sands industry, Particlear{sup R} can be used in tailings flocculation, thickened tailings drying, steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) water treatment, and enhanced bitumen recovery. It was concluded that the microgel can be used in many oil sands processing and liquid-solid separation processes in order to remove dissolved solids and organics and increase the rate of solids dewatering. tabs., figs.

  8. Ore types impact on flocculation and the treatment strategies for different types of oil sand tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yuan, X.S. [Syncrude Canada Ltd. (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    The depletion of conventional energy resources and the rising energy demand are driving development of the oil sands industry. In Alberta, oil sand ores are classified by depositional environment and exhibit different behaviors during the bitumen extraction process and in terms of flocculation and thickening according to the depositional environment. This study aims at providing additional information on the impact of ore type on flocculation and what the appropriate treatment strategies are. Experiments were performed on a Syncrude Aurora transition ore tailings sample with the injection of flocculants and/or coagulants. Results showed that the use of a single flocculant is efficient is lowering total solid concentration for fluvial and estuarine oil sand ores but ineffective for fine transition and marine ore tailings. This research provided useful information on the flocculation behavior of the different Albertan ore types and was able to identify appropriate treatment methods.

  9. Oil spills and their impacts on sand beach invertebrate communities: A literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bejarano, Adriana C; Michel, Jacqueline

    2016-11-01

    Sand beaches are highly dynamic habitats that can experience considerable impacts from oil spills. This review provides a synthesis of the scientific literature on major oil spills and their impacts on sand beaches, with emphasis on studies documenting effects and recoveries of intertidal invertebrate communities. One of the key observations arising from this review is that more attention has generally been given to studying the impacts of oil spills on invertebrates (mostly macrobenthos), and not to documenting their biological recovery. Biological recovery of sand beach invertebrates is highly dynamic, depending on several factors including site-specific physical properties and processes (e.g., sand grain size, beach exposure), the degree of oiling, depth of oil burial, and biological factors (e.g., species-specific life-history traits). Recovery of affected communities ranges from several weeks to several years, with longer recoveries generally associated with physical factors that facilitate oil persistence, or when cleanup activities are absent on heavily oiled beaches. There are considerable challenges in quantifying impacts from spills on sand beach invertebrates because of insufficient baseline information (e.g., distribution, abundance and composition), knowledge gaps in their natural variability (spatial and temporal), and inadequate sampling and replication during and after oil spills. Thus, environment assessments of impacts and recovery require a rigorous experimental design that controls for confounding sources of variability. General recommendations on sampling strategies and toxicity testing, and a preliminary framework for incorporating species-specific life history traits into future assessments are also provided. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Phytoremediation of Alberta oil sand tailings using native plants and fungal endophytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Repas, T.; Germida, J.; Kaminskyj, S.

    2012-04-01

    Fungal endophytes colonize host plants without causing disease. Some endophytes confer plant tolerance to harsh environments. One such endophyte, Trichoderma harzianum strain TSTh20-1, was isolated from a plant growing on Athabasca oil sand tailings. Tailing sands are a high volume waste product from oil sand extraction that the industry is required to remediate. Tailing sands are low in organic carbon and mineral nutrients, and are hydrophobic due to residual polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Typically, tailing sands are remediated by planting young trees in large quantities of mulch plus mineral fertilizer, which is costly and labour intensive. In greenhouse trials, TSTh20-1 supports growth of tomato seedlings on tailing sands without fertilizer. The potential use of TSTh20-1 in combination with native grasses and forbs to remediate under field conditions is being assessed. Twenty-three commercially available plant species are being screened for seed germination and growth on tailing sands in the presence of TSTh20-1. The best candidates from this group will be used in greenhouse and small scale field trials. Potential mechanisms that contribute to endophyte-induced plant growth promotion, such as plant hormone production, stress tolerance, mineral solubilization, and uptake are also being assessed. As well, TSTh20-1 appears to be remarkably frugal in its nutrient requirements and the possibility that this attribute is characteristic of other plant-fungal endophytes from harsh environments is under study.

  11. Tar sands showdown : Canada and the new politics of oil in an age of climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clarke, T. [Polaris Institute, Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    This book outlined the social and environmental issues facing the oil sands industry in Canada, including economic sovereignty, energy security, water rights and free trade. The tar sands have become vital to the Canadian economy, as they have the potential to increase Canada's foreign oil output by 4 to 5 times in the next 15 years. The author discussed the ecological and social impact of the Alberta tar sands and the real cost of development to Albertans and Canadians. Tar sands oil production generates more than 3 times the amount of greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil production. The industry is also becoming a prime example of the abuse of water sources. The author emphasized the need to build an alternative energy future in an age of global warming. The main objective of this book was to help stimulate a nation-wide public debate about the tar sands and the critical issues at stake regarding Canada's energy future and an environmental strategy for more sustainable development. refs., tabs., figs.

  12. Impacts and mitigations of in situ bitumen production from Alberta oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Edmunds, Neil

    2010-09-15

    85% or more of Alberta's oil sands is too deep to mine and will be recovered by in situ methods, i.e. from drill holes. This has been made commercially possible through the development in Alberta of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD). Does this impending development threaten the local ecosystem? A quantitative account is given of the principal impacts of in situ oil sands development in Alberta. Impacts on land (habitats), water, and air are considered in terms of local capacity, global benchmarks, and comparisons to alternative renewable technologies. Improvements due to new solvent-additive technology are highlighted.

  13. The immunological effects of oil sands surface waters and naphthenic acids on rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leclair, Liane A; MacDonald, Gillian Z; Phalen, Laura J; Köllner, Bernd; Hogan, Natacha S; van den Heuvel, Michael R

    2013-10-15

    There is concern surrounding the immunotoxic potential of naphthenic acids (NAs), a major organic constituent in waters influenced by oil sands contamination. To assess the immunological response to NAs, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) waterborne exposures were conducted with oil sands-influenced waters, NAs extracted and purified from oil sands tailings waters, and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) as a positive control. After a 7d exposure, blood, spleen, head kidney, and gill samples were removed from a subset of fish in order to evaluate the distribution of thrombocytes, B-lymphocytes, myeloid cells, and T-lymphocytes using fluorescent antibodies specific for those cell types coupled with flow cytometry. The remaining trout in each experimental tank were injected with inactivated Aeromonas salmonicida and held in laboratory water for 21 d and subjected to similar lymphatic cell evaluation in addition to evaluation of antibody production. Fluorescent metabolites in bile as well as liver CYP1A induction were also determined after the 7 and 21 d exposure. Oil sands waters and extracted NAs exposures resulted in an increase in bile fluorescence at phenanthrene wavelengths, though liver CYP1A was not induced in those treatments as it was with the BaP positive control. Trout in the oil sands-influenced water exposure showed a decrease in B- and T-lymphocytes in blood as well as B-lymphocytes and myeloid cells in spleen and an increase in B-lymphocytes in head kidney. The extracted NAs exposure showed a decrease in thrombocytes in spleen at 8 mg/L and an increase in T-lymphocytes at 1mg/L in head kidney after 7d. There was a significant decrease in antibody production against A. salmonicida in both oil sands-influenced water exposures. Because oil sands-influenced waters affected multiple immune parameters, while extracted NAs impacts were limited, the NAs tested here are likely not the cause of immunotoxicity found in the oil sands-influenced water. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier

  14. Mass spectrometry of oil sands naphthenic acids : degradation in OSPW and wetland plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Headley, J. [Environment Canada, Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Water Science and Technology Directorate

    2009-07-01

    This presentation discussed mass spectrometry of oil sands naphthenic acids and the degradation in OSPW and wetland plants. It presented background information on the Athabasca oil sands and naphthenic acids which involve a mixture of alkanes and cycloalkane carboxylic acids with aliphatic side chains. The presentation also discussed mass spectrometry with electrospray operating in negative ion modes. Loop injection, external standard methods and solid phase extraction were reviewed along with improved analysis by removing background ions. Other topics that were presented included hydroponic test systems and wetland plant toxicity, growth and transpiration. It was concluded that dissipation included species containing oxygen, ozone, O{sub 4}, and O{sub 5}. tabs., figs.

  15. Paleontological overview of oil shale and tar sands areas in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murphey, P. C.; Daitch, D.; Environmental Science Division

    2009-02-11

    In August 2005, the U.S. Congress enacted the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Public Law 109-58. In Section 369 of this Act, also known as the ''Oil Shale, Tar Sands, and Other Strategic Unconventional Fuels Act of 2005,'' Congress declared that oil shale and tar sands (and other unconventional fuels) are strategically important domestic energy resources that should be developed to reduce the nation's growing dependence on oil from politically and economically unstable foreign sources. In addition, Congress declared that both research- and commercial-scale development of oil shale and tar sands should (1) be conducted in an environmentally sound manner using management practices that will minimize potential impacts, (2) occur with an emphasis on sustainability, and (3) benefit the United States while taking into account concerns of the affected states and communities. To support this declaration of policy, Congress directed the Secretary of the Interior to undertake a series of steps, several of which are directly related to the development of a commercial leasing program for oil shale and tar sands. One of these steps was the completion of a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) to analyze the impacts of a commercial leasing program for oil shale and tar sands resources on public lands, with an emphasis on the most geologically prospective lands in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. For oil shale, the scope of the PEIS analysis includes public lands within the Green River, Washakie, Uinta, and Piceance Creek Basins. For tar sands, the scope includes Special Tar Sand Areas (STSAs) located in Utah. This paleontological resources overview report was prepared in support of the Oil Shale and Tar Sands Resource Management Plan Amendments to Address Land Use Allocations in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming and PEIS, and it is intended to be used by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regional paleontologists and field office staff to support future

  16. Carbon dynamics, food web structure and reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands wetlands (CFRAW)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ciborowski, J.J. [Windsor Univ., ON (Canada); Dixon, G. [Waterloo Univ., ON (Canada); Foote, L. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Liber, K.; Smits, J.E. [Saskatchewan Univ., Regina, SK (Canada)

    2007-07-01

    The remediation and ecology of oilsands constructed wetlands was discussed with reference to a project known as the Carbon dynamics, Food web structure and Reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands Wetlands (CFRAW). This joint project between 7 mining partners and 5 universities documents how tailings in constructed wetlands modify maturation leading to natural conditions in a reclaimed landscape. Since wetlands are expected to make up 20-50 per cent of the final reclamation landscape of areas surface mined for oil sands in northeastern Alberta, the project focuses on how quickly wetlands amended with reclamation materials approach the conditions seen in reference wetland systems. This study provided a conceptual model of carbon pathways and budgets to evaluate how the allocation of carbon among compartments changes as newly formed wetlands mature in the boreal system. It is likely that succession and community development will accelerate if constructed wetlands are supplemented with stockpiled peat or topsoil. The bitumens and naphthenic acids found in wetlands constructed with mine tailings materials are initially toxic, but may ultimately serve as an alternate source of carbon once they degrade or are metabolized by bacteria. This study evaluated the sources, biological uptake, pathways, and movement through the food web of materials used by the biota in constructed wetlands, with particular reference to how productivity of new wetlands is maintained. Net ecosystem productivity is being monitored along with rates of organic carbon accumulation from microbial, algal, and macrophyte production, and influx of outside materials. The rates of leaf litter breakdown and microbial respiration are also being monitored to determine how constituents speed or slow food web processes of young and older wetlands. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope measurements indicate which sources are incorporated into the food web as wetlands age, and how this influences community

  17. An Overview of the Summer 2014 Airborne Study of Oil Sands Air Pollutants in Support of the Joint Oil Sands Monitoring Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, S. M.; Hayden, K. L.; Cober, S.; Wolde, M.; Liggio, J.; Liu, P.; Leithead, A.; O'brien, J.; Wang, D. K.; Moussa, S. G.; Gordon, M.; Darlington, A. L.; McLaren, R.; Makar, P.; Stroud, C.; Wentzell, J. J. B.; Brook, J.; Narayan, J.; Elford, A.; Sung, K.; Sheppard, A.

    2014-12-01

    A short term airborne study of oil sands air pollutants was carried out in August and September 2013. The study had three objectives: 1. to validate emissions of criteria air contaminants (CACs) and other air pollutants from surface mining facilities in the Athabasca oil sands region, using airborne ambient air measurements; 2. to understand the transport and transformation of primary pollutants; and 3. to provide data for model and satellite retrieval validation. The data will be used for the evaluation and improvement of high-resolution air quality models for eventual application in determining the fates of these pollutants and their deposition to the downwind ecosystems. Various chemical species were measured from the National Research Council of Canada Convair-580 aircraft at high time resolution of 1-10 seconds. A total of 22 flights were flown, with 14 flights dedicated to emission validation, 5 flights to transport and transformation of oil sands pollutants, and 5 flights to satellite data validation. An algorithm will be shown to demonstrate how the data from the emission flights can be used to derive a top-down estimate of SO2 emission rates.

  18. Spectroscopic determination of vanadyl porphyrin content in oils obtained from tar sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fazliev, D.F.; Sadykov, A.N.; Safiullina, G.K.

    1988-05-01

    Electronic absorption spectroscopy was used to determine vanadyl porphyrin content in oils derived from several tar sand fields in the USSR by in situ combustion or steam injection. The oils were diluted with carbon tetrachloride and their spectra recorded in the 470-650 nm interval. The optical density of the alpha band at 575 nm was calculated and the porphyrin content determined from this property. Results compared favorably with spectral data on vanadyl porphyrin content in acetone extracts. Lower content limits for reliable measurement were found to be 30-40 mg porphyrins per 100 g of oil. Methylene group content in isoprenoid units of the oils was also determined.

  19. Isolation and characterization of psychotrophic bacteria from oil-reservoir water and oil sands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kato, T; Haruki, M; Imanaka, T; Morikawa, M; Kanaya, S

    2001-06-01

    Four psychrotrophic strains, which grew at 4 degrees C but not at 37 degrees C, were isolated from Japanese oil-reservoir water (strains SIB1, SIC1, SIS1) and Canadian oil sands (strain CAB1). Strains SIB1, SIS1, and CAB1 had a maximum growth rate at 20 degrees C and grew to the highest cell densities at the cultivation temperature of 0-4 degrees C. Strain SIS1 was capable of growing even at -5 degrees C. The growth profile of strain SIC1 was rather similar to that of a mesophilic bacterium. Strains SIB1, SIC1, and SIS1 were identified as members of the genus Shewanella, and strain CAB1 was a member of the genus Arthrobacter. All these strains exhibited weak degradation ability against catechol, a hydroxylated aromatic hydrocarbon, and tributyrin. These strains are expected to be of potential use in the in situ bioremediation technology of hazardous hydrocarbons and esters under low-temperature conditions.

  20. A numerical/empirical technique for history matching and predicting cyclic steam performance in Canadian oil sands reservoirs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leshchyshyn, Theodore Henry

    correlation curves. The key reservoir property used to develop a specific curve was to vary the initial mobile water saturation. Individual pilot wells were then history-matched using these correlation curves, adjusting for thermal net pay using perforation height and a fundamentally derived "net pay factor". Operating days (injection plus production) were required to complete the history matching calculations. Subsequent cycles were then history-matched by applying an Efficiency Multiplication Factor (EMF) to the original first cycle prediction method as well as selecting the proper correlation curve for the specific cycle under analysis by using the appropriate steam injection rates and slug sizes. History matches were performed on eight PHOP wells (two back-to-back, five-spot patterns) completed in the Wabiskaw and, three single-well tests completed just below in the McMurray Formation. Predictions for the PHOP Wabiskaw Formation first cycle bitumen production averaged within 1% of the actual pilot total. Bitumen recovery from individual wells for second cycle onwards, was within 20% of actual values. For testing the correlations, matching was also performed on cyclic steam data from British Petroleum's Wolf Lake Project, the Esso Cold Lake Project, and the PCEJ Fort McMurray Pilot, a joint venture of Petro-Canada, Cities Services (Canadian Occidental), Esso, and Japan-Canada Oil Sands with reasonable results.

  1. Evacuation of sand from the equine intestine with mineral oil, with and without psyllium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hotwagner, K; Iben, C

    2008-02-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the evacuation of sand from the equine intestine after a double treatment with psyllium and mineral oil or mineral oil only. A crossover study was conducted. Twelve healthy horses were fed 1 kg sand once a day for 5 days. Subsequently, these horses were divided into two groups: A and B. From day 6-10, both groups were treated with 2 l of mineral oil once a day and group B received an additional 0.5 kg of psyllium twice a day. The trial was repeated after 2 weeks with treatment crossover of groups A and B. The horses were housed sand free and 1.8 kg hay/100 kg body weight was offered to meet the maintenance energy requirement. Prior to the sand administration, faeces were collected from each horse for 3 days and the crude ash was determined to establish a baseline output of ash. There was no difference between the baseline crude ash output of the first and second treatment. From day 6-10, faeces were collected daily and the fresh weight and the dry matter and the crude ash contents were determined. For administration, sand or psyllium was mixed with 1 l of Irish mash (concentrate mixed with water), respectively, and mineral oil was administered via a nasogastric tube. All horses showed higher crude ash excretion when treated with psyllium and mineral oil compared with the mineral oil administration only. On the second, third and fourth day of the treatment, the difference was significant. Faeces crude ash weight corrected for baseline crude ash output while treated with psyllium plus oil and oil solely, reached a mean of 51.0 (SD 20.5) and 26.1 (SD 17.7) % of the administered sand mass, respectively. The results of this trial show that the ash output differed highly between the horses. Nevertheless, all horses showed a higher total ash output within the 5 days treatment period when the psyllium semen and mineral oil were used for the treatment than when treated with mineral oil solely.

  2. Biodegradation of MC252 oil in oil:sand aggregates in a coastal headland beach environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vijaikrishnah eElango

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Biodegradation potential of MC252 in oil:sand aggregates, termed surface residue balls (SRBs, was examined using multiple lines of evidence on a heavily-impacted coastal headland beach in Louisiana, USA. SRBs were sampled over a 16-month period on the supratidal beach environment where reasonable control existed on the residence time of the aggregates on the beach surface. PAH and alkane concentration ratios were measured including PAH/C30-hopane, C2/C3 phenanthrenes, C2/C3 dibenzothiophenes and alkane/C30-hopane and demonstrated unequivocally that biodegradation was occurring in SRBs in the supratidal. These biodegradation reactions occurred over time frames relevant to the coastal processes moving SRBs off the beach. In contrast, submerged oil mat (SOM samples did not demonstrate chemical changes consistent with biodegradation. Review and analysis of additional biogeochemical parameters suggested the existence of a moisture and N-limited biodegradation regime on the supratidal beach environment. At this location, SRBs possess moisture contents < 2% and molar C:N ratios from 131-323, well outside of optimal values for biodegradation in the literature. Despite these limitations, biodegradation of PAHs and alkanes proceeded at relevant rates (2-8 year-1 due in part to the presence of degrading populations, i.e., Mycobacterium sp., adapted to these conditions. For SOM samples in the intertidal, an oxygen and salinity-impacted regime is proposed that severely limits biodegradation of alkanes and PAHs in this environment. These results support the hypothesis that SRBs deposited at different locations on the beach have different biogeochemical characteristics (e.g., moisture; salinity; terminal electron acceptors; nutrient; and oil composition due, in part, to their location on the landscape.

  3. Groundwater Discharges to Rivers in the Western Canadian Oil Sands Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis, J.; Jasechko, S.

    2016-12-01

    Groundwater discharges into rivers impacts the movement and fate of nutrients and contaminants in the environment. Understanding groundwater-surface water interactions is especially important in the western Canadian oil sands, where groundwater contamination risks are elevated and baseline water chemistry data is lacking, leading to substantial uncertainties about anthropogenic influences on local river quality. High salinity groundwater springs sourced from deep aquifers, comprised of Pleistocene-aged glacial meltwater, are known to discharge into many rivers in the oil sands. Understanding connections between deep aquifers and surficial waterways is important in order to determine natural inputs into these rivers and to assess the potential for injected wastewater or oil extraction fluids to enter surface waters. While these springs have been identified, their spatial distribution along rivers has not been fully characterized. Here we present river chemistry data collected along a number of major river corridors in the Canadian oil sands region. We show that saline groundwater springs vary spatially along the course of these rivers and tend to be concentrated where the rivers incise Devonian- or Cretaceous-aged aquifers along an evaporite dissolution front. Our results suggest that water sourced from Devonian aquifers may travel through bitumen-bearing Cretaceous units and discharge into local rivers, implying a strong groundwater-surface water connection in specialized locations. These findings indicate that oil sands process-affected waters that are injected at depth have the potential to move through these aquifers and reach the rivers at the surface at some time in the future. Groundwater-surface water interactions remain key to understanding the risks oil sands activities pose to aquatic ecosystems and downstream communities.

  4. Tracing industrial sulfur emissions in atmospheric sulfate deposition in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernadette C. Proemse; Bernhard. Mayer; Mark E. Fenn

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic S emissions in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR) in Alberta, Canada, affect SO4 deposition in close vicinity of industrial emitters. Between May 2008 and May 2009, SO4-S deposition was monitored using open field bulk collectors at 15 sites and throughfall collectors at 14 sites at distances between 3 and 113 km from one of the major emission stacks in...

  5. Mapping lithological heterogeneity in Athabasca oil sand reservoirs using surface seismic data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, Y.; Chopra, S. [Arcis Corp., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    The distribution of bitumen in the McMurray formation in the Athabasca oil sands varies due to the high degree of facies heterogeneity throughout the deposit, making it difficult to interpret geology and estimate the bitumen distribution. Good quality seismic data has good lateral and vertical coverage and helps understand oil sands reservoir heterogeneity. The relationships between reservoir lithology and rock physics parameters need to be determined, especially those that can be derived from seismic data, in order to honour the advantage of seismic data in mapping reservoir heterogeneity for the Athabasca oil sands. A practical work flow was presented along with real examples for extracting lithology-sensitive rock physics parameters from surface seismic data for characterization of lithological heterogeneity of Athabasca oilsands reservoirs in the McMurray formation. Improvement in terms of reliable 3-parameter AVO inversion was the key step in the workflow. A case history demonstrated that the method helps understand the lithological heterogeneity of Athabasca oil sand reservoirs. The derived results from the case study calibrated well with the available log curves and a blind well test confirmed the accuracy of the calibration. 4 refs., 6 figs.

  6. Advanced testing and characterization of shear modulus and deformation characteristics of oil sand materials

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Anochie-Boateng, Joseph

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available the need to characterize the stress dependent, visco-elastic and plastic behavior of oil sand materials under dynamic loading of off-road construction and mining equipment. This paper introduces a new cyclic triaxial test procedure for determining shear...

  7. Sustainable use of oil sands for geotechnical construction and road building

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Anochie-Boateng, Joseph

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available the principal application of these materials for road building has been in the unbound layers of the pavement structure, the full benefits of oil sands, particularly, their sustainability and environmental friendliness are yet to be realized. In their natural...

  8. Oil sands production outlook and supply costs : 2006-2030

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    LeBlanc, Nicole; McColl, David

    2006-01-01

    ... (mining extraction, in situ recovery and bitumen upgrading), their energy requirements, and the associated supply costs of crude bitumen and synthetic crude oil streams, given recent market price changes...

  9. Nitrogen and sulphur deposition and the growth of Sphagnum fuscum in bogs of the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie A. VILE

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available One of the consequences of ongoing development of the oil sands reserve in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada (56° 39' N, 111° 13' W is an increase in emissions of nitrogen (N and sulphur (S, with an attendant increases in regional atmospheric N and S deposition. Regional land cover across northeastern Alberta is a mixture of Boreal Mixedwood, Boreal Highlands, and Subarctic areas. Peatlands occupy between 22 and 66% of these natural regions, and the land cover of bogs varies between 6.7% in the Mixedwood Region to 46% in the Subarctic Region. Ombrotrophic bog ecosystems may be especially sensitive to atmospheric deposition of N and S. Across 10 ombrotrophic bog sites in the AOSR over four years (2005– 2008, we found no evidence of elevated deposition of NH4 +-N, NO3 –-N, total inorganic nitrogen (TIN; NH4 +-N plus NO3 –-N, or SO4 2–-S, with values measured using ion exchange resin collectors averaging 0.61 ± 04, 0.20 ± 0.01, 0.81 ± 0.04, and 1.14 ± 0.06 kg ha–1 y–1, respectively. Vertical growth and net primary production of Sphagnum fuscum, an indicator of elevated deposition, did not differ consistently across sites, averaging 11.8 ± 0.2 mm y–1 and 234 ± 3.3 g m–2 y–1, respectively, over the four years. Neither vertical growth nor net primary production of S. fuscum was correlated with growing season atmospheric N or S deposition. Our data provide a valuable benchmark of background values for monitoring purposes in anticipation of increasing N and S deposition over a broader geographic region within the AOSR.

  10. An economic analysis of oil sands mining options | Suglo | Ghana ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    or investments options. Various economic evaluation criteria such as the Net Present Value, Profitability Index, Internal Rate of Return and Discounted Payback Period are commonly used, alone or in combination, to determine the acceptability or attractiveness of projects and to aid in the selection of the best investment ...

  11. Co-occurrence of methanogenesis and N{sub 2} fixation in oil sands tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collins, C.E. Victoria [Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G7 (Canada); Foght, Julia M. [Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E9 (Canada); Siddique, Tariq, E-mail: tariq.siddique@ualberta.ca [Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G7 (Canada)

    2016-09-15

    Oil sands tailings ponds in northern Alberta, Canada have been producing biogenic gases via microbial metabolism of hydrocarbons for decades. Persistent methanogenic activity in tailings ponds without any known replenishment of nutrients such as fixed nitrogen (N) persuaded us to investigate whether N{sub 2} fixation or polyacrylamide (PAM; used as a tailings flocculant) could serve as N sources. Cultures comprising mature fine tailings (MFT) plus methanogenic medium supplemented with or deficient in fixed N were incubated under an N{sub 2} headspace. Some cultures were further amended with citrate, which is used in oil sands processing, as a relevant carbon source, and/or with PAM. After an initial delay, N-deficient cultures with or without PAM produced methane (CH{sub 4}) at the same rate as N-containing cultures, indicating a mechanism of overcoming apparent N-deficiency. Acetylene reduction and {sup 15}N{sub 2} incorporation in all N-deficient cultures (with or without PAM) suggested active N{sub 2} fixation concurrently with methanogenesis but inability to use PAM as a N source. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing revealed little difference between archaeal populations regardless of N content. However, bacterial sequences in N-deficient cultures showed enrichment of Hyphomicrobiaceae and Clostridium members that might contain N{sub 2}-fixing species. The results are important in understanding long-term production of biogenic greenhouse gases in oil sands tailings. - Highlights: • Methanogenesis in oil sands tailings can occur under nitrogen depleted conditions. • {sup 15}N{sub 2} isotopic analysis reveals that indigenous microbes can fix N{sub 2} for microbial metabolism and methanogenesis. • 16S rRNA gene analysis suggests that members of Hyphomicrobiaceae and Clostridium may be involved in N{sub 2} fixation. • This is the first report that describes co-occurrence of methanogenesis and nitrogen fixation in oil sands tailings.

  12. An added dimension: GC atmospheric pressure chemical ionization FTICR MS and the Athabasca oil sands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrow, Mark P; Peru, Kerry M; Headley, John V

    2014-08-19

    The Athabasca oil sands industry, an alternative source of petroleum, uses large quantities of water during processing of the oil sands. In keeping with Canadian environmental policy, the processed water cannot be released to natural waters and is thus retained on-site in large tailings ponds. There is an increasing need for further development of analytical methods for environmental monitoring. The following details the first example of the application of gas chromatography atmospheric pressure chemical ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (GC-APCI-FTICR MS) for the study of environmental samples from the Athabasca region of Canada. APCI offers the advantages of reduced fragmentation compared to other ionization methods and is also more amenable to compounds that are inaccessible by electrospray ionization. The combination of GC with ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry can improve the characterization of complex mixtures where components cannot be resolved by GC alone. This, in turn, affords the ability to monitor extracted ion chromatograms for components of the same nominal mass and isomers in the complex mixtures. The proof of concept work described here is based upon the characterization of one oil sands process water sample and two groundwater samples in the area of oil sands activity. Using the new method, the Ox and OxS compound classes predominated, with OxS classes being particularly relevant to the oil sands industry. The potential to resolve retention times for individual components within the complex mixture, highlighting contributions from isomers, and to characterize retention time profiles for homologous series is shown, in addition to the ability to follow profiles of double bond equivalents and carbon number for a compound class as a function of retention time. The method is shown to be well-suited for environmental forensics.

  13. Mineral matter and clay-organic complexes in oil sands extraction processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mikula, R.J.; Axelson, D.E.; Sheeran, D. (CANMET, Devon, AB (Canada). Fuel Processing Lab.)

    1993-01-01

    Differences in oil sands processibility and extraction yields can be dependent upon many factors including the composition of the mineral components and the organic complexes that are associated with certain minerals. These mineral-organic associations help provide the bridge which leads to carry over of bitumen with the tailings as well as carry over of water and mineral matter with the bitumen product. The nature of the organic component of clay-organic complexes extracted from various streams in an oil sands recovery process is discussed in relation to the stability of both water-in-oil and oil-in-water emulsions formed. The samples were obtained from Suncor's oil sands extraction plant located in Fort McMurry, Alberta. Samples were obtained from throughout the extraction process from the primary froth through to the final diluted bitumen product. These samples have been studied with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) as well as with other techniques such as interfacial tension measurements. The data indicate that high water content products originate, to a great extent, from the presence of a very hydrophilic organic matrix attached to the surface of the clay and heavy metal minerals. 15 refs., 16 figs.

  14. Assessing mobility and redistribution patterns of sand and oil agglomerates in the surf zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalyander, P Soupy; Long, Joseph W; Plant, Nathaniel G; Thompson, David M

    2014-03-15

    Heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates that formed in the surf zone following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill continued to cause beach re-oiling 3years after initial stranding. To understand this phenomena and inform operational response now and for future spills, a numerical method to assess the mobility and alongshore movement of these "surface residual balls" (SRBs) was developed and applied to the Alabama and western Florida coasts. Alongshore flow and SRB mobility and potential flux were used to identify likely patterns of transport and deposition. Results indicate that under typical calm conditions, cm-size SRBs are unlikely to move alongshore, whereas mobility and transport is likely during storms. The greater mobility of sand compared to SRBs makes burial and exhumation of SRBs likely, and inlets were identified as probable SRB traps. Analysis of field data supports these model results. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Changes in algal stable isotopes following nutrient and peat amendments in oil sands aquatic reclamation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farwell, A.; Chen, H.; Boutsivongskad, M.; Dixon, D. [Waterloo Univ., ON (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    The processing of oil sands in Alberta generates large volumes of processed material that must be reclaimed. Processed water and solids (PW/S) contain higher levels of naturally occurring compounds such as naphthenic acids (NAs) and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs). Organic carbon and nitrogen are some of the constituents in PW/S that may provide nutrient sources for aquatic reclamation sites as they develop into viable ecosystems. This study was conducted to assess the modifying factors that may affect the stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values of primary production in oil sands aquatic reclamation. Both field-based microcosm studies and laboratory studies were used to evaluate the changes in the growth and stable isotope values of phytoplankton, periphyton and/or filamentous algae along gradients of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), nitrogen and phosphorus. Various types of reclamation substrates were used in the study, including various combinations of sand, mature fine tailings, peat and process water. Results showed different levels of growth depending on both the water and substrate type. Typically, periphyton from oil sands reclamation sites were more enriched in 15N than the reference site. Periphyton from one site known as the MP site was more enriched in 13C than periphyton from another site know as the Shallow Wetland South Ditch (SWSD). However, periphyton in the demonstration pond (DP) was more 13C depleted than the reference site. Findings from this study indicate that carbon isotopes are influenced by other factors, such as nutrients.

  16. Plant growth and arbuscular mycorrhizae development in oil sands processing by-products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boldt-Burisch, Katja; Naeth, M Anne; Schneider, Uwe; Schneider, Beate; Hüttl, Reinhard F

    2017-11-22

    Soil pollutants such as hydrocarbons can induce toxic effects in plants and associated arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). This study was conducted to evaluate if the legume Lotus corniculatus and the grass Elymus trachycaulus and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi could grow in two oil sands processing by-products after bitumen extraction from the oil sands in northern Alberta, Canada. Substrate treatments were coarse tailings sand (CTS), a mix of dry mature fine tailings (MFT) with CTS (1:1) and Pleistocene sandy soil (hydrocarbon free); microbial treatments were without AMF, with AMF and AMF plus soil bacteria isolated from oil sands reclamation sites. Plant biomass, root morphology, leaf water content, shoot tissue phosphorus content and mycorrhizal colonization were evaluated. Both plant species had reduced growth in CTS and tailings mix relative to sandy soil. AMF frequency and intensity in roots of E. trachycaulus was not influenced by soil hydrocarbons; however, it decreased significantly over time in roots of L. corniculatus without bacteria in CTS. Mycorrhizal inoculation alone did not significantly improve plant growth in CTS and tailings mix; however, inoculation with mycorrhizae plus bacteria led to a significantly positive response of both plant species in CTS. Thus, combined inoculation with selected mycorrhizae and bacteria led to synergistic effects. Such combinations may be used in future to improve plant growth in reclamation of CTS and tailings mix. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Assessing the effects of oil sands related ozone precursor emissions on ambient ozone levels in the Alberta oil sands region, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Sunny; Vijayaraghavan, Krish; Spink, David; Cosic, Biljana; Davies, Mervyn; Jung, Jaegun

    2017-11-01

    A study was undertaken to determine whether, and the extent to which, increased ground-level ozone (O3) precursor emissions from oil sands development have impacted ambient air quality in the north-eastern Alberta, Canada, over the period 1998 to 2012. Temporal trends in emissions of O3 precursors (NOx and VOC) and ambient air concentrations of O3 precursors, and O3 were examined using the Theil-Sen statistical analysis method. Statistically significant correlations between NOx emissions and ambient NOx concentrations were found mainly near surface (open-pit) mining areas where mine fleets are a large source of NOx emissions. No statistically significant trends in the 4th highest daily maximum 8-hr average O3 at any of the continuous and passive ambient air monitoring stations were found. A significant long-term decrease in monthly averaged O3 is observed at some ambient monitoring sites in summer. A visual examination of long-term variations in annual NOx and VOC emissions and annual 4th highest daily maximum 8-hr O3 concentrations does not reveal any indication of a correlation between O3 concentrations and O3 precursor emissions or ambient levels in the study area. Despite a significant increase in oil sands NOx emissions (8%/yr), there is no statistically significant increase in long-term O3 concentrations at any of monitoring stations considered. This suggests that there is surplus NOx available in the environment which results in a titration of ambient O3 in the areas that have ambient monitoring. The limited ambient O3 monitoring data distant from NOx emission sources makes it impossible to assess the impact of these increased O3 precursor levels on O3 levels on a regional scale. As a precautionary measure, the increasing oil sands development O3 precursor emissions would require that priority be given to the management of these emissions to prevent possible future O3 ambient air quality issues.

  18. Characterization and determination of naphthenic acids species in oil sands process-affected water and groundwater from oil sands development area of Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Rongfu; Chen, Yuan; Meshref, Mohamed N A; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; Dong, Shimiao; Ibrahim, Mohamed D; Wang, Chengjin; Klamerth, Nikolaus; Hughes, Sarah A; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Brown, Christine; Mahaffey, Ashley; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2018-01-01

    This work reports the monitoring and assessment of naphthenic acids (NAs) in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW), Pleistocene channel aquifer groundwater (PLCA), and oil sands basal aquifer groundwater (OSBA) from an active oil sands development in Alberta, Canada, using ultra performance liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-TOF-MS) analysis with internal standard (ISTD) and external standard (ESTD) calibration methods and Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR-MS) for compositional analysis. PLCA was collected at 45-51 m depth and OSBA was collected at 67-144 m depth. Results of Ox-NA concentrations follow an order as OSPW > OSBA > PLCA, indicating that occurrences of NAs in OSBA were likely related to natural bitumen deposits instead of OSPW. Liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) was applied to avoid the matrix effect for the ESTD method. Reduced LLE efficiency accounted for the divergence of the ISTD and ESTD calibrated results for oxidized NAs. Principle component analysis results of O2 and O4 species could be employed for differentiation of water types, while classical NAs with C13-15 and Z (-4)-(-6) and aromatic O2-NAs with C16-18 and Z (-14)-(-16) could be measured as marker compounds to characterize water sources and potential temporal variations of samples, respectively. FTICR-MS results revealed that compositions of NA species varied greatly among OSPW, PLCA, and OSBA, because of NA transfer and transformation processes. This work contributed to the understanding of the concentration and composition of NAs in various types of water, and provided a useful combination of analytical and statistical tools for monitoring studies, in support of future safe discharge of treated OSPW. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Utilization of fly ash as partial sand replacement in oil palm shell lightweight aggregate concrete

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazrin Akmal, A. Z. Muhammad; Muthusamy, K.; Mat Yahaya, F.; Hanafi, H. Mohd; Nur Azzimah, Z.

    2017-11-01

    Realization on the increasing demand for river sand supply in construction sector has inspired the current research to find alternative material to reduce the use of natural sand in oil palm shell lightweight aggregate concrete (OPS LWAC) production. The existence of fly ash, a by-product generated from coal power plant, which pose negative impact to the environment when it is disposed as waste, were used in this research. The effect of fly ash content as partial sand replacement towards workability and compressive strength of OPS lightweight aggregate concrete were investigated. Four concrete mixes containing various percentage of fly ash that are 0%, 10%, 20% and 30% by weight of sand were used in the experimental work. All mixes were cast in form of cubes before subjected to water curing until the testing age. Compressive strength test were conducted at 1, 3, 7 and 28 days. The finding shows that the workability of the OPS LWAC decreases when more fly ash are used as sand replacement. It was found that adding of 10% fly ash as sand replacement content resulted in better compressive strength of OPS LWAC, which is higher than the control mix.

  20. Supercritical fluid extraction of soybean oil from the surface of spiked quartz sand - modelling study

    OpenAIRE

    Jokić, Stela; Nagy, B.; K. Aladić; Simándi, B.

    2013-01-01

    The extraction of soybean oil from the surface of spiked quartz sand using supercritical CO2 was investigated. Sand as solid was used; it is not porous material so the internal diffusion does not exist, all the soluble material is in the surface of the particles. Sovová’s model has been used in order to obtain an analytical solution to develop the required extraction yield curves. The model simplifies when the internal diffusion can be neglected. The external mass transfer coefficient was det...

  1. Creating value from waste: remediation of froth treatment tailings from oil sands mining operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moran, Kevin [Titanium Corporation (Canada); Burdenie, B. [SNC-LAVALIN (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    As the world reserves of oil are depleting, most of the remaining oil is heavy oil from oil sands. Several methods based on water and solvent usage are used to recover this oil but they lead to the rejection of valuable compounds into tailings: heavy minerals, residual bitumen, water and solvent. The aim of this paper is to present the research and development program carried out by Titanium Corporation Inc., of Canada, to recover these compounds in Alberta. Pilot projects were conducted to test the developed technologies. Results showed performance meeting or exceeding expectations as well as a numerous environmental benefits including a significant reduction in water imports and emissions of CO2, NOx and volatile organic compounds. .

  2. Volatile Organic Compound Observations near Oil Sands Mining, Upgrading and Refining Facilities in Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, I. J.; Marrero, J.; Meinardi, S.; Barletta, B.; Krogh, E.; Blake, D. R.

    2012-12-01

    The oil sands of Alberta are the world's third-largest proven oil reserve. Even though the expansion of the oil sands industry has led to concerns about its impact on air quality, water quality and human health, emissions from the oil sands industry are very poorly characterized in the literature. During 2008-2012 our group collected 398 whole air samples downwind of (1) oil sands surface mining and upgrading facilities north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, and (2) chemical, petrochemical, and oil and gas facilities in the "Industrial Heartland" region of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. These high-precision measurements were made primarily in July 2008, August 2010, and July 2012 using canister sampling followed by multi-column gas chromatography analysis for 80 speciated volatile organic compounds (VOCs), with ppt-level detection limits. Strong VOC enhancements were measured downwind of upgrading operations near Fort McMurray, especially alkanes, aromatics and solvents. For example, maximum concentrations of 2,3-dimethylbutane, p-xylene and n-octane were 800-2400× the local background value (LBV), and the industrial solvent trichloroethene was up to 260× the LBV. We measured only small VOC enhancements at sites of naturally exposed oil sands, confirming that degraded air quality results from industrial activity rather than emission from natural sources. Remarkably strong VOC enhancements were detected in the Industrial Heartland, which is the largest hydrocarbon processing region in Canada. Some of the largest VOC excesses were measured in samples designated as "no smell", showing that absence of odor is not necessarily an indicator of good air quality. The maximum concentrations of methyl tert-butyl ether and ethylbenzene were 6200× the LBV, and concentrations of 1,3-butadiene, a known carcinogen, were 2400× the LBV. Thirty VOCs were present at levels above 1 ppbv, and maximum propene and i-pentane levels exceeded 100 ppbv. Remarkably, the maximum propene

  3. Laboratory observations of artificial sand and oil agglomerates video and velocity data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Robert; Dalyander, P. Soupy; Penko, Allison; Long, Joseph W.; Nelson, Timothy

    2017-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey conducted experiments during March of 2014 to expand the available data on sand and oil agglomerate motion; test shear stress based incipient motion parameterizations in a controlled, laboratory setting; and directly observe sand and oil agglomerate exhumation and burial processes. Experiments were carried out at the Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, Stennis, Mississippi using a small-oscillatory flow tunnel. HD Video data was collected by two Canon 7D DSLR cameras. 3D flow velocity data was captured by a Vectrino acoustic Doppler current profiler. Additional video data was captured by a GoPro camera placed within the small-oscillatory flow tunnel. For the false-floor incipient motion experiment, movies which combine video data, flow velocity data, calculations of shear stress, and the instant of incipient motion were created. For the movable bed sea-floor interaction experiment, movies which combine video data and flow velocity data were created.

  4. Carbon dynamics, food web structure and reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands wetlands (CRFAW)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ciborowski, J. [Windsor Univ., ON (Canada); Dixon, G. [Waterloo Univ., ON (Canada); Foote, L. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Liber, K.; Smits, J. [Saskatchewan Univ., Regina, SK (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This abstract provided details of the Carbon Dynamics, Food Web Structure and Reclamation Strategies in Athabasca Oil Sands Wetlands (CFRAW) program, a collaboration between oil sands industry partners and university laboratories. CFRAW researchers are investigating the effects of mine tailings and process waters on the development, health, and function of wetland communities in post-mining landscapes. The aim of the program is to accurately predict how quickly the reclaimed wetlands will approach conditions seen in reference wetland systems. The program is also examining the effects of hydrocarbons as a surrogate source of carbon after they are metabolized by bacteria. The biological uptake, pathways, and movement through the food web of materials used by the biota in constructed wetlands are also being studied. Flux estimates will be used to determine if wetlands amended with peat will maintain their productivity. A conceptual model of carbon pathways and budgets is also being developed.

  5. Vegetation diversity and biomass : response to oil sand tailings disposal in Fort McMurray, Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roy, M.C.; Foote, L. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    While covering the bottom of constructed wetlands with a layer of oil sands tailings has been proposed as a means of disposal, the salts and naphthenic acids (NA) in tailings may have negative impacts on wetland vegetation development. This study was conducted to determine if wetlands constructed with oil sands tailings have a lower vegetation diversity and biomass than constructed wetlands that are not amended with tailings. The effects of NA and salinity on the vegetation in natural, constructed, and tailings-impacted wetlands were evaluated in 30 sites in the Fort McMurray region. Results of the study indicate that the presence of tailings negatively impacted both vegetation diversity and biomass. Salinity was identified as the primary causal factor.

  6. Metabolism of BTEX and naphtha compounds to methane in oil sands tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddique, Tariq; Fedorak, Phillip M; MacKinnon, Michael D; Foght, Julia M

    2007-04-01

    Naphtha, comprising low molecular weight aliphatics and aromatics (C3-C14), is used as a diluent in processing of bitumen from oil sands. A small fraction ( o-xylene > m- plus p-xylene > ethylbenzene > benzene. Only 15-23% of whole naphtha, mainly n-alkanes (in the sequence: nonane > octane > heptane) and some BTEX compounds (toluene > o-xylene > m-xylene), was metabolized. Other naphtha constituents, such as iso-paraffins and naphthenes, remained unchanged during this period. These results suggest that the microbial communities in the MFT can readily utilize certain fractions of unrecovered naphtha in oil sands tailings and support methanogenesis in settling basins. Current study findings could influence extraction process, MFT management, and reclamation options.

  7. An approach to managing cumulative effects to groundwater resources in the Alberta oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fennell, J.; Forrest, Francine [WorleyParsons Canada, Infrastructure and Environment (Canada); Klebek, Margaret [Alberta Environment, Clean Energy Policy Branch (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    In the Athabasca region of Northern Alberta, oil sands activity has raised many concerns over how mining and extracting processes might affect groundwater quality and quantity. The groundwater management framework was developed by Alberta Environment to address these concerns by identifying and managing the potential environmental effects of oil sands activity on groundwater in a science-based manner. This paper develops the framework using risk identification and performance monitoring. The decision-making approach was conducted using decision support tools such as modeling, monitoring and management. Results showed the complexity and variability of groundwater conditions in the Athabasca region and pointed out that knowledge in this area is still developing. This paper presented how the groundwater management framework was developed and pointed out that it will have to be updated as new information arrives.

  8. Conservation and reclamation at Alberta's mineable oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Purdy, B.; Richens, T. [Alberta Environment, Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    The regulatory foundation for oil sands in this region is established by the Energy Resources Conservation Board, Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA), as well as the Water Act. This presentation discussed the regulatory foundation for conservation and reclamation in the mineable oil sands region. EPEA requirements and conservation objectives were identified. EPEA conservation and reclamation requirements stipulate that an operator must conserve and reclaim and obtain a reclamation certificate. EPEA approvals that were presented compared prescriptive standards versus meeting outcomes at certification. Operational and management challenges as well as the role of research networks and multi-stakeholder organizations were also addressed. Challenge facing the industry include progressive reclamation; tailings management and process-affected water; reclamation certification; integrated landscapes; soil handling and revegetation and monitoring and research. The presentation demonstrated that reclamation begins with mine planning and ends with certification. figs.

  9. Thickened tailings paste technology and its applicability in oil sand tailings management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yuan, X.S.; Lahaie, R. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Edmonton Research Centre

    2009-07-01

    This presentation discussed the use of thickened tailings (TT) technology in the management of oil sands tailings. The thickening process was evaluated and TT paste transport was studied. Issues related to environmental and overflow water reuse were also studied. Flocculant screening, beaker testing, and laboratory sedimentation tests were conducted to assess the technology. Technologies used to transport the TT included centrifugal pumps, positive displacement, conveyor belts and truck fleets for high yield stress filtration cakes. The study showed that TT transport technology should be based on minimum deposition requirements. The TT paste demonstrated Bingham non-Newtonian behaviour. The shearing of the TT reduced yield stresses. The study also showed that thin-lift dry stacking methods can be used to obtain more efficient volumetric storage and rapid drying. It was concluded that the TT technology can be used as part of oil sands closure and reclamation strategies. tabs., figs.

  10. The Significance of Tax Incentives in Attracting Foreign Investment: Lessons from the Canadian Oil Sands Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Febriana, Restika

    Tax incentives have been used by countries to stimulate foreign investment. Few countries doubt the effectiveness of tax incentives. Canada and Indonesia are among the many countries that offer tax incentives to attract investors. While Canada has a long history of using tax incentives to foster the development of the Alberta oil sands, Indonesia is just embarking on this strategy, especially in promoting foreign investment in remote areas. Drawing on the Canadian development of the Alberta oil sands, this thesis asks what lessons Indonesia can learn from that experience in relying on tax incentives to develop the industry. This thesis acknowledges that there are many important differences between Canada and Indonesia. Since most countries speak of using tax incentives to finance their petroleum industries, it is worth examining at least one instance of that strategy and see whether Indonesia can extract any thing of value from this examination.

  11. Applicability of small fast reactor '4S' for oil sands recovery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsuyama, S.; Nishiguchi, Y.; Sakashita, Y.; Kasuga, S. [Toshiba Corp., Yokohama (Japan); Kawashima, M. [Aitel Corp., Yokohama (Japan); Grenci, T. [Westinghouse, Waddell, Arizona (United States)

    2009-07-01

    '4S' (Super-Safe, Small and Simple) is a small-sized sodium cooled reactor with a reflector controlled long life core. Concept of steam production plant consisting of the 4S with a thermal rating of 135 MWt for a typical SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) plant was established. The 4S, provided for oil sands recovery, will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emission and has applicability to oil sands plant. The burden for development and licensing will be reduced in tie-ups with development and licensing program for the 4S with a thermal rating of 30MWt which is now in a process of pre-application review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (author)

  12. Microbially-accelerated consolidation of oil sands tailings. Pathway I: changes in porewater chemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tariq eSiddique

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Dispersed clay particles in mine tailings and soft sediments remain suspended for decades, hindering consolidation and challenging effective management of these aqueous slurries. Current geotechnical engineering models of self-weight consolidation of tailings do not consider microbial contribution to sediment behavior, however, here we show that microorganisms indigenous to oil sands tailings change the porewater chemistry and accelerate consolidation of oil sands tailings. A companion paper describes the role of microbes in alteration of clay chemistry in tailings. Microbial metabolism in mature fine tailings (MFT amended with an organic substrate (hydrolyzed canola meal produced methane (CH4 and carbon dioxide (CO2. Dissolution of biogenic CO2 lowered the pH of amended MFT to pH 6.4 versus unamended MFT (pH 7.7. About 12% more porewater was recovered from amended than unamended MFT during 2 months of active microbial metabolism, concomitant with consolidation of tailings. The lower pH in amended MFT dissolved carbonate minerals, thereby releasing divalent cations including calcium (Ca2+ and magnesium (Mg2+ and increasing bicarbonate (HCO3- in porewater. The higher concentrations increased the ionic strength of the porewater, in turn reducing the thickness of the diffuse double layer (DDL of clay particles by reducing the surface charge potential (repulsive forces of the clay particles. The combination of these processes accelerated consolidation of oil sands tailings. In addition, ebullition of biogenic gases created transient physical channels for release of porewater. In contrast, saturating the MFT with non-biogenic CO2 had little effect on consolidation. These results have significant implications for management and reclamation of oil sands tailings ponds and broad importance in anaerobic environments such as contaminated harbors and estuaries containing soft sediments rich in clays and organics.

  13. Legacy of a half century of Athabasca oil sands development recorded by lake ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurek, Joshua; Kirk, Jane L; Muir, Derek C G; Wang, Xiaowa; Evans, Marlene S; Smol, John P

    2013-01-29

    The absence of well-executed environmental monitoring in the Athabasca oil sands (Alberta, Canada) has necessitated the use of indirect approaches to determine background conditions of freshwater ecosystems before development of one of the Earth's largest energy deposits. Here, we use highly resolved lake sediment records to provide ecological context to ∼50 y of oil sands development and other environmental changes affecting lake ecosystems in the region. We show that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) within lake sediments, particularly C1-C4-alkylated PAHs, increased significantly after development of the bitumen resource began, followed by significant increases in dibenzothiophenes. Total PAH fluxes in the modern sediments of our six study lakes, including one site ∼90 km northwest of the major development area, are now ∼2.5-23 times greater than ∼1960 levels. PAH ratios indicate temporal shifts from primarily wood combustion to petrogenic sources that coincide with greater oil sands development. Canadian interim sediment quality guidelines for PAHs have been exceeded since the mid-1980s at the most impacted site. A paleoecological assessment of Daphnia shows that this sentinel zooplankter has not yet been negatively impacted by decades of high atmospheric PAH deposition. Rather, coincident with increases in PAHs, climate-induced shifts in aquatic primary production related to warmer and drier conditions are the primary environmental drivers producing marked daphniid shifts after ∼1960 to 1970. Because of the striking increase in PAHs, elevated primary production, and zooplankton changes, these oil sands lake ecosystems have entered new ecological states completely distinct from those of previous centuries.

  14. Thermochemical method for the treatment of oil contaminated sand; Metodo termoquimico para tratamento de areia contaminada por oleo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pimenta, Rosana C.G.M. [Fundacao Gorceix, Ouro Preto, MG (Brazil)]|[PETROBRAS S.A., Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Khalil, Carlos N. [PETROBRAS, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Centro de Pesquisas (CENPES)

    2004-07-01

    In January 2000 there was a major oil spill in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, which contaminated 2400 tons of sand. This work, based on NGS (Nitrogen Generating System) technology, was adapted for cleaning contaminated sand and recovering of spilled oil. NGS is a thermochemical method first developed for removal of paraffin deposits in production and export pipelines. The method is based on a strongly exothermic redox chemical reaction between two salts catalyzed in acidic pH. The reaction products are harmless to the environment and consist of nitrogen, sodium chloride, water and heat. By combining simultaneous effects of the treatment such as heating, turbulence and floatation, one can remove, within 98% of efficiency, spilling oil from contaminated sand. After treatment, removed oil can be securely returned to refining process. The method has proved to be efficient, fast, low cost and ecologically correct method for cleaning contaminated sand and can be applied in place right after a contamination event. (author)

  15. Airborne Lidar Measurements of Pollution above the Oil Sands Region in Northern Alberta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aggarwal Monika

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Lidar measurements of ozone and aerosol were conducted from a Twin Otter aircraft above the oil sands region of northern Alberta. For the majority of the flights, significant amounts of aerosol were observed within the boundary layer, up to an altitude of 2.0 km above sea level (ASL, while the ozone concentration remained at background levels (30-45 ppb downwind of the industry. On August 24th the lidar measured a separated layer of aerosol above the boundary layer, at a height of 2.0 km ASL, in which the ozone mixing ratio increased to 70 ppb. Backward trajectory calculations revealed that the air containing this separated aerosol layer had passed over an area of forest fires. Directly below the layer of forest fire smoke, pollution from the oil sands industry was observed. Measurements of the backscatter linear depolarization ratio were obtained with a ground based lidar operated by Environment Canada within the oil sands region. The depolarization measurements aided in discriminating between the separate sources of pollution from industry and forest fires. The depolarization ratio was 5-6% in forest fire smoke and 7-10% in the industrial pollution.

  16. Testing Local Adaptation in Five Populations of Hyalella azteca in Northern Alberta's Oil Sands Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beery, Steven R; Gauthier, Patrick T; Pyle, Gregory G

    2017-02-01

    Canada's oil sands hold the third largest petroleum reserves worldwide and have experienced rapid economic growth. The oil sands region provides an ideal location for studying local adaptations through reciprocal transplant (RT) because populations within the region have been historically exposed to naturally occurring bitumen. Our objectives were to (1) determine if Hyalella azteca from habitats within the oil sands region exhibited increased tolerance to constituents associated with industrial bitumen extraction compared with H. azteca from habitats outside the region; and (2) determine if any observed tolerance was attributable to local adaptation. Five populations of H. azteca were reciprocally transplanted from reclaimed and reference wetlands: four from local wetlands plus one naïve laboratory population. Survival, toxicity, and behaviour were measured before and after the RT period. Survival varied by population and site. These results show that the differences in responses among populations are likely not attributable to local adaptation and that laboratory populations of H. azteca provide ecologically relevant results when tested in the field.

  17. Development of a bioassay to assess the toxicity of oil sands sediments to pike (Esox lucius)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turcotte, D.; Yuan, H.; Tumber, V.; Parrott, J. [Environment Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada); Raine, J. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Pike (Esox lucius) are a commercially sought fish species that inhabit the Athabasca River, which flows through the Athabasca oil sands. The fish are exposed to natural sources of bitumen from the McMurray formation. This study was conducted to design and implement a daily-renewal bioassay to assess the toxicity of oil sands to this fish species and to obtain information regarding the development of pike exposed to bitumen. Eggs were collected and fertilized with milt from spawning wild pike captured from Lake Diefenbaker in Saskatchewan. The fertilized eggs were exposed to different concentrations of sediments or culture water only (negative controls) until complete yolk absorption of control fish, approximately 15 days post-hatch. For the rest of the experiment, brine shrimp were fed to the walleye embryos every day after hatching. The developing fish were examined for morphological deformities, survival, hatching success, and changes in weight and length. The research findings indicated that pike is less sensitive than walleye and fathead minnow to the toxicity of oil sands sediments.

  18. Foliage Chemistry of Pinus baksiana in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernadette C. Proemse

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Industrial emissions in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR, Alberta, Canada, have caused concerns about the effect of oil sands operations on the surrounding terrestrial environments, including jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb. stands. We collected jack pine needles from 19 sites in the AOSR (13–128 km from main operations for foliar chemical analyses to investigate the environmental impact on jack pine. Pine needles from three age classes, the current annual growth (CAG, 2011, one year and two year old pine needles, were collected. Samples were analyzed for total carbon (TC, nitrogen (TN, and sulfur (TS, inorganic S (SO4-S, base cations (Ca, Mg, Na, and other elements (B, Cu, Fe, Mn, P, Zn; CAG needles were also analyzed for their nitrogen and carbon isotopic compositions. Only TN, TS, Ca, B, Zn, and Fe contents showed weak but significant increases with proximity to the major oil sands operations. C and N isotopic compositions showed no trend with distance or TC and TN contents. Total S contents in CAG of pine foliage increased significantly with proximity to the main industrial operation while foliar inorganic S to organic S ratios (SO4-S/Sorg ranged consistently between 0.13 and 0.32, indicating low to moderately high S loading. Hence, this study suggests some evidence of uptake of S emissions in close proximity to anthropogenic sources, although the reported values have not reached a level of environmental concern.

  19. Bitumen content estimation of Athabasca oil sand from broad band infrared reflectance spectra

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rivard, B.; Feng, J. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Earth Observation Systems Laboratory; Lyder, D. [Alberta Environment, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Gallie, A. [Laurentian Univ., Sudbury, ON (Canada). Dept. of Earth Sciences; Cloutis, E. [Winnipeg Univ., MB (Canada). Dept. of Geography; Dougan, P.; Gonzalez, S. [Syncrude Canada Ltd, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Cox, D. [Suncor Energy Inc., Fort McMurray, AB (Canada); Lipsett, M.G. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

    2010-10-15

    Oil sand deposits are not homogeneous. The ore has a large variability in clay, bitumen and fines, which impact bitumen recovery. This paper reported on a study in which a linear model was developed to estimate total bitumen content (TBC) with good accuracy and independent of mine location. The purpose of the study was to enable oil sands mining operators to estimate TBC in real time. Modelling of the TBC in the Athabasca oil sands of western Canada was undertaken on the basis of hyperspectral reflectance spectra. A variety of bitumen, water, and clay mineral spectral features were used to develop broad-band TBC predictive models, with less than 1.5 percent error with respect to laboratory methods of bitumen assay. Simple broad band models, based upon previously identified Gaussian features or wavelet features, provided an incremental improvement over the two-band ratio model presently used by industry. This paper also presented a newly developed and improved two-band model which combines the same two bands, normalized to their mean. The influence of water, clay, and textural variation on selected bitumen features was addressed by a wavelet-based, broad-band model comprised of indices and five bands, where the bands were normalized to the mean of the bands. The most robust estimator of TBC appeared to be the five-band model which can be used at different sites within a mine as well as in different mines without additional tuning or calibration. 17 refs., 4 tabs., 8 figs.

  20. Preliminary measurement-based estimates of PAH emissions from oil sands tailings ponds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galarneau, Elisabeth; Hollebone, Bruce P.; Yang, Zeyu; Schuster, Jasmin

    2014-11-01

    Tailings ponds in the oil sands region (OSR) of western Canada are suspected sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to the atmosphere. In the absence of detailed characterization or direct flux measurements, we present preliminary measurement-based estimates of the emissions of thirteen priority PAHs from the ponds. Using air concentrations measured under the Joint Canada-Alberta Oil Sands Monitoring Plan and water concentrations from a small sampling campaign in 2013, the total flux of 13 US EPA priority PAHs (fluorene to benzo[ghi]perylene) was estimated to be upward from water to air and to total 1069 kg y-1 for the region as a whole. By comparison, the most recent air emissions reported to Canada's National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) from oil sands facilities totalled 231 kg y-1. Exchange fluxes for the three remaining priority PAHs (naphthalene, acenaphthylene and acenaphthene) could not be quantified but evidence suggests that they are also upward from water to air. These results indicate that tailings ponds may be an important PAH source to the atmosphere that is missing from current inventories in the OSR. Uncertainty and sensitivity analyses lend confidence to the estimated direction of air-water exchange being upward from water to air. However, more detailed characterization of ponds at other facilities and direct flux measurements are needed to confirm the quantitative results presented herein.

  1. Screening of oil sands naphthenic acids by UV-Vis absorption and fluorescence emission spectrophotometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamed, Mohamed H; Wilson, Lee D; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M

    2008-12-01

    Oil sands extracted naphthenic acids fractions are known to contain impurities with various levels of unsaturation and aromaticity. These constituents contain functional groups that absorb ultraviolet-visible wavelength (UV-Vis) radiation and give intense fluorescence emission in contrast to the fully saturated alicyclic naphthenic acids. UV-Vis absorption and fluorescence emission spectrophotometry are presented here as inexpensive and quick screening methods that the detection of chromophoric surrogate compounds that serve as an internal standard for the indirect analysis of oil sands naphthenic acids. The method detection limit for the screening techniques was approximately 1 mg/L with an observed linear range of 1-100 mg/L. The precision of measurements was generally within 10% r.s.d. There was generally good agreement (within 20% r.s.d) for isotherm parameters from non-linear fitting of Langmuir, BET and Freundlich models for sorption of Athabasca oil sands naphthenic acid mixtures to activated carbon samples determined by UV-Vis absorption, fluorescence emission spectroscopy, and conventional direct injection electrospray ionization mass spectrometry.

  2. Cultural keystone species in oil sands reclamation, Fort McKay, Alberta, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garibaldi, A.; Straker, J. [Stantec Consulting Ltd., Surrey, BC (Canada)

    2009-12-15

    This presentation discussed a reclamation project conducted in Fort McKay, Alberta that was designed to address some of the social and cultural concerns related to oil sands mining in the region. Conventional reclamation practices in the region have demonstrated a lack of communication and participation from surrounding communities. The project was designed to address future land use plans and to include cultural values in the reclamation process. An integrative approach was used to address community landscapes issues and to explore methods of reclaiming the social and ecological components impacted by oil sands development. Traditional environmental knowledge was also incorporated into the program's design. Cultural keystone species (CKS) were used to provide a culturally relevant compass to guide people engaging in long-term reclamation and land use planning. Cultural keystone species were defined as salient species that significantly shape the cultural identity of a people. Keystone species in the region include the beaver; the moose; the ratroot; and cranberries and blueberries. Challenges to the program included the fact that the scale of oil sands disturbances are so immense that some community recommendations for reclaiming CKS may be impractical. tabs., figs.

  3. Carbon dynamics, food web structure and reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands wetlands (CFRAW) : overview and progress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ciborowski, J. [Windsor Univ., Windsor, ON (Canada); Dixon, D.G. [Waterloo Univ., Waterloo, ON (Canada); Foote, L. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Liber, K.; Smits, J.E. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    Seven oil sand mining partners and 5 university labs have joined forces to study the effects of mine tailings and process waters on development, health and function of wetland communities formed in post-mining landscapes. The collaborative effort, know as the carbon dynamics, food web structure and reclamation strategies in Athabasca oil sands wetlands (CRFAW), aims to identify the materials and strategies most effective and economical in producing a functioning reclamation landscape. This presentation reported on part of the study that tested predictions about how quickly wetlands amended with reclamation materials approach the conditions of reference wetland systems. It provided a conceptual model of carbon pathways and budgets to assess how the allocation of carbon among compartments changes as newly formed wetlands mature in the boreal system. It was assumed that stockpiling constructed wetlands with peat or topsoil would accelerate succession and community development. Although the bitumen and the naphthenic acids found in constructed wetlands are initially toxic, they may serve as an alternate source of carbon once they degrade. This study also assessed the sources, biological uptake, pathways, and movement through the food web of materials used by the biota in constructed wetlands. Additional studies are examining how the productivity of new wetlands is maintained. Net ecosystem productivity is being monitored along with rates of organic carbon accumulation from microbial, algal, and macrophyte production, and influx of outside materials. The rates of leaf litter breakdown and microbial respiration are being compared to determine how constituents speed or slow food web processes of young and older wetlands. Carbon and nitrogen isotope values in food web compartments indicate which sources are incorporated into the food web as wetlands age. The values are used to determine how this influences community development, food web structure and complexity, and the

  4. A First Assessment of the Elemental Composition of Atmospheric Aerosols in the Canadian Oil Sands Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dabek-Zlotorzynska E.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Canadian Oil Sands, which comprise 97% of Canada’s 176 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, are located beneath 140,200 km2 of boreal forests, prairies and wetlands, and are the second largest known deposit of crude oil in the world. As such, this region has experienced rapid industrial development, which resulted also in increasing industrial air emissions, primarily from bitumen upgrading and mine vehicle fleet operations. This rapid development has led to concerns regarding health risk to humans, and other terrestrial and aquatic wildlife associated with exposure to toxic contaminants, especially metals and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs particularly along the Athabasca River and its watershed. Canada’s Minister of the Environment announced that Environment Canada (EC will jointly lead, in collaboration with Government of Alberta and relevant stakeholders, the development and implementation of an enhanced monitoring system in the Oil Sands region to provide information on the state of the air, water, land andbiodiversity. This work presents preliminary data on the first assessment of elemental composition of fine particulate matter (particles<2.5 mm in diameter; PM2.5 at 3 air quality sites in close proximity to Oil Sands processing activities. Since December 2010, integrated 24 hour air samples were collected every sixth day on a 47-mm Teflon filters using Thermo Fisher Partisol 2000-FRM samplers operated by the National Air Pollution Surveillance (NAPS network that involves EC and the Canadian provinces and territories. All samples including laboratory, travel and field blanks were subjected to gravimetric determination of PM2.5 mass and energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF analysis for 46 elements. Since ED-XRF is a non-destructive technique, PM2.5 samples were subsequently analyzed for 37 trace elements including rare earth elements using inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS combined with microwave

  5. Massive dominance of Epsilonproteobacteria in formation waters from a Canadian oil sands reservoir containing severely biodegraded oil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hubert, Casey R J; Oldenburg, Thomas B P; Fustic, Milovan; Gray, Neil D; Larter, Stephen R; Penn, Kevin; Rowan, Arlene K; Seshadri, Rekha; Sherry, Angela; Swainsbury, Richard; Voordouw, Gerrit; Voordouw, Johanna K; Head, Ian M

    2012-02-01

    The subsurface microbiology of an Athabasca oil sands reservoir in western Canada containing severely biodegraded oil was investigated by combining 16S rRNA gene- and polar lipid-based analyses of reservoir formation water with geochemical analyses of the crude oil and formation water. Biomass was filtered from formation water, DNA was extracted using two different methods, and 16S rRNA gene fragments were amplified with several different primer pairs prior to cloning and sequencing or community fingerprinting by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Similar results were obtained irrespective of the DNA extraction method or primers used. Archaeal libraries were dominated by Methanomicrobiales (410 of 414 total sequences formed a dominant phylotype affiliated with a Methanoregula sp.), consistent with the proposed dominant role of CO(2) -reducing methanogens in crude oil biodegradation. In two bacterial 16S rRNA clone libraries generated with different primer pairs, > 99% and 100% of the sequences were affiliated with Epsilonproteobacteria (n = 382 and 72 total clones respectively). This massive dominance of Epsilonproteobacteria sequences was again obtained in a third library (99% of sequences; n = 96 clones) using a third universal bacterial primer pair (inosine-341f and 1492r). Sequencing of bands from DGGE profiles and intact polar lipid analyses were in accordance with the bacterial clone library results. Epsilonproteobacterial OTUs were affiliated with Sulfuricurvum, Arcobacter and Sulfurospirillum spp. detected in other oil field habitats. The dominant organism revealed by the bacterial libraries (87% of all sequences) is a close relative of Sulfuricurvum kujiense - an organism capable of oxidizing reduced sulfur compounds in crude oil. Geochemical analysis of organic extracts from bitumen at different reservoir depths down to the oil water transition zone of these oil sands indicated active biodegradation of dibenzothiophenes, and stable

  6. Class I cultural resource overview for oil shale and tar sands areas in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O' Rourke, D.; Kullen, D.; Gierek, L.; Wescott, K.; Greby, M.; Anast, G.; Nesta, M.; Walston, L.; Tate, R.; Azzarello, A.; Vinikour, B.; Van Lonkhuyzen, B.; Quinn, J.; Yuen, R.; Environmental Science Division

    2007-11-01

    In August 2005, the U.S. Congress enacted the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Public Law 109-58. In Section 369 of this Act, also known as the 'Oil Shale, Tar Sands, and Other Strategic Unconventional Fuels Act of 2005', Congress declared that oil shale and tar sands (and other unconventional fuels) are strategically important domestic energy resources that should be developed to reduce the nation's growing dependence on oil from politically and economically unstable foreign sources. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is developing a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) to evaluate alternatives for establishing commercial oil shale and tar sands leasing programs in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. This PEIS evaluates the potential impacts of alternatives identifying BLM-administered lands as available for application for commercial leasing of oil shale resources within the three states and of tar sands resources within Utah. The scope of the analysis of the PEIS also includes an assessment of the potential effects of future commercial leasing. This Class I cultural resources study is in support of the Draft Oil Shale and Tar Sands Resource Management Plan Amendments to Address Land Use Allocations in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement and is an attempt to synthesize archaeological data covering the most geologically prospective lands for oil shale and tar sands in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. This report is based solely on geographic information system (GIS) data held by the Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs). The GIS data include the information that the BLM has provided to the SHPOs. The primary purpose of the Class I cultural resources overview is to provide information on the affected environment for the PEIS. Furthermore, this report provides recommendations to support planning decisions and the management of cultural resources that could be impacted by future

  7. Applying the Analytic Hierarchy Process to Oil Sands Environmental Compliance Risk Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roux, Izak Johannes, III

    Oil companies in Alberta, Canada, invested $32 billion on new oil sands projects in 2013. Despite the size of this investment, there is a demonstrable deficiency in the uniformity and understanding of environmental legislation requirements that manifest into increased project compliance risks. This descriptive study developed 2 prioritized lists of environmental regulatory compliance risks and mitigation strategies and used multi-criteria decision theory for its theoretical framework. Information from compiled lists of environmental compliance risks and mitigation strategies was used to generate a specialized pairwise survey, which was piloted by 5 subject matter experts (SMEs). The survey was validated by a sample of 16 SMEs, after which the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used to rank a total of 33 compliance risks and 12 mitigation strategy criteria. A key finding was that the AHP is a suitable tool for ranking of compliance risks and mitigation strategies. Several working hypotheses were also tested regarding how SMEs prioritized 1 compliance risk or mitigation strategy compared to another. The AHP showed that regulatory compliance, company reputation, environmental compliance, and economics ranked the highest and that a multi criteria mitigation strategy for environmental compliance ranked the highest. The study results will inform Alberta oil sands industry leaders about the ranking and utility of specific compliance risks and mitigations strategies, enabling them to focus on actions that will generate legislative and public trust. Oil sands leaders implementing a risk management program using the risks and mitigation strategies identified in this study will contribute to environmental conservation, economic growth, and positive social change.

  8. Historical overview of the Fort McMurray area and oil sands industry in northeast Alberta[With expanded bibliographies on oil sands, surficial geology, hydrogeology, minerals and bedrock in northeast Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hein, F.J. [Alberta Geological Survey, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Resources Branch

    2000-05-01

    The Athabasca region of northeast Alberta was originally inhabited by First Nations and Metis people, specifically Dene and Chipewyan people. The first known sample of oil saturated, bituminous sand to ever reach a European was delivered in 1719 to Henry Kelsey, manager of the York Factory on Hudson's Bay. The first written occurrence took place in 1778 by Peter Pond. Explorations took place in the ensuing years in the region of the Athabasca River between Lake Athabasca and the confluence of the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers. A fur trading post was founded in 1870 at the confluence of the two rivers (Athabasca and Clearwater) and named Fort McMurray. The fur trading post was closed in 1898 and reopened in 1912 to serve as a large-freight storage warehouse. A salt mine was opened in the vicinity in 1925, and the industry operated on and off until 1950. The author then provided an overview of the oil sands industry in the area. In 1882, specimens oi oil sands were identified as Lower Cretaceous in age by Dr. Bell who then suggested that the source was located in the Devonian strata. Some experiments were conducted with hot water in the hope of separating the bitumen from the sand. Around 1930, the Father of the Oil Sands, a man named Sidney Ells, began a detailed survey of the oil sands of the Athabasca River valley. To demonstrate the potential uses of the tar sands, Ells laid bituminous pavement in Edmonton and Jasper National Park. A number of other scientists experimented with their own methods for producing oil from the bitumen at several research facilities, most notably Sidney Blair at the University of Alberta, whose work forms the basis for the thermal-extraction processes currently in use in the industry. The Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority (AOSTRA) was formed in 1974 with the aim of providing funding and synergies for research in the field of bitumen extraction and upgrading. Suncor and Syncrude have both produced synthetic

  9. Risk Assessment for Children Exposed to Beach Sands Impacted by Oil Spill Chemicals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer C. Black

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Due to changes in the drilling industry, oil spills are impacting large expanses of coastlines, thereby increasing the potential for people to come in contact with oil spill chemicals. The objective of this manuscript was to evaluate the health risk to children who potentially contact beach sands impacted by oil spill chemicals from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. To identify chemicals of concern, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s monitoring data collected during and immediately after the spill were evaluated. This dataset was supplemented with measurements from beach sands and tar balls collected five years after the spill. Of interest is that metals in the sediments were observed at similar levels between the two sampling periods; some differences were observed for metals levels in tar balls. Although PAHs were not observed five years later, there is evidence of weathered-oil oxidative by-products. Comparing chemical concentration data to baseline soil risk levels, three metals (As, Ba, and V and four PAHs (benzo[a]pyrene, benz[a]anthracene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, and dibenz[a,h]anthracene were found to exceed guideline levels prompting a risk assessment. For acute or sub-chronic exposures, hazard quotients, computed by estimating average expected contact behavior, showed no adverse potential health effects. For cancer, computations using 95% upper confidence limits for contaminant concentrations showed extremely low increased risk in the 10−6 range for oral and dermal exposure from arsenic in sediments and from dermal exposure from benzo[a]pyrene and benz[a]anthracene in weathered oil. Overall, results suggest that health risks are extremely low, given the limitations of available data. Limitations of this study are associated with the lack of toxicological data for dispersants and oil-spill degradation products. We also recommend studies to collect quantitative information about children’s beach play habits, which are

  10. Supercritical fluid extraction of soybean oil from the surface of spiked quartz sand - modelling study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stela Jokić

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The extraction of soybean oil from the surface of spiked quartz sand using supercritical CO2 was investigated. Sand as solid was used; it is not porous material so the internal diffusion does not exist, all the soluble material is in the surface of the particles. Sovová’s model has been used in order to obtain an analytical solution to develop the required extraction yield curves. The model simplifies when the internal diffusion can be neglected. The external mass transfer coefficient was determined by fitting the theoretical extraction curve to experimental data. According to the external mass transfer coefficient, a new Sherwood correlation was developed in terms of the dimensionless groups: Reynolds and Schmidt number. It was found that this correlation give superior results when compared to experimental data.

  11. Where Has All the Oil Gone? The use of trace metals as potential indicators of oil contamination in marine sediments and beach sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roeder, T. K.; Hastings, D. W.; Holzinger, C.; Playle, E.; Brooks, G.; Huettel, M. H.; Kostka, J. E.; Larson, R. A.; Flower, B. P.

    2011-12-01

    We report initial results to determine if select trace metals are effective indicators for the magnitude and spatial extent of Deep Water Horizon (DWH) oil contamination in Gulf of Mexico marine sediments and beach sands. Since crude oil is known to have elevated concentrations of nickel and vanadium, contamination can be detected even after the degradation of oil by measuring enrichment of these metals within marine sediments and beach sands. A sample of crude oil from the Macondo Prospect, source of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, was fully digested and analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) at the College of Marine Science, University of South Florida. Results indicate the crude oil is enriched in nickel, vanadium, and cobalt, with concentrations of 0.86 ppm, 2.76 ppm, and 84 ppb, respectively. With this known trace metal enrichment in DWH oil, Gulf of Mexico marine sediments from 400 and 1100m water depth near DeSoto Canyon and beach sands from Pensacola, FL were examined for enrichment of V, Ni, and Co. Both marine sediment and beach sand samples were partially digested with HNO3 before analysis via ICP-MS. With marine sediments, the visually contaminated layer at or near the surface typically exhibited an enrichment in Ni, V, and Co compared to the pristine control sediments. Vanadium and nickel enrichment in marine sediments varied from 10 to 32% and 0 to 22%, respectively. Visible contamination in beach sands was found between 20-60cm beneath the surface and, likewise, showed Ni, V, and Co enrichment up to 33%, 45%, and 100%. This data shows that enrichment of V, Ni, and Co in marine sediments and beach sands may be an effective proxy for contamination even after the degradation of oil. Marine sediments and beach sands will continue to be monitored for trace metal enrichment in an effort to assess the continuing impacts of the DWH spill on the Gulf of Mexico.

  12. SOVENT BASED ENHANCED OIL RECOVERY FOR IN-SITU UPGRADING OF HEAVY OIL SANDS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munroe, Norman

    2009-01-30

    With the depletion of conventional crude oil reserves in the world, heavy oil and bitumen resources have great potential to meet the future demand for petroleum products. However, oil recovery from heavy oil and bitumen reservoirs is much more difficult than that from conventional oil reservoirs. This is mainly because heavy oil or bitumen is partially or completely immobile under reservoir conditions due to its extremely high viscosity, which creates special production challenges. In order to overcome these challenges significant efforts were devoted by Applied Research Center (ARC) at Florida International University and The Center for Energy Economics (CEE) at the University of Texas. A simplified model was developed to assess the density of the upgraded crude depending on the ratio of solvent mass to crude oil mass, temperature, pressure and the properties of the crude oil. The simplified model incorporated the interaction dynamics into a homogeneous, porous heavy oil reservoir to simulate the dispersion and concentration of injected CO2. The model also incorporated the characteristic of a highly varying CO2 density near the critical point. Since the major challenge in heavy oil recovery is its high viscosity, most researchers have focused their investigations on this parameter in the laboratory as well as in the field resulting in disparaging results. This was attributed to oil being a complex poly-disperse blend of light and heavy paraffins, aromatics, resins and asphaltenes, which have diverse behaviors at reservoir temperature and pressures. The situation is exacerbated by a dearth of experimental data on gas diffusion coefficients in heavy oils due to the tedious nature of diffusivity measurements. Ultimately, the viscosity and thus oil recovery is regulated by pressure and its effect on the diffusion coefficient and oil swelling factors. The generation of a new phase within the crude and the differences in mobility between the new crude matrix and the

  13. Delineation of an Optimal Location for Oil Sand Exploration through Transition Probabilities of Composing Lithology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, M.; Jeong, J.; Park, E.; Han, W. S.; Kim, K. Y.

    2014-12-01

    Three-dimensional geostatistical studies of delineating an optimal exploitation location for oil sand in McMurray Formation, Athabasca, Canada were carried out. The area is mainly composed of unconsolidated to semi-consolidated sand where breccia, mud, clay, etc. are associated as alternating layers. For the prediction of the optimal location of steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) technique, the conventional approach of cumulating the predicted thickness of the media with higher bitumen bearing possibility (i.e. Breccia and Sand) was pursued. As an alternative measure, mean vertical extension of the permeable media was also assessed based on vertical transition rate of each media and the corresponding optimal location was decided. For the both predictions, 110 borehole data acquired from the study area were analyzed under Markovian transition probability (TP) framework and three-dimensional distributions of the composing media were predicted stochastically through an existing TP based geostatistical model. The effectiveness of the two competing measures (cumulative thickness and mean vertical extension) for SAGD applications was verified through two-dimensional dual-phase flow simulations where high temperature steam was injected in the delineated reservoirs, and the size of steam chamber was compared. The results of the two-dimensional SAGD simulation has shown that the geologic formation containing the highest mean vertical extension of permeable media is more suitable for the development of the oil sand by developing larger size of steam chamber compared to that from the highest cumulative thickness. Given those two-dimensional results, the cumulative thickness alone may not be a sufficient criterion for an optimal SAGD site and the mean vertical extension of the permeable media needs to be jointly considered for the sound selections.

  14. Silica sand for oil and gas production : a technical market overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dawson, J.C. [BJ Services Company, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2006-07-01

    In order to meet the growing demand for oil, petroleum production companies have initiated aggressive globally oriented drilling programs. In Canada and the United States, the average monthly rig count has doubled from 1103 rigs in 1990 to 2213 in 2006, with 53 per cent of the growth taking place in the last 3 years. Extensive damage occurs in the hydrocarbon rich formations during the drilling process of new wells. In order to stimulate and reconnect the well to the reservoir, completion processes such as hydraulic fracturing, are needed. In hydraulic fracturing, a viscous fluid is injected into the well at a rate and pressure sufficient to initiate a crack behind the casing perforations. When the fracture attains adequate width and length, silica sand or other proppants are added to the fluid to fill the created fracture. These may include Ottawa Sand, Brady Sand, bauxite, intermediate strength ceramics or resin coated sands. The use of proppants prevents the fracture from healing and provides a super conductive drainage channel for hydrocarbons. The proppant should provide the highest porosity to maximize permeability of the proppant pack. Hydrocarbon production can therefore be increased at relatively low costs. This paper reviewed the stringent industry specifications that various grades of proppant must meet, as defined by the American Petroleum Institute. The technical aspects of proppant testing were outlined with reference to proppant size, sphericity, acid solubility, turbidity, crush resistance, and testing for ceramic proppants. Despite improved logging and advances in well stimulation treatments, market trends indicate that hydraulic fracturing and proppants will continue to be an important aspect of oil and gas production. 22 refs., 3 tabs., 5 figs.

  15. Ecotoxicological assessment of using oil sands coke in aquatic reclamation strategies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Squires, A.J.; Liber, K. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Toxicology Centre

    2004-07-01

    Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Suncor Energy Inc. are two of the companies presently mining the Athabasca oil sands. Each company produces more than 2,000 tons of coke waste product daily as part of the oil upgrading process. Since coke has a high organic carbon content, it has been proposed as an amendment agent in wetland reclamation strategies. However, coke also contains metals and organic compounds which can leach out once submerged in water. The coke from both companies has been used in several leaching/weathering experiments to determine their potential to leach out contaminants while exposed to freeze thaw cycles, high and low dissolved oxygen content, and pH levels of 5, 7.5 and 10. Samples of the coke and interstitial waters were taken for chemical analysis throughout each experiment. This was followed by exposing Chironomus tentans larvae to both coke types along with leachates to differentiate between effects of solid coke and leachate. None of the leachates showed an important impact on the survival or growth of the larvae. However, some effects were noted following exposure to weathered coke. The experiments will be instrumental in determining if either coke may adversely affect aquatic organisms if used as an uncovered capping option during an aquatic reclamation program in the Athabasca oil sands area.

  16. Responsible management of peatlands in Canada, from peat industry to oil sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochefort, Line

    2013-04-01

    Canada harbors one third of the peat resources of the world. Peat is an accumulated organic matter composed of dead and partly decomposed plant material, forming huge deposit through time in wetlands like peatlands and boreal coniferous swamps. Peat is a valuable resource as a growing media and soil amendments, an eco-friendly absorbent, also used as biofilters, for body care and for wastewater treatment. Peatlands also offer valuable ecological services : for example, they are the most efficient terrestrial ecosystem to store carbon on a long-term basis. Their ability to "cool off" the planet warrants a good look at their management. The horticultural peat industry of Canada has invested 22 years in R&D in habitat restoration and is now a strong leader in managing industrial peatlands in a sustainable way. The oil sand industry, which is strongly impacting the wetland landscapes of northern Canada, does realize that it has to reduce its ecological footprint, which is heavily criticized around the world. Decommissioned open mines near Fort McMurray have already begun recreating peatland ecosystems, and some restoration attempts of former oil pads are underway in the Peace River region. But the restoration of the largely disturbed wetland landscape of the oil sands is commanding innovative solutions.

  17. Evaluating the Metal Tolerance Capacity of Microbial Communities Isolated from Alberta Oil Sands Process Water.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathew L Frankel

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic activities have resulted in the intensified use of water resources. For example, open pit bitumen extraction by Canada's oil sands operations uses an estimated volume of three barrels of water for every barrel of oil produced. The waste tailings-oil sands process water (OSPW-are stored in holding ponds, and present an environmental concern as they are comprised of residual hydrocarbons and metals. Following the hypothesis that endogenous OSPW microbial communities have an enhanced tolerance to heavy metals, we tested the capacity of planktonic and biofilm populations from OSPW to withstand metal ion challenges, using Cupriavidus metallidurans, a known metal-resistant organism, for comparison. The toxicity of the metals toward biofilm and planktonic bacterial populations was determined by measuring the minimum biofilm inhibitory concentrations (MBICs and planktonic minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs using the MBEC ™ assay. We observed that the OSPW community and C. metallidurans had similar tolerances to 22 different metals. While thiophillic elements (Te, Ag, Cd, Ni were found to be most toxic, the OSPW consortia demonstrated higher tolerance to metals reported in tailings ponds (Al, Fe, Mo, Pb. Metal toxicity correlated with a number of physicochemical characteristics of the metals. Parameters reflecting metal-ligand affinities showed fewer and weaker correlations for the community compared to C. metallidurans, suggesting that the OSPW consortia may have developed tolerance mechanisms toward metals present in their environment.

  18. Bringing Context to the Oil Sands Debate: understanding the role of nature versus man

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fennell, J.; Gibson, J. J.; Birks, S. J.; YI, Y.; Jasechko, S.; Moncur, M. C.

    2013-12-01

    The Canadian oil sands represent an important resource to the national economy, and a strategic supply-line to the United States of America. These hydrocarbon deposits reside beneath a vast area in northern Alberta, and have been exposed to the environment for millennia as a result of erosion by the Athabasca River and its tributaries. Further complexity to the geochemical setting occurs due to the existence of faulted pathways extending from deeper, highly saline, Devonian intervals to surface. Situated within this natural setting are large waste management structures used to contain mine tailings and oil sands produced water. Many of these structures are situated in close proximity to aquatic receptors and have the potential to affect local water quality due to seepage losses. As such, these structures are coming under increasing scrutiny as a potential source of environmental impact. Discharge of oil sands contaminants to the rivers, and the accumulation of these materials in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, has been cited as a factor leading to adverse health effects at downstream communities. However, the role that natural discharge of contaminants plays has never been fully acknowledged. To address this critical gap, a reconnaissance of the Athabasca River was conducted. Areas of elevated terrain conductivity (detected by EM31 survey) were identified both in background locations and areas suspected of industrial releases. Water samples were collected from various sites and from multiple depth intervals (up to 3 m) within the hyporheic zone of the river sediments. This was achieved using drive-point wells. Each sample was then analyzed for a comprehensive suite of parameters including: i) major ions; ii) dissolved trace elements; iii) dissolved organics; and iv) selected stable and radiogenic isotopes. Results of the investigation identified large areas (in excess of 10km) of groundwater discharge to the Athabasca River well outside the influence of oil sands

  19. Dynamic cyclone for solids removal: innovative sand management solutions for oil and gas production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Furnes, Olav [Inter Scandic a.s (Norway); Arefjord, Anders [CleanUp AS (Norway)

    2004-07-01

    Sand and other solids inevitably occurring in connection with drilling and production operations for exploitation of offshore and onshore petroleum resources represent an increasing challenge for operators and main contractors worldwide. The adherent sand problems can cause severe erosion of conductors, pipelines and critical processing equipment, such as valves, pumps and separator internals, etc. Proliferation of sand could clog up and severely diminish processing capacity in separators, calling for unscheduled shutdowns for separator jetting and equipment cleaning. These and other consequential problems incur considerable costs to the industry, affecting availability and reliability of production as well as undue cost outlays for equipment monitoring, renewal and refurbishment. Such cost impacts could have decisive effects on commercial viability of marginal fields or deep water prospects. Problematic aspects of produced solids could arise at early stages of reservoir drainage, pending geological profile. As sand volumes tend to increase when oil and gas fields mature, viable tail production to recover remaining reserves becomes decisive for operating costs and investment trade-off. The dynamic de-sanding cyclone system described herein is designed to operate without any pressure drop, thus avoiding loss of flow pressure. It consists of an inner and outer cylindrical chamber, allowing for a second separation run for removal of the smaller particles down to 50 micron or less. In additional to tangential flow inlet, an impeller driven by a hydraulic motor adds significantly to centrifugal separation effects, assisting cleaning of solids as part of the process. As the cyclone is designed to perform online de-gassing as well, it can sustain severe slugging during the solids removal operations. Removed solids can be either accumulated in closed, swapping containers or piped as slurry for final disposal. (author)

  20. Transport of Colloid-Size Oil Droplets in Saturated and Unsaturated Sand Columns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisbrod, N.; Travis, M.; Gross, A.

    2011-12-01

    Oil in wastewater poses significant treatment and subsequent environmental challenges. Accumulation of oils in soil leads to hydrophobicity, and the transport of colloidal-sized oil droplets may facilitate the co-transport of oil soluble contaminants such as pesticides or pharmaceutical materials. In order to determine transport characteristics of colloidal-sized, edible oil droplets, short-pulse column breakthrough experiments were conducted. Oil droplets (mean diameter 0.7 μm, ζ-potential -34±1, density 0.92 g cm-3) were injected simultaneously with latex microspheres (0.02, 0.2 and 1.0 μm, ζ-potentials -16±1, -30±2, and -49±1, respectively, density 1.055 g cm-3) and bromide in saturated and unsaturated quartz sand (ζ-potential -63±2 mV). Breakthrough of oil droplets was consistently detected first and recovery of oil droplets from the column was 20% greater than similarly sized microspheres in the saturated column, and 16% greater in high (0.18±0.01) volumetric water content (VWC) unsaturated columns. Higher variability was observed in the lower VWC (0.14±0.01) column experiments, and oil droplet recovery was just slightly greater than similarly sized microspheres and statistically higher only compared to the 0.02 μm microspheres. The research demonstrated that oil droplets are able to be transported as colloids in both saturated and unsaturated porous media. An important finding was that transport of oil droplets exceeded that of microspheres within the same size range and similar electrostatic properties. Classical filtration theory indicates that oil droplets in the diameter range of about 0.5 to 2 μm will exhibit reduced deposition due to buoyancy. However, current improvements to the theory do not accommodate prediction of buoyant particle transport and the theory needs review. High recovery of oil droplets in unsaturated porous media is a novel finding. As expected, straining appeared to be an important removal mechanism in unsaturated

  1. Benzene and Naphthalene Degrading Bacterial Communities in an Oil Sands Tailings Pond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochman, Fauziah F.; Sheremet, Andriy; Tamas, Ivica; Saidi-Mehrabad, Alireza; Kim, Joong-Jae; Dong, Xiaoli; Sensen, Christoph W.; Gieg, Lisa M.; Dunfield, Peter F.

    2017-01-01

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW), produced by surface-mining of oil sands in Canada, is alkaline and contains high concentrations of salts, metals, naphthenic acids, and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAHs). Residual hydrocarbon biodegradation occurs naturally, but little is known about the hydrocarbon-degrading microbial communities present in OSPW. In this study, aerobic oxidation of benzene and naphthalene in the surface layer of an oil sands tailings pond were measured. The potential oxidation rates were 4.3 μmol L−1 OSPW d−1 for benzene and 21.4 μmol L−1 OSPW d−1 for naphthalene. To identify benzene and naphthalene-degrading microbial communities, metagenomics was combined with stable isotope probing (SIP), high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons, and isolation of microbial strains. SIP using 13C-benzene and 13C-naphthalene detected strains of the genera Methyloversatilis and Zavarzinia as the main benzene degraders, while strains belonging to the family Chromatiaceae and the genus Thauera were the main naphthalene degraders. Metagenomic analysis revealed a diversity of genes encoding oxygenases active against aromatic compounds. Although these genes apparently belonged to many phylogenetically diverse taxa, only a few of these taxa were predominant in the SIP experiments. This suggested that many members of the community are adapted to consuming other aromatic compounds, or are active only under specific conditions. 16S rRNA gene sequence datasets have been submitted to the Sequence Read Archive (SRA) under accession number SRP109130. The Gold Study and Project submission ID number in Joint Genome Institute IMG/M for the metagenome is Gs0047444 and Gp0055765. PMID:29033909

  2. Benzene and Naphthalene Degrading Bacterial Communities in an Oil Sands Tailings Pond

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fauziah F. Rochman

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW, produced by surface-mining of oil sands in Canada, is alkaline and contains high concentrations of salts, metals, naphthenic acids, and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAHs. Residual hydrocarbon biodegradation occurs naturally, but little is known about the hydrocarbon-degrading microbial communities present in OSPW. In this study, aerobic oxidation of benzene and naphthalene in the surface layer of an oil sands tailings pond were measured. The potential oxidation rates were 4.3 μmol L−1 OSPW d−1 for benzene and 21.4 μmol L−1 OSPW d−1 for naphthalene. To identify benzene and naphthalene-degrading microbial communities, metagenomics was combined with stable isotope probing (SIP, high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons, and isolation of microbial strains. SIP using 13C-benzene and 13C-naphthalene detected strains of the genera Methyloversatilis and Zavarzinia as the main benzene degraders, while strains belonging to the family Chromatiaceae and the genus Thauera were the main naphthalene degraders. Metagenomic analysis revealed a diversity of genes encoding oxygenases active against aromatic compounds. Although these genes apparently belonged to many phylogenetically diverse taxa, only a few of these taxa were predominant in the SIP experiments. This suggested that many members of the community are adapted to consuming other aromatic compounds, or are active only under specific conditions. 16S rRNA gene sequence datasets have been submitted to the Sequence Read Archive (SRA under accession number SRP109130. The Gold Study and Project submission ID number in Joint Genome Institute IMG/M for the metagenome is Gs0047444 and Gp0055765.

  3. Assessment of regional acidifying pollutants in the Athabasca oil sands area under different emission scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Sunny; Vijayaraghavan, Krish; Spink, David; Jung, Jaegun; Morris, Ralph; Pauls, Ron

    2017-05-01

    Acid deposition is a potential environmental impact of oil sands development in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) in Northeastern Alberta. An acid deposition management framework has been established to manage this issue. This framework includes an acid deposition modelling and time-to-effect impact assessment component that was recently implemented for four acidifying emissions cases using the Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) model. Predicted gross Potential Acid Input (PAI) deposition in the AOSR increases from the historical to existing case with further increases predicted in two future cases due to the projected increase in NOx emissions. On average the total predicted PAI deposition in the AOSR is approximately 40% sulphur deposition and 60% nitrogen deposition. Sulphur deposition decreases by 7% from the historical to existing cases due to the reductions in SO2 emissions that have occurred in the AOSR but increases by 5% from the existing to future case 1 and by 8% from existing to future case 2 even though continued AOSR SO2 emission decreases were modelled. This is likely the result of the deposition reduction associated with a single large reduction in SO2 emissions from one facility's main stack being offset elsewhere in the AOSR by deposition increases due to small increases in SO2 emissions from several in situ sources with shorter stacks. Average nitrogen deposition over the AOSR increases by 10% from the historical to existing case and then further increases by 10.6% from the existing case to future case 1 and by 12.3% from the existing case to future case 2. The increasing relevance of NOx emissions over SO2 emissions in the AOSR suggests that a robust treatment of nitrogen chemistry such as in CMAQ is required for conducting deposition assessments in the region. The modelling results provide information that can be used to inform oil sands emission management priorities in the context of acid deposition and nitrogen eutrophication

  4. Tracing industrial ammonium in atmospheric deposition in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, B.; Proemse, B. C.; Fenn, M. E.

    2013-12-01

    The expanding industrial development in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR) in northeastern Alberta, Canada, has raised concerns about increasing nitrogen (N) emissions from oil sands operations and their potential effects on the surrounding terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Stable isotope techniques may help to trace industrial emissions provided that they are isotopically distinct from background isotope ratios of atmospheric N compounds. Ammonium deposition rates (NH4-N) typically exceed nitrate deposition rates (NO3-N) in the AOSR (Proemse et al., 2013), suggesting that emissions of reduced nitrogen compounds play a significant role for the atmospheric nitrogen budget in the AOSR. We collected atmospheric ammonium in open field bulk deposition and throughfall using ion exchange resins over ~6 months time periods from summer 2007 to summer 2011 located at distances between 3 to 113 km to one of the major oil sands developments in the AOSR. Ammonium deposition rates and δ15N-NH4 values were determined using ion chromatography and the ammonium diffusion method (Sebilo et al., 2004) on resin extracts. Atmospheric ammonium deposition rates in open field bulk collectors and throughfall collectors ranged from 1.0 to 4.7 kg ha-1 yr-1 NH4-N, and from 1.0 to 18.3 kg ha-1 yr-1 NH4-N, respectively. δ15N-NH4 values varied from -6.3 to +14.8‰ with the highest δ15N values typically associated with elevated NH4-N deposition rates. δ15N-NH4 values of up to +20.1‰ were observed for industrially emitted NH4 in particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions (Proemse et al., 2012) suggesting that industrial NH3 and NH4 emissions are associated with elevated δ15N values providing a potential tracer. Applying a two-end-member mixing analysis using a background δ15N-NH4 value of -3.6‰ for summer and -3.2‰ for winter periods revealed that particularly sites within ~30 km radius from the main oil sands developments are significantly affected by industrial contributions to

  5. A chemical additive for enhancing in situ thermal recovery from oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Srivastava, P.; Sadetsky, V.; Debord, J.; Stefan, B. [Baker Hughes Canada, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This paper discussed a series of laboratory experiments conducted to assess the performance of a steam additive as a means of enhancing steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) production processes. Experiments were conducted to simulate SAGD processes both with, and without the steam additive. A modified bitumen determination technique was used to analyze the samples for their bitumen content. A high speed autoclave was used to evaluate the performance of the steam additive under high local shear stress. The experiments demonstrated that at dosage rates of 100 to 1000 ppm, the RE8374SAW additive significantly enhanced bitumen recovery from McMurray formation oil sands. Corrosion tests showed no negative impacts on mild steel, and no impacts on crude oil quality in relation to downstream applications. The study concluded by recommending field trials and on-site bottle testing to develop chemicals for resolving reverse emulsion from the treated reservoir. 9 refs., 5 figs.

  6. Cold production followed by cyclic steam simulation in thin oil sands reservoirs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, J.; Gates, I.D. [Dept. of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    In Western Canada, thermal recovery methods are required to extract bitumen and heavy oil from reservoirs, due to their high viscosity. One method is cyclic steam simulation (CSS). Steam is injected into the reservoir through a single well and fluids are produced from the reservoir at different times; a depletion chamber has to be initialized successfully so the process can perform optimally. This paper aimed at understanding how cold production can help with starting CSS. Simulations were undertaken with a heterogeneous reservoir model to explore the impact of cold production on subsequent CSS in the Bluesky oil sands formation. Results showed that a depletion zone grows in the surroundings of the well during cold production and that steam conformance is then better during CCS than without cold production. This paper showed that using cold production before CSS is a good solution when the reservoir is cold producible.

  7. Photosynthetic behavior, growth and essential oil production of Melissa officinalis L. cultivated under colored shade nets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graziele C Oliveira

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The modulation of light is of importance during cultivation of medicinal plants to obtain desirable morphological and physiological changes associated with the maximum production of active principles. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of the light spectrum transmitted by colored shade nets on growth, essential oil production and photosynthetic behavior in plants of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L. Plants were cultivated in pots for 4-mo under black, red, and blue nets with 50% shading, and full sunlight exposure. Biometric and anatomical variables, essential oil yield, global solar radiation, photon flux density, chlorophyll content, and gas exchange parameters were measured in M. officinalis leaves. The results showed that despite being considered a partial shade plant, this species is able to adapt to full sunlight conditions without increasing biomass production. The spectral changes provided by colored shade nets did not caused any noticeable change in leaf anatomy of M. officinalis. However, the use of blue net resulted in increments of 116% in plant height, 168% in leaf area, 42% in chlorophyll content and 30% in yield of essential oil in lemon balm plants. These plant's qualities make the use of blue net a cultivation practice suitable for commercial use.

  8. Investigating salt and naphthenic acids interactions in the toxicity of oil sands process water to freshwater invertebrates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turcotte, D.; Kautzman, M.; Wojnarowicz, P.; Cutter, J.; Bird, E.; Liber, K. [Saskatchewan Univ., Regina, SK (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    The hot water extraction process used to produce bitumens from oil sands produces a large volume of oil sands process water (OSPW) that contain elevated concentrations of naphthenic acids (NA) and salts. Many oil sands reclamation projects are proposing the use of OSPW as part of reconstructed wetlands projects. This study investigated the toxicity of OSPW to freshwater invertebrates. The toxic interactions between NA and salinity on freshwater invertebrates were assessed. Bioassays with laboratory-cultured Ceriodaphnia dubia were conducted to determine the toxicity of OSPW from selected water bodies. The study showed that while the concentrations of NAs and salinity were elevated in OSPW waters that caused toxic responses, the concentrations of salinity ions varied greatly among the OSPW samples. Results of the study suggested that ion composition may be a factor in toxicity. Interactions between NAs and salinity were then assessed by performing bioassays with mixtures representing major ion combinations in OSPW.

  9. Potential for use of methylene blue index testing to enhance geotechnical characterization of oil sands ores and tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boxill, Lois [SRK Consulting (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    At the CONRAD conference held in Edmonton in 2011, clay scientist expressed their concern over the variability of clay structures and its impact both on oil sands ores and on tailings. This paper discusses the potential for using methylene blue index testing to enhance geotechnical understanding of the impact of the cation exchange capacity of clay present in oil sands ores and both solid and fluid components of the tailings stream. A description of the methylene blue index test procedure is provided. This process is most commonly used for characterization in the oil sands industry. The requirements for obtaining consistency in the test results are discussed. The test is often used to enhance geotechnical characterization of clays in other areas. The potential for developing correlations between methylene blue index test results and other geotechnical parameters is also discussed. It can be concluded from the study that geotechnical data on soil indicate the effect of clay minerals on the overall plasticity of the soil.

  10. Oil sand production in Canada. The reality about myths; Oliezandproductie in Canada. De werkelijkheid over mythes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    De Wit, P.

    2009-09-15

    The large majority of oils sands in the Canadian province of Alberta are produced on site, i.e. via bore holes after injection of steam, solvents or CO2 to soak off very thick bitumen. Approximately 20 per cent is dug up. Naturally, this method does attract nearly all of the attention as it is a source of quite some negative statements: dirty, expensive, energy intensive and hazardous for water management and nature. Reality proves to be more subtle according to this article. For example, all oils sands that are extractable via opencast mining amount to only 0.1% of the Canadian arctic forest. Moreover, large projects for carbon capture and storage are being prepared [mk]. [Dutch] Oliezanden in de Canadese provincie Alberta worden in overgrote meerderheid 'in situ' geproduceerd, dus via boorputten na injectie van stoom, oplosmiddelen of CO2 om de heel dikke bitumen los te weken. Ongeveer 20 procent wordt geproduceerd via afgravingen. Maar deze methode trekt - logischerwijs - wel bijna alle aandacht. En is bron van nogal wat negatieve beweringen: vies, duur, energie-intensief en schadelijk voor de waterhuishouding en de natuur. De werkelijkheid is volgens dit artikel genuanceerder. Bijvoorbeeld dat alle via dagbouw winbare oliezanden slechts 0,1 procent van het Canadese arctische bos omvatten. En dat grote projecten voor opvang en ondergrondse berging van CO2 in voorbereiding zijn.

  11. Developing the Guidelines for Reclamation to Forest Vegetation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Straker, J. [Integral Ecology Group Ltd., Victoria, BC (Canada); Cumulative Environmental Management Association, Fort McMurray, AB (Canada). Reclamation Working Group, Terrestrial Subgroup; Donald, G. [Donald Functional and Applied Ecology Inc., Victoria, BC (Canada); Cumulative Environmental Management Association, Fort McMurray, AB (Canada). Reclamation Working Group, Terrestrial Subgroup

    2010-07-01

    This paper discussed the development process behind and the structure of the Guidelines for Reclamation to Forest Vegetation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region. The advances present in the second edition, published in 2010, were described relative to the first edition, which was published in 1998. Oils sands mining companies are mandated to use the manual under the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. The paper provided an overview of the structure of the second edition and presented the process used to develop the second edition. It also described the planning approaches for revegetative treatments and the planning guidance of overstory and understory species selection. The methods for evaluating revegetative success were also described with particular reference to plant community composition and soil salinity indicators as examples of indicator development. The goal of the manual is to provide guidance on re-establishing the vegetation component of upland ecosystems on reclaimed landscapes and on evaluating the success of the re-establishment, assuming that the reclaimed plant communities should have species characteristic of native plant communities in the region, that the trends of vegetation community and structure development on reclaimed land should be similar to native plant communities in the region, and that the reclaimed ecosystems should have development trajectories that satisfy land-use objectives and provide resilience against natural disturbances. 15 refs., 1 tab., 1 fig.

  12. Influence of extraction process and coagulant addition on thixotropic strength of oil sands fine tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, W.G. [WorleyParsons Services, Perth (Australia); Scott, J.D.; Sego, D.C. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This study used 6 different oil sands fine tailings derived from 2 extraction processes to determine the influence of extraction processes on the thixotropic gain in strength of fine tailings. In this study, fine tailings derived from the Clark hot water extraction (CHWE) process were referred to as caustic, while fine tailings from the OSLO hot water extraction (OHWE) process were referred to as non-caustic. The influence of adding a coagulant to caustic fine tailings was also examined. The properties and processes influencing the rate and magnitude of volume reduction and gain in strength for tailings produced using the causing and non-caustic extraction processes were evaluated. The 2 main components were flue deposition tests and tests for geotechnical properties of the fine tailings. The thixotropic strength of fine tailings at large void ratios manifested itself as a bonding or gel strength that can prevent initial consolidation or settlement of fine tailings. Differences between the fine tailings' thixotropic strength development were explained based on their physical and chemical characteristics. It was concluded that the different water chemistries of the 2 extraction processes were responsible for the different amounts of dispersion of the clay-shale seams present in oil sands ore, with less dispersed non-caustic fine tailings. 23 refs., 5 tabs., 7 figs.

  13. Power generation and oil sands process-affected water treatment in microbial fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jeongdong; Liu, Yang

    2014-10-01

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW), a product of bitumen isolation in the oil sands industry, is a source of pollution if not properly treated. In present study, OSPW treatment and voltage generation were examined in a single chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) under the effect of inoculated carbon source and temperature. OSPW treatment with an anaerobic sludge-inoculated MFC (AS-MFC) generated 0.55 ± 0.025 V, whereas an MFC inoculated with mature-fine tailings (MFT-MFC) generated 0.41 ± 0.01 V. An additional carbon source (acetate) significantly improved generated voltage. The voltage detected increased to 20-23% in MFCs when the condition was switched from ambient to mesophilic. The mesophilic condition increased OSPW treatment efficiency in terms of lowering the chemical oxygen demand and acid-extractable organics. Pyrosequencing analysis of microbial consortia revealed that Proteobacteria were the most abundant in MFCs and microbial communities in the AS-MFC were more diverse than those in the MFT-MFC. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Growth of Chironomus dilutus larvae exposed to ozone-treated and untreated oil sands process water

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anderson, J.; Wiseman, S.; Franz, E.; Jones, P.; Liber, K.; Giesy, J. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada); Gamal El-Din, M.; Marin, J. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Oil sand processing operations require large quantities of freshwater and produce large volumes of oil sands process water (OSPW) which must be stored on-site. This presentation reviewed various treatment methods for remediating OSPW in order to eliminate downstream toxicity. Naphthenic acids are the most important target fractions for treatment because they are primarily responsible for the acute toxicity of OSPW. Although ozonation has shown promise for reducing OSPW toxicity, the effects of ozonation on aquatic invertebrates remain unknown. This study investigated the effects of exposure to untreated and ozonated OSPW in Chironomus dilutus larvae. OSPW was treated with either a 50 or 80 mg O{sub 3}/L dose of ozonation. The effects of ozonation levels on C. dilutus survival and growth were examined. The study showed that after a 10-day exposure, there were pronounced effects on survival of larvae exposed to ozone-treated or untreated OSPW. Larvae exposed to OSPW were 64-77 percent smaller than their respective controls, but the mean wet mass of organisms exposed to 50 mg O{sub 3}/L ozonated OSPW was not much different from that of the controls. Larvae exposed to 80 mg O{sub 3}/L ozone-treated OSPW were 40 percent smaller than the freshwater controls, and the mean wet mass was also much larger than the untreated OSPW. It was concluded that the toxicity of OSPW to benthic invertebrates may be reduced by ozone treatment.

  15. Microbially-accelerated consolidation of oil sands tailings. Pathway II: solid phase biogeochemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tariq eSiddique

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Consolidation of clay particles in aqueous tailings suspensions is a major obstacle to effective management of oil sands tailings ponds in northern Alberta, Canada. We have observed that microorganisms indigenous to the tailings ponds accelerate consolidation of mature fine tailings (MFT during active metabolism by using two biogeochemical pathways. In Pathway I, microbes alter porewater chemistry to indirectly increase consolidation of MFT. Here, we describe Pathway II comprising significant, direct and complementary biogeochemical reactions with MFT mineral surfaces. An anaerobic microbial community comprising Bacteria (predominantly Clostridiales, Synergistaceae and Desulfobulbaceae and Archaea (Methanolinea/Methanoregula and Methanosaeta transformed FeIII minerals in MFT to amorphous FeII minerals during methanogenic metabolism of an added organic substrate. Synchrotron analyses suggested that ferrihydrite (5Fe2O3. 9H2O and goethite (α-FeOOH were the dominant FeIII minerals in MFT. The formation of amorphous iron sulfide (FeS and possibly green rust entrapped and masked electronegative clay surfaces in amended MFT. Both Pathways I and II reduced the surface charge potential (repulsive forces of the clay particles in MFT, which aided aggregation of clays and formation of networks of pores, as visualized using cryo-scanning electron microscopy. These reactions facilitated the egress of porewater from MFT and increased consolidation of tailings solids. These results have large-scale implications for management and reclamation of oil sands tailings ponds, a burgeoning environmental issue for the public and government regulators.

  16. Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) detection, avoidance, and chemosensory effects of oil sands process-affected water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lari, Ebrahim; Pyle, Greg G

    2017-06-01

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) - a byproduct of the oil sands industry in Northern Alberta, Canada - is currently stored in on-site tailings ponds. The goal of the present study was to investigate the interaction of OSPW with the olfactory system and olfactory-mediated behaviours of fish upon the first encounter with OSPW. The response of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to different concentrations (0.1, 1, and 10%) of OSPW was studied using a choice maze and electro-olfactography (EOG), respectively. The results of the present study showed that rainbow trout are capable of detecting and avoiding OSPW at a concentration as low as 0.1%. Exposure to 1% OSPW impaired (i.e. reduced sensitivity) the olfactory response of rainbow trout to alarm and food cues within 5 min or less. The results of the present study demonstrated that fish could detect and avoid minute concentrations of OSPW. However, if fish were exposed to OSPW-contaminated water and unable to escape, their olfaction would be impaired. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Paste and thickened tailings technology and its applicability in oil sand tailings management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yuan, X.S.; Lahaie, R. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Fort McMurray, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Tailings management practices can have a significant impact on overall oil sands mining operations. Paste and thickened tailings (P and TT) technology is an integrated engineering system that includes a thickener feed preparation process, type selection, and process; a flocculant selection and technology development; P and TT transport, deposition, and consolidation; and a strategy for re-using thickener overflow water and reducing impacts to the environment. This paper discussed developments of P and TT technology in relation to fine oil sands tailings. Practical applications of P and TT technology in the mineral industry were discussed, as well as recent research and development work conducted by Syncrude. Pilot programs currently being conducted to determine optimal thickener hydraulic and solids loading rates were discussed as well as the results of experiments conducted to determine flocculation and sedimentation processes. Thin-lift dry stacking technologies and containment methods were reviewed. Environmental considerations related to closure, residual bitumen, and warm water return and heat recovery were discussed. The study concluded by suggesting that a suite of technologies is needed to address the varying geographical, surface area, and mine progression challenges related to tailings management. 28 refs., 3 tabs., 10 figs.

  18. Solar photocatalytic degradation of naphthenic acids in oil sands process-affected water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leshuk, Tim; Wong, Timothy; Linley, Stuart; Peru, Kerry M; Headley, John V; Gu, Frank

    2016-02-01

    Bitumen mining in the Canadian oil sands creates large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW), the toxicity of which is due in part to naphthenic acids (NAs) and other acid extractable organics (AEO). The objective of this work was to evaluate the potential of solar photocatalysis over TiO2 to remove AEO from OSPW. One day of photocatalytic treatment under natural sunlight (25 MJ/m(2) over ∼14 h daylight) eradicated AEO from raw OSPW, and acute toxicity of the OSPW toward Vibrio fischeri was eliminated. Nearly complete mineralization of organic carbon was achieved within 1-7 day equivalents of sunlight exposure, and degradation was shown to proceed through a superoxide-mediated oxidation pathway. High resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) analysis of oxidized intermediate compounds indicated preferential degradation of the heavier and more cyclic NAs (higher number of double bond equivalents), which are the most environmentally persistent fractions. The photocatalyst was shown to be recyclable for multiple uses, and thus solar photocatalysis may be a promising "green" advanced oxidation process (AOP) for OSPW treatment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of naphthenic acids in natural waters surrounding the Canadian oil sands industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Matthew S; Pereira, Alberto dos Santos; Fennell, Jon; Davies, Martin; Johnson, James; Sliva, Lucie; Martin, Jonathan W

    2012-12-04

    The Canadian oil sands industry stores toxic oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) in large tailings ponds adjacent to the Athabasca River or its tributaries, raising concerns over potential seepage. Naphthenic acids (NAs; C(n)H(2n-Z)O(2)) are toxic components of OSPW, but are also natural components of bitumen and regional groundwaters, and may enter surface waters through anthropogenic or natural sources. This study used a selective high-resolution mass spectrometry method to examine total NA concentrations and NA profiles in OSPW (n = 2), Athabasca River pore water (n = 6, representing groundwater contributions) and surface waters (n = 58) from the Lower Athabasca Region. NA concentrations in surface water (< 2-80.8 μg/L) were 100-fold lower than previously estimated. Principal components analysis (PCA) distinguished sample types based on NA profile, and correlations to water quality variables identified two sources of NAs: natural fatty acids, and bitumen-derived NAs. Analysis of NA data with water quality variables highlighted two tributaries to the Athabasca River-Beaver River and McLean Creek-as possibly receiving OSPW seepage. This study is the first comprehensive analysis of NA profiles in surface waters of the region, and demonstrates the need for highly selective analytical methods for source identification and in monitoring for potential effects of development on ambient water quality.

  20. Soil arthropod fauna from natural ecosites and reclaimed oil sands soils in northern Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Battigelli, J.P.; Leskiw, L.A. [Paragon Soil and Environmental Consulting Inc., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2006-07-01

    An understanding of soil invertebrates may facilitate current reclamation activities in the oil sands region of Alberta. This paper presented the results of a study investigating the density, diversity, and structure of soil arthropod assemblages in natural habitats and reclaimed sites. The purpose of the study was to establish a baseline inventory of soil arthropod assemblages in order to enable long-term monitoring of soil arthropod recolonization in disturbed sites. Nine natural ecosites were sampled for the study, including peat mix over secondary material over tailing sand; direct placement over tailing sand; peat mix over secondary over overburden; direct placement over overburden; peat mix over tailing sand; and peat mix over overburden. Samples were collected from previously established long-term soil and vegetation treatment plots in both natural ecosites and reclaimed soil sites located near Fort McMurray, Alberta. Results showed that densities of mesofauna were significantly higher in samples collected from natural ecosites. Acari and Collembola represented approximately 97 to 98 per cent of the fauna collected. It was also noted that the overall structure of the soil mesofauna community differed between natural soils and reclaimed soils. A significant reduction in the abundance of oribatid mites was observed in soils that had been reclaimed for over 34 years. Changes in the soil mesofauna community structure suggested that reclaimed soils continue to represent disturbed ecosites, as was indicated by higher proportions of prostigmatid mites and some collembolan families. Differences in community structure may influence soil ecosystem functions, including decomposition rates; nutrient recycling; soil structure; and fungal and bacterial biomass. It was concluded that further research is needed to examine oribatid mites and collembolan species diversity and community structure in reclaimed soils. 18 refs., 6 figs.

  1. Root growth, mycorrhization and physiological effects of plants growing on oil tailing sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boldt-Burisch, Katja M.; Naeth, Anne M.; Schneider, Bernd Uwe; Hüttl, Reinhard F.

    2015-04-01

    Surface mining creates large, intense disturbances of soils and produces large volumes of by-products and waste materials. After mining processes these materials often provide the basis for land reclamation and ecosystem restoration. In the present study, tailing sands (TS) and processed mature fine tailings (pMFT) from Fort McMurray (Alberta, Canada) were used. They represent challenging material for ecosystem rebuilding because of very low nutrient contents of TS and oil residuals, high density of MFT material. In this context, little is known about the interactions of pure TS, respectively mixtures of TS and MFT and root growth, mycorrhization and plant physiological effects. Four herbaceous plant species (Elymus trachycaulus, Koeleria macrantha, Deschampsia cespitosa, Lotus corniculatus) were chosen to investigate root development, chlorophyll fluorescence and mycorrhization intensity with and without application of Glomus mosseae (arbuscular mycorrhizae) on mainly tailing sands. Surprisingly both, plants growing on pure TS and plants growing on TS with additional AM-application showed mycorrhization of roots. In general, the mycorrhization intensity was lower for plants growing on pure tailings sands, but it is an interesting fact that there is a potential for mycorrhization available in tailing sands. The mycorrhizal intensity strongly increased with application of G. mosseae for K. macrantha and L. corniculatus and even more for E. trachycaulus. For D. cespitosa similar high mycorrhiza infection frequency was found for both variants, with and without AM-application. By the application of G. mosseae, root growth of E. trachycaulus and K. macrantha was significantly positively influenced. Analysis of leaf chlorophyll fluorescence showed no significant differences for E. trachycaulus but significant positive influence of mycorrhizal application on the physiological status of L. corniculatus. However, this effect could not be detected when TS was mixed with MFT

  2. Diamondoid diacids ('O4' species) in oil sands process-affected water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lengger, Sabine K; Scarlett, Alan G; West, Charles E; Rowland, Steven J

    2013-12-15

    As a by-product of oil sands extraction, large volumes of oil sands process water (OSPW) are generated, which are contaminated with a large range of water-soluble organic compounds. The acids are thought to be derived from hydrocarbons via natural biodegradation pathways such as α- and β-oxidation of alkyl substituents, which could produce mono- and diacids, for example. However, while several monoacids ('O2' species) have been identified, the presence of diacids (i.e. 'O4' species) has only been deduced from results obtained via Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance high-resolution mass spectrometry (FTICR-HRMS) and nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H-NMR) spectroscopy and the structures have never been confirmed. An extract of an OSPW from a Canadian tailings pond was analysed and the retention times and the electron ionization mass spectra of some analytes were compared with those of bis-methyl esters of authentic diacids by gas chromatography × gas chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC/TOFMS) in nominal and accurate mass configurations. Two diamondoid diacids (3-carboxymethyladamantane-1-carboxylic acid and adamantane-1,3-dicarboxylic acid) were firmly identified as their bis-methyl esters by retention time and mass spectral matching and several other structural isomers were more tentatively assigned. Diacids have substantially increased polarity over the hydrocarbon and monoacid species from which they probably derive: as late members of biodegradation processes they may be useful indicators of weathering and ageing, not only of OSPW, but potentially of crude oil residues more generally. Structures of O4 species in OSPW have been identified. This confirms pathways of microbial biodegradation, which were only postulated previously, and may be a further indication that remediation of OSPW toxicity can occur by natural microbial action. The presence and abundance of these diacids might

  3. Differences between measured and reported volatile organic compound emissions from oil sands facilities in Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shao-Meng; Leithead, Amy; Moussa, Samar G; Liggio, John; Moran, Michael D; Wang, Daniel; Hayden, Katherine; Darlington, Andrea; Gordon, Mark; Staebler, Ralf; Makar, Paul A; Stroud, Craig A; McLaren, Robert; Liu, Peter S K; O'Brien, Jason; Mittermeier, Richard L; Zhang, Junhua; Marson, George; Cober, Stewart G; Wolde, Mengistu; Wentzell, Jeremy J B

    2017-05-09

    Large-scale oil production from oil sands deposits in Alberta, Canada has raised concerns about environmental impacts, such as the magnitude of air pollution emissions. This paper reports compound emission rates (E) for 69-89 nonbiogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for each of four surface mining facilities, determined with a top-down approach using aircraft measurements in the summer of 2013. The aggregate emission rate (aE) of the nonbiogenic VOCs ranged from 50 ± 14 to 70 ± 22 t/d depending on the facility. In comparison, equivalent VOC emission rates reported to the Canadian National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) using accepted estimation methods were lower than the aE values by factors of 2.0 ± 0.6, 3.1 ± 1.1, 4.5 ± 1.5, and 4.1 ± 1.6 for the four facilities, indicating underestimation in the reported VOC emissions. For 11 of the combined 93 VOC species reported by all four facilities, the reported emission rate and E were similar; but for the other 82 species, the reported emission rate was lower than E The median ratio of E to that reported for all species by a facility ranged from 4.5 to 375 depending on the facility. Moreover, between 9 and 53 VOCs, for which there are existing reporting requirements to the NPRI, were not included in the facility emission reports. The comparisons between the emission reports and measurement-based emission rates indicate that improvements to VOC emission estimation methods would enhance the accuracy and completeness of emission estimates and their applicability to environmental impact assessments of oil sands developments.

  4. Sulfate reducing bacteria and their activities in oil sands process-affected water biofilm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Hong; Yu, Tong, E-mail: tong.yu@ualberta.ca; Liu, Yang, E-mail: yang.liu@ualberta.ca

    2015-12-01

    Biofilm reactors were constructed to grow stratified multispecies biofilm in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) supplemented with growth medium. The development of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) within the biofilm and the biofilm treatment of OSPW were evaluated. The community structure and potential activity of SRB in the biofilm were investigated with H{sub 2}S microsensor measurements, dsrB gene-based denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), and the real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Multispecies biofilm with a thickness of 1000 μm was successfully developed on engineered biocarriers. H{sub 2}S production was observed in the deeper anoxic zone of the biofilm from around 750 μm to 1000 μm below the bulk water-biofilm interface, revealing sulfate reduction in the deeper zone of the stratified biofilm. The biofilm removed chemical oxygen demand (COD), sulfate, and nitrogen. The study expands current knowledge of biofilm treatment of OSPW and the function of anaerobic SRB in OSPW biofilm, and thus provides information for future bioreactor development in the reclamation of OSPW. - Graphical abstract: The development of sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) within Oil Sands Process-affected Water (OSPW) biofilm and the biofilm treatment of OSPW were evaluated by Liu and coworkers. Combined microsensor and molecular biology techniques were utilized in this study. Their results demonstrated that multispecies biofilm with a thickness of 1000 μm was successfully developed on engineered biocarriers. H{sub 2}S production was observed in the deeper anoxic zone of the biofilm from around 750 μm to 1000 μm below the bulk water-biofilm interface, revealing sulfate reduction in the deeper zone of the biofilm. The biofilm removed chemical oxygen demand (COD), sulfate, and nitrogen. - Highlights: • Biofilm in oil sands wastewater was developed on engineered biocarriers. • Bacterial community and in situ activity of SRB were studied in the

  5. Proposed criteria and indicators of ecosystem function for reclaimed oil sands sites : final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Welham, C.; Robinson, N. [FOR rx Consulting Inc., Belcarra, BC (Canada)

    2006-10-13

    Sustainable forest management programs develop criteria and indicator (C and I) methodologies in order to demonstrate sustainability as well as to identify problems so that remedial actions can be employed. A critical feature of forestry-based C and I is the assumption that most of the basic ecosystem functions and services are in place at the time management activities are implemented. Application of the C and I approach to open-pit mining is often problematic, as the basic attributes of an ecosystem have been largely removed during mining operations. This report described a comprehensive list of indicators of forest ecosystem function along with a description of how they might be used to assess reclamation success in the oil sands region. Indicators were compiled from a workshop conducted at the University of British Columbia. The list was constrained by the fact that reclaimed oil sands sites are large and spatially heterogenous. The spatial and temporal nature of the data meant that sampling protocols were also necessary. Robust indicators that were economically expensive were favoured. Indicators were grouped under the following 3 criteria: (1) that the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil are restored to target levels; (2) that the structure, composition and vigor of vegetation cover are restored to target levels; and (3) that critical ecosystem processes are restored to target levels. Criteria were selected to reflect the core attributes necessary for assessing development of a reclaimed ecosystem. Indicators included nitrogen-fixing symbionts; soil fauna; soil nutrients; mycorrhizae; snags; invasive species; wetland input water chemistry; foliar nutrition; nutrient budgets; and plant carbon allocation. It was noted that reference sites should be equivalent ecologically to their reclaimed analogue and located close to the restoration project, so that success in oil sands remediation projects can be evaluated by the rate at which a given

  6. Mature fine tailings from oil sands processing harbour diverse methanogenic communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Penner, T.J.; Foght, J.M. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Biological Sciences

    2010-06-15

    Syncrude's bitumen extraction process produces a fine tailings slurry consisting of water, sand, fines, residual bitumen and naphtha diluent. Following rapid settling of the sand fraction, the tailings are stored in large settling ponds to form a thick mature fine tailings (MFT). This paper discussed the potential benefits of methane production on management of the settling basins. Enhanced methanogenesis accelerates densification and improves the rheological properties of MFT. In this study molecular techniques were used to characterize the methanogenic communities in uncultivated MFT samples to determine the diversity present in the Mildred Lake Settling Basin (MLSB) and West In-Pit tailings deposit. The flux of methane is currently estimated at about 40 million L/day at the MLSB. Clone libraries of amplified archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA genes were created in order to analyze the methanogenic consortia in MFT samples from depth profiles in the 2 tailings deposits. The archaeal sequences, whose closest matches were primarily cultivated methanogens, were comparable within and between basins and were mostly affiliated with acetoclastic Methanosaeta spp. However, bacterial clone libraries were diverse, with most sequences relating to Proteobacteria, including some presumptive nitrate-, iron-, or sulfate-reducing, hydrocarbon-degrading genera. The study showed that MFT consists of a diverse community of prokaryotes that may be responsible for producing methane from substrates indigenous to the MFT. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the biogenesis of methane and densification of MFT in oil sands tailings deposits. The results from this study will help determine strategies to control and exploit microbial activities in these large systems and improve the understanding of methanogenic environments. 43 refs., 2 tabs., 3 figs.

  7. Microbial metabolism alters pore water chemistry and increases consolidation of oil sands tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkell, Nicholas; Kuznetsov, Petr; Kuznetsova, Alsu; Foght, Julia M; Siddique, Tariq

    2015-01-01

    Tailings produced during bitumen extraction from surface-mined oil sands ores (tar sands) comprise an aqueous suspension of clay particles that remain dispersed for decades in tailings ponds. Slow consolidation of the clays hinders water recovery for reuse and retards volume reduction, thereby increasing the environmental footprint of tailings ponds. We investigated mechanisms of tailings consolidation and revealed that indigenous anaerobic microorganisms altered porewater chemistry by producing CO and CH during metabolism of acetate added as a labile carbon amendment. Entrapped biogenic CO decreased tailings pH, thereby increasing calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) cations and bicarbonate (HCO) concentrations in the porewater through dissolution of carbonate minerals. Soluble ions increased the porewater ionic strength, which, with higher exchangeable Ca and Mg, decreased the diffuse double layer of clays and increased consolidation of tailings compared with unamended tailings in which little microbial activity was observed. These results are relevant to effective tailings pond management strategies. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  8. The fast oxidation of SO2 in oil sands regions of Alberta,Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiri, N.; Norman, A. L.

    2016-12-01

    Secondary aerosols in the atmosphere play a significant role in the Earth's radiation budget and in human health. It is important to understand how secondary aerosols are formed. Atmospheric SO2 oxidation leads to secondary sulfate aerosols. The SO2 oxidation rate needs to be well defined to better understand aerosols and their effects and oxidation varies depending on the oxidants present. This research presents the results of a field campaign from 13 Aug to 5 Sep 2013 at the Wood Buffalo Air Monitoring Station 13 (AMS13) site just south of Fort MacKay, in which two lines of evidence show fast oxidation of SO2 in the region. Size-segregated sulfate aerosols and SO2 gas were collected on microfiber glass filters and filters treated by K2CO3 and glycerin respectively. The sulfur isotopic composition of sulfate aerosols and SO2 were measured. Periods when a nearby instrument was in operation (20m away), displayed markedly distinct d34S values from periods when it was not operational. The nearby instrument used enriched 34SO2, and this affected the resulting d34S values for all sulfate size fractions but not SO2 from our high volume sampler. The most pronounced contamination was observed for sulfate aerosols DOil Sands region, and that this SO2 was oxidized before reaching the high volume sampler. The results from our study show that SO2 oxidation in the Oil Sands regions in the presence of pollutants such as hydrocarbons is rapid.

  9. Solute pools in Nikanotee Fen watershed in the Athabasca oil sands region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simhayov, Reuven B; Price, Jonathan S; Smeaton, Christina M; Parsons, Chris; Rezanezhad, Fereidoun; Van Cappellen, Philippe

    2017-06-01

    Overburden and tailings materials from oil sands production were used as construction materials as part of a novel attempt to create a self-sustaining, peat accumulating fen-upland ecosystem. To evaluate the potential for elemental release from the construction materials, total elemental concentrations in the tailings sand, petroleum coke and peat used to construct a fen ecosystem were determined using microwave-assisted acid digestions and compared to a leaching experiment conducted under environmentally-relevant conditions. A comparison of solid phase to aqueous Na, Ca, S and Mg concentrations showed they were highly leachable in the materials. Given that the concentrations of these elements can affect plant community structure, it is important to understand their leachability and mobility as they migrate between materials used to construct the system. To that end, a mass balance of aqueous Na, Ca, S and Mg was conducted based on leaching experiments and materials analysis coupled with existing data from the constructed system. The data indicate that there is a large pool of leachable Na, Ca, S and Mg in the system, estimated at 27 t of Na, 14 t of Ca, 37.3 t of S and 8.8 t of Mg. Since recharge mainly drives the fen-upland system water regime, and discharge in the fen, evapo-accumulation of these solutes on the surface may occur. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Initial geochemical characteristics of fluid fine tailings in an oil sands end pit lake

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dompierre, Kathryn A. [Department of Civil and Geological Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 5A9 (Canada); Lindsay, Matthew B.J., E-mail: matt.lindsay@usask.ca [Department of Geological Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5E2 (Canada); Cruz-Hernández, Pablo [Department of Geology, University of Huelva, Campus ‘El Carmen’, E-21071 Huelva (Spain); Halferdahl, Geoffrey M. [Environmental Research and Development, Syncrude Canada Limited, Edmonton, Alberta T6N 1H4 (Canada)

    2016-06-15

    Geochemical characteristics of fluid fine tailings (FFT) were examined in Base Mine Lake (BML), which is the first full-scale demonstration oil sands end pit lake (EPL) in northern Alberta, Canada. Approximately 186 Mm{sup 3} of FFT was deposited between 1994 and 2012, before BML was established on December 31, 2012. Bulk FFT samples (n = 588) were collected in July and August 2013 at various depths at 15 sampling sites. Temperature, solid content, electrical conductivity (EC), pH, Eh and alkalinity were measured for all samples. Detailed geochemical analyses were performed on a subset of samples (n = 284). Pore-water pH decreased with depth by approximately 0.5 within the upper 10 m of the FFT. Major pore-water constituents included Na (880 ± 96 mg L{sup −1}) and Cl (560 ± 95 mg L{sup −1}); Ca (19 ± 4.1 mg L{sup −1}), Mg (11 ± 2.0 mg L{sup −1}), K (16 ± 2.3 mg L{sup −1}) and NH{sub 3} (9.9 ± 4.7 mg L{sup −1}) were consistently observed. Iron and Mn concentrations were low within FFT pore water, whereas SO{sub 4} concentrations decreased sharply across the FFT–water interface. Geochemical modeling indicated that FeS{sub (s)} precipitation was favoured under SO{sub 4}-reducing conditions. Pore water was also under-saturated with respect to gypsum [CaSO{sub 4}·2H{sub 2}O], and near saturation with respect to calcite [CaCO{sub 3}], dolomite [CaMg(CO{sub 3}){sub 2}] and siderite [FeCO{sub 3}]. X-ray diffraction (XRD) suggested that carbonate-mineral dissolution largely depleted calcite and dolomite. X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy revealed the presence of FeS{sub (s)}, pyrite [FeS{sub 2}], and siderite. Carbonate-mineral dissolution and secondary mineral precipitation have likely contributed to FFT dewatering and settlement. However, the long-term importance of these processes within EPLs remains unknown. These results provide a reference for assessing the long-term geochemical evolution of oil sands EPLs, and offer

  11. Sediment oxygen demand of wetlands in the oil sands region of northeastern Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Slama, C.; Gardner Costa, J.; Ciborowski, J. [Windsor Univ., ON (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Sediment oxygen demand (SOD) can significantly influence the dissolved oxygen concentrations in shallow water bodies. This study discussed the types of sediments used to reclaim wetlands and their influence on SOD, successional processes, and ecosystem trajectories. The study hypothesized that oil sands process material (OSPM) affected wetlands would support cyanobacterial biofilms as opposed to submergent macrophytes as a result of insufficient phosphorus levels. SOD was assessed by monitoring dissolved oxygen concentrations within domes placed on the sediment surface for a 3-hour period. Gas flux and composition analyses were used to quantify the biological SOD components. Chemical SOD components were then determined by subtraction. Concentrations of phosphorus bioavailable to the macrophytes were estimated using plant root simulator probes. The study showed that OSPM wetlands exhibited higher chemical SOD and SOD than reference wetlands, and supported benthic biofilms as opposed to the submergent macrophyte communities typically found in northeastern Alberta wetlands.

  12. A Relevance Vector Machine-Based Approach with Application to Oil Sand Pump Prognostics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter W. Tse

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Oil sand pumps are widely used in the mining industry for the delivery of mixtures of abrasive solids and liquids. Because they operate under highly adverse conditions, these pumps usually experience significant wear. Consequently, equipment owners are quite often forced to invest substantially in system maintenance to avoid unscheduled downtime. In this study, an approach combining relevance vector machines (RVMs with a sum of two exponential functions was developed to predict the remaining useful life (RUL of field pump impellers. To handle field vibration data, a novel feature extracting process was proposed to arrive at a feature varying with the development of damage in the pump impellers. A case study involving two field datasets demonstrated the effectiveness of the developed method. Compared with standalone exponential fitting, the proposed RVM-based model was much better able to predict the remaining useful life of pump impellers.

  13. A relevance vector machine-based approach with application to oil sand pump prognostics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jinfei; Tse, Peter W

    2013-09-18

    Oil sand pumps are widely used in the mining industry for the delivery of mixtures of abrasive solids and liquids. Because they operate under highly adverse conditions, these pumps usually experience significant wear. Consequently, equipment owners are quite often forced to invest substantially in system maintenance to avoid unscheduled downtime. In this study, an approach combining relevance vector machines (RVMs) with a sum of two exponential functions was developed to predict the remaining useful life (RUL) of field pump impellers. To handle field vibration data, a novel feature extracting process was proposed to arrive at a feature varying with the development of damage in the pump impellers. A case study involving two field datasets demonstrated the effectiveness of the developed method. Compared with standalone exponential fitting, the proposed RVM-based model was much better able to predict the remaining useful life of pump impellers.

  14. Evolution of seismic velocities in heavy oil sand reservoirs during thermal recovery process

    CERN Document Server

    Nauroy, Jean-François; Guy, N; Baroni, Axelle; Delage, Pierre; Mainguy, Marc; 10.2516/ogst/2012027

    2013-01-01

    In thermally enhanced recovery processes like cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) or steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD), continuous steam injection entails changes in pore fluid, pore pressure and temperature in the rock reservoir, that are most often unconsolidated or weakly consolidated sandstones. This in turn increases or decreases the effective stresses and changes the elastic properties of the rocks. Thermally enhanced recovery processes give rise to complex couplings. Numerical simulations have been carried out on a case study so as to provide an estimation of the evolution of pressure, temperature, pore fluid saturation, stress and strain in any zone located around the injector and producer wells. The approach of Ciz and Shapiro (2007) - an extension of the poroelastic theory of Biot-Gassmann applied to rock filled elastic material - has been used to model the velocity dispersion in the oil sand mass under different conditions of temperature and stress. A good agreement has been found between these pre...

  15. Assessment of water removal from oil sands tailings by evaporation and under-drainage, and the impact on tailings consolidation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Junqueira, Fernando F.; Sanin, Maria Victoria [Golder Associates Ltd (Canada); Sedgwick, Andrea [Total EandP Canada (Canada); Blum, Jim [JG Blum Consulting Ltd (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    Tailings, left-over material produced during the extraction process that separates bitumen from oil sand, are challenging the oil sands industry. These tailings require large surface areas and contain mature fine tailings, made up of fine clay particles suspended in water, which do not settle within a reasonable timeframe. Consequently, maximizing water removal from oil sands tailings is required to accelerate tailings consolidation. The study described in this paper was developed to measure the water loss from oil sands tailings associated with evaporation and under-drainage, using laboratory drying column tests, and to evaluate the impact of water loss on the process of tailings consolidation and the gain in shear strength for different lift thicknesses. Water removal from the tailings through evaporation occurred at a nearly constant rate, while the rate of under-drainage progressively reduced with time. Additionally, it was found that thinner lifts would have better performance in terms of tailings consolidation and gain in shear strength than thick lifts.

  16. Spatial and temporal distribution of ambient nitric acid and ammonia in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. Bytnerowicz; W. Fraczek; S. Schilling; D. Alexander

    2010-01-01

    Monthly average ambient concentrations of gaseous nitric acid (HNO3) and ammonia (NH3) were monitored at the Athabasca Oils Sands Region (AOSR), Alberta, Canada, between May 2005 and September 2008. Generally, concentrations of both pollutants were elevated and highly variable in space and time. The highest atmospheric...

  17. Thermochemical methods for the treatment of oil contaminated sand; Metodo termoquimico para tratamento de areia contaminada por oleo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pimenta, Rosana C.G.M. [Fundacao Jose Bonifacio, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Khalil, Carlos N. [PETROBRAS S.A., Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2003-07-01

    The Nitrogen Generating System (SGN in Portuguese) is a thermochemical method first developed for cleaning and removal of paraffin deposits in production and export pipelines. SGN is based on a redox chemical reaction between two salts which is catalyzed in acidic pH. The reaction is strongly exothermic and its products are nitrogen, sodium chloride, water and heat. All reaction products are harmless to the environment. In January 2000 there was a major oil spill in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, which contaminated 2400 tons of sand. This work, developed at PETROBRAS Research Center (CENPES), was based on SGN technology which has been adapted for cleaning contaminated sand and recovering of spilled oil. By combining simultaneous effects of the SGN treatment such as heating, turbulence and floatation, one can remove, within 98% of efficiency, spilling oil from contaminated sand and removed oil can be securely returned to refining process. SGN technology has proved to be efficient, fast, low cost and ecologically correct method for cleaning contaminated sand and can be applied in loco right after a contamination event. (author)

  18. Royal Society of Canada expert panel report : environmental and health impacts of Canada's oil sands industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gosselin, P. [Inst. national de sante publique, Quebec, PQ (Canada); Hrudey, S.E. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Div. of Analytical and Environmental Toxicology; Naeth, M.A. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Faculty of Agricultural, Life, and Environmental Sciences; Plourde, A. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Economics; Therrien, R. [Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada); Laval Univ., Quebec City, PQ (Canada). Dept. of Geology and Geological Engineering; Van Der Kraak, G. [Guelph Univ., ON (Canada). Dept. of Integrative Biology; Guelph Univ., ON (Canada). College of Biological Science; Xu, Z. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Faculty of Engineering

    2010-12-15

    This expert panel report was commissioned by the Royal Society of Canada to provide a comprehensive evidence-based assessment of the environmental and health impacts of Canada's oil sands industry. The report evaluated the feasibility of land reclamation and the impacts of oil sands contaminants on downstream residents. Health impacts on residents living in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo were assessed, and the impacts on regional water supplies were evaluated. Regional water and ground water quantities were examined, and issues related to tailing pond operations and reclamation were examined. Ambient air quality impacts were assessed, as well as potential impacts of the oil sands industry on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The environmental regulatory performance of operators in the industry was also evaluated. A summary of economic and policy issues related to the industry was also provided. The study identified major gaps in the process of assessment, prevention, and mitigation of the health impacts of oil sands exploitation, as as major indirect health impacts linked to past exploitation activities. 672 refs., 11 tabs., 11 figs. 10 appendices.

  19. Identifying the causes of oil sands coke leachate toxicity to aquatic invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puttaswamy, Naveen; Liber, Karsten

    2011-11-01

    A previous study found that coke leachates (CL) collected from oil sands field sites were acutely toxic to Ceriodaphnia dubia; however, the cause of toxicity was not known. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to generate CL in the laboratory to evaluate the toxicity response of C. dubia and perform chronic toxicity identification evaluation (TIE) tests to identify the causes of CL toxicity. Coke was subjected to a 15-d batch leaching process at pH 5.5 and 9.5. Leachates were filtered on day 15 and used for chemical and toxicological characterization. The 7-d median lethal concentration (LC50) was 6.3 and 28.7% (v/v) for pH 5.5 and 9.5 CLs, respectively. Trace element characterization of the CLs showed Ni and V levels to be well above their respective 7-d LC50s for C. dubia. Addition of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid significantly (p ≤ 0.05) improved survival and reproduction in pH 5.5 CL, but not in pH 9.5 CL. Cationic and anionic resins removed toxicity of pH 5.5 CL only. Conversely, the toxicity of pH 9.5 CL was completely removed with an anion resin alone, suggesting that the pH 9.5 CL contained metals that formed oxyanions. Toxicity reappeared when Ni and V were added back to anion resin-treated CLs. The TIE results combined with the trace element chemistry suggest that both Ni and V are the cause of toxicity in pH 5.5 CL, whereas V appears to be the primary cause of toxicity in pH 9.5 CL. Environmental monitoring and risk assessments should therefore focus on the fate and toxicity of metals, especially Ni and V, in coke-amended oil sands reclamation landscapes. Copyright © 2011 SETAC.

  20. Structural health monitoring of Syncrude's Aurora 2 oil sand crusher

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sharma, V.P.

    2008-07-01

    Structural health monitoring (SHM) is a tool used to monitor the safeness of a structure with reliable data acquisition systems and sensors. The Aurora 2 oil sand crusher at Syncrude Canada's mining facility in Fort McMurray, Alberta has been instrumented with such a system to monitor and provide a health report on demand. This thesis extended the use of SHM beyond the conventional boundaries of bridges and buildings to industrial structures. It established a knowledge-base on crusher behaviour and the loads acting on it under different operating conditions. Structural behaviour of the crusher, including strain patterns and their inter-relationship with different dump types, critical strain magnitudes, and impact factors at various locations under severe loading were established. Dynamic properties of the structure such as fundamental frequencies of vibration and their modal damping ratios were determined. The study showed that in general, the structural components have a reasonable fatigue life, but annual inspections and tightening of bolts is needed to address factors such as critical stresses. The role of data processing and management was significant, given that 1.5 GB of data was produced each day. A multi threshold based data processing and management algorithm was developed to reduce data by 10,000 times. Statistical analyses were conducted to establish the parameters for monitoring the structure. A finite element model of the structure was calibrated with field observations to propose a new field design load case. A numerical damage simulation exercise presented suitable strategies for damage detection by monitoring the strain magnitudes and strain patterns in the vicinity of a damage. The remaining life of the oil sand crusher can be predicted and its performance monitored using the SHM system.

  1. Factors influencing stable isotopes and growth of algae in oil sands aquatic reclamation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutsivongsakd, Monique; Farwell, Andrea J; Chen, Hao; Dixon, D George

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies reported (15)N enrichment of biota in reclamation wetlands that contain oil sands processed material (e.g., processed water and tailings); however, there is little information on the factors controlling (15)N enrichment in these systems. In this microcosm study, the aim was to examine stable C and N isotopes and growth (chlorophyll a [chl a] and dry weight) of algae as a function of exposure to different sources and concentrations of water-soluble fractions (WSF) derived from tailings. Two sources of tailings including mature fine tailings (MFT) and consolidated tailings (CT) and peat-mineral overburden were utilized to generate separate WSF that differed in water quality. In general, there was (15)N enrichment of filamentous algae along the increasing gradient of WSF/nutrient concentrations in both CT and peat microcosms, and among the different sources, algae were more (15)N enriched in CT WSF than in peat WSF. Growth of filamentous algae was inhibited at higher WSF concentrations, possibly due to reduced light availability at elevated levels of fine clay particles in MFT microcosms and colored dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in peat microcosms. Filamentous algae displayed lower biomass and (15)N depletion in 100% peat WSF. This study indicated that both the quality (source) and quantity of WSF affected algal growth and directly and/or indirectly influenced δ(15)N of algae. The distinct (15)N enrichment of primary producers derived from tailings suggest that stable N isotopes might be useful to trace exposure to oil sands processed material in biota that utilize these resources in reclaimed systems constructed with tailings or natural systems that receive tailings dyke seepage.

  2. Bacterial Root Microbiome of Plants Growing in Oil Sands Reclamation Covers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo K. Mitter

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Oil sands mining in northern Alberta impacts a large footprint, but the industry is committed to reclaim all disturbed land to an ecologically healthy state in response to environmental regulations. However, these newly reconstructed landscapes may be limited by several factors that include low soil nutrient levels and reduced microbial activity. Rhizosphere microorganisms colonize plant roots providing hosts with nutrients, stimulating growth, suppressing disease and increasing tolerance to abiotic stress. High-throughput sequencing techniques can be used to provide a detailed characterization of microbial community structure. This study used 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing to characterize the bacterial root microbiome associated with annual barley (Hordeum vulgare and sweet clover (Melilotus albus growing in an oil sands reclamation area. Our results indicate that Proteobacteria dominated the endosphere, whereas other phyla such as Acidobacteria and Gemmatimonadetes were restricted to the rhizosphere, suggesting that plants have the ability to select for certain soil bacterial consortia. The bacterial community in the endosphere compartments were less rich and diverse compared to the rhizosphere. Furthermore, it was apparent that sweet clover plants were more selective, as the community exhibited a lower richness and diversity compared to barley. Members of the family Rhizobiaceae, such as Sinorhizobium and Rhizobium were mainly associated with clover, whereas Acholeplasma (wall-less bacteria transmitted by insects was unique to barley. Genera from the Enterobacteriaceae family, such as Yersinia and Lentzea were also mostly detected in barley, while other genera such Pseudomonas and Pantoea were able to successfully colonize both plants. Endophytic bacterial profiles varied within the same plant species at different sampling locations; however, these differences were driven by factors other than slope positions or cover management. Our results

  3. Cultural keystone species in oil sands mine reclamation, Fort McKay, Alberta, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garibaldi, A.; Straker, J. [Stantec Ltd., Sidney, BC (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    Cultural keystone species (CKS) shape the cultural identify of people through the roles they have in diet, material and spiritual practices. The use of the CKS concept is regarded as a method of addressing linked social and ecological issues. This paper presented the results of using the CKS model in the indigenous community of Fort McKay, Alberta to address, social, ecological and spiritual values in regional mine-land reclamation. Fort McKay is at the epicenter of the existing mine developments. Its residents regard human and environmental health to be be linked and therefore experience the effects of development and subsequent reclamation on both cultural and ecological levels. The community is actively engaged in working with the local mining companies on issues of mine reclamation design. In order to hold meaning to the local people, oil sand operators used the CKS concept in their reclamation efforts to take into account ecological functionality and also address the linked social factors. Five CKS were identified through a literature review and extensive community interviews. The list includes moose, cranberry, blueberry, ratroot and beaver. These 5 CKS were used to focus discussions and make recommendations for relevant land reclamation within Fort McKay traditional territory. The project has influenced the way both the community and oil sands operators engage with reclamation. Lessons learned from this process will help direct reclamation activities on other portions of traditional territory, while offering guidance to other regional developers for addressing cultural values in reclamation on their leases. 15 refs., 1 fig.

  4. Immunotoxic effects of oil sands-derived naphthenic acids to rainbow trout

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    MacDonald, Gillian Z.; Hogan, Natacha S. [Canadian Rivers Institute, Department of Biology, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Avenue, Charlottetown, PEI (Canada); Koellner, Bernd [Friedrich Loeffler Institute, Federal Research Institute of Animal Health, Institute of Immunology, Greifswald (Germany); Thorpe, Karen L.; Phalen, Laura J. [Canadian Rivers Institute, Department of Biology, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Avenue, Charlottetown, PEI (Canada); Wagner, Brian D. [Department of Chemistry, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown (Canada); Heuvel, Michael R. van den, E-mail: mheuvel@upei.ca [Canadian Rivers Institute, Department of Biology, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Avenue, Charlottetown, PEI (Canada)

    2013-01-15

    Naphthenic acids are the major organic constituents in waters impacted by oil sands. To investigate their immunotoxicity, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were injected with naphthenic acids extracted from aged oil sands tailings water. In two experiments, rainbow trout were injected intraperitoneally with 0, 10, or 100 mg/kg of naphthenic acids, and sampled after 5 or 21 d. Half of the fish from the 21 d exposure were co-exposed to inactivated Aeromonas salmonicida (A.s.) to induce an immune response. A positive control experiment was conducted using an intraperitoneal injection of 100 mg/kg of benzo[a]pyrene, a known immune suppressing compound. T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, thrombocytes, and myeloid cells were counted in blood and lymphatic tissue using flow cytometry. In the 5 d exposure, there was a reduction in blood leucocytes and spleen thrombocytes at the 100 mg/kg dose. However, at 21 d, leucocyte populations showed no effects of exposure with the exception that spleen thrombocyte populations increase at the 100 mg/kg dose. In the 21 d exposure, B- and T-lymphocytes in blood showed a significant Dose Multiplication-Sign A.s. interaction, indicating stimulated blood cell proliferation due to naphthenic acids alone as well as due to A.s. Naphthenic acid injections did not result in elevated bile fluorescent metabolites or elevated hepatic EROD activity. In contrast to naphthenic acids exposures, as similar dose of benzo[a]pyrene caused a significant decrease in B- and T-lymphocyte absolute counts in blood and relative B-lymphocyte counts in spleen. Results suggest that the naphthenic acids may act via a generally toxic mechanism rather than by specific toxic effects on immune cells.

  5. LIDAR first results from the Oil Sands Region: A complex vertical atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strawbridge, K. B.

    2012-12-01

    Environment Canada is using LIDAR technology to probe the complex vertical structure of the atmosphere over the oil sands region. This provided the critical vertical context for the interpretation of ground-based chemistry measurements and model verification and validation. In recent years, Environment Canada has designed an autonomous aerosol LIDAR system that can be deployed to remote areas such as the oil sands. The trailer that contains the LIDAR system includes a roof hatch assembly, basic meteorological tower, radar interlock system, climate control system and leveling stabilizers. A precipitation sensor is used to operate the roof hatch and three pan/tilt webcams capture sky conditions and monitor the Lidar system's health. A remote control interface is used to monitor all vital components of the system, including the ability to provide hard resets to the various electronic devices onboard. Every 10 seconds the system provides vertical aerosol profiles from near ground to 20 km. The LIDAR transmitter emits two wavelengths (1064nm and 532nm) and the detector assembly collects three channels (1064nm backscatter, 532nm backscatter and 532nm depolarization). The depolarization channel provided key information in identifying and discriminating the various aerosol layers aloft such as dust, forest fire plumes, industrial plume sources or ice crystals. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week except during precipitation events and when aircraft fly over the site. The system is operated remotely and the data are updated every hour to a website to allow near real-time capability. First results from an intensive field campaign will be presented. LIDAR false color plot showing the bottom 7 km of the atmosphere during a forest fire event. Note the forest fire plume is between 1.5 and 5 km.

  6. Estimating fugitive methane emissions from oil sands mining using extractive core samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Matthew R.; Crosland, Brian M.; McEwen, James D.; Hager, Darcy B.; Armitage, Joshua R.; Karimi-Golpayegani, Mojgan; Picard, David J.

    2016-11-01

    Fugitive methane emissions from oil sands mining activities are a potentially important source of greenhouse gas emissions for which there are significant uncertainties and a lack of open data. This paper investigates the potential of a control-system approach to estimating fugitive methane emissions by analyzing releasable gas volumes in core samples extracted from undeveloped mine regions. Field experiments were performed by leveraging routine winter drilling activities that are a component of normal mine planning and development, and working in conjunction with an on-site drill crew using existing equipment. Core samples were extracted from two test holes, sealed at the surface, and transported for off-site lab analysis. Despite the challenges of the on-site sample collection and the limitations of the available drilling technology, notable quantities of residual methane (mean of 23.8 mgCH4/kg-core-sample (+41%/-35%) or 779 mgCH4/kg-bitumen (+69%/-34%) at 95% confidence) were measured in the collected core samples. If these factors are applied to the volumes of bitumen mined in Alberta in 2015, they imply fugitive methane emissions equivalent to 2.1 MtCO2e (as correlated with bitumen content) or 1.4 MtCO2e (as correlated with total mined material) evaluated on a 100-year time horizon. An additional ∼0.2 Mt of fugitive CO2 emissions could also be expected. Although additional measurements at a larger number of locations are warranted to determine whether these emissions should be considered as additive to, or inclusive of, current estimates based on flux chamber measurements at the mine face, these first-of-their-kind results demonstrate an intriguing alternate method for quantifying fugitive emissions from oil sands mining and extraction.

  7. Episodic acidification of 5 rivers in Canada's oil sands during snowmelt: A 25-year record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, A C; Chambers, P A; Jeffries, D S

    2017-12-01

    Episodic acidification during snowmelt is a natural phenomenon that can be intensified by acidic deposition from heavy industry. In Canada's oil sands region, acid deposition is estimated to be as much as 5% of the Canadian total and large tracks of northeastern Alberta are considered acid-sensitive because of extensive peatland habitats with poorly weathered soils. To identify the frequency, duration and severity of acidification episodes during snowmelt (the predominant hydrological period for delivery of priority pollutants from atmospheric oil sands emissions to surface waters), a 25-year record (1989 to 2014) of automated water quality data (pH, temperature, conductivity) was assembled for 3 rivers along with a shorter record (2012-2014) for another 2 rivers. Acidic episodes (pH<7, ANC<0) were recorded during 39% of all 83 snowmelt events. The severity (duration x magnitude) of episodic acidification increased exponentially over the study period (r(2)=0.56, P<0.01) and was strongly correlated (P<0.01) with increasing maximum air temperature and weakly correlated with regional land development (P=0.06). Concentrations of aluminum and 11 priority pollutants (Sb, As, Be, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Se, Ag, Tl and Zn) were greatest (P<0.01) during low (<6.5) pH episodes, particularly when coincident with high discharge, such that aluminum and copper concentrations were at times high enough to pose a risk to juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Although low pH (pH<6.5) was observed during only 8% of 32 acidification episodes, when present, low pH typically lasted 10days. Episodic surface water acidification during snowmelt, and its potential effects on aquatic biota, is therefore an important consideration in the design of long-term monitoring of these typically alkaline (pH=7.72±0.05) rivers. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Assessing Risks of Shallow Riparian Groundwater Quality Near an Oil Sands Tailings Pond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, J W; Bickerton, G; Frank, R A; Grapentine, L; Hewitt, L M

    2016-07-01

    The potential discharge of groundwater contaminated by oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is a concern for aquatic ecosystems near tailings ponds. Groundwater in the area, but unaffected by OSPW, may contain similar compounds, complicating the assessment of potential ecological impacts. In this study, 177 shallow groundwater samples were collected from riparian areas along the Athabasca River and tributaries proximate to oil sands developments. For "pond-site" samples (71; adjacent to study tailings pond), Canadian aquatic life guidelines were exceeded for 11 of 20 assessed compounds. However, "non-pond" samples (54; not near any tailings pond) provided similar exceedances. Statistical analyses indicate that pond-site and non-pond samples were indistinguishable for all but seven parameters assessed, including salts, many trace metals, and fluorescence profiles of aromatic naphthenic acids (ANA). This suggests that, regarding the tested parameters, groundwater adjacent to the study tailings pond generally poses no greater ecological risk than other nearby groundwaters at this time. Multivariate analyses applied to the groundwater data set separated into 11 smaller zones support this conclusion, but show some variation between zones. Geological and potential OSPW influences could not be distinguished based on major ions and metals concentrations. However, similarities in indicator parameters, namely ANA, F, Mo, Se, and Na-Cl ratio, were noted between a small subset of samples from two pond-site zones and two OSPW samples and two shallow groundwater samples documented as likely OSPW affected. This indicator-based screening suggests that OSPW-affected groundwater may be reaching Athabasca River sediments at a few locations. © 2016 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada. Groundwater © 2016, National Ground Water Association.

  9. Steroidal aromatic 'naphthenic acids' in oil sands process-affected water: structural comparisons with environmental estrogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowland, Steven J; West, Charles E; Jones, David; Scarlett, Alan G; Frank, Richard A; Hewitt, L Mark

    2011-11-15

    The large volumes, acute toxicity, estrogenicity, and antiandrogenicity of process-affected waters accruing in tailings ponds from the operations of the Alberta oil sands industries pose a significant task for environmental reclamation. Synchronous fluorescence spectra (SFS) suggest that oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) may contain aromatic carboxylic acids, which are among the potentially environmentally important toxicants, but no such acids have yet been identified, limiting interpretations of the results of estrogenicity and other assays. Here we show that multidimensional comprehensive gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCxGC-MS) of methyl esters of acids in an OSPW sample produces mass spectra consistent with their assignment as C(19) and C(20) C-ring monoaromatic hydroxy steroid acids, D-ring opened hydroxy and nonhydroxy polyhydrophenanthroic acids with one aromatic and two alicyclic rings and A-ring opened steroidal keto acids. High resolution MS data support the assignment of several of the so-called 'O3' species. When fractions of distilled, esterified, OSPW acid-extractable organics were examined, the putative aromatics were mainly present in a high boiling fraction; when examined by argentation thin layer chromatography, some were present in a fraction with a retardation factor between that of the methyl esters of synthetic monoalicyclic and monoaromatic acids. Ultraviolet absorption spectra of these fractions indicated the presence of benzenoid moieties. SFS of model octahydro- and tetrahydrophenanthroic acids produced emissions at the characteristic excitation wavelengths observed in some OSPW extracts, consistent with the postulations from ultraviolet spectroscopy and mass spectrometry data. We suggest the acids originate from extensive biodegradation of C-ring monoaromatic steroid hydrocarbons and offer a means of differentiating residues at different biodegradation stages in tailings ponds. Structural similarities with estrone and

  10. QUANTITATIVE METHODS FOR RESERVOIR CHARACTERIZATION AND IMPROVED RECOVERY: APPLICATION TO HEAVY OIL SANDS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    James W. Castle; Fred J. Molz; Ronald W. Falta; Cynthia L. Dinwiddie; Scott E. Brame; Robert A. Bridges

    2002-10-30

    Improved prediction of interwell reservoir heterogeneity has the potential to increase productivity and to reduce recovery cost for California's heavy oil sands, which contain approximately 2.3 billion barrels of remaining reserves in the Temblor Formation and in other formations of the San Joaquin Valley. This investigation involves application of advanced analytical property-distribution methods conditioned to continuous outcrop control for improved reservoir characterization and simulation, particularly in heavy oil sands. The investigation was performed in collaboration with Chevron Production Company U.S.A. as an industrial partner, and incorporates data from the Temblor Formation in Chevron's West Coalinga Field. Observations of lateral variability and vertical sequences observed in Temblor Formation outcrops has led to a better understanding of reservoir geology in West Coalinga Field. Based on the characteristics of stratigraphic bounding surfaces in the outcrops, these surfaces were identified in the subsurface using cores and logs. The bounding surfaces were mapped and then used as reference horizons in the reservoir modeling. Facies groups and facies tracts were recognized from outcrops and cores of the Temblor Formation and were applied to defining the stratigraphic framework and facies architecture for building 3D geological models. The following facies tracts were recognized: incised valley, estuarine, tide- to wave-dominated shoreline, diatomite, and subtidal. A new minipermeameter probe, which has important advantages over previous methods of measuring outcrop permeability, was developed during this project. The device, which measures permeability at the distal end of a small drillhole, avoids surface weathering effects and provides a superior seal compared with previous methods for measuring outcrop permeability. The new probe was used successfully for obtaining a high-quality permeability data set from an outcrop in southern Utah

  11. Detoxification, endocrine, and immune responses of tree swallow nestlings naturally exposed to air contaminants from the Alberta oil sands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Martinez, Luis; Fernie, Kim J; Soos, Catherine; Harner, Tom; Getachew, Fitsum; Smits, Judit E G

    2015-01-01

    Changes in environmental and wildlife health from contaminants in tailings water on the Canadian oil sands have been well-studied; however, effects of air contaminants on wildlife health have not. A field study was conducted to assess biological costs of natural exposure to oil sands-related air emissions on birds. Nest boxes for tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) were erected at two sites; within 5 km of active oil sands mining and extraction, and ≥ 60 km south, at one reference site. Passive air monitors were deployed at the nest boxes to measure nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone, volatile organic compounds, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Nestlings were examined at day 9 post hatching to assess T cell function and morphometry. At day 14 post hatching, a subset of nestlings was euthanized to measure detoxification enzymes, endocrine changes, and histological alterations of immune organs. Except for ozone, all air contaminants were higher at the two oil sands sites than the reference site (up to 5-fold). Adult birds had similar reproductive performance among sites (p>0.05). Nestlings from industrial sites showed higher hepatic ethoxyresorufin O-dealkylase (EROD) induction (p0.6), and no histological alterations in the spleen or bursa of Fabricius (p>0.05). This is the first report examining toxicological responses in wild birds exposed to air contaminants from industrial activity in the oil sands. It is also the first time that small, individual air contaminant monitors have been used to determine local contaminant levels in ambient air around nest boxes of wild birds. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Innovative well-completion strategy for challenging heavy-oil wells within mature fields requiring sand control in Colombia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huimin, YE; Patarroyo, Mauricio [Mansarovar Energy (Colombia); Lopez, Nicolas; Perez, Carlos [Schlumberger (Colombia)

    2011-07-01

    With the depletion of conventional oil resources and the development of new techniques, exploitation of heavy oil wells has become common in Northern South America. Nevertheless those projects face the great challenge of implementing environment and sand management systems while optimizing the production and reservoir's life. The aim of this paper is to present a completion methodology, its results and impacts on the productivity of the reservoir. Different simulations to select the sand control strategy and sensitivity studies to confirm their decision were carried out in the Moriche field, a heavy-oil mature field located in Colombia. Following the simulation results, stainless steel wool based screens were finally chosen and their implementation led to savings in time and costs and the elimination of downhole issues. The use of the completion methodology presented herein on the Moriche wells led to an overall improvement in productivity.

  13. Small mammals as sentinels of oil sands related contaminants and health effects in northeastern Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Estival, Jaime; Smits, Judit E G

    2016-02-01

    The extraction of bitumen in areas of northeastern Alberta (Canada) has been associated with the release of complex mixtures of metals, metalloids, and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) to the environment. To mitigate effects on ecosystems, Canadian legislation mandates that disturbed areas be reclaimed to an ecologically sustainable state after active operations. However, as part of reclamation activities, exposure to, and effects on wildlife living in these areas is not generally assessed. To support successful reclamation, the development of efficient methods to assess exposure and health effects in potentially exposed wildlife is required. In the present study, we investigated the usefulness of two native mammalian species (deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus, and meadow vole Microtus pennsylvanicus) as sentinels of oil sands related contaminants by examining biomarkers of exposure and indicators of biological costs. Tissue residues of 31 metals and metalloids in kidneys and muscle, activity of the hepatic detoxification enzyme EROD (as a biomarker of exposure to organic contaminants), body condition, and the relative mass of liver, kidney, spleen, and testes were compared in animals from one reclaimed area and a reference site. Deer mice from the reclaimed site had higher renal levels of Co, Se and Tl compared to animals from the reference site, which was associated with reduced body condition. Lower testis mass was another feature that distinguished mice from the reclaimed site in comparison to those from the reference site. One mouse and one vole from the reclaimed site also showed increased hepatic EROD activity. In marked contrast, no changes were evident for these variables in meadow voles. Our results show that deer mouse is a sensitive sentinel species and that the biomarkers and indicators used here are efficient means to detect local contamination and associated biological effects in native mammals inhabiting reclaimed areas on active oil sands mine

  14. Understanding the primary emissions and secondary formation of gaseous organic acids in the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Liggio

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Organic acids are known to be emitted from combustion processes and are key photochemical products of biogenic and anthropogenic precursors. Despite their multiple environmental impacts, such as on acid deposition and human–ecosystem health, little is known regarding their emission magnitudes or detailed chemical formation mechanisms. In the current work, airborne measurements of 18 gas-phase low-molecular-weight organic acids were made in the summer of 2013 over the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada, an area of intense unconventional oil extraction. The data from these measurements were used in conjunction with emission retrieval algorithms to derive the total and speciated primary organic acid emission rates, as well as secondary formation rates downwind of oil sands operations. The results of the analysis indicate that approximately 12 t day−1 of low-molecular-weight organic acids, dominated by C1–C5 acids, were emitted directly from off-road diesel vehicles within open pit mines. Although there are no specific reporting requirements for primary organic acids, the measured emissions were similar in magnitude to primary oxygenated hydrocarbon emissions, for which there are reporting thresholds, measured previously ( ≈  20 t day−1. Conversely, photochemical production of gaseous organic acids significantly exceeded the primary sources, with formation rates of up to  ≈  184 t day−1 downwind of the oil sands facilities. The formation and evolution of organic acids from a Lagrangian flight were modelled with a box model, incorporating a detailed hydrocarbon reaction mechanism extracted from the Master Chemical Mechanism (v3.3. Despite evidence of significant secondary organic acid formation, the explicit chemical box model largely underestimated their formation in the oil sands plumes, accounting for 39, 46, 26, and 23 % of the measured formic, acetic, acrylic, and propionic acids respectively and with

  15. Understanding the primary emissions and secondary formation of gaseous organic acids in the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liggio, John; Moussa, Samar G.; Wentzell, Jeremy; Darlington, Andrea; Liu, Peter; Leithead, Amy; Hayden, Katherine; O'Brien, Jason; Mittermeier, Richard L.; Staebler, Ralf; Wolde, Mengistu; Li, Shao-Meng

    2017-07-01

    Organic acids are known to be emitted from combustion processes and are key photochemical products of biogenic and anthropogenic precursors. Despite their multiple environmental impacts, such as on acid deposition and human-ecosystem health, little is known regarding their emission magnitudes or detailed chemical formation mechanisms. In the current work, airborne measurements of 18 gas-phase low-molecular-weight organic acids were made in the summer of 2013 over the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada, an area of intense unconventional oil extraction. The data from these measurements were used in conjunction with emission retrieval algorithms to derive the total and speciated primary organic acid emission rates, as well as secondary formation rates downwind of oil sands operations. The results of the analysis indicate that approximately 12 t day-1 of low-molecular-weight organic acids, dominated by C1-C5 acids, were emitted directly from off-road diesel vehicles within open pit mines. Although there are no specific reporting requirements for primary organic acids, the measured emissions were similar in magnitude to primary oxygenated hydrocarbon emissions, for which there are reporting thresholds, measured previously ( ≈ 20 t day-1). Conversely, photochemical production of gaseous organic acids significantly exceeded the primary sources, with formation rates of up to ≈ 184 t day-1 downwind of the oil sands facilities. The formation and evolution of organic acids from a Lagrangian flight were modelled with a box model, incorporating a detailed hydrocarbon reaction mechanism extracted from the Master Chemical Mechanism (v3.3). Despite evidence of significant secondary organic acid formation, the explicit chemical box model largely underestimated their formation in the oil sands plumes, accounting for 39, 46, 26, and 23 % of the measured formic, acetic, acrylic, and propionic acids respectively and with little contributions from biogenic VOC precursors. The model

  16. The use of nutrient addition as a wetland reclamation strategy in the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boutsivongsakd, M.; Farwell, A.; Chen, H.; Heerkens, N.; Warner, B.; Dixon, G. [Waterloo Univ., ON (Canada)

    2007-07-01

    Large volumes of oil sands process-material (OSPM) are generated as a result of mining and extraction of bitumen in Alberta's oil sands region. This paper addressed the challenge of using OSPM to create wetlands. These materials have the potential to strongly affect the rate and type of aquatic faunal and floral colonization. The quality of the substrate in wetlands may be poor due to physical or chemical characteristics. It is best to construct wetlands that promote optimal sedimentation because of the potential chronic effects of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs). Nutrient addition is one approach for optimal sedimentation that may quickly confine potentially toxic OSPM used as an initial substrate. This study examined the influence of nutrient addition on plankton and periphyton production. It also investigated the impact of maximum sedimentation on invertebrate and macrophyte colonization. Mesocosms were set up at three different reclamation sites along a gradient of naphthenic acid concentration in the water in order to examine the effects of nutrient addition. Naphthenic acids occur naturally in oil sands and are toxic to aquatic organisms. For each site, mesocosms were lined with mature fine tailings, reclamation soil and sand. Nutrients were added to the mesocosms to create oligotrophic, mesotrophic, and eutrophic conditions for each water treatment. Planktonic and periphytic production and sedimentation were then examined.

  17. Development and Application of a Life Cycle-Based Model to Evaluate Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Oil Sands Upgrading Technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacheco, Diana M; Bergerson, Joule A; Alvarez-Majmutov, Anton; Chen, Jinwen; MacLean, Heather L

    2016-12-20

    A life cycle-based model, OSTUM (Oil Sands Technologies for Upgrading Model), which evaluates the energy intensity and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of current oil sands upgrading technologies, is developed. Upgrading converts oil sands bitumen into high quality synthetic crude oil (SCO), a refinery feedstock. OSTUM's novel attributes include the following: the breadth of technologies and upgrading operations options that can be analyzed, energy intensity and GHG emissions being estimated at the process unit level, it not being dependent on a proprietary process simulator, and use of publicly available data. OSTUM is applied to a hypothetical, but realistic, upgrading operation based on delayed coking, the most common upgrading technology, resulting in emissions of 328 kg CO2e/m(3) SCO. The primary contributor to upgrading emissions (45%) is the use of natural gas for hydrogen production through steam methane reforming, followed by the use of natural gas as fuel in the rest of the process units' heaters (39%). OSTUM's results are in agreement with those of a process simulation model developed by CanmetENERGY, other literature, and confidential data of a commercial upgrading operation. For the application of the model, emissions are found to be most sensitive to the amount of natural gas utilized as feedstock by the steam methane reformer. OSTUM is capable of evaluating the impact of different technologies, feedstock qualities, operating conditions, and fuel mixes on upgrading emissions, and its life cycle perspective allows easy incorporation of results into well-to-wheel analyses.

  18. Sources of particulate matter components in the Athabasca oil sands region: investigation through a comparison of trace element measurement methodologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips-Smith, Catherine; Jeong, Cheol-Heon; Healy, Robert M.; Dabek-Zlotorzynska, Ewa; Celo, Valbona; Brook, Jeffrey R.; Evans, Greg

    2017-08-01

    The province of Alberta, Canada, is home to three oil sands regions which, combined, contain the third largest deposit of oil in the world. Of these, the Athabasca oil sands region is the largest. As part of Environment and Climate Change Canada's program in support of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring program, concentrations of trace elements in PM2. 5 (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 µm in diameter) were measured through two campaigns that involved different methodologies: a long-term filter campaign and a short-term intensive campaign. In the long-term campaign, 24 h filter samples were collected once every 6 days over a 2-year period (December 2010-November 2012) at three air monitoring stations in the regional municipality of Wood Buffalo. For the intensive campaign (August 2013), hourly measurements were made with an online instrument at one air monitoring station; daily filter samples were also collected. The hourly and 24 h filter data were analyzed individually using positive matrix factorization. Seven emission sources of PM2. 5 trace elements were thereby identified: two types of upgrader emissions, soil, haul road dust, biomass burning, and two sources of mixed origin. The upgrader emissions, soil, and haul road dust sources were identified through both the methodologies and both methodologies identified a mixed source, but these exhibited more differences than similarities. The second upgrader emissions and biomass burning sources were only resolved by the hourly and filter methodologies, respectively. The similarity of the receptor modeling results from the two methodologies provided reassurance as to the identity of the sources. Overall, much of the PM2. 5-related trace elements were found to be anthropogenic, or at least to be aerosolized through anthropogenic activities. These emissions may in part explain the previously reported higher levels of trace elements in snow, water, and biota samples collected

  19. Serological markers of sand fly exposure to evaluate insecticidal nets against visceral leishmaniasis in India and Nepal: a cluster-randomi trial

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gidwani, K; Picado, A; Rijal, S

    2011-01-01

    Background: Visceral leishmaniasis is the world’ second largest vector-borne parasitic killer and a neglected tropical disease, prevalent in poor communities. Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LNs) are a low cost proven vector intervention method for malaria control; however, their effectiveness...... against visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is unknown. This study quantified the effect of LNs on exposure to the sand fly vector of VL in India and Nepal during a two year community intervention trial. Methods: As part of a paired-cluster randomized controlled clinical trial in VL-endemic regions of India...

  20. Dispersants as used in response to the MC252-Spill Lead to higher mobility of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in oil-contaminated Gulf of Mexico sand

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuijdgeest, A.; Huettel, M.

    2012-01-01

    After the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, large volumes of crude oil were washed onto and embedded in the sandy beaches and sublittoral sands of the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Some of this oil was mechanically or chemically dispersed before reaching the shore. With a set of

  1. Impact of reservoir quality on SAGD production: observations from the UTF phase B oil sands pilot

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Strobl, Rudy [Statoil Canada Ltd (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    The fundamental principle in SAGD is that gravity brings the steam-bitumen emulsion flows down to the production well; hence, net fluid flow being limited to the vertical plane, it is essential to rely on uninterrupted vertical permeability. This paper examines the effects of some mudstone-dominated IHS intervals that block steam rise for production of the B2 well pair. A geological model is proposed for the Phase B pilot area; it consists of an eastward thickening HIS-dominated succession. Results show that compared to sand lithologies, mudstones reduce vertical permeability by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude, and this can be detrimental to operations. In fact, a 70-cm thick mudstone-dominated bed was an obstacle to steam rise during the 9 years of production in the B2 well; these beds represent the most common reservoir heterogeneity of the McMurray Formation. The lateral continuity of the permeability barrier is an important consideration concerning steam rise and SAGD production.

  2. Airborne Measurements of Aerosol Emissions From the Alberta Oil Sands Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howell, S. G.; Clarke, A. D.; McNaughton, C. S.; Freitag, S.

    2012-12-01

    The Alberta oil sands contain a vast reservoir of fossil hydrocarbons. The extremely viscous bitumen requires significant energy to extract and upgrade to make a fluid product suitable for pipelines and further refinement. The mining and upgrading process constitute a large industrial complex in an otherwise sparsely populated area of Canada. During the ARCTAS project in June/July 2008, while studying forest fire plumes, the NASA DC-8 and P-3B flew through the plume a total of 5 times. Once was a coordinated visit by both aircraft; the other 3 were fortuitous passes downwind. One study has been published about gas emissions from the complex. Here we concentrate on aerosol emissions and aging. As previously reported, there appear to be at least 2 types of plumes produced. One is an industrial-type plume with vast numbers of ultrafine particles, SO2, sulfate, black carbon (BC), CO, and NO2. The other, probably from the mining, has more organic aerosol and BC together with dust-like aerosols at 3 μm and a 1 μm mode of unknown origin. The DC-8 crossed the plume about 10 km downwind of the industrial site, giving time for the boundary layer to mix and enabling a very crude flux calculation suggesting that sulfate and organic aerosols were each produced at about 500 g/s (estimated errors are a factor of 2, chiefly due to concerns about vertical mixing). Since this was a single flight during a project dedicated to other purposes and operating conditions and weather may change fluxes considerably, this may not be a typical flux. As the plume progresses downwind, the ultrafine particles grow to sizes effective as cloud condensation nucei (CCN), SO2 is converted to sulfate, and organic aerosol is produced. During fair weather in the summer, as was the case during these flights, cloud convection pumps aerosol above the mixed layer. While the aerosol plume is difficult to detect from space, NO2 is measured by the OMI instrument an the Aura satellite and the oil sands plume

  3. The extraction of bitumen from western oil sands. Final report, July 1989--September 1993

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oblad, A.G.; Bunger, J.W.; Dahlstrom, D.A.; Deo, M.D.; Fletcher, J.V.; Hanson, F.V.; Miller, J.D.; Seader, J.D.

    1994-03-01

    Research and development of surface extraction and upgrading processes of western tar sands are described. Research areas included modified hot water, fluidized bed, and rotary kiln pyrolysis of tar sands for extraction of bitumen. Bitumen upgrading included solvent extraction of bitumen, and catalytic hydrotreating of bitumen. Characterization of Utah tar sand deposits is also included.

  4. Technology assessment: environmental, health, and safety impacts associated with oil recovery from US tar-sand deposits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daniels, J.I.; Anspaugh, L.R.; Ricker, Y.E.

    1981-10-13

    The tar-sand resources of the US have the potential to yield as much as 36 billion barrels (bbls) of oil. The tar-sand petroleum-extraction technologies now being considered for commercialization in the United States include both surface (above ground) systems and in situ (underground) procedures. The surface systems currently receiving the most attention include: (1) thermal decomposition processes (retorting); (2) suspension methods (solvent extraction); and (3) washing techniques (water separation). Underground bitumen extraction techniques now being field tested are: (1) in situ combustion; and (2) in situ steam-injection procedures. At this time, any commercial tar-sand facility in the US will have to comply with at least 7 major federal regulations in addition to state regulations; building, electrical, and fire codes; and petroleum-industry construction standards. Pollution-control methods needed by tar-sand technologies to comply with regulatory standards and to protect air, land, and water quality will probably be similar to those already proposed for commercial oil-shale systems. The costs of these systems could range from about $1.20 to $2.45 per barrel of oil produced. Estimates of potential pollution-emisson levels affecting land, air, and water were calculated from available data related to current surface and in situ tar-sand field experiments in the US. These data were then extrapolated to determine pollutant levels expected from conceptual commercial surface and in situ facilities producing 20,000 bbl/d. The likelihood-of-occurrence of these impacts was then assessed. Experience from other industries, including information concerning health and ecosystem damage from air pollutants, measurements of ground-water transport of organic pollutants, and the effectiveness of environmental-control technologies was used to make this assessment.

  5. Flocculation of oil sands tailings using polyacrylamide: influence of hydrolysis degree and pH on settling behavior

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaffer, Mark; Bourrel, Maurice [Total Petrochemicals (France); Schaffer, Mark [Total EandP Canada (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    In the oil sands industry, extraction and tailings processes require the use of several chemical additives. Different additives are used in order to reduce the volume of tailings deposits, increase recovery of good quality water and to modify pH. Hydrolyzed polyacrylamides (HPAM) are efficient flocculants for tailings. The aim of this paper is to investigate the impact of pH on dewatering performance of tailings flocculated using HPAM as a function of HPAM hydrolysis degree. Experiments were conducted using HPAM with different hydrolysis degree and four tailing samples; zeta potential measurements were performed to interpret dewatering results. Results showed that hydrolysis degree has an influence on flocculation of tailings when working with different pH values but zeta potential results could not explain the effect of pH and HPAM hydrolysis on flocculation of oil sand tailings.

  6. Spatial and temporal patterns in trace element deposition to lakes in the Athabasca oil sands region (Alberta, Canada)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Colin A.; Kirk, Jane L.; Muir, Derek C. G.; Wiklund, Johan A.; Wang, Xiaowa; Gleason, Amber; Evans, Marlene S.

    2017-12-01

    The mining and processing of the Athabasca oil sands (Alberta, Canada) has been occurring for decades; however, a lack of consistent regional monitoring has obscured the long-term environmental impact. Here, we present sediment core results to reconstruct spatial and temporal patterns in trace element deposition to lakes in the Athabasca oil sands region. Early mining operations (during the 1970s and 1980s) led to elevated V and Pb inputs to lakes located order control over lake sediment base cation concentrations and overall lake sediment geochemical composition. Trace element concentrations generally did not exceed Canadian sediment quality guidelines, and no spatial or temporal trends were observed in the frequency of guideline exceedence. Our results demonstrate that early mining efforts had an even greater impact on trace element cycling than has been appreciated previously, placing recent monitoring efforts in a critical long-term context.

  7. Has Alberta oil sands development increased far-field delivery of airborne contaminants to the Peace-Athabasca Delta?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiklund, Johan A; Hall, Roland I; Wolfe, Brent B; Edwards, Thomas W D; Farwell, Andrea J; Dixon, D George

    2012-09-01

    Identifying potential regional contamination by Alberta oil sands industrial emissions on sensitive ecosystems like the Peace-Athabasca Delta, ~200 km to the north, requires knowledge of historical contaminant levels and trends. Here we provide some of these critically-needed data, based on analysis of metals in a sediment core from an upland precipitation-fed lake in the delta. The lake is well-situated to record the anthropogenic history of airborne contaminant deposition for this region. Sediment records of metals of concern (Pb, Sb, As, Hg) reflect early to mid-20th century increases in North American industrial emissions, followed by reduced emissions due to improved industrial practices after 1950-70. Notably, Pb, Sb, As and Hg have declined since the onset of Alberta oil sands production, belying concerns that this activity has enhanced far-field atmospheric delivery of these contaminants to the delta. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Estimating the sensitivity of forest soils to acid deposition in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julian AHERNE

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The Athabasca Oil Sands Region of northern Alberta is home to the largest source of S emissions in Canada, and some of the surrounding upland forests are located on acid-sensitive soils. The relative sensitivity of these ecosystems to acidic deposition is largely dependent upon the mineral weathering rate. Weathering rates were evaluated across a range of soils (n = 43 typical of the region using a soil texture approximation (STA and the PROFILE model. The STA was recalibrated for use in the region, and the weathering rates calculated with this method were used to calculate steady-state critical loads of acidity at 333 sites using the Simple Mass Balance (SMB Model and a critical chemical criterion for molar base cation (Ca2+, Mg2+, K+ to aluminium ratio of 10. Soils are dominated by quartz, with small quantities of slowly weatherable minerals, and consequently weathering rates are among the lowest in Canada (median = 11.5 meq m–2 y–1, resulting in very low critical loads. Atmospheric acid (S and N deposition varies considerably across the region, but in general is much lower than impacted areas of central Canada. Under conditions of complete N retention, 34% of the sites receive acid deposition in excess of their critical load; if all N deposition is leached, 62% of the sites are currently exceeded. Acid-sensitive soils in the region are at risk of acidifying due to pressures from industrialization associated with extraction of fossil fuels.

  9. Pathways for First Nation and Metis youth in the oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taylor, A.; Friedel, T.L.; Edge, L. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Educational Policy Studies

    2009-04-15

    This paper investigated the political, social, and economic influences on First Nation and Metis youth attitudes towards further education in the municipality of Wood Buffalo, Alberta. The region is the site of rapid industrial development related to the oil sands industry. Institutional and policy structures that support or inhibit the ability of First Nation and Metis youth to find sustained, well-paid employment and careers were also evaluated. The study included a historical overview of government-Aboriginal relations in the region, as well as a review of statistics related to the training and education of the Aboriginal identity population in Canada and Alberta. A review of recent literature focused on Aboriginal youth was conducted, and details of relevant education and training policies were presented. The final sections of the report provided an analysis of 65 interviews and focus groups that involved 91 individuals that were conducted in 2008. Participants consisted of educators, government representatives, Aboriginal community members and youths aged between 15 to 30 years. The study showed that an increased reliance on industry partners has fostered inequities within and across communities, and has resulted in a fragmented approach to education and training in the region. The paper emphasized that there is a greater need to address the individual, systemic, and institutional bias faced by First Nation and Metis youth in the region. 56 refs., 1 fig.

  10. Midges (Diptera:Chironomidae) as indicators of wetland viability in the Alberta Oil Sands region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ciborowski, J. J. H.; Whelly, M. P.; Leonhardt, C.; Laing, D. [Windsor Univ., Dept. of Biological Sciences, ON (Canada)

    1999-07-01

    Thirty-three wetlands northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta, ten of which are receiving oil sands mine process-affected water (OSPW), have been examined to assess their biological integrity. Physico-chemical and environmental attributes were measured, sediment, zoobenthic, plankton and chlorophyll samples were analyzed. Results of principal component analysis indicated that the wetlands could be categorized into three classes on the basis of three independent combinations of environmental features, namely pH/size/dissolved oxygen; conductivity; and sediment composition. Cluster analysis identified four groups of wetlands. High conductivity wetlands were found to support greater density but reduced richness of benthic population, irrespective of the presence of OSPW. To evaluate OSPW wetland ability to support and maintain benthic populations chironomid larval morphology, density, adult emergence, flight activity, egg-laying behaviour and the ability of eggs to hatch in OSPW were monitored. Results indicated no inhibition of adult chironomid flight activity, egg-laying or hatching by OSPW, although there was some evidence of OSPW reducing chironomid density, diversity and secondary production.

  11. Assessment of metal releases and leachate toxicity of oil sands coke

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Puttaswamy, N.; Liber, K. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Toxicology Centre

    2007-07-01

    Large volumes of coke are produced as a by-product of thermal upgrading of oil sands bitumen in Alberta. This paper examined the feasibility of integrating this stored by-product at wetland reclamation sites. Coke leachate water toxicity was evaluated in this study since coke is known to releases trace amounts of metals when it comes in contact with water. The objective was to determine the cause of toxicity by performing toxicity identification evaluations (TIEs) on the leachate. The leachability of metals from coke was examined over a 45 day period in 2-L glass jars using reconstituted water with a hardness of 300 mg/L as calcium carbonate (CaCO{sub 3}) at pH levels 5.5 and 9.5. Coke porewater samples and overlying water samples collected periodically were analyzed for trace metals using inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS). The toxicity of coke leachate was evaluated at the end of the 45 day period using a Ceriodaphnia dubia standard three-brood chronic test with survival and reproduction as endpoints. Coke leachate water from both pH treatments had a negative effect on survival and reproduction of C. dubia. The coke leachate had high concentrations of vanadium, according to metal analysis of leachate water from both pH treatments. In order to identify the cause of toxicity, the coke leachate water will be subjected to several TIE processes.

  12. Air quality over the Canadian oil sands: A first assessment using satellite observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLinden, C. A.; Fioletov, V.; Boersma, K. F.; Krotkov, N.; Sioris, C. E.; Veefkind, J. P.; Yang, K.

    2012-02-01

    Results from the first assessment of air quality over the Canadian oil sands-one of the largest industrial undertakings in human history-using satellite remote sensing observations of two pollutants, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), are presented. High-resolution maps were created that revealed distinct enhancements in both species over an area (roughly 30 km × 50 km) of intensive surface mining at scales of a few kilometers. The magnitude of these enhancements, quantified in terms of total mass, are comparable to the largest seen in Canada from individual sources. The rate of increase in NO2 between 2005 and 2010 was assessed at 10.4 ± 3.5%/year and resulted from increases both in local values as well as the spatial extent of the enhancement. This is broadly consistent with both surface-measurement trends and increases in annual bitumen production. An increase in SO2 was also found, but given larger uncertainties, it is not statistically significant.

  13. Development of a bioassay using walleye (Sander vitreus) to assess the toxicity of oil sands sediments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turcotte, D.; Yuan, H.; Tumber, V.; Parrott, J. [Environment Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada); Raine, J. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This study examined the effects of sediments from the Athabasca oil sands area on fish development and survival. Walleye (Sander vitreus) which inhabit the Athabasca River are exposed to natural sources of bitumen eroding from the McMurray formation. This study described the design and implementation of a daily-renewal bioassay to evaluate the potential effects of toxicants on walleye development. Eggs were collected and fertilized with milt from spawning wild walleye captured from Lake Diefenbaker in Saskatchewan. The fertilized eggs were exposed to different concentrations of sediments or culture water only (negative controls) until complete yolk absorption of control fish. The walleye embryos were fed brine shrimp daily after hatching and the developing fish were examined for morphological deformities, survival, hatching success, and changes in weight and length between treatments. Organics concentrations in fish tissues and water were measured when possible. Fathead minnows and northern pikes will also be exposed to the same sediments in order to compare the relative sensitivity of the three species.

  14. Oxidation of Oil Sands Process-Affected Water by Potassium Ferrate(VI).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chengjin; Klamerth, Nikolaus; Huang, Rongfu; Elnakar, Haitham; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2016-04-19

    This paper investigates the oxidation of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) by potassium ferrate(VI). Due to the selectivity of ferrate(VI) oxidation, two-ring and three-ring fluorescing aromatics were preferentially removed at doses oxidation achieved 64.0% and 78.4% removal of naphthenic acids (NAs) at the dose of 200 mg/L and 400 mg/L Fe(VI) respectively, and NAs with high carbon number and ring number were removed preferentially. (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H NMR) spectra indicated that the oxidation of fluorescing aromatics resulted in the opening of some aromatic rings. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) analysis detected signals of organic radical intermediates, indicating that one-electron transfer is one of the probable mechanisms in the oxidation of NAs. The inhibition effect of OSPW on Vibrio fischeri and the toxicity effect on goldfish primary kidney macrophages (PKMs) were both reduced after ferrate(VI) oxidation. The fluorescing aromatics in OSPW were proposed to be an important contributor to this acute toxicity. Degradation of model compounds with ferrate(VI) was also investigated and the results confirmed our findings in OSPW study.

  15. How confident is Fort McKay that industry can reclaim oil sand development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fitzpatrick, C. [Fort McKay First Nations, AB (Canada)

    2004-02-05

    This presentation described how traditional environmental knowledge (TEK) can provide valuable information for both the reclamation design and assessment of oil sand development in Fort McKay. Conservation is valued by the Fort McKay First Nations communities who claim that current reclamation methods are too slow, and that the land is not being brought back to its original use with the uniqueness of the boreal landscape. Elders have noted that each year the water level in the Athabasca River is lower. The blowing tailings and coke dust are causing trees to dye and driving animals away. There is concern that the animals that remain may not be safe to eat. The Fort McKay First Nation community has stated that it will view reclamation as a success only when it functions with proof over many generations. The major concerns include: salt in the water draining from reclaimed areas; salt in the soils of reclaimed area; muskeg cannot be recreated; and, the issue of whether cranberry, blueberry and streambank forest areas can be recreated, along with traditional medicinal plants. Other concerns include the loss of rivers such as the Beaver Creek and Tar River, and that the water in reclaimed areas may not be suitable for animals to live in or to drink. tabs., figs.

  16. A bioassessment of lakes in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, using benthic macroinvertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keith M. SOMERS

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Emissions of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and other pollutants have increased in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR in Alberta, Canada. Atmospheric pollutants impact aquatic communities through a number of processes, but due to a lack of regional monitoring programs potential biological impacts have not been assessed. In this study, a bioassessment was conducted using approaches borrowed from a variety of protocols to establish a baseline dataset, determine appropriate methodologies, and to assess the current impact of emissions on benthic macroinvertebrate (BMI communities in the AOSR. As a result, 32 lakes, including 5 test lakes located in a modelled high deposition region, were sampled for water chemistry and BMI. The Reference Condition Approach (RCA was used because a baseline dataset does not exist and data were evaluated using three separate statistical techniques. All of the statistical methods used: One Sample T-Tests, Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA and Test Site Analysis (TSA, showed that BMI assemblages in test lakes differed from BMI assemblages in reference lakes. Traditional statistics classified all 5 test lakes as "significantly impaired" whereas TSA identified 3 of the 5 test lakes as only potentially impaired and 2 lakes were in "reference condition". The variability in lake attributes present challenges in interpreting BMI data and establishing an accurate biomonitoring program in the AOSR which need to be addressed in future assessment studies.

  17. Sequential biodegradation of complex naphtha hydrocarbons under methanogenic conditions in two different oil sands tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamad Shahimin, Mohd Faidz; Siddique, Tariq

    2017-02-01

    Methane emissions in oil sands tailings ponds are sustained by anaerobic biodegradation of unrecovered hydrocarbons. Naphtha (primarily C6-C10; n- iso- and cycloalkanes) is commonly used as a solvent during bitumen extraction process and its residue escapes to tailings ponds during tailings deposition. To investigate biodegradability of hydrocarbons in naphtha, mature fine tailings (MFT) collected from Albian and CNRL tailings ponds were amended with CNRL naphtha at ∼0.2 wt% (∼2000 mg L(-1)) and incubated under methanogenic conditions for ∼1600 d. Microbial communities in both MFTs started metabolizing naphtha after a lag phase of ∼100 d. Complete biodegradation/biotransformation of all n-alkanes (except partial biodegradation of n-octane in CNRL MFT) followed by major iso-alkanes (2-methylpentane, 3-methylhexane, 2- and 4-methylheptane, iso-nonanes and 2-methylnonane) and a few cycloalkanes (derivatives of cyclopentane and cyclohexane) was observed during the incubation. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing showed dominance of Peptococcaceae and Anaerolineaceae in Albian MFT and Anaerolineaceae and Syntrophaceae in CNRL MFT bacterial communities with co-domination of Methanosaetaceae and "Candidatus Methanoregula" in archaeal populations during active biodegradation of hydrocarbons. The findings extend the known range of hydrocarbons susceptible to methanogenic biodegradation in petroleum-impacted anaerobic environments and help refine existing kinetic model to predict greenhouse gas emissions from tailings ponds. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Preliminary feasibility studies in times of rapid cost escalation. [Oil shale and tar sand industries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oliver, E.D.; Moll, A.J.

    1976-01-01

    Not the least of the problems delaying the development and commercialization of synthetic fuel processes has been the extraordinary escalation of cost estimates by factors of up to ten in the past eight years. This study identifies and analyzes some of the most important contributing factors that have converged in the last few years. These factors include overoptimism and ill-defined project scope in the early stages, tightening environmental controls, difficulties in obtaining raw materials and fuels, general inflationary trends, ''hyperinflation'' of the costs of critical equipment, local labor shortages, and increased times required for procurement and construction. Cost increases have been particularly dramatic for ''offsites,'' liberally defined as nonprocess related parts of projects. Case histories of oil shale and tar sand developments are analyzed. Learning curves of costs during development and commercial use are studied. The analysis suggests that the worst of the extraordinary increases (above general inflationary trends) are probably over. Criteria to judge the state of development of processes are given, and some procedures to avoid future pitfalls are suggested.

  19. Properties of non-segregating tailings produced from the Aurora Oil Sands Mine tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Donahue, R.; Jeeravipoolvarn, S.; Scott, J.D. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Ozum, B. [Apex Engineering Inc., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    The properties of non-segregating tailings (NST) produced from the Aurora Oil Sands Mine tailings were discussed in this presentation. The purpose of the experimental program was to demonstrate the performance of calcium oxide (CaO) additive to produce NST from Syncrude Canada Ltd.'s Aurora Mine tailings. Several experiments were performed to determine the segregation boundary of the NST mix with an SFR of 5; the effect of the CaO dosage on the segregation boundary of the NST mix with an SFR of 5; and, the effect of the CaO dosage on the release water chemistry. The materials used and NST mix designs were discussed. The presentation also provided results in graphical format related to: effect of CaO amendments; sedimentation behaviour; release water chemistry; geochemical reactions; pH and alkalinity; and cation exchange reactions. It was concluded that the NST production process with CaO additive could produce non-segregating tailings from the blend of Aurora Mine's cyclone underflow and thickener underflow tailings. tabs., figs.

  20. Air Quality Over the Canadian Oil Sands: A First Assessment Using Satellite Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLinden, C. A.; Fioletov, V.; Boersma, K. F.; Krotkov, N.; Sioris, C. E.; Veefkind, J. P.; Yang, K.

    2012-01-01

    Results from the first assessment of air quality over the Canadian oil sands -- one ofthe largest industrial undertakings in human history -- using satellite remote sensing observations of two pollutants, nitrogen dioxide (N0O) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), are presented. High-resolution maps were created that revealed distinct enhancements in both species over an area (roughly 30 km x 50 km) of intensive surface mining at scales of a few kilometers. The magnitude of these enhancements, quantified in terms of total mass, are comparable to the largest seen in Canada from individual sources. The rate of increase in NO2 between 2005 and 2010 was assessed at 10.4 +/- 3.5%/year and resulted from increases both in local values as well as the spatial extent of the enhancement. This is broadly consistent with both surface-measurement trends and increases in annual bitumen production. An increase in SO2 was also found, but given larger uncertainties, it is not statistically significant.

  1. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) vertical column density measurements by Pandora spectrometer over the Canadian oil sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fioletov, Vitali E.; McLinden, Chris A.; Cede, Alexander; Davies, Jonathan; Mihele, Cristian; Netcheva, Stoyka; Li, Shao-Meng; O'Brien, Jason

    2016-07-01

    Vertical column densities (VCDs) of SO2 retrieved by a Pandora spectral sun photometer at Fort McKay, Alberta, Canada, from 2013 to 2015 were analysed. The Fort McKay site is located in the Canadian oil sands region, approximately 20 km north of two major SO2 sources (upgraders), with total emission of about 45 kt yr-1. Elevated SO2 VCD values were frequently recorded by the instrument, with the highest values of about 9 Dobson Units (DU; DU = 2.69 × 1016 molecules cm-2). Comparisons with co-located in situ measurements demonstrated that there was a very good correlation between VCDs and surface concentrations in some cases, while in other cases, elevated VCDs did not correspond to high surface concentrations, suggesting the plume was above the ground. Elevated VCDs and surface concentrations were observed when the wind direction was from south to southeast, i.e. from the direction of the two local SO2 sources. The precision of the SO2 measurements, estimated from parallel measurements by two Pandora instruments at Toronto, is 0.17 DU. The total uncertainty of Pandora SO2 VCD, estimated using measurements when the wind direction was away from the sources, is less than 0.26 DU (1σ). Comparisons with integrated SO2 profiles from concurrent aircraft measurements support these estimates.

  2. The impact of stochastic extraction cost on the value of an exhaustible resource: An application to the Alberta oil sands

    OpenAIRE

    Abdullah Almansour; Margaret Insley

    2013-01-01

    The optimal management of a non-renewable resource extraction project is studied when input and output prices follow correlated stochastic processes. The decision problem is specified by two Bellman equations describing the project when it is currently operating or mothballed. Solutions are determined numerically using the Least Squares Monte Carlo methodology. The analysis is applied to an oil sands project which uses natural gas during extracting and upgrading. The paper takes into account ...

  3. Plant community and nitrogen deposition as drivers of alpha and beta diversities of prokaryotes in reconstructed oil sand soils and natural Boreal forest soils

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Masse, Jacynthe; Prescott, Cindy E; Renaut, Sebastien; Terrat, Yves; Grayston, Sue J

    2017-01-01

    .... The objective of this study was to assess whether the soil prokaryotic alpha diversity (a-diversity) and β-diversity in oil sand soils reconstructed 20 to 30 years previously and planted to one of three vegetation types...

  4. Hydrodynamic and Sediment Transport Model Application for OSAT3 Guidance: Surf-zone integrated alongshore potential flux for oil-sand balls

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The U.S. Geological Survey has developed a method for estimating the mobility and potential alongshore transport of heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates...

  5. Environmental, health, safety, and socioeconomic concerns associated with oil recovery from US tar-sand deposits: state-of-knowledge

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daniels, J.I.; Anspaugh, L.R.; Ricker, Y.E.

    1982-01-08

    Tar-sand petroleum-extraction procedures undergoing field testing for possible commercial application in the US include both surface (above-ground) and in situ (underground) procedures. The surface tar-sand systems currently being field tested in the US are thermal decomposition processes (retorting), and suspension methods (solvent extraction). Underground bitumen extraction procedures that are also being field tested domestically are in situ combustion and steam-injection. Environmental, health, safety, and socioeconomic concerns associated with construction and operation of 20,000-bbl/d commercial tar-sand surface and in situ facilities have been estimated and are summarized in this report. The principal regulations that commercial tar-sand facilities will need to address are also discussed, and environmental control technologies are summarized and wherever possible, projected costs of emission controls are stated. Finally, the likelihood-of-occurrence of potential environmental, health, and safety problems that have been determined are reviewed, and from this information inference is made as to the environmental acceptability of technologically feasible 20,000-bbl/d commercial tar-sand oil-extraction procedures.

  6. Preliminary Study on Treatment of Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME by Sand Filtration-DBD Plasma System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariadi Hazmi

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In the palm oil industry, open ponding, aerobic and anaerobic digestion, physicochemical treatment and membrane filtration are generally applied as conventional treatments of palm oil mill effluent (POME. In this study, a sand filtration-dielectric barrier discharge (DBD system was investigated as an alternative process for treating POME. This system can reduce land usage, processing time and costs compared to conventional systems. The removal efficiency of chemical oxygen demand (COD, biological oxygen demand (BOD5, and oil-grease in relation to the applied voltage were studied. Furthermore, the pH and temperature profiles were investigated. The obtained results indicate that the removal efficiency of COD, BOD5, and oil-grease increased with an increase of the applied voltage. The electrical energy consumption needed is about 10.56 kWh/L of POME.

  7. In situ net N mineralisation and nitrification under organic and conventionally managed olive oil orchards

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gomez Muñoz, Beatriz; Hinojosa, M. B.; García-Ruiz, R.

    2015-01-01

    Olive oil orchard occupies a great percentage of the cropland in southern Spain. Thus, changes in nitrogen (N) fertilization might have a great effect on N dynamics at least at regional scale, which should be investigated for a sustainable N fertilization program. In situ net N mineralization (NM......) and nitrification (NN) were investigated during a year in comparable organic (OR) and conventional (CV) olive oil orchards of two locations differing their N input. Soil samples were collected in two soil positions (under and between trees canopy) and both buried-bags and soil core techniques were used to quantify...... soil TN. Soil TN and PMN explained together a 50 % of the variability in soil N availability, which suggests that these two variables are good predictors of the potential of a soil to provide available N. The highest rates of soil N availability were found in spring, when olive tree demand for N...

  8. Coarse Woody Debris Increases Microbial Community Functional Diversity but not Enzyme Activities in Reclaimed Oil Sands Soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwak, Jin-Hyeob; Chang, Scott X; Naeth, M Anne; Schaaf, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Forest floor mineral soil mix (FMM) and peat mineral soil mix (PMM) are cover soils commonly used for upland reclamation post open-pit oil sands mining in northern Alberta, Canada. Coarse woody debris (CWD) can be used to regulate soil temperature and water content, to increase organic matter content, and to create microsites for the establishment of microorganisms and vegetation in upland reclamation. We studied the effects of CWD on soil microbial community level physiological profile (CLPP) and soil enzyme activities in FMM and PMM in a reclaimed landscape in the oil sands. This experiment was conducted with a 2 (FMM vs PMM) × 2 (near CWD vs away from CWD) factorial design with 6 replications. The study plots were established with Populus tremuloides (trembling aspen) CWD placed on each plot between November 2007 and February 2008. Soil samples were collected within 5 cm from CWD and more than 100 cm away from CWD in July, August and September 2013 and 2014. Microbial biomass was greater (pfunctional diversity (average well color development in Biolog Ecoplates) in both cover soils (pfunctional diversity by CWD application in upland reclamation has implications for accelerating upland reclamation after oil sands mining.

  9. Variability and uncertainty in life cycle assessment models for greenhouse gas emissions from Canadian oil sands production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Adam R

    2012-01-17

    Because of interest in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation fuels production, a number of recent life cycle assessment (LCA) studies have calculated GHG emissions from oil sands extraction, upgrading, and refining pathways. The results from these studies vary considerably. This paper reviews factors affecting energy consumption and GHG emissions from oil sands extraction. It then uses publicly available data to analyze the assumptions made in the LCA models to better understand the causes of variability in emissions estimates. It is found that the variation in oil sands GHG estimates is due to a variety of causes. In approximate order of importance, these are scope of modeling and choice of projects analyzed (e.g., specific projects vs industry averages); differences in assumed energy intensities of extraction and upgrading; differences in the fuel mix assumptions; treatment of secondary noncombustion emissions sources, such as venting, flaring, and fugitive emissions; and treatment of ecological emissions sources, such as land-use change-associated emissions. The GHGenius model is recommended as the LCA model that is most congruent with reported industry average data. GHGenius also has the most comprehensive system boundaries. Last, remaining uncertainties and future research needs are discussed.

  10. Modified biopolymers as sorbents for the removal of naphthenic acids from oil sands process affected water (OSPW).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arshad, Muhammad; Khosa, M A; Siddique, Tariq; Ullah, Aman

    2016-11-01

    Oil sands operations consume large volumes of water in bitumen extraction process and produce tailings that express pore water to the surface of tailings ponds known as oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). The OSPW is toxic and cannot be released into the environment without treatment. In addition to metals, dissolved solids, dissolved gases, hydrocarbons and polyaromatic compounds etc., OSPW also contains a complex mixture of dissolved organic acids, referred to as naphthenic acids (NAs). The NAs are highly toxic and react with metals to develop highly corrosive functionalities which cause corrosion in the oil sands processing and refining processes. We have chemically modified keratin biopolymer using polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (POSS) nanocages and goethite dopant to unfold keratinous structure for improving functionality. The untreated neat keratin and two modified sorbents were characterized to investigate structural, morphological, dimensional and thermal properties. These sorbents were then tested for the removal of NAs from OSPW. The NAs were selectively extracted and quantified before and after sorption process. The biosorption capacity (Q), rejection percentage (R%) and isotherm models were studied to investigate NAs removal efficiency of POSS modified keratin biopolymer (PMKB) and goethite modified keratin biopolymer (GMKB) from aliquots of OSPW. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. A Decade of Change in NO2 and SO2 over the Canadian Oil Sands As Seen from Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mclinden, Chris A.; Fioletov, Vitali; Krotkov, Nickolay A.; Li, Can; Boersma, K. Folkert; Adams, Cristen

    2015-01-01

    A decade (20052014) of observations from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) were used to examine trends in nitrogen dioxide(NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) over a large region of western Canada and the northern United States, with a focus on the Canadian oil sands. In the oil sands, primarily over an area of intensive surface mining, NO2 tropospheric vertical column densities (VCDs) are seen to be increasing by as much as 10year, with the location of the largest trends in a newly developing NO2 lobe well removed from surface monitoring stations. SO2 VCDs in the oil sands have remained approximately constant. The only other significant increase in the region was seen in NO2 over Bakken gas fields in North Dakota which showed increases of up to5yr. By contrast, other locations in the region show substantial declines in both pollutants, providing strong evidence to the efficacy of environmental pollution control measures implemented by both nations. The OMI-derived trends were found to be consistent with those from the Canadian surface monitoring network, although in the case of SO2, it was necessary to apply a correction in order to remove the residual signal from volcanic eruptions present in the OMI data.

  12. Advanced characterisation of organic matter in oil sands and tailings sands used for land reclamation by Fourier transform-ion cyclotron resonance-mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noah, M.; Vieth-Hillebrand, A.; Wilkes, H.

    2012-04-01

    The Athabasca region of northern Alberta, Canada, is home to deposits of oil sands containing vast amounts (~ 173 billion barrels) of heavily biodegraded petroleum. Oil sands are recovered by surface mining or by in situ steam injection. The extraction of bitumen from oil sands by caustic hot water processing results in large volumes of fluid tailings, which are stored in on-site settling basins. There the tailings undergo a compaction and dewatering process, producing a slowly densifying suspension. The released water is recycled for extraction. The fine tailings will be reclaimed as either dry or wet landscapes. [1] To produce 1 barrel of crude oil, 2 tons of oil sand and 2 - 3 tons of water (including recycled water) are required. [2] Open pit mining and the extraction of the bitumen from the oil sands create large and intense disturbances of different landscapes. The area currently disturbed by mining operations covers about 530 km2 and the area of tailing ponds surpasses 130 km2. An issue of increasing importance is the land remediation and reclamation of oil sand areas in Canada and the reconstruction of these disturbed landscapes back to working ecosystems similar to those existing prior to mining operations. An important issue in this context is the identification of oil sand-derived organic compounds in the tailings, their environmental behaviour and the resulting chances and limitations with respect to land reclamation. Furthermore the biodegradation processes that occur in the tailings and that could lead to a decrease in hazardous organic compounds are important challenges, which need to be investigated. This presentation will give a detailed overview of our compositional and quantitative characterisation of the organic matter in oil sand, unprocessed and processed mature fine tailings samples as well as in tailings sands used as part of land reclamation. The analytical characterisation is based on the extraction of the soluble organic matter, its

  13. Hydrocarbon-Degrading Bacteria and the Bacterial Community Response in Gulf of Mexico Beach Sands Impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill▿†‡

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostka, Joel E.; Prakash, Om; Overholt, Will A.; Green, Stefan J.; Freyer, Gina; Canion, Andy; Delgardio, Jonathan; Norton, Nikita; Hazen, Terry C.; Huettel, Markus

    2011-01-01

    A significant portion of oil from the recent Deepwater Horizon (DH) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was transported to the shoreline, where it may have severe ecological and economic consequences. The objectives of this study were (i) to identify and characterize predominant oil-degrading taxa that may be used as model hydrocarbon degraders or as microbial indicators of contamination and (ii) to characterize the in situ response of indigenous bacterial communities to oil contamination in beach ecosystems. This study was conducted at municipal Pensacola Beach, FL, where chemical analysis revealed weathered oil petroleum hydrocarbon (C8 to C40) concentrations ranging from 3.1 to 4,500 mg kg−1 in beach sands. A total of 24 bacterial strains from 14 genera were isolated from oiled beach sands and confirmed as oil-degrading microorganisms. Isolated bacterial strains were primarily Gammaproteobacteria, including representatives of genera with known oil degraders (Alcanivorax, Marinobacter, Pseudomonas, and Acinetobacter). Sequence libraries generated from oiled sands revealed phylotypes that showed high sequence identity (up to 99%) to rRNA gene sequences from the oil-degrading bacterial isolates. The abundance of bacterial SSU rRNA gene sequences was ∼10-fold higher in oiled (0.44 × 107 to 10.2 × 107 copies g−1) versus clean (0.024 × 107 to 1.4 × 107 copies g−1) sand. Community analysis revealed a distinct response to oil contamination, and SSU rRNA gene abundance derived from the genus Alcanivorax showed the largest increase in relative abundance in contaminated samples. We conclude that oil contamination from the DH spill had a profound impact on the abundance and community composition of indigenous bacteria in Gulf beach sands, and our evidence points to members of the Gammaproteobacteria (Alcanivorax, Marinobacter) and Alphaproteobacteria (Rhodobacteraceae) as key players in oil degradation there. PMID:21948834

  14. Serological markers of sand fly exposure to evaluate insecticidal nets against visceral leishmaniasis in India and Nepal: a cluster-randomized trial.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamlesh Gidwani

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Visceral leishmaniasis is the world' second largest vector-borne parasitic killer and a neglected tropical disease, prevalent in poor communities. Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LNs are a low cost proven vector intervention method for malaria control; however, their effectiveness against visceral leishmaniasis (VL is unknown. This study quantified the effect of LNs on exposure to the sand fly vector of VL in India and Nepal during a two year community intervention trial.As part of a paired-cluster randomized controlled clinical trial in VL-endemic regions of India and Nepal we tested the effect of LNs on sand fly biting by measuring the antibody response of subjects to the saliva of Leishmania donovani vector Phlebotomus argentipes and the sympatric (non-vector Phlebotomus papatasi. Fifteen to 20 individuals above 15 years of age from 26 VL endemic clusters were asked to provide a blood sample at baseline, 12 and 24 months post-intervention.A total of 305 individuals were included in the study, 68 participants provided two blood samples and 237 gave three samples. A random effect linear regression model showed that cluster-wide distribution of LNs reduced exposure to P. argentipes by 12% at 12 months (effect 0.88; 95% CI 0.83-0.94 and 9% at 24 months (effect 0.91; 95% CI 0.80-1.02 in the intervention group compared to control adjusting for baseline values and pair. Similar results were obtained for P. papatasi.This trial provides evidence that LNs have a limited effect on sand fly exposure in VL endemic communities in India and Nepal and supports the use of sand fly saliva antibodies as a marker to evaluate vector control interventions.

  15. Influence of In-Situ Oil Sands Development on Caribou (Rangifer tarandus Movement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyler Muhly

    Full Text Available In-situ oil sands development (ISD involves a network of facilities, wells, roads and pipelines to extract and transport subsurface bitumen. This technology is rapidly expanding and there is uncertainty whether ISDs restrict animal movement, leading to increased extinction probabilities for some wide-ranging species. Here we test for effects of simulated future (i.e., 50 years from now and current ISDs on simulated movements of woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus, a threatened species across North America. In simulations of future scenarios, we varied the spacing and permeability of ISDs and the presence/absence of protected areas. Permeability was measured as the number of times simulated caribou crossed ISDs with different levels of modelled permeability. We estimated the effects of these factors on caribou step length and annual home range size, key metrics of small and large spatiotemporal scales of movement, respectively. Current caribou crossings of above-ground pipeline features of ISDs were measured using camera traps and compared to expected caribou crossing rates based on present-day caribou movement simulations. Current crossing rates were evaluated within the context of predicted future crossing success rates necessary to maintain caribou step lengths and home ranges. With few exceptions, permeability across ISDs was the main factor affecting caribou movement, more so than spacing between developments or the presence of protected areas. However, minimal permeability (crossing rates of c. 15% to 60%, relative to an undisturbed site was needed to maintain existing home range size and step lengths. The effect of permeability on home range size and step length was non-linear, suggesting that small increases in permeability would provide a disproportionately greater benefit to caribou movement. Our predictions demonstrate that maintaining permeability across ISDs is more important than spacing between leases or including protected areas

  16. Elemental and spectroscopic characterization of fractions of an acidic extract of oil sands process water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, D; Scarlett, A G; West, C E; Frank, R A; Gieleciak, R; Hager, D; Pureveen, J; Tegelaar, E; Rowland, S J

    2013-11-01

    'Naphthenic acids' (NAs) in petroleum produced water and oil sands process water (OSPW), have been implicated in toxicological effects. However, many are not well characterized. A method for fractionation of NAs of an OSPW was used herein and a multi-method characterization of the fractions conducted. The unfractionated OSPW acidic extract was characterized by elemental analysis, electrospray ionization-Orbitrap-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), and an esterified extract by Fourier Transform infrared (FTIR) and ultraviolet-visible (UV) absorption spectroscopy and by comprehensive multidimensional gas chromatography-MS (GCxGC-MS). Methyl esters were fractionated by argentation solid phase extraction (Ag(+) SPE) and fractions eluting with: hexane; diethyl ether: hexane and diethyl ether, examined. Each was weighed, examined by elemental analysis, FTIR, UV, GC-MS and GCxGC-MS (both nominal and high resolution MS). The ether fraction, containing sulfur, was also examined by GCxGC-sulfur chemiluminescence detection (GCxGC-SCD). The major ions detected by ESI-MS in the OSPW extract were assigned to alicyclic and aromatic 'O2' acids; sulfur was also present. Components recovered by Ag(+) SPE were also methyl esters of alicyclic and aromatic acids; these contained little sulfur or nitrogen. FTIR spectra showed that hydroxy acids and sulfoxides were absent or minor. UV spectra, along with the C/H ratio, further confirmed the aromaticity of the hexane:ether eluate. The more minor ether eluate contained further aromatics and 1.5% sulfur. FTIR spectra indicated free carboxylic acids, in addition to esters. Four major sulfur compounds were detected by GCxGC-SCD. GCxGC-high resolution MS indicated these were methyl esters of C18 S-containing, diaromatics with ≥C3 carboxylic acid side chains. Copyright © 2013 Crown Copyright and Elsevier Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Reclamation of peat-based wetlands affected by Alberta, Canada's oil sands development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foote, Lee; Ciborowski, Jan; Dixon, D. George; Liber, Karsten; Smits, Judit

    2013-04-01

    The ability to construct or reclaim functional peat-based wetlands as a replacement for those lost to development activity is uncertain. Oil sands development in northern Alberta, Canada will ultimately result in the removal of over 85 km2 of peat-based wetlands. To examine potential replacement of these lost peatlands we compared four treatments assigned to 16 known-age wetlands where we followed plant community, carbon dynamics, water quality, invertebrates and top predators for 5 years. Key questions followed by a synopsis of findings include: (1) Will wetland communities become more natural with age? - Yes, however industrial effluents of salinity and napthenates will slow succession and may truncate development compared to natural systems; (2) Can community succession be accelerated? - Yes, the addition of carbon-rich soils can facilitate development in some zones but cautions are raised about a "green desert" of vigorous plant stands with low insect and vertebrate diversity; (3) Is productivity sustainable? - Maybe, limitations of water chemistry (salinity and napthenates) and hydrologic regime appear to play large roles; (4) Will production support top predators? Sometimes; insectivorous birds, some small fish and a few amphibians persisted under all except the most saline and napthenate-enriched sites; (5) What is the role of the compromised water quality in reclamation? - Reduced diversity of plants, insects and vertebrates, reduced plant physiological efficiency and thus slower rates of reclamation. It is axiomatic and well demonstrated throughout Europe that it is easier and more cost effective to protect peatlands than it is to reclaim or create them. This is complicated, though, where mineral or property values soar to over 1 million per hectare. Industrial planners, governments and the public need to understand the options, possibilities, time frames and costs of peatland replacement to make the best land use decisions possible. Our research provides

  18. Assessing uncertainties in GHG emission estimates from Canada's oil sands developments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, M. G.; Lin, J. C.; Huang, L.; Edwards, T. W.; Worthy, D.; Wang, D. K.; Sweeney, C.; White, J. W.; Andrews, A. E.; Bruhwiler, L.; Oda, T.; Deng, F.

    2013-12-01

    Reducing uncertainties in projections of surface emissions of CO2 and CH4 relies on continuously improving our scientific understanding of the exchange processes between the atmosphere and land at regional scales. In order to enhance our understanding in emission processes and atmospheric transports, an integrated framework that addresses individual natural and anthropogenic factors in a complementary way proves to be invaluable. This study presents an example of top-down inverse modeling that utilizes high precision measurement data collected at a Canadian greenhouse gas monitoring site. The measurements include multiple tracers encompassing standard greenhouse gas species, stable isotopes of CO2, and combustion-related species. The potential for the proposed analysis framework is demonstrated using Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport (STILT) model runs to yield a unique regional-scale constraint that can be used to relate the observed changes of tracer concentrations to the processes in their upwind source regions. The uncertainties in emission estimates are assessed using different transport fields and background concentrations coupled with the STILT model. Also, methods to further reduce uncertainties in the retrieved emissions by incorporating additional constraints including tracer-to-tracer correlations and satellite measurements are briefly discussed. The inversion approach both reproduces source areas in a spatially explicit way through sophisticated Lagrangian transport modeling and infers emission processes that leave imprints on atmospheric tracers. The results indicate that the changes in greenhouse gas concentration are strongly influenced by regional sources, including significant contributions from fossil fuel emissions, and that the integrated approach can be used for regulatory regimes to verify reported emissions of the greenhouse gas from oil sands developments.

  19. Effect of naphtha diluent on greenhouse gases and reduced sulfur compounds emissions from oil sands tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gee, Kathleen F; Poon, Ho Yin; Hashisho, Zaher; Ulrich, Ania C

    2017-11-15

    The long-term storage of oil sands tailings has resulted in the evolution of greenhouse gases (CH 4 and CO 2 ) as a result of residual organics biodegradation. Recent studies have identified black, sulfidic zones below the tailings-water interface, which may be producing toxic sulfur-containing gases. An anaerobic mesocosm study was conducted over an 11-week period to characterize the evolution of CH 4 , CO 2 and reduced sulfur compounds (RSCs) (including H 2 S) in tailings as it relates to naphtha-containing diluent concentrations (0.2, 0.8, and 1.5% w/v) and microbial activity. Our results showed that RSCs were produced first at 0.12μmol°RSCs/mL MFT (1.5% w/v diluent treatment). RSCs contribution (from highest to lowest) was H 2 S and 2-methylthiophene>2.5-dimethylthiophene>3-methylthiophene>thiofuran>butyl mercaptan>carbonyl sulfide, where H 2 S and 2-methylthiophene contributed 81% of the gas produced. CH 4 and CO 2 production occurred after week 5 at 40.7μmolCH 4 /mL MFT and 5.9μmolCO 2 /mL MFT (1.5% w/v diluent treatment). The amount of H 2 S and CH 4 generated is correlated to the amount of diluent present and to microbial activity as shown by corresponding increases in sulfate-reducers' Dissimilatory sulfite reductase (DsrAB) gene and methanogens' methyl-coenzyme M reductase (MCR) gene. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Potential methane production and oxidation in soil reclamation covers of an oil sands mining site in Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pum, Lisa; Reichenauer, Thomas; Germida, Jim

    2015-04-01

    Anthropogenic activities create a number of significant greenhouse gases and thus potentially contribute to global warming. Methane production is significant in some agricultural production systems and from wetlands. In soil, methane can be oxidised by methanotrophic bacteria. However, little is known about methane production and oxidation in oil sand reclamation covers. The purpose of this study was to investigate methane production and oxidation potential of tailing sands and six different reclamation layers of oil sands mining sites in Alberta, Canada. Methane production and oxidation potential were investigated in laboratory scale microcosms through continuous headspace analysis using gas chromatography. Samples from a reclamation layer were collected at the Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) reclamation site at depths of 0-10 cm, 10-20 cm and 20-40 cm in October 2014. In addition, tailing sands provided by Suncor Energy Inc. and soil from a CNRL wetland were studied for methane production. Samples were dried, crushed and sieved to 4 mm, packed into serum bottle microcosms and monitored for eight weeks. Methane production potential was assessed by providing an anoxic environment and by adjusting the samples to a moisture holding capacity of 100 %. Methane oxidation potential was examined by an initial application of 2 vol % methane to the microcosms and by adjusting the samples to a moisture holding capacity of 50 %. Microcosm headspace gas was analysed for methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and oxygen. All experiments were carried out in triplicates, including controls. SF6 and Helium were used as internal standards to detect potential leaks. Our results show differences for methane production potential between the soil depths, tailing sands and wetlands. Moreover, there were differences in the methane oxidation potential of substrate from the three depths investigated and between the reclamation layers. In conclusion, the present study shows that

  1. Prolonging storage time of baby ginger by using a sand-based storage medium and essential oil treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ji; Sui, Guoliang; He, Yongzhou; Liu, Dongjie; Yan, Jing; Liu, Shuxiang; Qin, Wen

    2014-04-01

    Wilt and rot occur readily during storage of baby ginger because of its tender skin and high moisture content (MC). A storage medium, which consisted of sand, 20% water, and 3.75% super absorbent polymers delayed weight loss and loss of firmness at 12 °C and 90% relative humidity. Microorganisms were isolated and purified from decayed rhizomes; among these, 3 fungi were identified as pathogens. The results of 18S rDNA sequence analysis showed that these fungi belonged to Penicillium, Fusarium, and Mortierella genera. The use of essential oil for controlling these pathogens was then investigated in vitro. Essential oils extracted from Cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon) and Thymus vulgaris (thyme) completely inhibited the growth of all of the above pathogens at a concentration of 2000 ppm. Cinnamon oil showed higher antifungal activity in the drug sensitivity test with minimal fungicidal concentration (ginger storage. © 2014 Institute of Food Technologists®

  2. Scheduling of Crude Oil Operations in Refinery without Sufficient Charging Tanks Using Petri Nets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan An

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available A short-term schedule for crude oil operations in a refinery should define and sequence the activities in detail. Each activity involves both discrete-event and continuous variables. The combinatorial nature of the scheduling problem makes it difficult to solve. For such a scheduling problem, charging tanks are a type of critical resources. If the number of charging tanks is not sufficient, the scheduling problem is further complicated. This work conducts a study on the scheduling problem of crude oil operations without sufficient charging tanks. In this case, to make a refinery able to operate, a charging tank has to be in simultaneous charging and feeding to a distiller for some time, called simultaneously-charging-and-feeding (SCF mode, leading to disturbance to the oil distillation in distillers. A hybrid Petri net model is developed to describe the behavior of the system. Then, a scheduling method is proposed to find a schedule such that the SCF mode is minimally used. It is computationally efficient. An industrial case study is given to demonstrate the obtained results.

  3. Improvement potential for net energy balance of biodiesel derived from palm oil: A case study from Indonesian practice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kamahara, Hirotsugu [Research Institute of Science for Safety and Sustainability, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8569 (Japan); Hasanudin, Udin [Department of Agroindustrial Technology, University of Lampung, Bandar Lampung, Lampung 35145 (Indonesia); Widiyanto, Anugerah [International Cooperation Center for Engineering Education Development, Toyohashi University of Technology, Toyohashi, Aichi 441-8580 (Japan); Tachibana, Ryuichi [Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nagaoka University of Technology, Nagaoka, Niigata 940-2188 (Japan); Atsuta, Yoichi; Goto, Naohiro; Daimon, Hiroyuki [Department of Environmental and Life Sciences, Toyohashi University of Technology, 1-1 Hibarigaoka, Tempaku, Toyohashi, Aichi 441-8580 (Japan); Fujie, Koichi [Graduate School of Environment and Information Sciences, Yokohama National University, Yokohama, Kanagawa 240-8501 (Japan)

    2010-12-15

    Biodiesel derived from palm oil has been recognized as a high-productivity oil crop among the first generation of biofuels. This study evaluated and discussed the net energy balance for biodiesel in Indonesia by calculating the net energy ratio (NER) and net energy production (NEP) form the total energy input and output. The results of the calculation of energy input for the default scenario demonstrated that the primary energy inputs in the biodiesel production lifecycle were the methanol feedstock, energy input during the biodiesel production process, and urea production. These three items amounted to 85% of the total energy input. Next, we considered and evaluated ways to potentially improve the energy balance by utilizing by-products and biogas from wastewater treatment in the palm oil mill. This result emphasized the importance of utilizing the biomass residue and by-products. Finally, we discussed the need to be aware of energy balance issues between countries when biofuels are transported internationally. (author)

  4. Differential effects of high atmospheric N and S deposition on bog plant/lichen tissue and porewater chemistry across the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    R. Kelman Wieder; Melanie A. Vile; Kimberli D. Scott; Cara M. Albright; Kelly J. McMillen; Dale H. Vitt; Mark E. Fenn

    2016-01-01

    Oil extraction and development activities in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region of northern Alberta, Canada, release NOx, SOx, and NHy to the atmosphere, ultimately resulting in increasing N and S inputs to surrounding ecosystems through atmospheric deposition. Peatlands are a major feature of the northern Alberta landscape, with bogs covering 6-10% of the land area, and...

  5. Sources of particulate matter components in the Athabasca oil sands region: investigation through a comparison of trace element measurement methodologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Phillips-Smith

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The province of Alberta, Canada, is home to three oil sands regions which, combined, contain the third largest deposit of oil in the world. Of these, the Athabasca oil sands region is the largest. As part of Environment and Climate Change Canada's program in support of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring program, concentrations of trace elements in PM2. 5 (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 µm in diameter were measured through two campaigns that involved different methodologies: a long-term filter campaign and a short-term intensive campaign. In the long-term campaign, 24 h filter samples were collected once every 6 days over a 2-year period (December 2010–November 2012 at three air monitoring stations in the regional municipality of Wood Buffalo. For the intensive campaign (August 2013, hourly measurements were made with an online instrument at one air monitoring station; daily filter samples were also collected. The hourly and 24 h filter data were analyzed individually using positive matrix factorization. Seven emission sources of PM2. 5 trace elements were thereby identified: two types of upgrader emissions, soil, haul road dust, biomass burning, and two sources of mixed origin. The upgrader emissions, soil, and haul road dust sources were identified through both the methodologies and both methodologies identified a mixed source, but these exhibited more differences than similarities. The second upgrader emissions and biomass burning sources were only resolved by the hourly and filter methodologies, respectively. The similarity of the receptor modeling results from the two methodologies provided reassurance as to the identity of the sources. Overall, much of the PM2. 5-related trace elements were found to be anthropogenic, or at least to be aerosolized through anthropogenic activities. These emissions may in part explain the previously reported higher levels of trace elements in snow

  6. Are there toxic interactions between salinity and naphthenic acids in the toxicity of oil sands process water to freshwater invertebrates?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turcotte, D.; Pasloski, A.; Lanser, B.; Alm, K.; Liber, K. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    Large volumes of water are used to extract oil from the oil sands in the Athabasca deposit. The resulting oil sands process water (OSPW) has been proposed for use in future reclamation landscapes. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the toxicity of OSPW to freshwater invertebrates in order to develop environmentally acceptable OSPW reclamation plans. The OSPW generally contains high concentrations of salts and naphthenic acids (NAs), but low levels of other contaminants such as PAHs and metals. This study investigated the combined toxic effect of NAs and salinity on freshwater invertebrates. Laboratory cultured Ceriodaphnia dubia were used initially to determine the toxicity of OSPW from selected water bodies. The pond waters that generated a toxic response had elevated levels of NAs and salinity, but the concentrations of salinity ions varied considerably among ponds. Results suggested that ion composition may be a factor in toxicity. Subsequent bioassays were performed with single salts and with mixtures representing major ion combinations present in the OSPW, such as carbonate, sulphate, chloride and sodium. The interaction between NAs and salinity was evaluated by exposing Ceriodaphnia dubia and Daphnia pulex to mixtures of NAs extracted from OSPW and relevant major ions chosen according to the salt toxicity test results.

  7. Long-term reliability of the Athabasca River (Alberta, Canada) as the water source for oil sands mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauchyn, David J; St-Jacques, Jeannine-Marie; Luckman, Brian H

    2015-10-13

    Exploitation of the Alberta oil sands, the world's third-largest crude oil reserve, requires fresh water from the Athabasca River, an allocation of 4.4% of the mean annual flow. This allocation takes into account seasonal fluctuations but not long-term climatic variability and change. This paper examines the decadal-scale variability in river discharge in the Athabasca River Basin (ARB) with (i) a generalized least-squares (GLS) regression analysis of the trend and variability in gauged flow and (ii) a 900-y tree-ring reconstruction of the water-year flow of the Athabasca River at Athabasca, Alberta. The GLS analysis removes confounding transient trends related to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Pacific North American mode (PNA). It shows long-term declining flows throughout the ARB. The tree-ring record reveals a larger range of flows and severity of hydrologic deficits than those captured by the instrumental records that are the basis for surface water allocation. It includes periods of sustained low flow of multiple decades in duration, suggesting the influence of the PDO and PNA teleconnections. These results together demonstrate that low-frequency variability must be considered in ARB water allocation, which has not been the case. We show that the current and projected surface water allocations from the Athabasca River for the exploitation of the Alberta oil sands are based on an untenable assumption of the representativeness of the short instrumental record.

  8. Distribution of clay minerals in the process streams produced by the extraction of bitumen from Athabasca oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaminsky, H.A.W.; Etsell, T.H.; Ivey, D.G. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Chemical and Materials Engineering; Omotoso, O. [Natural Resources Canada, Devon, AB (Canada). CETC

    2009-02-15

    The clay minerals present in the oil sands were studied with particular reference to how they are partitioned in bitumen ore during the extraction process. Bitumen production from surface-mined oil sands accounts for nearly two-thirds of the total bitumen production in Alberta. Every cubic meter of mined ore results in 1.3 cubic meters of mature fine tailings (MFT). The characteristic differences between the clay minerals that report to the froth versus the tailings streams were also examined to determine which minerals could impact different unit operations in the bitumen extraction process. X-ray diffraction and random powder samples were used to quantify the clay minerals. Particle size distribution and clay activity balances were also conducted. The degree of partitioning during the conditioning and flotation stages in a batch extractor was determined by the surface properties of the clay minerals. The water-continuous tailings stream was separated into fine and coarse tailings fractions through sedimentation. The study showed that bitumen-clay interactions may be dominated by kaolinite or iron oxides. Clays are responsible for the poor settling behaviour of MFTs. The clay minerals present in the oil sands include illite, illite-smectite, kaolinite, kaolinite-smectite, and chlorite. The close proximity of the tailings ponds to the Athabasca River and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emission require that the ponds be reclaimed to a natural landscape before mine closure. In addition to its impact on fine tailings reclamation, clay mineralogy plays a role in extraction froth flotation and emulsion stability during froth treatment. The mineralogy of the froth solids was found to be different from the mineralogy of the middlings and tailings solids. 39 refs., 6 tabs., 6 figs.

  9. Degradation and aquatic toxicity of naphthenic acids in oil sands process-affected waters using simulated wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toor, Navdeep S; Franz, Eric D; Fedorak, Phillip M; MacKinnon, Michael D; Liber, Karsten

    2013-01-01

    Oil sands process-affected waters (OSPWs) produced during the extraction of bitumen at the Athabasca Oil Sands (AOS) located in northeastern Alberta, Canada, are toxic to many aquatic organisms. Much of this toxicity is related to a group of dissolved organic acids known as naphthenic acids (NAs). Naphthenic acids are a natural component of bitumen and are released into process water during the separation of bitumen from the oil sand ore by a caustic hot water extraction process. Using laboratory microcosms as an analogue of a proposed constructed wetland reclamation strategy for OSPW, we evaluated the effectiveness of these microcosms in degrading NAs and reducing the aquatic toxicity of OSPW over a 52-week test period. Experimental manipulations included two sources of OSPW (one from Syncrude Canada Ltd. and one from Suncor Energy Inc.), two different hydraulic retention times (HRTs; 40 and 400 d), and increased nutrient availability (added nitrate and phosphate). Microcosms with a longer HRT (for both OSPWs) showed higher reductions in total NAs concentrations (64-74% NAs reduction, ptrout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) bioassay showed that the initial acute toxicity of Syncrude OSPW (LC50=67% v/v) was reduced (LC50>100% v/v) independent of HRT. However, EC20s from separate Microtox® bioassays were relatively unchanged when comparing the input and microcosm waters at both HRTs over the 52-week study period (p>0.05), indicating that some sub-lethal toxicity persisted under these experimental conditions. The present study demonstrated that given sufficiently long HRTs, simulated wetland microcosms containing OSPW significantly reduced total NAs concentrations and acute toxicity, but left behind a persistent component of the NAs mixture that appeared to be associated with residual chronic toxicity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Chemical mass transport between fluid fine tailings and the overlying water cover of an oil sands end pit lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dompierre, Kathryn A.; Barbour, S. Lee; North, Rebecca L.; Carey, Sean K.; Lindsay, Matthew B. J.

    2017-06-01

    Fluid fine tailings (FFT) are a principal by-product of the bitumen extraction process at oil sands mines. Base Mine Lake (BML)—the first full-scale demonstration oil sands end pit lake (EPL)—contains approximately 1.9 × 108 m3 of FFT stored under a water cover within a decommissioned mine pit. Chemical mass transfer from the FFT to the water cover can occur via two key processes: (1) advection-dispersion driven by tailings settlement; and (2) FFT disturbance due to fluid movement in the water cover. Dissolved chloride (Cl) was used to evaluate the water cover mass balance and to track mass transport within the underlying FFT based on field sampling and numerical modeling. Results indicated that FFT was the dominant Cl source to the water cover and that the FFT is exhibiting a transient advection-dispersion mass transport regime with intermittent disturbance near the FFT-water interface. The advective pore water flux was estimated by the mass balance to be 0.002 m3 m-2 d-1, which represents 0.73 m of FFT settlement per year. However, the FFT pore water Cl concentrations and corresponding mass transport simulations indicated that advection rates and disturbance depths vary between sample locations. The disturbance depth was estimated to vary with location between 0.75 and 0.95 m. This investigation provides valuable insight for assessing the geochemical evolution of the water cover and performance of EPLs as an oil sands reclamation strategy.

  11. Determining air pollutant emission rates based on mass balance using airborne measurement data over the Alberta oil sands operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, M.; Li, S.-M.; Staebler, R.; Darlington, A.; Hayden, K.; O'Brien, J.; Wolde, M.

    2015-09-01

    Top-down approaches to measure total integrated emissions provide verification of bottom-up, temporally resolved, inventory-based estimations. Aircraft-based measurements of air pollutants from sources in the Canadian oil sands were made in support of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring during a summer intensive field campaign between 13 August and 7 September 2013. The measurements contribute to knowledge needed in support of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring. This paper describes the top-down emission rate retrieval algorithm (TERRA) to determine facility emissions of pollutants, using SO2 and CH4 as examples, based on the aircraft measurements. In this algorithm, the flight path around a facility at multiple heights is mapped to a two-dimensional vertical screen surrounding the facility. The total transport of SO2 and CH4 through this screen is calculated using aircraft wind measurements, and facility emissions are then calculated based on the divergence theorem with estimations of box-top losses, horizontal and vertical turbulent fluxes, surface deposition, and apparent losses due to air densification and chemical reaction. Example calculations for two separate flights are presented. During an upset condition of SO2 emissions on one day, these calculations are within 5 % of the industry-reported, bottom-up measurements. During a return to normal operating conditions, the SO2 emissions are within 11 % of industry-reported, bottom-up measurements. CH4 emissions calculated with the algorithm are relatively constant within the range of uncertainties. Uncertainty of the emission rates is estimated as less than 30 %, which is primarily due to the unknown SO2 and CH4 mixing ratios near the surface below the lowest flight level.

  12. National Assessment of Oil and Gas Project - Uinta-Piceance Province (020) Tar Sand Deposits

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Tar sands represent a significant source of hydrocarbons in the United States. Also known by several other names including bitumen-bearing rocks, natural asphalt,...

  13. Fate of SO2 and Particulate SO4 Based on Airborne Measurements in the Oil Sands Region of Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayden, K. L.; Li, S. M.; McLaren, R.; Liu, P.; O'brien, J.; Gordon, M.; Darlington, A.; Liggio, J.; Mittermeier, R. L.; Staebler, R. M.; Makar, P.; Stroud, C.; Akingunola, A.; Leithead, A.; Moussa, S.

    2016-12-01

    An intensive airborne measurement campaign was undertaken in August to September 2013 to support the objectives of the Joint Oil Sands Monitoring (JOSM) program. The overarching objectives of the study were to characterize air pollutants being emitted, to determine the extent of atmospheric transport and chemical transformation, to support air quality model prediction capabilities, and to compare measurements with satellite column retrievals. Sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate sulphate (p-SO4) were among the pollutants studied. SO2 is emitted from elevated stacks within the oil sands facilities and undergoes atmospheric transformation into p-SO4. Deposition of these species from the atmosphere to the surface can lead to impacts on ecosystems downwind of the facilities. The processes of emission, transformation, transport, and deposition of SO2 and p-SO4 were investigated in detail using data collected during aircraft flights that were designed to study pollution transformation. The aircraft was flown at increasing distances downwind of the oil sands facilities, sampling the same plume at different times as it was transported away from the sources. Flight tracks were perpendicular to the wind direction at multiple altitudes to create virtual flight screens that encompassed the entire plume. Fluxes across each of the virtual screens were determined using the wind speed vector normal to the screen and the pollutant concentrations; the flux integration across the two-dimensional plume transect on the screen yielded the pollutant transfer rates at that particular screen location. Transformation of SO2 to p-SO4 between screens was determined based on OH radical levels estimated using concurrently measured concentrations of a suite of hydrocarbons. Based on mass balance between screens using the transfer rates, SO2 oxidation rates and p-SO4 formation rates, the deposition rates of both species are estimated along the plume transport path downwind of the oil sands

  14. Evaluating microbial carbon sources in Athabasca oil sands tailings ponds using natural abundance stable and radiocarbon isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahad, J. M.; Pakdel, H.

    2013-12-01

    Natural abundance stable (δ13C) and radiocarbon (Δ14C) isotopes of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) were used to evaluate the carbon sources utilized by the active microbial populations in surface sediments from Athabasca oil sands tailings ponds. The absence of algal-specific PLFAs at three of the four sites investigated, in conjunction with δ13C signatures for PLFAs that were generally within ~3‰ of that reported for oil sands bitumen (~ -30‰), indicated that the microbial communities growing on petroleum constituents were dominated by aerobic heterotrophs. The Δ14C values of PLFAs ranged from -906 to -586‰ and pointed to a significant uptake of fossil carbon (up to ~90% of microbial carbon derived from petroleum), particularly in PLFAs (e.g., cy17:0 and cy19:0) often associated with petroleum hydrocarbon degrading bacteria. The comparatively higher levels of 14C in other, less specific PLFAs (e.g., 16:0) indicated the preferential uptake of younger organic matter by the general microbial population (~50-80% of microbial carbon derived from petroleum). Since the main carbon pools in tailings sediment were essentially 'radiocarbon dead' (i.e., no detectable 14C), the principal source for this modern carbon is considered to be the Athabasca River, which provides the bulk of the water used in the bitumen extraction process. The preferential uptake of the minor amount of young and presumably more biodegradable material present in systems otherwise dominated by recalcitrant petroleum constituents has important implications for remediation strategies. On the one hand, it implies that mining-related organic contaminants could persist in the environment long after tailings pond reclamation has begun. Alternatively, it may be that the young, labile organic matter provided by the Athabasca River plays an important role in stimulating or supporting the microbial utilization of petroleum carbon in oil sands tailings ponds via co-metabolism or priming processes

  15. Interaction of oil sands tailings particles with polymers and microbial cells: First steps toward reclamation to soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voordouw, Gerrit

    2013-04-01

    Production of bitumen by surface mining of Alberta's oil sands has given rise to tailings ponds, containing large volumes of finely dispersed clays (10(8) m(3)), which settle only slowly. The mature fine tailings (MFT) in these ponds are operationally defined as consisting of particles smaller than 44 μm with a solids content in excess of 30% (w/w). Increasing the rate of densification of MFT is a rate-limiting step in tailings pond reclamation. Accelerated densification has been achieved through mixing of MFT with sand in the presence of calcium sulfate as a binding agent to generate consolidated tailings. Addition of negatively charged polymer, together with either calcium or magnesium ions, is similarly effective. Although toxic to higher aquatic life, tailings ponds harbour a wide variety of mainly anaerobic microbes. These convert residual hydrocarbon, causing methane emissions of up to 10(4) m(3) day(-1). Interestingly, anaerobic microbial activity also accelerates tailings pond densification. Hence, many technologies designed to accelerate densification move tailings, at least conceptually, towards soil in which sand and clay particles are linked by large amounts of humic and fulvic acid polymers supporting large numbers of microbes in a mechanically stable structure. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Oil shale, tar sand, coal research advanced exploratory process technology, jointly sponsored research. Quarterly technical progress report, October--December 1992

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Speight, J.G.

    1992-12-31

    Accomplishments for the past quarter are presented for the following five tasks: oil shale; tar sand; coal; advanced exploratory process technology; and jointly sponsored research. Oil shale research covers oil shale process studies. Tar sand research is on process development of Recycle Oil Pyrolysis and Extraction (ROPE) Process. Coal research covers: coal combustion; integrated coal processing concepts; and solid waste management. Advanced exploratory process technology includes: advanced process concepts;advanced mitigation concepts; and oil and gas technology. Jointly sponsored research includes: organic and inorganic hazardous waste stabilization; CROW field demonstration with Bell Lumber and Pole; development and validation of a standard test method for sequential batch extraction fluid; PGI demonstration project; operation and evaluation of the CO{sub 2} HUFF-N-PUFF Process; fly ash binder for unsurfaced road aggregates; solid state NMR analysis of Mesaverde Group, Greater Green River Basin, tight gas sands; flow-loop testing of double-wall pipe for thermal applications; characterization of petroleum residue; shallow oil production using horizontal wells with enhanced oil recovery techniques; surface process study for oil recovery using a thermal extraction process; NMR analysis of samples from the ocean drilling program; in situ treatment of manufactured gas plant contaminated soils demonstration program; and solid state NMR analysis of naturally and artificially matured kerogens.

  17. Heterocyclic Aromatics in Petroleum Coke, Snow, Lake Sediments, and Air Samples from the Athabasca Oil Sands Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzano, Carlos A; Marvin, Chris; Muir, Derek; Harner, Tom; Martin, Jonathan; Zhang, Yifeng

    2017-05-16

    The aromatic fractions of snow, lake sediment, and air samples collected during 2011-2014 in the Athabasca oil sands region were analyzed using two-dimensional gas chromatography following a nontargeted approach. Commonly monitored aromatics (parent and alkylated-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and dibenzothiophenes) were excluded from the analysis, focusing mainly on other heterocyclic aromatics. The unknowns detected were classified into isomeric groups and tentatively identified using mass spectral libraries. Relative concentrations of heterocyclic aromatics were estimated and were found to decrease with distance from a reference site near the center of the developments and with increasing depth of sediments. The same heterocyclic aromatics identified in snow, lake sediments, and air were observed in extracts of delayed petroleum coke, with similar distributions. This suggests that petroleum coke particles are a potential source of heterocyclic aromatics to the local environment, but other oil sands sources must also be considered. Although the signals of these heterocyclic aromatics diminished with distance, some were detected at large distances (>100 km) in snow and surface lake sediments, suggesting that the impact of industry can extend >50 km. The list of heterocyclic aromatics and the mass spectral library generated in this study can be used for future source apportionment studies.

  18. Emergence, growth, and dispersal of Chironomidae in reclaimed wetlands in the Athabasca oil sands region of Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kennedy, K.; Ciborowski, J. [Windsor Univ., ON (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Concerns over the environmental impacts of oil sands extraction in northeastern Alberta has increased as the industry continues to expand. This study examined if the emergence, growth, and dispersal of Chironomidae differ in reclaimed wetlands constructed with oil sands process materials (OSPM) when compared with growth in reference wetlands. Five floating 30 cm diameter halo traps were deployed in various wetlands for a 24 hour period. Exuviae trapped in the surface water film were then collected, identified, and counted. Chironomids grown in laboratories from egg masses collected from 2 OSPM-affected wetlands and 2 reference wetlands were paired according to geographic proximity under controlled conditions for 1 generation. Chironomid larval growth was quantified in situ in the wetlands by reciprocally transferring second instar, second generation culture larva. The dispersal of the larvae was quantified by tabulating the number of adults caught in sticky insect traps located along 3 radially-arranged transects in each wetland. A preliminary analysis has suggested that fewer chironomids emerged from the OSPM-affected wetlands. No differences in dispersal distance between the OSPM-affected and reference wetlands were observed.

  19. Seasonal and spatial trends in production and stable isotope signatures of primary producers in Alberta oil sands reclamation wetlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boutsivongsakd, M; Chen, H.; Legg, A.; Farwell, A.; Dixon, G. [Waterloo Univ., ON (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Oil sands processing produces large amounts of waste water that contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and naphthenic acids (NAs). This study investigated the effects of exposure to PAHs and NA in aquatic organisms. The carbon and nitrogen dynamics in primary producers using stable isotopes in process-affected and reference wetlands were studied. Plankton and periphytic samples from artificial wetland substrates were collected and analyzed. Periphyton was collected in 14 to 20 day intervals for 5 different time periods in 2007 and 2008 in order to analyze seasonal trends in isotopic composition. Results of the study showed d15N enriched values for some consolidated tailings (CT) at sites in 2008. Other sites with mature fine tailings (MFT) as well as non-MFT sites did not have enriched d15N values. The study suggested that there are variations in ammonia levels in the CTs of different oil sands operators. Differences in the quality of the CT resulted in differences in d15N values of the periphyton-dominated by algae as well as in the periphyton dominated by microbes.

  20. Salinity and solvent effects on the characterization of naphthenic acids from Athabasca oil sands using electrospray ionization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Headley, J.; Peru, K. [Environment Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada); Barrow, M.; Derrick, P. [Warwick Univ. (United Kingdom)

    2010-07-01

    This study investigated the salinity and solvent effects on the characterization of naphthenic acids (NA) in oil sands. The mass spectra of NA were obtained using an electrospray ionization method combined with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometer. The study showed that while monocarboxylic compounds (C{sub n}H{sub 2n+z}O{sub 2}) in the z=-4, -6, and -12 of the 2,3 and 6-ring NA in the carbon number range of 13 to 19 were prevalent in the dichloromethane and acetonitrile co-solvent systems, the addition of salt resulted in a reduction of the observed species, the complete elimination of dicarboxylic acids, and an 80 per cent reduction in O{sub 3} species with similar carbon number range and z values. The dicarboxylic acids were also less toxic than monocarboxylic acids. Results of the study will be used to refine methods of remediating oil sands and process water contaminated soils.

  1. Exploring the biodegradation and toxicity of naphthenic acids present in Athabasca oil sands process affected waters using simulated wetlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Toor, N.; Liber, K. [Saskatchewan Univ., Regina, SK (Canada); MacKinnon, M. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Fedorak, P. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2007-07-01

    Naphthenic acids (NAs) are a persistent group of dissolved organic acids found in oil sands process affected water (OSPW) from the Athabasca Oil Sands (AOS) in northern Alberta. This study investigated the feasibility of reducing the toxicity of OSPW in wetland environments, and proposed a strategy for reclamation at the AOS. Laboratory microcosms were used to mimic natural wetlands. The purpose was to determine if the toxicities of OSPWs generated by Syncrude Canada Ltd. (Syncrude) and Suncor Energy Inc. (Suncor) change with time as a result of aging and biodegradation. Experiments involved 2 types of OSPW obtained from Syncrude and Suncor. Nutrient availability (nitrogen and phosphorus enrichment) was increased for both short and long hydraulic retention times (40 and 400 days). The NAs found in the OSPW were tracked over the course of one year using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry and Microtox bioassays. The objective was to determine the relationships between total NA concentrations, the degree to which different sub-groups of NAs are biodegraded and any potential reduction in OSPW toxicity.

  2. Yellow perch embryo-larval survival and growth in surface waters associated with oil-sands mining

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peters, L.E.; Heuvel, M.R. van den; Dixon, D.G. [Univ. of Waterloo, Ontario (Canada); Power, M. [Univ. of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada); Boerger, H.; MacKinnon, M.D.; Meer, T. Van [Syncrude Canada, Fort McMurray, Alberta (Canada)

    1995-12-31

    As part of their land reclamation strategy, Syncrude Canada Ltd. is currently developing environmentally acceptable tailings disposal methods. Fine tailings, a suspension of clay and residual bitumen, is the waste product from oil sands extraction. Fine-tailings contain naphthenic acids, a group of saturated aliphatic and alicyclic carboxylic acids, which occur naturally in petroleum and are partly responsible for the toxicity of process water. The wet landscape method involves covering fine tails with a layer of water such that a self-sustaining ecosystem can be established. A 5 ha demonstration pond with a bottom of fine-tailings was constructed and stocked with yellow perch for experimental purposes. Two other reclaimed ponds formed with oil-sands overburden material were also stocked with perch. Adult perch sampled in the fall of 1995 from the experimental and reclaimed ponds exhibited a 2-fold induction of MFO activity compared to the source lake; indicating organic compound exposure. Perch from one of the reclaimed ponds showed significantly reduced circulating reproductive hormone levels, gonad size and smaller ovarian follicles. Reproductive parameters were not different between the source lake and the remaining ponds. Paired lab and field experiments were conducted to determine if contaminants present would be detrimental to egg viability and development of larvae either through direct exposure of spawned eggs or indirectly by effecting oogenesis. An early life stage toxicity test was also performed using commercially available naphthenic acid standard. Endpoints measured were percent fertilization, percent hatch, mortality, deformities, timing of developmental periods and larval growth.

  3. Bio-physicochemical effects of gamma irradiation treatment for naphthenic acids in oil sands fluid fine tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boudens, Ryan; Reid, Thomas; VanMensel, Danielle; Sabari Prakasanm, M.R. [Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON (Canada); Ciborowski, Jan J.H. [Biological Sciences, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON (Canada); Weisener, Christopher G., E-mail: weisener@uwindsor.ca [Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON (Canada)

    2016-01-01

    Naphthenic acids (NAs) are persistent compounds that are components of most petroleum, including those found in the Athabasca oil sands. Their presence in freshly processed tailings is of significant environmental concern due to their toxicity to aquatic organisms. Gamma irradiation (GI) was used to reduce the toxicity and concentration of NAs in oil sands process water (OSPW) and fluid fine tailings (FFT). This investigation systematically studied the impact of GI on the biogeochemical development and progressive reduction of toxicity using laboratory incubations of fresh and aged tailings under anoxic and oxic conditions. GI reduced NA concentrations in OSPW by up to 97% in OSPW and in FFT by 85%. The GI-treated FFT exhibited increased rates of biogeochemical change, dependent on the age of the tailings source. Dissolved oxygen (DO) flux was enhanced in GI-treated FFT from fresh and aged source materials, whereas hydrogen sulfide (HS{sup −}) flux was stimulated only in the fresh FFT. Acute toxicity to Vibrio fischeri was immediately reduced following GI treatment of fresh OSPW. GI treatment followed by 4-week incubation reduced toxicity of aged OSPW to V. fischeri. - Highlights: • Gamma irradiation substantially reduced concentrations of ecotoxic naphthenic acids • Acute toxicity was reduced in gamma irradiated process water • Gamma irradiated tailings exhibited increased rates of microbial respiration.

  4. Molecular identification of a yellow perch viral disease associated with exposure to oil sands process affected waters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hogan, N.; Van den Heuvel, M.; Phalen, L. [Prince Edward Island Univ., Charlottetown, PE (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Large volumes of tailings and process affected water are generated as a result of oil sand mining processes. This presentation discussed the safe incorporation of these wastes into the terrestrial and aquatic landscape. A study was conducted in which yellow perch were stocked into experimental ponds, namely Demonstration Pond and South Bison Pond, during the periods of 1995-1997 and 2008-2010. Demonstration Pond was comprised of mature fine tailings capped with natural surface water, while South Bison Pond was formed at a site surrounded by overburden or lean oil sands. Disease surveys were conducted at these experimental ponds and also at Mildred, Sucker, and Kimowin Lakes. External white nodular lesions, characteristic of lymphocystis disease were observed on perch at all sites except Kimowin Lake. The identity of the virus was confirmed by DNA extraction and PCR with genotype generic major capsid protein gene primers. The presence of lymphocystis disease virus in perch was confirmed through sequencing of PCR results. The viral genotype appeared to be different from any previously isolated viral genotype. During the course of the study, there was an increasing incidence of the disease at Demonstration Pond and a decreasing incidence at the South Bison Pond. The intensity of the disease was found to be proportional to the incidence, which was positively correlated with changes in naphthenic acid concentration.

  5. Thresholds for opportunistic disease in yellow perch (Perca flavescens) exposed to oil sand process-affected waters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hogan, N.; Van Den Heuvel, M. [Prince Edward Island Univ., Charlottetown, PE (Canada); Van Meer, T.; Mackinnon, M. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Reclaimed oil sands wetlands will contain process-affected materials with elevated salt, naphthenic acids (NA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Mature fine tailings may also be placed at the bottom of reclaimed lakes. This study investigated the effects of oil sands-impacted aquatic systems on the health of perch stocked in 2 experimental lakes between 1995 and 1997. A demonstration pond was constructed in 1989 and contained 70,000 m{sup 3} of mature fine tailings capped with 70,000 m{sup 3} of surface water. The South Bison pond was formed in a natural depression in an area where unrecovered bitumen was deposited. The area surrounding the pond was reclaimed for pasture in 1996. Two disease pathologies were observed in perch stocked in both lakes, notably fin erosion caused by an unidentified pathogen, and lymphocystis. The pathologies were initially more prevalent in the South Bison pond. Later studies confirmed that the diseases were substantially more prevalent in the demonstration pond. The study showed that while NA decreased over time in the South Bison pond, NA was doubled in the demonstration pond as a result of tailings densification. The study suggested that temporal changes in NA correlate with the incidence of disease pathologies.

  6. Anaerobic alkane biodegradation by cultures enriched from oil sands tailings ponds involves multiple species capable of fumarate addition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, BoonFei; Semple, Kathleen; Foght, Julia

    2015-05-01

    A methanogenic short-chain alkane-degrading culture (SCADC) was enriched from oil sands tailings and transferred several times with a mixture of C6, C7, C8 and C10 n-alkanes as the predominant organic carbon source, plus 2-methylpentane, 3-methylpentane and methylcyclopentane as minor components. Cultures produced ∼40% of the maximum theoretical methane during 18 months incubation while depleting the n-alkanes, 2-methylpentane and methylcyclopentane. Substrate depletion correlated with detection of metabolites characteristic of fumarate activation of 2-methylpentane and methylcyclopentane, but not n-alkane metabolites. During active methanogenesis with the mixed alkanes, reverse-transcription PCR confirmed the expression of functional genes (assA and bssA) associated with hydrocarbon addition to fumarate. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes amplified during active alkane degradation revealed enrichment of Clostridia (particularly Peptococcaceae) and methanogenic Archaea (Methanosaetaceae and Methanomicrobiaceae). Methanogenic cultures transferred into medium containing sulphate produced sulphide, depleted n-alkanes and produced the corresponding succinylated alkane metabolites, but were slow to degrade 2-methylpentane and methylcyclopentane; these cultures were enriched in Deltaproteobacteria rather than Clostridia. 3-Methylpentane was not degraded by any cultures. Thus, nominally methanogenic oil sands tailings harbour dynamic and versatile hydrocarbon-degrading fermentative syntrophs and sulphate reducers capable of degrading n-, iso- and cyclo-alkanes by addition to fumarate. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Relevance of the Sea Sand Disruption Method (SSDM) for the biometrical differentiation of the essential-oil composition from conifers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawidowicz, Andrzej L; Czapczyńska, Natalia B; Wianowska, Dorota

    2013-02-01

    Sea Sand Disruption Method (SSDM) is a simple and cheap sample-preparation procedure allowing the reduction of organic solvent consumption, exclusion of sample component degradation, improvement of extraction efficiency and selectivity, and elimination of additional sample clean-up and pre-concentration step before chromatographic analysis. This article deals with the possibility of SSDM application for the differentiation of essential-oils components occurring in the Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and cypress (Cupressus sempervirens L.) needles from Madrid (Spain), Laganas (Zakhyntos, Greece), Cala Morell (Menorca, Spain), Lublin (Poland), Helsinki (Finland), and Oradea (Romania). The SSDM results are related to the analogous - obtained applying two other sample preparation methods - steam distillation and Pressurized Liquid Extraction (PLE). The results presented established that the total amount and the composition of essential-oil components revealed by SSDM are equivalent or higher than those obtained by one of the most effective extraction technique, PLE. Moreover, SSDM seems to provide the most representative profile of all essential-oil components as no heat is applied. Thus, this environmentally friendly method is suggested to be used as the main extraction procedure for the differentiation of essential-oil components in conifers for scientific and industrial purposes. Copyright © 2013 Verlag Helvetica Chimica Acta AG, Zürich.

  8. Detection of residual oil-sand-derived organic material in developing soils of reclamation sites by ultra-high-resolution mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noah, Mareike; Poetz, Stefanie; Vieth-Hillebrand, Andrea; Wilkes, Heinz

    2015-06-02

    The reconstruction of disturbed landscapes back to working ecosystems is an issue of increasing importance for the oil sand areas in Alberta, Canada. In this context, the fate of oil-sand-derived organic material in the tailings sands used for reclamation is of utmost environmental importance. Here we use electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry of maltene fractions to identify compositional variations over a complete oil sand mining and recultivation process chain. On the basis of bulk compound class distributions and percentages of unique elemental compositions, we identify specific compositional features that are related to the different steps of the process chain. The double bond equivalent and carbon number distributions of the N1 and S1O2 classes are almost invariant along the process chain, despite a significant decrease in overall abundance. We thus suggest that these oil-sand-derived components can be used as sensitive tracers of residual bitumen, even in soils from relatively old reclamation sites. The patterns of the O2, O3, and O4 classes may be applied to assess process-chain-related changes in organic matter composition, including the formation of plant-derived soil organic matter on the reclamation sites. The N1O2 species appear to be related to unidentified processes in the tailings ponds but do not represent products of aerobic biodegradation of pyrrolic nitrogen compounds.

  9. Landscape Evolution of the Oil Spill Mitigation Sand Berm in the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-01

    2.3.2 Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) ...................................................................... 11 2.4 Shoreline...change from as-built to 360–day post-construction. The berm boundary represents the berm footprint above the -2 ft NAVD (Figure 2...exposed classes (derived from recent data sets). ......... 29 Figure 14. Sand berm sediment relocation into areas of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV

  10. Environmental building policy by the use of microalgae and decreasing of risks for Canadian oil sand sector development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avagyan, Armen B

    2017-09-01

    Environmental building recommendations aimed towards new environmental policies and management-changing decisions which as example demonstrated in consideration of the problems of Canadian oil sands operators. For the implementation of the circular economic strategy, we use an in-depth analysis of reported environmental after-consequence on all stages of the production process. The study addressed the promotion of innovative solutions for greenhouse gas emission, waste mitigation, and risk of falling in oil prices for operators of oil sands with creating market opportunities. They include the addition of microalgae biomass in tailings ponds for improvement of the microbial balance for the water speedily cleaning, recycling, and reusing with mitigation of GHG emissions. The use of food scraps for the nutrition of microalgae will reduce greenhouse gas emission minimally, on 0.33 MtCO2eq for Alberta and 2.63 MtCO2eq/year for Canada. Microalgae-derived biofuel can reduce this emission for Alberta on 11.9-17.9 MtCO2eq and for Canada on 71-106 MtCO2eq/year, and the manufacturing of other products will adsorb up to 135.6 MtCO2 and produce 99.2 MtO2. The development of the Live Conserve Industry and principal step from non-efficient protection of the environment to its cultivation in a large scale with mitigation of GHG emission and waste as well as generating of O2 and value-added products by the use of microalgae opens an important shift towards a new design and building of a biological system.

  11. Mass spectral characterisation of a polar, esterified fraction of an organic extract of an oil sands process water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowland, S J; Pereira, A S; Martin, J W; Scarlett, A G; West, C E; Lengger, S K; Wilde, M J; Pureveen, J; Tegelaar, E W; Frank, R A; Hewitt, L M

    2014-11-15

    Characterising complex mixtures of organic compounds in polar fractions of heavy petroleum is challenging, but is important for pollution studies and for exploration and production geochemistry. Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) stored in large tailings ponds by Canadian oil sands industries contains such mixtures. A polar OSPW fraction was obtained by silver ion solid-phase extraction with methanol elution. This was examined by numerous methods, including electrospray ionisation (ESI) Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICRMS) and ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography (uHPLC)/Orbitrap MS, in multiple ionisation and MS/MS modes. Compounds were also synthesised for comparison. The major ESI ionisable compounds detected (+ion mode) were C15-28 SO3 species with 3-7 double bond equivalents (DBE) and C27-28 SO5 species with 5 DBE. ESI-MS/MS collision-induced losses were due to water, methanol, water plus methanol and water plus methyl formate, typical of methyl esters of hydroxy acids. Once the fraction was re-saponified, species originally detected by positive ion MS, could be detected only by negative ion MS, consistent with their assignment as sulphur-containing hydroxy carboxylic acids. The free acid of a keto dibenzothiophene alkanoic acid was added to an unesterified acid extract of OSPW in known concentrations as a putative internal standard, but attempted quantification in this way proved unreliable. The results suggest the more polar acidic organic SO3 constituents of OSPW include C15-28  S-containing, alicyclic and aromatic hydroxy carboxylic acids. SO5 species are possibly sulphone analogues of these. The origin of such compounds is probably via further biotransformation (hydroxylation) of the related S-containing carboxylic acids identified previously in a less polar OSPW fraction. The environmental risks, corrosivity and oil flow assurance effects should be easier to assess, given that partial structures are now known

  12. Erosion-corrosion in carbon dioxide saturated systems in presence of sand, inhibitor, oil, and high concentration of salt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassani, Shokrollah

    Oil and gas production is usually accompanied by formation water which typically contains high levels of chloride. Some effects of chloride concentration on corrosion are not widely known in the literature, and this can result in misleading conclusions. One goal of this research was to contribute to a better understanding of the effects of chloride concentration in CO2 corrosion. Experimental and theoretical studies conducted in the present work have shown that increasing the NaCl concentration in solution has three important effects on corrosion results. First, standard pH meter readings in high NaCl concentration solutions require corrections. Second, increasing the NaCl concentration decreases the CO2 concentration in solution and therefore contributes to a decrease in the corrosion rate. Third, increasing the NaCl concentration increases the solubility of FeCO3 and therefore reduces the likelihood of forming an iron carbonate scale. High NaCl concentration also decreases the sand erosion rate of the metal slightly by increasing the density and viscosity of the liquid. There are two main contributions of this research. The first contribution is the experimental characterization of inhibited erosion-corrosion behavior of mild steel under CO2-saturated conditions with a high salt concentration. Chemical inhibition is one the most important techniques for controlling erosion-corrosion in offshore mild steel pipelines, tubing and pipe fittings in oil and gas industry. The second contribution is the introduction of a new approach for predicting inhibited erosion-corrosion in mild steel pipes including the effects of flow and environmental conditions, sand production, and an oil phase. Sand erosion can decrease the efficiency of corrosion protection systems including iron-carbonate scale formation and chemical inhibition. The need to be able to predict inhibitor performance under sand production conditions is particularly acute when the wells are deep or off

  13. Aviation Turbine Fuels from Tar Sands Bitumen and Heavy Oils. Part 3. Laboratory Sample Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-12-01

    OF temperature, degrees Fahrenheit FCC fluid catalytic cracker or cracking FOE fuel oil equivalent gm gram Hg mercury Hr hour IBP initial boiling...DILUENT PREPARATION - BLENDED GAS OIL/BITUMEN CRACKING RESULTS.........8 3. DILUENT PREPARATION HYDROTREATING SUMMARY..................10 4. LOOP 1...18 10. LOOP 2 HYDROTREATER RESULTS SUMMARY. .......... 19 11. DIOLEFIN SATURATION - HYDROTREATMENT OF THE LIGHT NAPHTHA ........... 23 12. JP-8

  14. Oil permeability variations on lagoon sand beaches in the Patos-Guaíba system in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Elaine Baroni; Nicolodi, João Luiz

    2017-02-15

    Permeability is the ability of a sediment deposit to allow fluids to pass through it. It depends on the local types of sediments. When the fluid is oil, high permeability implies greater interaction with the site and more extensive damage, which makes recovery most difficult. Knowledge of permeability oscillations is necessary to understand oil behavior and improve cleanup techniques. The goal is to determine oil permeability variations on lagoon sand beaches. Oil permeability tests were performed at the beach face, using a Modified Phillip Dunne Permeameter and parameters were sampled. Permeability of lagoon beaches is driven by grain diameter and roundness, soil compaction, and depth of the water table. Factors that enhance permeability include: sand sorting, vertical distribution of sediments and gravel percentage. High permeability on lagoon beaches is related to polymodal distribution, to the sediment package, and to the system's low mobility. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Switching from monoculture to polyculture farming benefits birds in oil palm production landscapes: Evidence from mist netting data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yahya, Muhammad S; Syafiq, Muhamad; Ashton-Butt, Adham; Ghazali, Amal; Asmah, Siti; Azhar, Badrul

    2017-08-01

    Monoculture farming is pervasive in industrial oil palm agriculture, including those RSPO plantations certified as sustainably managed. This farming practice does not promote the maintenance of farmland biodiversity. However, little scientific attention has been given to polyculture farming in oil palm production landscapes. Polyculture farming is likely to increase the floristic diversity and stand structural complexity that underpins biodiversity. Mist nets were used to sample birds at 120 smallholdings in Peninsular Malaysia. At each site, 12 vegetation structure characteristics were measured. We compared bird species richness, abundance, and composition between monoculture and polyculture smallholdings and used predictive models to examine the effects of habitat quality on avian biodiversity. Bird species richness was significantly greater in polyculture than that of monoculture smallholdings. The number of fallen and standing, dead oil palms were also important positive predictors of species richness. Bird abundance was also strongly increased by standing and dead oil palms and decreased with oil palm stand height. Our results indicate that polyculture farming can improve bird species richness in oil palm production landscapes. In addition, key habitat variables that are closely associated with farming practices, such as the removal of dead trees, should and can be managed by oil palm growers in order to promote biodiversity. To increase the sustainability of oil palm agriculture, it is imperative that stakeholders modify the way oil palms are currently planted and managed. Our findings can guide policy makers and certification bodies to promote oil palm production landscapes that will function more sustainably and increase existing biodiversity of oil palm landscapes.

  16. Coarse Woody Debris Increases Microbial Community Functional Diversity but not Enzyme Activities in Reclaimed Oil Sands Soils.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin-Hyeob Kwak

    Full Text Available Forest floor mineral soil mix (FMM and peat mineral soil mix (PMM are cover soils commonly used for upland reclamation post open-pit oil sands mining in northern Alberta, Canada. Coarse woody debris (CWD can be used to regulate soil temperature and water content, to increase organic matter content, and to create microsites for the establishment of microorganisms and vegetation in upland reclamation. We studied the effects of CWD on soil microbial community level physiological profile (CLPP and soil enzyme activities in FMM and PMM in a reclaimed landscape in the oil sands. This experiment was conducted with a 2 (FMM vs PMM × 2 (near CWD vs away from CWD factorial design with 6 replications. The study plots were established with Populus tremuloides (trembling aspen CWD placed on each plot between November 2007 and February 2008. Soil samples were collected within 5 cm from CWD and more than 100 cm away from CWD in July, August and September 2013 and 2014. Microbial biomass was greater (p<0.05 in FMM than in PMM, in July, and August 2013 and July 2014, and greater (p<0.05 near CWD than away from CWD in FMM in July and August samplings. Soil microbial CLPP differed between FMM and PMM (p<0.01 according to a principal component analysis and CWD changed microbial CLPP in FMM (p<0.05 but not in PMM. Coarse woody debris increased microbial community functional diversity (average well color development in Biolog Ecoplates in both cover soils (p<0.05 in August and September 2014. Carbon degrading soil enzyme activities were greater in FMM than in PMM (p<0.05 regardless of distance from CWD but were not affected by CWD. Greater microbial biomass and enzyme activities in FMM than in PMM will increase organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling, improving plant growth. Enhanced microbial community functional diversity by CWD application in upland reclamation has implications for accelerating upland reclamation after oil sands mining.

  17. Coarse Woody Debris Increases Microbial Community Functional Diversity but not Enzyme Activities in Reclaimed Oil Sands Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwak, Jin-Hyeob; Chang, Scott X.; Naeth, M. Anne; Schaaf, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Forest floor mineral soil mix (FMM) and peat mineral soil mix (PMM) are cover soils commonly used for upland reclamation post open-pit oil sands mining in northern Alberta, Canada. Coarse woody debris (CWD) can be used to regulate soil temperature and water content, to increase organic matter content, and to create microsites for the establishment of microorganisms and vegetation in upland reclamation. We studied the effects of CWD on soil microbial community level physiological profile (CLPP) and soil enzyme activities in FMM and PMM in a reclaimed landscape in the oil sands. This experiment was conducted with a 2 (FMM vs PMM) × 2 (near CWD vs away from CWD) factorial design with 6 replications. The study plots were established with Populus tremuloides (trembling aspen) CWD placed on each plot between November 2007 and February 2008. Soil samples were collected within 5 cm from CWD and more than 100 cm away from CWD in July, August and September 2013 and 2014. Microbial biomass was greater (p<0.05) in FMM than in PMM, in July, and August 2013 and July 2014, and greater (p<0.05) near CWD than away from CWD in FMM in July and August samplings. Soil microbial CLPP differed between FMM and PMM (p<0.01) according to a principal component analysis and CWD changed microbial CLPP in FMM (p<0.05) but not in PMM. Coarse woody debris increased microbial community functional diversity (average well color development in Biolog Ecoplates) in both cover soils (p<0.05) in August and September 2014. Carbon degrading soil enzyme activities were greater in FMM than in PMM (p<0.05) regardless of distance from CWD but were not affected by CWD. Greater microbial biomass and enzyme activities in FMM than in PMM will increase organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling, improving plant growth. Enhanced microbial community functional diversity by CWD application in upland reclamation has implications for accelerating upland reclamation after oil sands mining. PMID:26618605

  18. Reproductive and health assessment of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) inhabiting a pond containing oil sands process-affected water

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kavanagh, Richard J., E-mail: rkavanag@uoguelph.ca [Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1 (Canada); Frank, Richard A.; Solomon, Keith R. [Centre for Toxicology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1 (Canada); Van Der Kraak, Glen [Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1 (Canada)

    2013-04-15

    Highlights: ► Fish were collected from a pond containing oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). ► They were compared to fish from two reference sites within the oil sands region. ► Differences in GSIs and tubercle numbers were observed in fish from the OSPW pond. ► Opercula, gills, and 11-KT concentrations also differed in fish from the OSPW pond. ► Black spot and tapeworms were not observed in any of the fish from the OSPW pond. -- Abstract: Previous laboratory based studies have shown that oil sands process-affected waters (OSPWs) containing high concentrations of naphthenic acids (>25 mg/l) have adverse effects on the reproductive physiology of fish. The purpose of this study was to assess the reproductive development and health of a wild population of fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) inhabiting an OSPW pond that has moderate concentrations of naphthenic acids (∼10 mg/l). Fathead minnows were collected at various times during the period of 2006 through 2008 from Demonstration Pond (OSPW) located at Syncrude Canada Ltd., and two reference sites, Beaver Creek reservoir and Poplar Creek reservoir, which are all north of Fort McMurray, AB, Canada. Condition factor, gill histopathology, gonadosomatic indices, liver somatic indices, male secondary sexual characteristics, and plasma sex steroids were examined. Depending on the time of year that fathead minnows were collected, there were differences in the condition factor, gonadosomatic indices, liver somatic indices, and secondary sexual characteristics of fathead minnows (in males) from Demonstration Pond when compared to the fathead minnows from the reference sites. In comparison to reference fish, lower concentrations of 11-ketotestosterone were measured in the plasma of male fathead minnows collected from Demonstration Pond in June 2006 and July 2007. Black spot disease and Ligula intestinalis were prevalent in fathead minnows from the reference sites but were not observed in fathead minnows

  19. Characterization of trace gases measured over Alberta oil sands mining operations: 76 speciated C2-C10 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), CO2, CH4, CO, NO, NO2, NOy, O3 and SO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, I. J.; Blake, N. J.; Barletta, B.; Diskin, G. S.; Fuelberg, H. E.; Gorham, K.; Huey, L. G.; Meinardi, S.; Rowland, F. S.; Vay, S. A.; Weinheimer, A. J.; Yang, M.; Blake, D. R.

    2010-12-01

    Oil sands comprise 30% of the world's oil reserves and the crude oil reserves in Canada's oil sands deposits are second only to Saudi Arabia. The extraction and processing of oil sands is much more challenging than for light sweet crude oils because of the high viscosity of the bitumen contained within the oil sands and because the bitumen is mixed with sand and contains chemical impurities such as sulphur. Despite these challenges, the importance of oil sands is increasing in the energy market. To our best knowledge this is the first peer-reviewed study to characterize volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from Alberta's oil sands mining sites. We present high-precision gas chromatography measurements of 76 speciated C2-C10 VOCs (alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, cycloalkanes, aromatics, monoterpenes, oxygenated hydrocarbons, halocarbons and sulphur compounds) in 17 boundary layer air samples collected over surface mining operations in northeast Alberta on 10 July 2008, using the NASA DC-8 airborne laboratory as a research platform. In addition to the VOCs, we present simultaneous measurements of CO2, CH4, CO, NO, NO2, NOy, O3 and SO2, which were measured in situ aboard the DC-8. Carbon dioxide, CH4, CO, NO, NO2, NOy, SO2 and 53 VOCs (e.g., non-methane hydrocarbons, halocarbons, sulphur species) showed clear statistical enhancements (1.1-397×) over the oil sands compared to local background values and, with the exception of CO, were greater over the oil sands than at any other time during the flight. Twenty halocarbons (e.g., CFCs, HFCs, halons, brominated species) either were not enhanced or were minimally enhanced (coke combustion. By contrast, relatively poor correlations between CH4, ethane and propane suggest low levels of natural gas leakage despite its heavy use at the surface mining sites. Instead the elevated CH4 levels are attributed to methanogenic tailings pond emissions. In addition to the emission of many trace gases, the natural drawdown of OCS by

  20. Dispersants as used in response to the MC252-spill lead to higher mobility of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in oil-contaminated Gulf of Mexico sand.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alissa Zuijdgeest

    Full Text Available After the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, large volumes of crude oil were washed onto and embedded in the sandy beaches and sublittoral sands of the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Some of this oil was mechanically or chemically dispersed before reaching the shore. With a set of laboratory-column experiments we show that the addition of chemical dispersants (Corexit 9500A increases the mobility of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs in saturated permeable sediments by up to two orders of magnitude. Distribution and concentrations of PAHs, measured in the solid phase and effluent water of the columns using GC/MS, revealed that the mobility of the PAHs depended on their hydrophobicity and was species specific also in the presence of dispersant. Deepest penetration was observed for acenaphthylene and phenanthrene. Flushing of the columns with seawater after percolation of the oiled water resulted in enhanced movement by remobilization of retained PAHs. An in-situ benthic chamber experiment demonstrated that aromatic hydrocarbons are transported into permeable sublittoral sediment, emphasizing the relevance of our laboratory column experiments in natural settings. We conclude that the addition of dispersants permits crude oil components to penetrate faster and deeper into permeable saturated sands, where anaerobic conditions may slow degradation of these compounds, thus extending the persistence of potentially harmful PAHs in the marine environment. Application of dispersants in nearshore oil spills should take into account enhanced penetration depths into saturated sands as this may entail potential threats to the groundwater.

  1. Renewable and non-renewable energy consumption and economic growth: Evidence from MENA Net Oil Importing Countries

    OpenAIRE

    Kahia, Montassar; Ben Aissa, Mohamed Safouane

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we use panel cointegration techniques to explore the relationship between renewable and non-renewable energy consumption and economic growth in a sample of 11 MENA Net Oil Importing Countries covering the period 1980–2012. The Pedroni (1999, 2004), Kao(1999) as well as Westerlund(2007) panel cointegration tests indicate that there is a long-run equilibrium relationship between real GDP, renewable energy consumption, non-renewable energy consumption, real gross fixed capital for...

  2. Advanced analytical mass spectrometric techniques and bioassays to characterize untreated and ozonated oil sands process-affected water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Nian; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; Klamerth, Nikolaus; McPhedran, Kerry N; Islam, Md Shahinoor; Perez-Estrada, Leonidas; Drzewicz, Przemysław; Blunt, Brian J; Reichert, Megan; Hagen, Mariel; Tierney, Keith B; Belosevic, Miodrag; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2014-10-07

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is a toxic and poorly biodegradable mixture of sand, silt, heavy metals, and organics. In this study, qualitative and quantitative comparisons of naphthenic acids (NAs) were done using ultraperformance liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC TOF-MS), Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) MS, and ion mobility spectrometry (IMS). The unique combination of these analyses allowed for the determination and correlation of NAs, oxidized NAs, and heteroatom (sulfur or nitrogen) NAs. Despite its lower resolution, UPLC-TOF MS was shown to offer a comparable level of reliability and precision as the high resolution FT-ICR MS. Additionally, the impacts of ozonation (35 mg/L utilized ozone dose) and subsequent NAs degradation on OSPW toxicity were assessed via a collection of organisms and toxicity end points using Vibrio fischeri (nonspecific), specific fish macrophage antimicrobial responses, and fish olfactory responses. Fish macrophages exposed to ozonated OSPW for 1 week showed higher production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen intermediates; however, after 12 weeks the responses were reduced significantly. Fish olfactory tests suggested that OSPW interfered with their perception of odorants. Current results indicate that the quantification of NAs species, using novel analytical methods, can be combined with various toxicity methods to assess the efficiency of OSPW treatment processes.

  3. Step-scan Photoacoustic Fourier Transform and X-rays photoelectron spectroscopy of oil sands fine tailings: new structural insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bensebaa, Farid; Majid, Abdul; Deslandes, Yves

    2001-11-01

    The chemical and physical properties of clay suspensions from oil sands have profound effect not only on the bitumen extraction process but also on the tailing treatment and reclamation. Step-scan Photoacoustic Fourier Transform Infrared (S 2PAS-FTIR) has been used to characterize the properties of clay suspensions. The photoacoustic spectral features of the fine solids (FS) fraction were found to vary drastically with the modulation frequency. This is attributed to the increase in the relative amount of bitumen-like matter in the bulk. A similar behavior was observed on the bi-wetted solid (BWS) fraction, in spite of the fact that the variation as a function of the modulation frequency is less significant. No such change is observed on hydrophobic solid (HPS) sample. These observations allow us to refine our pictorial image of the bitumen fraction materials structure.

  4. Thin lift dewatering of oil sand tailings: optimizing dewatering of fluid fine tailings by controlling polymer mixing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Demoz, A.; Munoz, V.; Mikula, R. [Natural Resources Canada, CanmetENERGY, Devon, Alberta (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    In the oil sands industry, dewatering of tailings is an important issue. Recent work has shown that the addition of polymer helps to enhance dewatering of fluid fine tailings. High molecular weight polymers are used to bind small solids which results in a higher floc strength with no significant effect on water chemistry. The problem of this technique is that polymers only achieve optimal performance within a narrow window. This paper aimed at assessing the effect of mixing on the dewatering performance of polymer treatment on mature fine tailings. Tests were performed with different impeller types, mixing speeds and durations. Results demonstrated that the flocculation process is critical in the dewatering process and that working at the optimal flocculation conditions presents considerable benefits. This paper investigated the importance of mixing on the dewatering process and highlighted that further work has to be undertaken to optimize this process.

  5. The impact of metallic coagulants on the removal of organic compounds from oil sands process-affected water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pourrezaei, Parastoo; Drzewicz, Przemysław; Wang, Yingnan; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed; Perez-Estrada, Leonidas A; Martin, Jonathan W; Anderson, Julie; Wiseman, Steve; Liber, Karsten; Giesy, John P

    2011-10-01

    Coagulation/flocculation (CF) by use of alum and cationic polymer polyDADMAC, was performed as a pretreatment for remediation of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). Various factors were investigated and the process was optimized to improve efficiency of removal of organic carbon and turbidity. Destabilization of the particles occurred through charge neutralization by adsorption of hydroxide precipitates. Scanning electron microscope images revealed that the resultant flocs were compact. The CF process significantly reduced concentrations of naphthenic acids (NAs) and oxidized NAs by 37 and 86%, respectively, demonstrating the applicability of CF pretreatment to remove a persistent and toxic organic fraction from OSPW. Concentrations of vanadium and barium were decreased by 67-78% and 42-63%, respectively. Analysis of surface functional groups on flocs also confirmed the removal of the NAs compounds. Flocculation with cationic polymer compared to alum, caused toxicity toward the benthic invertebrate, Chironoums dilutus, thus application of the polymer should be limited.

  6. A multi-isotope approach for assessing industrial contributions to atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the Athabasca oil sands region in Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernadette C. Proemse; Bernhard Mayer; Mark E. Fenn; Christopher S. Ross

    2013-01-01

    Industrial nitrogen (N) emissions in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR), Alberta, Canada, affect nitrate (NO3) and ammonium (NH4) deposition rates in close vicinity of industrial emitters. NO3-N and NH4-N open field and throughfall deposition rates were determined at various...

  7. Effects of exposure to oil sands process-affected water from experimental reclamation ponds on Chironomus dilutus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Julie; Wiseman, Steve B; Moustafa, Ahmed; El-Din, Mohamed Gamal; Liber, Karsten; Giesy, John P

    2012-04-15

    Effective detoxification of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is one issue associated with bitumen extraction in the Alberta oil sands. It has been suggested that reclamation ponds can be used to passively treat OSPW, potentially allowing for its safe return to the environment. In this study, OSPW was sampled in two batches (A and B) from the Syncrude Canada Ltd. West In-Pit (WIP) settling pond and from three experimental reclamation ponds - Big Pit, FE5, and TPW. Acute (10 d) and chronic (until adult emergence) exposures of Chironomus dilutus larvae to OSPW were conducted and survival, growth, development, and behavior were assessed. Masses of larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW were 64-77% less than the freshwater control (p < 0.001). Similarly, chronic exposure to WIP-OSPW resulted in significantly (p < 0.05) less pupation than in the freshwater control, with 31% (A) and 71% (B) less pupation of larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW. Rates of emergence were significantly less for larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW, with only 13% (A) and 8% (B) of larvae emerging as adults when exposed to WIP-OSPW, compared to 81% in the freshwater control (p < 0.0001). Pupation and emergence rates were significantly less in TPW than freshwater control (p < 0.05), but there were no differences observed in Big Pit or FE5. Lesser toxicity was observed in reclaimed OSPW compared to fresh OSPW and this coincided with lesser concentrations of NAs. The results presented are consistent with the hypothesis that an organic fraction is the cause of the toxicity of OSPW toward C. dilutus and that OSPW aged in reclamation ponds retains toxicity and therefore, more aggressive, targeted treatment of OSPW is required to accelerate decreases. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Exploring the complexity of oil sands process-affected water by high efficiency supercritical fluid chromatography/orbitrap mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, A S; Martin, J W

    2015-04-30

    Approximately 1 billion m(3) of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is currently stored in tailings ponds in Northern Alberta, Canada. The dissolved organic compounds in OSPW have been termed a supercomplex mixture of bitumen-derived substances and continuing efforts to understand its underlying chemical composition are important for evaluating its environmental hazards. Packed column supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) was applied to OSPW analysis for the first time. By combining four columns in series (each 25 cm × 4.6 mm I.D., 5.0 µm bare silica) approximately 80,000 plates were achieved on a 1 m column. Using a simple fixed restrictor, the SFC eluent was coupled directly to ultrahigh-resolution orbitrap mass spectrometry (SFC/Orbitrap-MS). SFC/Orbitrap-MS, with positive and negative atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI +/-), revealed the partial or full chromatographic separation of isomers for a wide array of chemical species, including naphthenic acids (Cn H2n + Z O2 ) and unknown sulfur- and nitrogen-containing molecules. For smaller compounds (e.g. naphthenic acids where n ≤10), or for larger structurally constrained compounds (e.g. C16 naphthenic acid with 9 double-bond equivalents), apparent baseline resolution of many isomers was possible. Isomer-specific MS/MS experiments furthermore allowed characterization of functional groups in novel species. For example, in APCI+ mode, up to 16 isomers of C6 H11 ON were revealed to have amide and amino functionalities. This combination of high efficiency chromatography and ultra-high mass resolution detection resulted in a powerful method with capabilities for characterizing or 'fingerprinting' unknown species with little interference. The method has great promise for environmental monitoring and forensics in the oil sands region, as well as for further studies on the composition of dissolved organic compounds in OSPW. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. LIDAR vertical profiles over the Oil Sands Region: an important tool in understanding atmospheric particulate matter transport, mixing and transformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strawbridge, K. B.

    2013-12-01

    LIDAR technology is an excellent tool to probe the complex vertical structure of the atmosphere at high spatial and temporal resolution. This provides the critical vertical context for the interpretation of ground-based chemistry measurements, airborne measurements and model verification and validation. In recent years, Environment Canada has designed an autonomous aerosol LIDAR system that can be deployed to remote areas such as the oil sands. Currently two autonomous LIDAR systems are making measurements in the oil sands region, one since December, 2012 and the other since July, 2013. The LIDAR transmitter emits two wavelengths (1064nm and 532nm) and the detector assembly collects four channels (1064nm backscatter, 532nm backscatter and 532nm depolarization, 607 nm nitrogen channel). Aerosol profiles from near ground to 20 km are collected every 10-60 s providing sufficient resolution to probe atmospheric dynamics, mixing and transport. The depolarization channel provides key information in identifying and discriminating the various aerosol layers aloft such as dust, forest fire plumes, industrial plume sources or ice crystals. The vertical resolution of the LIDAR can determine whether industrial plumes remain aloft or mix down to the surface and also provide estimates as to the concentration of the particulate at various altitudes. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week except during precipitation events. The system is operated remotely and the data are updated every hour to a website to allow near real-time capability. An intensive measurement campaign will be carried out in August and September of 2013 and will provide coincident airborne and ground-based measurements for the two LIDAR systems. The first results from this field study will be presented as well as some statistics on the frequency and evolution of plume events that were detected by the LIDARs.

  10. Growth of mycorrhizal jack pine (Pinus banksiana) and white spruce (Picea glauca) seedlings planted in oil sands reclaimed areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onwuchekwa, Nnenna E; Zwiazek, Janusz J; Quoreshi, Ali; Khasa, Damase P

    2014-08-01

    The effectiveness of ectomycorrhizal inoculation at the tree nursery seedling production stage on growth and survival was examined in jack pine (Pinus banksiana) and white spruce (Picea glauca) planted in oil sands reclamation sites. The seedlings were inoculated with Hebeloma crustuliniforme strain # UAMH 5247, Suillus tomentosus strain # UAMH 6252, and Laccaria bicolor strain # UAMH 8232, as individual pure cultures and in combinations. These treatments were demonstrated to improve salinity resistance and water uptake in conifer seedlings. The field responses of seedlings to ectomycorrhizal inoculation varied between plant species, inoculation treatments, and measured parameters. Seedling inoculation resulted in higher ectomycorrhizal colonization rates compared with non-inoculated control, which had also a relatively small proportion of roots colonized by the nursery contaminant fungi identified as Amphinema byssoides and Thelephora americana. Seedling inoculation had overall a greater effect on relative height growth rates, dry biomass, and stem volumes in jack pine compared with white spruce. However, when examined after two growing seasons, inoculated white spruce seedlings showed up to 75% higher survival rates than non-inoculated controls. The persistence of inoculated fungi in roots of planted seedlings was examined at the end of the second growing season. Although the inoculation with H. crustuliniforme triggered growth responses, the fungus was not found in the roots of seedlings at the end of the second growing season suggesting a possibility that the observed growth-promoting effect of H. crustuliniforme may be transient. The results suggest that the inoculation of conifer seedlings with ectomycorrhizal fungi could potentially be carried out on a large scale in tree nurseries to benefit postplanting performance in oil sands reclamation sites. However, these practices should take into consideration the differences in responses between the different

  11. Toxicity, tunneling and feeding behavior of the termite, Coptotermes vastator, in sand treated with oil of the physic nut, Jatropha curcas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acda, Menandro N

    2009-01-01

    Oil of the physic nut, Jatropha curcas L. (Malpighiales: Euphorbiaceae), was evaluated in the laboratory for its barrier and repellent activity against the Philippine milk termite Coptotermes vastator Light (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). The study showed that J. curcas oil had anti-feeding effect, induced reduction in tunneling activity and increased mortality in C. vastator. Behavior of termites exposed to sand treated with J. curcas oil indicated that it is toxic or repellent to C. vastator. Toxicity and repellent thresholds, were higher than those reported for other naturally occurring compounds tested against the Formosan subterranean termite.

  12. Toxicity, Tunneling and Feeding Behavior of the Termite, Coptotermes vastator, in Sand Treated with Oil of the Physic Nut, Jatropha curcas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acda, Menandro N.

    2009-01-01

    Oil of the physic nut, Jatropha curcas L. (Malpighiales: Euphorbiaceae), was evaluated in the laboratory for its barrier and repellent activity against the Philippine milk termite Coptotermes vastator Light (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). The study showed that J. curcas oil had anti-feeding effect, induced reduction in tunneling activity and increased mortality in C. vastator. Behavior of termites exposed to sand treated with J. curcas oil indicated that it is toxic or repellent to C. vastator. Toxicity and repellent thresholds, were higher than those reported for other naturally occurring compounds tested against the Formosan subterranean termite. PMID:20053119

  13. The fine sand Abra alba community of the Bay of Morlaix twenty years after the Amoco Cadiz oil spill

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dauvin, J.-C. [CNRS-UPRES-A Elico, Wimereux (France). Station Marine de Wimereux

    1998-09-01

    The fine sand Abra alba community from the Bay of Morlaix (western English Channel) was strongly affected by the Amoco Cadiz oil spill of April 1978. The long term changes in the community (1977-1996) show that reconstitution of this community is slow (over 10 yr). A progressive recolonization by amphipod Ampelisca populations constituting the dominant species is observed. The results show that it is necessary to survey the affected communities for a long period of time (> 10 yr) after an event to identify the real ecological impact of an oil spill. The abiotic and biotic factor existing in the Bay of Morlaix are favorable to the establishment and the persistence of stable dominant Ampelisca populations in time. The 'climax' concept seems to be applicable to this type of stable environment. The soft-bottom Abra alba community of the Bay of Morlaix may only support a maximal carrying capacity ofapproximately 10-11 g m{sup -2} (mean annual biomass in decalcified dry weight). The deficit of production during 11 annual cycles may have affected the fish biomass feeding on this community. (author)

  14. The fine sand Abra alba community of the Bay of Morlaix twenty years after the Amoco Cadiz oil spill

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dauvin, J.-C. [CNRS-UPRES-A Elico, Wimereux (France). Station Marine de Wimereux

    1998-09-01

    The fine sand Abra alba community from the Bay of Morlaix (western English Channel) was strongly affected by the Amoco Cadiz oil spill of April 1978. The long term changes in the community (1977-1996) show that reconstitution of this community is slow (over 10 yr). A progressive recolonization by amphipod Ampelisca populations constituting the dominant species is observed. The results show that it is necessary to survey the affected communities for a long period of time (> 10 yr) after an event to identify the real ecological impact of an oil spill. The abiotic and biotic factor existing in the Bay of Morlaix are favorable to the establishment and the persistence of stable dominant Ampelisca populations in time. The `climax` concept seems to be applicable to this type of stable environment. The soft-bottom Abra alba community of the Bay of Morlaix may only support a maximal carrying capacity of approximately 10-11 g m{sup -2} (mean annual biomass in decalcified dry weight). The deficit of production during 11 annual cycles may have affected the fish biomass feeding on this community. (author)

  15. Effects of Building a Sand Barrier Berm to Mitigate the Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Louisiana Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavoie, Dawn; Flocks, James G.; Kindinger, Jack G.; Sallenger, A.H.; Twichell, David C.

    2010-01-01

    The State of Louisiana requested emergency authorization on May 11, 2010, to perform spill mitigation work on the Chandeleur Islands and on all the barrier islands from Grand Terre Island eastward to Sandy Point to enhance the capability of the islands to reduce the movement of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the marshes. The proposed action-building a barrier berm (essentially an artificial island fronting the existing barriers and inlets) seaward of the existing barrier islands and inlets-'restores' the protective function of the islands but does not alter the islands themselves. Building a barrier berm to protect the mainland wetlands from oil is a new strategy and depends on the timeliness of construction to be successful. Prioritizing areas to be bermed, focusing on those areas that are most vulnerable and where construction can be completed most rapidly, may increase chances for success. For example, it may be easier and more efficient to berm the narrow inlets of the coastal section to the west of the Mississippi River Delta rather than the large expanses of open water to the east of the delta in the southern parts of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). This document provides information about the potential available sand resources and effects of berm construction on the existing barrier islands. The proposed project originally involved removing sediment from a linear source approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) gulfward of the barrier islands and placing it just seaward of the islands in shallow water (~2-m depth where possible) to form a continuous berm rising approximately 6 feet (~2 m) above sea level (North American Vertical Datum of 1988-NAVD88) with an ~110-yd (~100-m) width at water level and a slope of 25:1 to the seafloor. Discussions within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and with others led to the determination that point-source locations, such as Hewes Point, the St. Bernard Shoals, and Ship Shoal, were more suitable 'borrow

  16. Oil shales and tar sands: a bibliography. Supplement 2, Parts 1 and 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grissom, M.C. (ed.)

    1984-07-01

    This bibliography includes 4715 citations arranged in the broad subject categories: reserves and exploration; site geology and hydrology; drilling, fracturing, and mining; oil production, recovery, and refining; properties and composition; direct uses and by-products; health and safety; marketing and economics; waste research and management; environmental aspects; regulations; and general. There are corporate, author, subject, contract number, and report number indexes.

  17. Air quality over the Canadian oil sands : A first assessment using satellite observations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McLinden, C.A.; Fioletov, V.; Boersma, K.F.; Krotkov, N.; Sioris, C.E.; Veefkind, J.P.; Yang, K.

    2012-01-01

    Results from the first assessment of air quality over the Canadian oil sands–one of the largest industrial undertakings in human history–using satellite remote sensing observations of two pollutants, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), are presented. High-resolution maps were created

  18. The NET effect of dispersants : A critical review of testing and modelling of surface oil dispersion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marieke Zeinstra-Helfrich; Wierd Koops; Albertinka J. Murk

    2015-01-01

    Application of chemical dispersants or mechanical dispersion on surface oil is a trade-off between surface effects (impact of floating oil) and sub-surface effects (impact of suspended oil). Making an informed decision regarding such response, requires insight in the induced change in fate and

  19. The NET effect of dispersants - a critical review of testing and modelling of surface oil dispersion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zeinstra-Helfrich, Marieke; Koops, Wierd; Murk, A.J.

    2015-01-01

    Application of chemical dispersants or mechanical dispersion on surface oil is a trade-off between surface effects (impact of floating oil) and sub-surface effects (impact of suspended oil). Making an informed decision regarding such response, requires insight in the induced change in fate and

  20. Cracked and full of sand: microstructural insights into how oil gets into a crystalline basement reservoir

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holdsworth, Bob; McCaffrey, Ken; Dempsey, Eddie

    2017-04-01

    The fractured Neoarchaean orthogneisses forming the 200km long, NE-SW trending Rona Ridge lie offshore along the southeast margin of the Faroe-Shetland Basin (FSB). The basement ridge was uplifted during Cretaceous-age normal faulting and is flanked and immediately overlain by Devonian to Cretaceous cover sequences. Basement-hosted oil is known to occur in significant volumes in at least two fields (Clair, Lancaster). Re-Os dating of bitumen samples from the Clair Field suggests that oil was generated in the period 64-72Ma. A new microstructural study of basement cores was carried out to assess the mechanisms and timing of oil charge and other fracture-hosted mineralization. Oil charge is everywhere associated with quartz-adularia-calcite-pyrite mineralization and is hosted in a complex mesh of interconnected shear and tensile fractures that formed during a single protracted episode of brittle deformation. This association is recognized in all basement cores containing oil and also in locally overlying well-cemented Devonian (Lower Clair Group) and Jurassic (Rona Sandstone) sequences. Mineralization and oil charge is everywhere associated with clastic sedimentary infillings which occur either as vein-hosted injected slurries, or as little deformed laminated infills in mm to dm-scale open fractures. The latter preserve delicate way-up criteria and geopetal structures. The largest accumulations of oil are found either in these poorly-cemented sedimentary infills, or in fracture-hosted vuggy cavities up to several cm across. All these features, together with the widespread development of zoned mineral cements and cockade textures suggest a low-temperature hydrothermal system that likely formed in a near surface (Jurassic source rocks located to the west in the FSB, through the basement ridge and up into the overlying Clair Group and other cover sequences during the 64-72Ma time period. Our findings have major implications for the development of fractured basement

  1. Sand production prediction in oil wellbores : a set of criteria for design of reticulated expandable completion techniques based on large-scale transient experiments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nouri, A.; Kuru, E. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Vaziri, H. [BP America, Cleveland, OH (United States). E and P Technology Group; Islam, R. [Dalhousie Univ., Halifax, NS (Canada)

    2005-07-01

    Various issues regarding supported wellbores in weakly consolidated and unconsolidated reservoir formations were discussed. Nearly 70 per cent of the total world's oil and gas reserves are found in poorly consolidated reservoirs, which are the most problematic in terms of sand production. Field studies also show a strong link between sand production and water influx. This paper describes a hollow cylindrical experiment of an expandable completion using both single-and two-phase fluid flow. Criteria were also provided for the possible severity of sand production under various aperture size versus sand grain size distribution conditions. The experiments on weakly-consolidated sandstones showed that expandable completions can successfully prevent shear failure around the wellbore. Pore collapse proved to be a potential failure mechanism under excessive drawdown or depletion. The study also evaluated the various aspects of interaction between a supporting liner and unconsolidated well and weakly consolidated rock formations. Shear failure was shown to be an important factor in almost all sanding issues. A stiffener proved capable of eliminating shear failure in the material around the well. In addition, the study evaluated the level of possible effects of a supported wellbore on productivity. While the sample compacted, its porosity and permeability was shown to decrease. However, supporting the wellbore provided room for higher drawdown which compensated the loss of permeability. The mechanism under which such completion techniques control mobilization of sand grains was also presented along with long-term performance and effectiveness. 20 refs., 4 tabs., 15 figs.

  2. Ten Years of Growing Season Water, Energy and Carbon Exchange From an Oil sands Reclamation Site, Fort McMurray, Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, S. K.; Drewitt, G. B.

    2013-12-01

    The oil sands mining industry in Canada has made a commitment to restore disturbed areas to an equivalent capability to that which existed prior to mining. Certification requires successful reclamation, which can in part be evaluated through long-term ecosystem studies. A reclamation site, informally named South Bison Hill (SBH) has had growing season water, energy and carbon fluxes measured via the eddy covariance method for 10 years since establishment. SBH was capped with a 0.2 m peat-glacial till mixture overlying 0.8 m of reworked glacial till soil. The site was seeded to barley cultivar (Hordeum spp.) in the summer of 2002 and later planted to white spruce (Picea glauca) and aspen (Populus spp.) in the summer/fall of 2004. Since 2007, the major species atop SBH has been aspen, and by 2012 was on average ~ 4 m in height. Climatically, mean growing temperature did not vary greatly, yet there was considerable difference in rainfall among years, with 2012 having the greatest rainfall at 321 mm, whereas 2011 and 2007 were notably dry at 180 and 178 mm, respectively. The partitioning of energy varied among years, but the fraction of latent heat as a portion of net radiation increased with the establishment of aspen, along with concomitant increases in LAI and growing season net ecosystem exchange (NEE). Peat growing season ET was smallest in 2004 at 2.3 mm/d and greatest in 2010 at ~3.9 mm/d. ET rates showed a marked increase in 2008 corresponding with the increase in LAI attributed to the aspen cover. Since the establishment of a surface cover and vegetation in 2003, SBH has been a growing season sink for carbon dioxide. Values of NEE follow similar patterns to those of ET, with values gradually becoming more negative (greater carbon uptake) as the aspen forest established. Comparison with other disturbed and undisturbed boreal aspen stands show that SBH exhibits similar water, energy and carbon flux patterns during the growing season.

  3. Turbine Fuels from Tar Sands Bitumen and Heavy Oil. Phase I. Preliminary Process Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-04-09

    attractive feed to the FCC, as gasoline yields are low and dry gas yields are high. Therefore, gas oil pre- treater effluent is distilled to prepare a >650°F...gasoline blending or aromatics production, in addition to the JP-8. Figure 11 represents the principal flow scheme for the naphtha hydro- treaters ...and ammonia, may in- clude a significant amount of hydrogen. In addition, the light hydro- carbons - methane through propane - can be converted to

  4. Plant Community and Nitrogen Deposition as Drivers of Alpha and Beta Diversities of Prokaryotes in Reconstructed Oil Sand Soils and Natural Boreal Forest Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prescott, Cindy E.; Renaut, Sébastien; Terrat, Yves; Grayston, Sue J.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT The Athabasca oil sand deposit is one of the largest single oil deposits in the world. Following surface mining, companies are required to restore soil-like profiles that can support the previous land capabilities. The objective of this study was to assess whether the soil prokaryotic alpha diversity (α-diversity) and β-diversity in oil sand soils reconstructed 20 to 30 years previously and planted to one of three vegetation types (coniferous or deciduous trees and grassland) were similar to those found in natural boreal forest soils subject to wildfire disturbance. Prokaryotic α-diversity and β-diversity were assessed using massively parallel sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The β-diversity, but not the α-diversity, differed between reconstructed and natural soils. Bacteria associated with an oligotrophic lifestyle were more abundant in natural forest soils, whereas bacteria associated with a copiotrophic lifestyle were more abundant in reconstructed soils. Ammonia-oxidizing archaea were most abundant in reconstructed soils planted with grasses. Plant species were the main factor influencing α-diversity in natural and in reconstructed soils. Nitrogen deposition, pH, and plant species were the main factors influencing the β-diversity of the prokaryotic communities in natural and reconstructed soils. The results highlight the importance of nitrogen deposition and aboveground-belowground relationships in shaping soil microbial communities in natural and reconstructed soils. IMPORTANCE Covering over 800 km2, land disturbed by the exploitation of the oil sands in Canada has to be restored. Here, we take advantage of the proximity between these reconstructed ecosystems and the boreal forest surrounding the oil sand mining area to study soil microbial community structure and processes in both natural and nonnatural environments. By identifying key characteristics shaping the structure of soil microbial communities, this study improved our understanding of

  5. Distribution of naphthenic acids in tissues of laboratory-exposed fish and in wild fishes from near the Athabasca oil sands in Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Rozlyn F; Michel, Lorelei Martínez; Fedorak, Phillip M

    2011-05-01

    Naphthenic acids, which have a variety of commercial applications, occur naturally in conventional crude oil and in highly biodegraded petroleum such as that found in the Athabasca oil sands in Alberta, Canada. Oil sands extraction is done using a caustic aqueous extraction process. The alkaline pH releases the naphthenic acids from the oil sands and dissolves them into water as their soluble naphthenate forms, which are anionic surfactants. These aqueous extracts contain concentrations of naphthenates that are acutely lethal to fishes and other aquatic organisms. Previous research has shown that naphthenic acids can be taken up by fish, but the distribution of these acids in various tissues of the fish has not been determined. In this study, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were exposed to commercial (Merichem) naphthenic acids in the laboratory. After a 10-d exposure to approximately 3mg naphthenic acids/L, the fish were dissected and samples of gills, heart, liver, kidney, muscle, and eggs were extracted and analyzed for free (unconjugated) naphthenic acids by a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method. Each of the tissues contained naphthenic acids and non-parametric statistical analyses showed that gills and livers contained higher concentrations than the muscles and that the livers had higher concentrations than the hearts. Four different species of fish (two fish of each species) were collected from the Athabasca River near two oil sands mining and extraction operations. No free naphthenic acids were detected in the muscle or liver of these fish. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Plant Community and Nitrogen Deposition as Drivers of Alpha and Beta Diversities of Prokaryotes in Reconstructed Oil Sand Soils and Natural Boreal Forest Soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masse, Jacynthe; Prescott, Cindy E; Renaut, Sébastien; Terrat, Yves; Grayston, Sue J

    2017-05-01

    The Athabasca oil sand deposit is one of the largest single oil deposits in the world. Following surface mining, companies are required to restore soil-like profiles that can support the previous land capabilities. The objective of this study was to assess whether the soil prokaryotic alpha diversity (α-diversity) and β-diversity in oil sand soils reconstructed 20 to 30 years previously and planted to one of three vegetation types (coniferous or deciduous trees and grassland) were similar to those found in natural boreal forest soils subject to wildfire disturbance. Prokaryotic α-diversity and β-diversity were assessed using massively parallel sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. The β-diversity, but not the α-diversity, differed between reconstructed and natural soils. Bacteria associated with an oligotrophic lifestyle were more abundant in natural forest soils, whereas bacteria associated with a copiotrophic lifestyle were more abundant in reconstructed soils. Ammonia-oxidizing archaea were most abundant in reconstructed soils planted with grasses. Plant species were the main factor influencing α-diversity in natural and in reconstructed soils. Nitrogen deposition, pH, and plant species were the main factors influencing the β-diversity of the prokaryotic communities in natural and reconstructed soils. The results highlight the importance of nitrogen deposition and aboveground-belowground relationships in shaping soil microbial communities in natural and reconstructed soils.IMPORTANCE Covering over 800 km2, land disturbed by the exploitation of the oil sands in Canada has to be restored. Here, we take advantage of the proximity between these reconstructed ecosystems and the boreal forest surrounding the oil sand mining area to study soil microbial community structure and processes in both natural and nonnatural environments. By identifying key characteristics shaping the structure of soil microbial communities, this study improved our understanding of how

  7. Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) satellite validations of ammonia, methanol, formic acid, and carbon monoxide over the Canadian oil sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shephard, M. W.; McLinden, C. A.; Cady-Pereira, K. E.; Luo, M.; Moussa, S. G.; Leithead, A.; Liggio, J.; Staebler, R. M.; Akingunola, A.; Makar, P.; Lehr, P.; Zhang, J.; Henze, D. K.; Millet, D. B.; Bash, J. O.; Zhu, L.; Wells, K. C.; Capps, S. L.; Chaliyakunnel, S.; Gordon, M.; Hayden, K.; Brook, J. R.; Wolde, M.; Li, S.-M.

    2015-09-01

    The wealth of air quality information provided by satellite infrared observations of ammonia (NH3), carbon monoxide (CO), formic acid (HCOOH), and methanol (CH3OH) is currently being explored and used for number of applications, especially at regional or global scales. These applications include air quality monitoring, trend analysis, emissions, and model evaluation. This study provides one of the first direct validations of Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) satellite retrieved profiles of NH3, CH3OH, and HCOOH through comparisons with coincident aircraft profiles. The comparisons are performed over the Canadian oil sands region during the intensive field campaign (August-September~2013) in support of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for the Oil Sands Monitoring (JOSM). The satellite/aircraft comparisons over this region during this period produced errors of: (i) + 0.08 ± 0.25 ppbv for NH3, (ii) + 7.5 ± 23 ppbv for CO, (iii) + 0.19 ± 0.46 ppbv for HCOOH, and (iv) -1.1 ± 0.39 ppbv for CH3OH. These values mostly agree with previously estimated retrieval errors; however, the relatively large negative bias in CH3OH and the significantly greater positive bias for larger HCOOH and CO values observed during this study warrant further investigation. Satellite and aircraft ammonia observations during the field campaign are also used in an initial effort to perform preliminary evaluations of Environment Canada's Global Environmental Multi-scale - Modelling Air quality and CHemistry (GEM-MACH) air quality modelling system at high-resolution (2.5 km × 2.5 km). These initial results indicate model under-prediction of ~ 0.6 ppbv (~ 60 %) for NH3, during the field campaign period. The TES-model CO comparison differences are ~ +20 ppbv (~ +20 %), but given that under these conditions the TES/aircraft comparisons also show a small positive TES CO bias indicates that the overall model under-prediction of CO is closer to ~ 10 % at 681 hPa (~ 3 km) during this

  8. Assessment of recycled PET properties for application on oil wells as sand control agents; Avaliacao de propriedades de PET reciclado para aplicacao em pocos de petroleo como agente de contencao de areia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pereira, Alexandre Zacarias Ignacio [PETROBRAS, Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Delpech, Marcia Cerqueira [Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (IQ/UERJ), RJ (Brazil). Inst. de Quimica], e-mail: mcd@uerj.br

    2008-07-01

    The Sand Control is fundamental for oil production in unconsolidated sandstone formations. It consists of the installation of a filter made of stainless steel screens and grained materials (sand control agents) which are, normally, high density inorganic substances (sand, ceramic, bauxite). Shallow formations, near to the sea bed, are more sensitive and need different kinds of sand control agents with low density. The objective of this work was the evaluation of recycled poly(ethylene terephthalate), PET, as sand control agent for oil wells. Pack permeability and thermal stability tests results, after up to six months of exposure to sea water and crude oil, have indicated that the recycled PET kept the necessary characteristics for the proposed application. Also, it was observed that the PET grain pack did not presented significant property modifications in the exposure conditions, when compared to the non-exposed samples. (author)

  9. Characterization of Polyethylene Oxide and Sodium Alginate for Oil Contaminated-Sand Remediation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jongwon Jung

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Biopolymers have been employed in many soil applications, such as oil-contaminated soil remediation, due to their environmentally friendly characteristics. This study focused on changes in the wettability and viscosity of polyethylene oxide (PEO and sodium alginate (SA, according to the variation in concentration and their impact on oil-contaminated soil remediation using biopolymer-decane displacement tests. The contact angle and interfacial tension vary with concentration by adding biopolymer to water; however both parameters yield relatively constant values within the range of 2–10 g/L for the concentration of PEO and SA. In this study, their influence on fluid invasion patterns is insignificant compared to viscosity and flow rate. Viscosity increases with the concentration of PEO and SA, within the range of 0–10 g/L, which causes the biopolymer-decane displacement ratio to increase with concentration. Biopolymer-decane displacement increases with injected fluid velocity. At low flow rates, the effect of the biopolymer concentration on the displacement ratio is prominent. However the effect decreases with an increase in flow rate. Thus both biopolymer concentration and injection velocity should be considered to achieve the economic efficiency of soil remediation. The experimental results for the distribution of soils with different grain sizes indicate that the displacement ratio increases with the uniformity of the coefficient of soils.

  10. Development and Evaluation of Solbrax-Water Nanoemulsions for Removal of Oil from Sand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priscila F. Oliveira

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, surfactants have been used to clean up soils and aquifers contaminated by petroleum and petroleum derivatives. The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate nanoemulsions for remediation of soil contaminated by petroleum, by using a commercial solvent Solbrax. The nanoemulsions were prepared by the phase inversion temperature (PIT method, using oil phase Solbrax (a solvent extracted from naphtha with low aromatics content and a nonionic ethoxylated lauryl ether surfactant. The surfactant concentrations were varied from 10 to 12 wt% and the oil phase was varied from 5 to 20 wt%. A 23 factorial experimental design with center point run was used to evaluate the soil washing process, varying time, temperature, and shear rate of the system. The results show that the most efficient system (with 90% efficiency was that using the nanoemulsion containing 5 wt% of Solbrax and 12 wt% of surfactant after four hours of washing, on 240 rotation·min−1 of shear rate and at a temperature of 318 K.

  11. Using gas flux to estimate biological and chemical sediment oxygen demand in oil sands-affected wetlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gardner Costa, J.; Slama, C.; Ciborowski, J. [Windsor Univ., ON (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    The constituents of oil sands process-affected (OSPM) wetlands include high salinity, conductivity and naphthenic acid concentrations. These constituents are expected to strain microbial communities and change methane and carbon dioxide flux rates as well as sediment oxygen consumption compared to fresher, reference wetland sites. Four OSPM and 4 reference wetlands were examined during the summers of 2009 and 2010 to determine if carbon loss in the form of sediment-associated microbial respiration differs between OSPM and reference wetlands. The study showed that OSPM wetlands release about 10 times less methane than reference wetlands. Sediment oxygen demand (SOD) was measured in 2009 and gas flux estimates of carbon dioxide were used to estimate biological sediment oxygen consumption (BSOC). Chemical sediment oxygen demand (CSOD) was estimated by subtracting BSOC from total SOD. SOD rates were found to be two times higher in OSPM wetlands than reference. CSOD was higher than biologically consumed oxygen for both wetland classes. Although microbial activity in OSPM wetlands may be lower, more oxygen is consumed in OSPM than in reference wetlands. The reclamation of boreal wetlands in the Alberta Athabasca region requires carbon accrual. Less microbial activity may promote carbon accumulation within OSPM wetlands. However, the wetland's sediment layer may have less organic input as a result of high chemical oxygen consumption because it limits benthos respiration.

  12. Gas production, oxygen demand and microbial activity in sediments of wetlands constructed with oil sands mine tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, M.; Weisener, C.; Ciborowski, J.; Slama, C.; Costa, J. [Windsor Univ., ON (Canada); Goudey, S. [HydroQual, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Changes in sediment oxygen demand (SOD) in 2 reference and 9 oil sands process material (OSPM) impacted wetlands were evaluated. The wetlands were constructed in 1992. SOD was measured by determining the rate of O{sub 2} depletion in in-situ test chambers placed on the sediment surface within the test pond areas. The study showed that SOD measurements conducted in 2008-2009 showed a slower rate of oxygen consumption than measurements conducted in 1993. Results suggested that sediment-associated reducing compounds were depleted. Carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) was dominantly respired by methanogens using the carbon as a terminal electron acceptor in conjunction with hydrogen to produce methane (CH{sub 4}). Gases analyzed in situ from the wetland sediments suggested that OSPM-affected sediments promote the growth of methanogenic bacteria. Samples of evolved gas, pore water, and intact sediment cores were collected at each wetland site in order to determine if significant differences in biogeochemical composition have developed. Further research is being conducted to characterize the relationship between the microbes and the sediments of the reclaimed wetlands.

  13. Assessment of the aerosol optical depths measured by satellite-based passive remote sensors in the Alberta oil sands region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sioris, Christopher E.; McLinden, Chris A.; Shephard, Mark W.; Fioletov, Vitali E.; Abboud, Ihab

    2017-02-01

    Several satellite aerosol optical depth (AOD) products are assessed in terms of their data quality in the Alberta oil sands region. The instruments consist of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer), POLDER (Polarization and Directionality of Earth Reflectances), MISR (Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer), and AATSR (Advanced Along-Track Scanning Radiometer). The AOD data products are examined in terms of multiplicative and additive biases determined using local Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) (AEROCAN) stations. Correlation with ground-based data is used to assess whether the satellite-based AODs capture day-to-day, month-to-month, and spatial variability. The ability of the satellite AOD products to capture interannual variability is assessed at Albian mine and Shell Muskeg River, two neighbouring sites in the northern mining region where a statistically significant positive trend (2002-2015) in PM2.5 mass density exists. An increasing trend of similar amplitude (˜ 5 % year-1) is observed in this northern mining region using some of the satellite AOD products.

  14. Performance of ectomycorrhizal alders exposed to specific Canadian oil sands tailing stressors under in vivo bipartite symbiotic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaudoin-Nadeau, Martin; Gagné, André; Bissonnette, Cyntia; Bélanger, Pier-Anne; Fortin, J André; Roy, Sébastien; Greer, Charles W; Khasa, Damase P

    2016-07-01

    Canadian oil sands tailings are predominately sodic residues contaminated by hydrocarbons such as naphthenic acids. These conditions are harsh for plant development. In this study, we evaluated the effect of inoculating roots of Alnus viridis ssp. crispa and Alnus incana ssp. rugosa with ectomycorrhizal fungi in the presence of tailings compounds. Seedlings were inoculated with 7 different strains of Paxillus involutus and Alpova diplophloeus and were grown under different treatments of NaCl, Na2SO4, and naphthenic acids in a growth chamber. Afterwards, seedling survival, height, dry biomass, leaf necrosis, and root mycorrhization rate were measured. Paxillus involutus Mai was the most successful strain in enhancing alder survival, health, and growth. Seedlings inoculated with this strain displayed a 25% increase in survival rate, 2-fold greater biomass, and 2-fold less leaf necrosis compared with controls. Contrary to our expectations, A. diplophloeus was not as effective as P. involutus in improving seedling fitness, likely because it did not form ectomycorrhizae on roots of either alder species. High intraspecific variation characterized strains of P. involutus in their ability to stimulate alder height and growth and to minimize leaf necrosis. We conclude that in vivo selection under bipartite symbiotic conditions is essential to select effective strains that will be of use for the revegetation and reclamation of derelict lands.

  15. Toxicity of naphthenic acids to invertebrates: Extracts from oil sands process-affected water versus commercial mixtures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett, Adrienne J; Frank, Richard A; Gillis, Patricia L; Parrott, Joanne L; Marentette, Julie R; Brown, Lisa R; Hooey, Tina; Vanderveen, Ruth; McInnis, Rodney; Brunswick, Pamela; Shang, Dayue; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Hewitt, L Mark

    2017-08-01

    The toxicity of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) has been primarily attributed to polar organic constituents, including naphthenic acid fraction components (NAFCs). Our objective was to assess the toxicity of NAFCs derived from fresh and aged OSPW, as well as commercial naphthenic acid (NA) mixtures. Exposures were conducted with three aquatic species: Hyalella azteca (freshwater amphipod), Vibrio fischeri (marine bacterium, Microtox® assay), and Lampsilis cardium (freshwater mussel larvae (glochidia)). Commercial NAs were more toxic than NAFCs, with differences of up to 30-, 4-, and 120-fold for H. azteca, V. fischeri, and L. cardium, respectively, demonstrating that commercial NAs are not reliable surrogates for assessing the toxicity of NAFCs. Differences in toxicity between species were striking for both commercial NAs and NAFCs. Overall, V. fischeri was the least sensitive and H. azteca was the most sensitive organism. Responses of V. fischeri and H. azteca to NAFC exposures were consistent (< 2-fold difference) regardless of source and age of OSPW; however, effects on L. cardium ranged 17-fold between NAFCs. NAFCs derived from fresh OSPW sources were similarly or less toxic to those from aged OSPW. Our results support the need to better characterize the complex mixtures associated with bitumen-influenced waters, both chemically and toxicologically. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Recent Warming, Rather than Industrial Emissions of Bioavailable Nutrients, Is the Dominant Driver of Lake Primary Production Shifts across the Athabasca Oil Sands Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summers, Jamie C; Kurek, Joshua; Kirk, Jane L; Muir, Derek C G; Wang, Xiaowa; Wiklund, Johan A; Cooke, Colin A; Evans, Marlene S; Smol, John P

    2016-01-01

    Freshwaters in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) are vulnerable to the atmospheric emissions and land disturbances caused by the local oil sands industry; however, they are also affected by climate change. Recent observations of increases in aquatic primary production near the main development area have prompted questions about the principal drivers of these limnological changes. Is the enhanced primary production due to deposition of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) from local industry or from recent climatic changes? Here, we use downcore, spectrally-inferred chlorophyll-a (VRS-chla) profiles (including diagenetic products) from 23 limnologically-diverse lakes with undisturbed catchments to characterize the pattern of primary production increases in the AOSR. Our aim is to better understand the relative roles of the local oil sands industry versus climate change in driving aquatic primary production trends. Nutrient deposition maps, generated using geostatistical interpolations of spring-time snowpack measurements from a grid pattern across the AOSR, demonstrate patterns of elevated total phosphorus, total nitrogen, and bioavailable nitrogen deposition around the main area of industrial activity. However, this pattern is not observed for bioavailable phosphorus. Our paleolimnological findings demonstrate consistently greater VRS-chla concentrations compared to pre-oil sands development levels, regardless of morphological and limnological characteristics, landscape position, bioavailable nutrient deposition, and dibenzothiophene (DBT)-inferred industrial impacts. Furthermore, breakpoint analyses on VRS-chla concentrations across a gradient of DBT-inferred industrial impact show limited evidence of a contemporaneous change among lakes. Despite the contribution of bioavailable nitrogen to the landscape from industrial activities, we find no consistency in the spatial pattern and timing of VRS-chla shifts with an industrial fertilizing signal. Instead

  17. Recent Warming, Rather than Industrial Emissions of Bioavailable Nutrients, Is the Dominant Driver of Lake Primary Production Shifts across the Athabasca Oil Sands Region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie C Summers

    Full Text Available Freshwaters in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR are vulnerable to the atmospheric emissions and land disturbances caused by the local oil sands industry; however, they are also affected by climate change. Recent observations of increases in aquatic primary production near the main development area have prompted questions about the principal drivers of these limnological changes. Is the enhanced primary production due to deposition of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus from local industry or from recent climatic changes? Here, we use downcore, spectrally-inferred chlorophyll-a (VRS-chla profiles (including diagenetic products from 23 limnologically-diverse lakes with undisturbed catchments to characterize the pattern of primary production increases in the AOSR. Our aim is to better understand the relative roles of the local oil sands industry versus climate change in driving aquatic primary production trends. Nutrient deposition maps, generated using geostatistical interpolations of spring-time snowpack measurements from a grid pattern across the AOSR, demonstrate patterns of elevated total phosphorus, total nitrogen, and bioavailable nitrogen deposition around the main area of industrial activity. However, this pattern is not observed for bioavailable phosphorus. Our paleolimnological findings demonstrate consistently greater VRS-chla concentrations compared to pre-oil sands development levels, regardless of morphological and limnological characteristics, landscape position, bioavailable nutrient deposition, and dibenzothiophene (DBT-inferred industrial impacts. Furthermore, breakpoint analyses on VRS-chla concentrations across a gradient of DBT-inferred industrial impact show limited evidence of a contemporaneous change among lakes. Despite the contribution of bioavailable nitrogen to the landscape from industrial activities, we find no consistency in the spatial pattern and timing of VRS-chla shifts with an industrial fertilizing signal

  18. Hydrodynamic and Sediment Transport Model Application for OSAT3 Guidance: Surf-zone integrated alongshore potential flux for oil-sand balls of varying sizes weighted by probability of wave scenario occurrence

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The U.S. Geological Survey has developed a method for estimating the mobility and potential alongshore transport of heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates...

  19. Hydrodynamic and Sediment Transport Model Application for OSAT3 Guidance: Ratio of wave- and current-induced shear stress to critical values for oil-sand ball and sediment mobilization

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The U.S. Geological Survey has developed a method for estimating the mobility and potential alongshore transport of heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates...

  20. Beyond Naphthenic Acids: Environmental Screening of Water from Natural Sources and the Athabasca Oil Sands Industry Using Atmospheric Pressure Photoionization Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrow, Mark P; Peru, Kerry M; Fahlman, Brian; Hewitt, L Mark; Frank, Richard A; Headley, John V

    2015-09-01

    There is a growing need for environmental screening of natural waters in the Athabasca region of Alberta, Canada, particularly in the differentiation between anthropogenic and naturally-derived organic compounds associated with weathered bitumen deposits. Previous research has focused primarily upon characterization of naphthenic acids in water samples by negative-ion electrospray ionization methods. Atmospheric pressure photoionization is a much less widely used ionization method, but one that affords the possibility of observing low polarity compounds that cannot be readily observed by electrospray ionization. This study describes the first usage of atmospheric pressure photoionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (in both positive-ion and negative-ion modes) to characterize and compare extracts of oil sands process water, river water, and groundwater samples from areas associated with oil sands mining activities. When comparing mass spectra previously obtained by electrospray ionization and data acquired by atmospheric pressure photoionization, there can be a doubling of the number of components detected. In addition to polar compounds that have previously been observed, low-polarity, sulfur-containing compounds and hydrocarbons that do not incorporate a heteroatom were detected. These latter components, which are not amenable to electrospray ionization, have potential for screening efforts within monitoring programs of the oil sands.

  1. Toxicity of oil sands acid-extractable organic fractions to freshwater fish: Pimephales promelas (fathead minnow) and Oryzias latipes (Japanese medaka).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Anthony E; Frank, Richard A; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Farwell, Andrea J; Dixon, D George

    2017-03-01

    The Alberta oil sands are one of the largest global petroleum deposits and, due to non-release practices for oil sands process-affected waters, produced tailings are stored in large ponds. The acid extractable organic (AEO) compounds in oil sands process-affected water are of greatest concern due to their persistence and toxicity to a variety of aquatic biota. The present study evaluated the toxicity of the five AEO fractions to two fish species: Oryzias latipes (Japanese medaka) and Pimephales promelas (fathead minnow). The fractions (F1-F5) were comprised of AEO with increasing mean molecular weight and subsequent increases in cyclicity, aromaticity, degree of oxygenation, and heteroatom content. The lowest molecular weight fraction, F1, displayed the lowest acute toxicity to both fish species. For fathead minnow, F5 displayed the greatest toxic potency, while F2 to F4 displayed intermediate toxicities. For Japanese medaka, F2 and F3 displayed the greatest acute toxicities and F1, F4 and F5 were significantly less potent. Overall, fathead minnow were more acutely sensitive to AEO than Japanese medaka. The present study indicates that AEO toxicity may not be solely driven by a narcotic mode of action, but chemical composition such as aromaticity and heteroatom content and their relation to toxicity suggest other drivers indicative of additional modes of toxic action. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Parasitological Analysis and Gill Histopathology of Pearl Dace (Semotilus Margarita) and Brook Stickleback (Culaea Inconstans) Collected from the Athabasca Oil Sands Area (Canada).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raine, J C; Pietrock, M; Willner, K; Chung, K; Turcotte, D; Parrott, J L

    2017-06-01

    Pearl dace (Semotilus margarita) and brook stickleback (Culaea inconstans) were collected from tributaries of the Athabasca River (Alberta, Canada), upstream (reference site) and downstream of oil sands deposits where fish were expected to be exposed to naturally occurring oil sands constituents. The objective was to determine if fish collected from these sites exhibited differences in the prevalence or intensity of infection by parasites or in gill histology. Dace did not display significant differences in these parameters. Alternately, upstream stickleback were predominantly infected by complex life history parasites, while downstream fish were primarily infected by parasites with simpler life histories. Moreover, downstream stickleback exhibited significantly more clubbing and aneurysms in secondary gill lamellae relative to upstream fish. This suggested a difference in habitat quality between upstream and downstream sites. However, based on basic body condition parameters of the fish, it would appear that any impacts upon the health of the fish due to the presence of naturally occurring oil sands associated chemical constituents would have been minor.

  3. Variation in immune function, body condition, and feather corticosterone in nestling Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) on reclaimed wetlands in the Athabasca oil sands, Alberta, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jane Harms, N., E-mail: naomi.harms@usask.c [University of Saskatchewan, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Pathology, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5B4 (Canada); Fairhurst, Graham D., E-mail: graham.fairhurst@usask.c [University of Saskatchewan, Department of Biology, 112 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5E2 (Canada); Bortolotti, Gary R., E-mail: gary.bortolotti@usask.c [University of Saskatchewan, Department of Biology, 112 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5E2 (Canada); Smits, Judit E.G., E-mail: judit.smits@usask.c [University of Saskatchewan, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Pathology, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5B4 (Canada)

    2010-03-15

    In the Athabasca oil sands region of northern Alberta, mining companies are evaluating reclamation using constructed wetlands for integration of tailings. From May to July 2008, reproductive performance of 40 breeding pairs of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), plus growth and survival of nestlings, was measured on three reclaimed wetlands on two oil sands leases. A subset of nestlings was examined for i) feather corticosterone levels, ii) delayed-type hypersensitivity response, and iii) innate immune function. Nestlings on one of two wetlands created with oil sands process affected material (OSPM) were heavier and had greater wing-lengths, and mounted a stronger delayed-type hypersensitivity response compared those on the reference wetland. Corticosterone was significantly higher in male nestlings on one of two OSPM-containing wetland compared to the reference wetland. Body condition of 12-day-old female nestlings was inversely related to feather corticosterone. Under ideal weather conditions, reclaimed wetlands can support healthy populations of aerially-insectivorous birds. - Under ideal weather conditions, tree swallow nestlings on reclaimed OSPM-affected wetlands are in good body condition and mount strong cell-mediated immune responses.

  4. A Theoretical Investigation of the Structure and Reactivity of the Molecular Constituents of Oil Sand and Oil Shale

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parish, Carol A. [Univ. of Richmond, VA (United States)

    2016-11-28

    We used a variety of small organic models of asphaltenes to investigate the molecular mechanism for the high temperature decomposition that would take place as part of the oil refinery process. We determined that the decomposition is initiated via four different types of hydrogen migration reactions. According to the energetics of the reactions, the dominant 1,2-H shift mechanism involves two competitive product channels, namely, C2H2 + CH2CS and CS + CH3CCH. The minor channels include the formation of CS + CH2CCH2, H2S + C4H2, HCS + CH2CCH, CS + CH2CHCH, H + C4H3S, and HS + C4H3. We also investigated the alkyl substitution effect by exploring the decomposition pathways of models with alkyl arms. The energetics of such systems were very similar to that for unsubstituted model compounds, which suggests that asphaltene alkylation may not play a significant role in the decomposition of asphaltene compounds. This work was published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry A 2011, 115, 2882-2891. A MECHANISTIC STUDY OF THE 2-THIENYLMETHYL + HO2 RADICAL RECOMBINATION REACTION Radicals are molecules which contain single electrons. They are very reactive. Radical recombination reactions are important in the combustion of fuel oils. Shale oil contains radicals. We used quantum mechanics to explore the reactivity of shale oil model radical compounds. Seventeen product channels corresponding to either addition/elimination or direct hydrogen abstraction were characterized. Direct hydrogen abstraction proceeds via a weakly bonded complex, which leads to 2-methylthiophene, 2-methylene-2,3-dihydrothiophene or 2-methylene-2,5-dihydrothiophene depending upon the 2-thienylmethyl radical reaction site. The addition pathway for the two radical reactants is barrierless with the formation of three adducts, as distinguished by HO

  5. Source and distribution of naturally occurring arsenic in groundwater from Alberta’s Southern Oil Sands Regions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moncur, Michael C.; Paktunc, Dogan; Birks, S. Jean; Ptacek, Carol J.; Welsh, Brent; Thibault, Yves (CanmetMINING); (AER); (Alberta Innov.); (Waterloo)

    2016-06-10

    Arsenic (As) concentrations as high as 179 μg/L have been observed in shallow groundwater in the Alberta’s Southern Oil Sand Regions. The geology of this area of Alberta includes a thick cover (up to 200 m) of unconsolidated glacial deposits, with a number of regional interglacial sand and gravel aquifers, underlain by marine shale. Arsenic concentrations observed in 216 unconsolidated sediment samples ranged from 1 and 17 ppm. A survey of over 800 water wells sampled for As in the area found that 50% of the wells contained As concentrations exceeding drinking water guidelines of 10 μg/L. Higher As concentrations in groundwater were associated with reducing conditions. Measurements of As speciation from 175 groundwater samples indicate that As(III) was the dominant species in 74% of the wells. Speciation model calculations showed that the majority of groundwater samples were undersaturated with respect to ferrihydrite, suggesting that reductive dissolution of Fe-oxyhydroxides may be the source of some As in groundwater. Detailed mineralogical characterization of sediment samples collected from two formations revealed the presence of fresh framboidal pyrite in the deeper unoxidized sediments. Electron microprobe analysis employing wavelength dispersive spectrometry indicated that the framboidal pyrite had variable As content with an average As concentration of 530 ppm, reaching up to 1840 ppm. In contrast, the oxidized sediments did not contain framboidal pyrite, but exhibited spheroidal Fe-oxyhydroxide grains with elevated As concentrations. The habit and composition suggest that these Fe-oxyhydroxide grains in the oxidized sediment were an alteration product of former framboidal pyrite grains. X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy (XANES) indicated that the oxidized sediments are dominated by As(V) species having spectral features similar to those of goethite or ferrihydrite with adsorbed As, suggesting that Fe-oxyhydroxides are the dominant As carriers

  6. Toxicity of aqueous vanadium to zooplankton and phytoplankton species of relevance to the athabasca oil sands region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiffer, Stephanie; Liber, Karsten

    2017-03-01

    Vanadium (V) is an abundant trace metal present in bitumen from the Athabasca Oil Sands (AOS) region in Alberta, Canada. The upgrading of bitumen can result in the production of large volumes of a carbonaceous material referred to as petroleum coke that contains V at elevated levels compared to the native bitumen. Previous studies have shown that coke has the capacity to leach ecotoxicologically relevant levels of V into water it contacts, yet limited data are available on the toxicity of aqueous V to planktonic organisms. Therefore, this study set out to evaluate the acute and chronic toxicity of V (as vanadate oxyanions) to freshwater zooplankton and phytoplankton species that are either commonly-used laboratory species, or species more regionally-representative of northern Alberta. Four cladoceran (2-d and 21-d tests) and two algal (3-d tests) species were exposed to V to obtain both acute and chronic toxicity estimates. Acute V toxicity (LC50s) ranged from 0.60mgV/L for Ceriodaphnia quadrangula to 2.17mgV/L for Daphnia pulex. Chronic toxicity estimates (EC50s) for cladoceran survival and reproduction were nearly identical within species and ranged from a low of 0.13 to a high of 0.46mgV/L for Daphnia dentifera and D. pulex, respectively. The lack of sublethal V toxicity in daphnia suggests a direct mechanism of toxicity through ion imbalance. Growth inhibition (EC50) of green algae occurred at concentrations of 3.24 and 4.12mgV/L for Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata and Scenedesmus quadricauda, respectively. Overall, cladocerans were more sensitive to V than green algae, with survival of the field-collected D. dentifera being approximately 2.5 to 3.5 times more sensitive to acute and chronic V exposure than the standard test species D. pulex. However, there were no significant differences in V toxicity between the field-collected cladocerans Simocephalus serrulatus and C. quadrangula, compared to the respective standard species D. pulex and Ceriodaphnia dubia

  7. Anaerobic BTEX degradation in oil sands tailings ponds: Impact of labile organic carbon and sulfate-reducing bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stasik, Sebastian; Wick, Lukas Y; Wendt-Potthoff, Katrin

    2015-11-01

    The extraction of bitumen from oil sands in Alberta (Canada) produces volumes of tailings that are pumped into large anaerobic settling-basins. Beside bitumen, tailings comprise fractions of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) that derive from the application of industrial solvents. Due to their toxicity and volatility, BTEX pose a strong concern for gas- and water-phase environments in the vicinity of the ponds. The examination of two pond profiles showed that concentrations of indigenous BTEX decreased with depth, pointing at BTEX transformation in situ. With depth, the relative contribution of ethylbenzene and xylenes to total BTEX significantly decreased, while benzene increased relatively from 44% to 69%, indicating preferential hydrocarbon degradation. To predict BTEX turnover and residence time, we determined BTEX degradation rates in tailings of different depths in a 180-days microcosm study. In addition, we evaluated the impact of labile organic substrates (e.g. acetate) generally considered to stimulate hydrocarbon degradation and the contribution of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) to BTEX turnover. In all depths, BTEX concentrations significantly decreased due to microbial activity, with degradation rates ranging between 4 and 9 μg kg(-1) d(-1). BTEX biodegradation decreased linearly in correlation with initial concentrations, suggesting a concentration-dependent BTEX transformation. SRB were not significantly involved in BTEX consumption, indicating the importance of methanogenic degradation. BTEX removal decreased to 70-90% in presence of organic substrates presumptively due to an accumulation of acetate that lowered BTEX turnover due to product inhibition. In those assays SRB slightly stimulated BTEX transformation by reducing inhibitory acetate levels. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Addressing complexity and uncertainty: conceptual models and expert judgments applied to migratory birds in the oil sands of Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc A. Nelitz

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Complexity and uncertainty are inherent in social-ecological systems. Although they can create challenges for scientists and decision makers, they cannot be a reason for delaying decision making. Two strategies have matured in recent decades to address these challenges. Systems thinking, as embodied by conceptual modeling, is a holistic approach in which a system can be better understood by examining it as a whole. Expert elicitation represents a second strategy that enables a greater diversity of inputs to understand complex systems. We explored the use of conceptual models and expert judgments to inform expansion of monitoring around oil sands development in northern Alberta, Canada, particularly related to migratory forest birds. This study area is a complex social-ecological system for which there is an abundance of specific information, but a relatively weak understanding about system behavior. Multiple conceptual models were developed to represent complexity and provide a more fulsome view of influences across the landscape. A hierarchical approach proved useful, and a mechanistic structure of the models clarified the cumulative and interactive nature of factors within and outside the study area. To address gaps in understanding, expert judgments were integrated using a series of structured exercises to derive "weightings" of importance of different components in the conceptual models, specifically pairwise comparisons, Likert scaling, and a maximum difference conjoint approach. These exercises were helpful for discriminating the importance of different influences and illuminating the competing beliefs of experts. Various supporting tools helped us engage a group of experts from across North America, which included a virtual meeting, online polling, desktop sharing, web survey, and financial incentive. This combination of techniques was innovative and proved useful for addressing complexity and uncertainty in a specific natural resource

  9. Improved satellite retrievals of NO2 and SO2 over the Canadian oil sands and comparisons with surface measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLinden, C. A.; Fioletov, V.; Boersma, K. F.; Kharol, S. K.; Krotkov, N.; Lamsal, L.; Makar, P. A.; Martin, R. V.; Veefkind, J. P.; Yang, K.

    2014-04-01

    Satellite remote sensing is increasingly being used to monitor air quality over localized sources such as the Canadian oil sands. Following an initial study, significantly low biases have been identified in current NO2 and SO2 retrieval products from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) satellite sensor over this location resulting from a combination of its rapid development and small spatial scale. Air mass factors (AMFs) used to convert line-of-sight "slant" columns to vertical columns were re-calculated for this region based on updated and higher resolution input information including absorber profiles from a regional-scale (15 km × 15 km resolution) air quality model, higher spatial and temporal resolution surface reflectivity, and an improved treatment of snow. The overall impact of these new Environment Canada (EC) AMFs led to substantial increases in the peak NO2 and SO2 average vertical column density (VCD), occurring over an area of intensive surface mining, by factors of 2 and 1.4, respectively, relative to estimates made with previous AMFs. Comparisons are made with long-term averages of NO2 and SO2 (2005-2011) from in situ surface monitors by using the air quality model to map the OMI VCDs to surface concentrations. This new OMI-EC product is able to capture the spatial distribution of the in situ instruments (slopes of 0.65 to 1.0, correlation coefficients of >0.9). The concentration absolute values from surface network observations were in reasonable agreement, with OMI-EC NO2 and SO2 biased low by roughly 30%. Several complications were addressed including correction for the interference effect in the surface NO2 instruments and smoothing and clear-sky biases in the OMI measurements. Overall these results highlight the importance of using input information that accounts for the spatial and temporal variability of the location of interest when performing retrievals.

  10. Determining the presence of dipropylene glycol n-butyl ether (DPnB) in sediments and sands contaminated by the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boehman, B.; Lyons, S. L.; Geng, Z.; White, H. K.

    2016-02-01

    In an attempt to mitigate the impact of the oil released from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, chemical dispersants (Corexit 9527 and Corexit 9500A, from Nalco Co.) were applied to the surface and subsurface waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Over the past five years studies have investigated the fate of oil from the spill and the applied dispersants, although significantly less is known about the latter. To determine the presence of dispersant in environmental samples, dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DOSS), a component of both Corexit mixtures, has previously been examined in samples taken from the water column, coastal beaches and deep-sea sediments. This study expands upon this work by developing a method to extract dipropylene glycol n-butyl ether (DPnB), an additional compound present in Corexit, from sand and sediment samples contaminated with oil from the DWH spill. Controls spiked with a known quantity of DPnB were extracted with a range of organic solvents of different polarities to optimize the extraction of DPnB. Total organic extracts were then subjected to silica gel chromatography to isolate DPnB from any oil that was co-extracted. All samples were concentrated prior to analysis via gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) using selected ion monitoring (SIM). The analysis and quantification of DPnB, which has different chemical properties than DOSS, will provide additional insight into the mechanisms that control the fate of oil and dispersant mixtures in the marine environment.

  11. Impact of the Aegean Sea oil spill on the subtidal fine sand macrobenthic community of the Ares-Betanzos Ria (Northwest Spain)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gomez Gesteira, J.L. [Vigo Univ. (Spain). Grupo de Fisica Oceanographic y de Costas; Dauvin, J.C. [Universite des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, Wimereux (France). Station Marine

    2005-09-01

    Two sites located in the sublittoral fine-sand macrobenthic community of the Ares-Betanzos Ria were sampled over four years (December 1992-November 1996) in the wake of the Aegean Sea oil spill. This sampling revealed that the petroleum had affected the structure and abundance of this community, as well as the number of taxa present. In this context, the results of the biotic index and the biotic coefficient were insufficient; however, study of the synthetic parameters, particularly through multivariate analysis, showed that the community went through three successive and distinct phases over time. A short period of high mortality in some species, especially amphipods, was followed by a period of low abundance that lasted until the spring of 1995. A period of recovery began in the second half of 1995 and continued through to the end of 1996, when the survey ended. The community showed a gradual evolution back towards the conditions observed immediately after the spill, when abundance of the more resistant species was still high. Despite this similarity, the last period exhibits a new structure, clearly separate from the two previous periods. This study provides information about the short-term effects of the Aegean Sea oil spill on the fine sand bottoms of the sites surveyed in the Ares-Betanzos Ria. This information could also serve as a baseline for identifying the effects of a more recent accident, the Prestige oil spill, in which similar communities in other Galician rias were polluted in 2002-2003. (author)

  12. Determining the effect of oil sands process-affected water on grazing behaviour of Daphnia magna, long-term consequences, and mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lari, Ebrahim; Wiseman, Steve; Mohaddes, Effat; Morandi, Garrett; Alharbi, Hattan; Pyle, Greg G

    2016-03-01

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is a byproduct of the extraction of bitumen in the surface-mining oil sands industry and is currently stored in on-site tailings ponds. OSPW from three oil sands companies were studied to capture some of the variability associated with OSPW characteristics. To investigate the effect and mechanism(s) of effect of OSPW on feeding behaviour, Daphnia magna were exposed to low OSPW concentrations for 24 h and monitored for their feeding rate, olfactory response and swimming activity. The Al and Si content, which are indicators of suspended particulate matter in D. magna exposed to OSPW were investigated using energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy. In long-term experiments, effects of exposure to OSPW for 21 days on feeding behaviour, growth, and reproduction of D. magna were evaluated. Feeding rates were similar among the three exposure populations, yielding a 24 h IC50 of 5.3% OSPW. Results of behavioural assays suggest that OSPW impairs the chemosensory function and reduces the total activity of D. magna. In EDX spectroscopy, Al and Si were detected in the body of the exposed D. magna, suggesting that D. magna filter clay particles from the OSPW solution. Results of the long-term exposure showed that OSPW significantly inhibits feeding behaviour, suppresses growth, and reduces reproductive output of D. magna. There were no differences in the toxicity of the three samples of OSPW, which was in agreement with the fact that there were no differences in the species of dissolved organic compounds in the OSPW samples. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) Satellite Validations of Ammonia, Methanol, Formic Acid, and Carbon Monoxide over the Canadian Oil Sands

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The URLs link to the data archive of the Troposphere Emission Spectrometer (TES) retrievals. These include the transects included in the Canadian Tar Sands study. A...

  14. Water, Energy and Carbon Balance Research: Recovery Trajectories For Oil Sands Reclamation and Disturbed Watersheds in the Western Boreal Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrone, R. M.; Carey, S. K.

    2014-12-01

    The Oil Sand Region (OSR) of North-Central Alberta exists within the sub-humid Boreal Plains (BP) ecozone, with a slight long-term moisture deficit regime. Despite this deficit, the BP is comprised of productive wetland and mixed wood (aspen and conifer dominated) forests. Reclamation activities are now underway at a large number of surface mining operations in the OSR, where target ecosystems are identified, soil prescriptions placed and commercial forest species planted. Some watersheds have been created that now contain wetlands. However, recent work in the BP suggests that over time wetlands supply moisture for the productivity of upland forests. Thus, water use of reclaimed forests is going to be critical in determining the sustainability of these systems and adjacent wetlands, and whether in time, either will achieve some form of equivalent capability that will allow for certification by regulators. A critical component in the success of any reclamation is that sufficient water is available to support target ecosystems through the course of natural climate cycles in the region. Water Use Efficiency (WUE), which links photosynthesis (GEP) with water use (Evapotranspiration (ET)), provides a useful metric to compare ecosystems and evaluate their utilization of resources. In this study, 41 site years of total growing season water and carbon flux data over 8 sites (4 reclamation, 4 regeneration) were evaluated using eddy covariance micrometeorological towers. WUE shows clear discrimination among ecosystem types as aspen stands assimilate more carbon per unit weight of water than conifers. WUEs also change with time as ecosystems become more effective at transpiring water through plant pathways compared with bare-soil evaporation, which allows an assessment of ability to limit water loss without carbon uptake. In addition, clonal rooting systems allow aspen forests to recover quicker after disturbance than reclamation sites in terms of their WUE. For reclamation

  15. The symbiotic relationship of sediment and biofilm dynamics at the sediment water interface of oil sands industrial tailings ponds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, T; VanMensel, D; Droppo, I G; Weisener, C G

    2016-09-01

    Within the oil sands industry, tailings ponds are used as a means of retaining tailings until a reclamation technology such as end pit lakes (EPLs) can be developed and optimized to remediate such tailings with a water cap (although dry-land strategies for tailing reclamation are also being developed). EPLs have proven successful for other mining ventures (e.g. metal rock mines) in eventually mitigating contaminant loads to receiving waters once biochemical remediation has taken place (although the duration for this to occur may be decades). While the biological interactions at the sediment water interface of tailings ponds or EPLs have been shown to control biogeochemical processes (i.e. chemical fluxes and redox profiles), these have often been limited to static microcosm conditions. Results from such experiments may not tell the whole story given that the sediment water interface often represents a dynamic environment where erosion and deposition may be occurring in association with microbial growth and decay. Mobilization of sediments and associated contaminants may therefore have a profound effect on remediation rates and, as such, may decrease the effectiveness of EPLs as viable reclamation strategies for mining industries. Using a novel core erosion system (U-GEMS), this paper examines how the microbial community can influence sediment water interface stability and how the biofilm community may change with tailings age and after disturbance (biofilm reestablishment). Shear strength, eroded mass measurements, density gradients, high-resolution microscopy, and microbial community analyses were made on 2 different aged tailings (fresh and ∼38 years) under biotic and abiotic conditions. The same experiments were repeated as duplicates with both sets of experiments having consolidation/biostabilization periods of 21 days. Results suggest that the stability of the tailings varies between types and conditions with the fresh biotic tailings experiencing up to 75

  16. Source apportionment of ambient fine and coarse particulate matter at the Fort McKay community site, in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Matthew S; Patrick Pancras, J; Graney, Joseph R; White, Emily M; Edgerton, Eric S; Legge, Allan; Percy, Kevin E

    2017-04-15

    An ambient air particulate matter sampling study was conducted at the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) AMS-1 Fort McKay monitoring station in the Athabasca Oil Sand Region (AOSR) in Alberta, Canada from February 2010 to July 2011. Daily 24h integrated fine (PM2.5) and coarse (PM10-2.5) particulate matter was collected using a sequential dichotomous sampler. Over the duration of the study, 392 valid daily dichotomous PM2.5 and PM10-2.5 sample pairs were collected with concentrations of 6.8±12.9μgm-3 (mean±standard deviation) and 6.9±5.9μgm-3, respectively. A subset of 100 filter pairs was selected for element analysis by energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence and dynamic reaction cell inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Application of the U.S. EPA positive matrix factorization (PMF) receptor model to the study data matrix resolved five PM2.5 sources explaining 96% of the mass including oil sands upgrading (32%), fugitive dust (26%), biomass combustion (25%), long-range Asian transport lead source (9%), and winter road salt (4%). An analysis of historical PM2.5 data at this site shows that the impact of smoke from wildland fires was particularly high during the summer of 2011. PMF resolved six PM10-2.5 sources explaining 99% of the mass including fugitive haul road dust (40%), fugitive oil sand (27%), a mixed source fugitive dust (16%), biomass combustion (12%), mobile source (3%), and a local copper factor (1%). Results support the conclusion of a previous epiphytic lichen biomonitor study that near-field atmospheric deposition in the AOSR is dominated by coarse fraction fugitive dust from bitumen mining and upgrading operations, and suggest that fugitive dust abatement strategies targeting the three major sources of PM10-2.5 (e.g., oil sand mining, haul roads, bulk material stockpiles) would significantly reduce near-field atmospheric deposition gradients in the AOSR and reduce ambient PM concentrations in the Fort McKay community

  17. DNA stable-isotope probing of oil sands tailings pond enrichment cultures reveals different key players for toluene degradation under methanogenic and sulfidogenic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laban, Nidal Abu; Dao, Anh; Foght, Julia

    2015-05-01

    Oil sands tailings ponds are anaerobic repositories of fluid wastes produced by extraction of bitumen from oil sands ores. Diverse indigenous microbiota biodegrade hydrocarbons (including toluene) in situ, producing methane, carbon dioxide and/or hydrogen sulfide, depending on electron acceptor availability. Stable-isotope probing of cultures enriched from tailings associated specific taxa and functional genes to (13)C6- and (12)C7-toluene degradation under methanogenic and sulfate-reducing conditions. Total DNA was subjected to isopycnic ultracentrifugation followed by gradient fraction analysis using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and construction of 16S rRNA, benzylsuccinate synthase (bssA) and dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrB) gene clone libraries. T-RFLP analysis plus sequencing and in silico digestion of cloned taxonomic and functional genes revealed that Clostridiales, particularly Desulfosporosinus (136 bp T-RF) contained bssA genes and were key toluene degraders during methanogenesis dominated by Methanosaeta. Deltaproteobacterial Desulfobulbaceae (157 bp T-RF) became dominant under sulfidogenic conditions, likely because the Desulfosporosinus T-RF 136 apparently lacks dsrB and therefore, unlike its close relatives, is presumed incapable of dissimilatory sulfate reduction. We infer incomplete oxidation of toluene by Desulfosporosinus in syntrophic association with Methanosaeta under methanogenic conditions, and complete toluene oxidation by Desulfobulbaceae during sulfate reduction. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. A hybrid froth flotation-filtration system as a pretreatment for oil sands tailings pond recycle water management: Bench- and pilot-scale studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loganathan, Kavithaa; Bromley, David; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2015-09-15

    Through sustainable water management, oil sands companies are working to reduce their reliance on fresh water by minimizing the amount of water required for their operations and by recycling water from tailings ponds. This study was the first pilot-scale testing of a hybrid technology consisting of froth flotation combined with filtration through precoated submerged stainless steel membranes used to treat recycle water from an oil sands facility. The results indicated that the most important factor affecting the performance of the hybrid system was the influent water quality. Any rise in the levels of suspended solids or total organic carbon of the feed water resulted in changes of chemical consumption rates, flux rates, and operating cycle durations. The selections of chemical type and dosing rates were critical in achieving optimal performance. In particular, the froth application rate heavily affected the overall recovery of the hybrid system as well as the performance of the flotation process. Optimum surfactant usage to generate froth (per liter of treated water) was 0.25 mL/L at approximately 2000 NTU of influent turbidity and 0.015 mL/L at approximately 200 NTU of influent turbidity. At the tested conditions, the optimal coagulant dose was 80 mg/L (as Al) at approximately 2000 NTU of influent turbidity and recycle water. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Application of passive sonar technology to mineral processing and oil sands applications : if you can measure it, you can manage it

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O' Keefe, C.; Viega, J.; Fernald, M. [CiDRA Corp., Wallingford, CT (United States)

    2007-07-01

    SONAR-based flow and entrained air measurement instruments were described. This new class of industrial flow and compositional analyzers was developed by CiDRA to provide new measurement insight and quantifiable value to industrial process operators. Passive sonar array-based processing units have been installed worldwide in several industrial applications and are particularly suited for a wide range of mineral processing applications, including slurry flow rate measurement and fluid characterization. This paper also described the SONAR-based, clamp-on SONARtrac technology, a scalable platform that provides several other value added measurements and information such as speed of sound, entrained air/gas, gas hold-up, and velocity profile. Oil sands, tailings and bitumen slurries present considerable measurement challenges for in-line flow measurement devices in terms of measurement accuracy, reliability and maintenance. The sonar-based technology platform has been used in a variety of oil sands processes, hydrotransport, and minerals beneficiation applications. This paper described these applications with particular reference to difficult slurry flow measurement and control in the areas of comminution and flotation such as mill discharge, hydrocyclone feed/overflow, final concentrate, thickener discharge, and tailings. 5 refs., 4 tabs., 23 figs.

  20. Unconventional pilot steam drive, tar V sand, Long Beach unit, Wilmington Field, CA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jung, K.D.

    1984-04-01

    This paper reviews the design, implementation and history of the unconventional pilot steam drive (greater than 2,500 ft measured depth) that has been underway since December 24, 1980 in the Tar reservoir in the Long Beach Unit, Wilmington Field, Los Angeles County, California. This paper describes the project through November 30, 1983. The Tar V reservoir is a series of interbedded sands, siltstones and shales in the Middle Repetto formation of lower Pliocene age. The Tar V reservoir in the Long Beach Unit is approximately 200 acres in areal extent, has a vertical gross thickness of 185 ft and a maximum vertical net oil sand thickness of 90 ft comprised of 8 to 10 separate sand units. Oil in place is estimated at 27 MMbbl of stock tank oil. The study area is 9.2 acres in areal extent with an average net oil sand thickness of 81.7 ft. The pilot steam drive was originally installed as an isolated 5.6 acre inverted 5-spot pattern.

  1. Advanced testing and characterization of transportation soils and bituminous sands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Anochie-Boateng, Joseph

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Modulus with Hydrostatic Stress for Oil Sands at 30oC. .......... 79 FIGURE 4.7 Bulk Modulus Model 3 Performances for Oil Sand Samples at 20oC................... 82 FIGURE 4.8 Bulk Modulus Model 3 Performances for Oil Sand Samples at 30o... of Resilient Modulus with Applied Deviator Stress at Two Test Temperatures for AU-14 Sample............................................................................................. 140 FIGURE 6.15 Performances of the SE-09 Oil sand Sample Resilient...

  2. Endocrine disruption and oxidative stress in larvae of Chironomus dilutus following short-term exposure to fresh or aged oil sands process-affected water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiseman, S B; Anderson, J C; Liber, K; Giesy, J P

    2013-10-15

    Understanding the toxicity of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is a significant issue associated with the production of oil from the Alberta oil sands. OSPW is acutely and chronically toxic to organisms, including larvae of Chironomus dilutus. In this study, fresh OSPW ('WIP-OSPW') was collected from the West In-Pit settling pond and aged OSPW ('FE5-OSPW') was collected from the FE5 experimental reclamation pond, both of which are located on the Syncrude Canada Ltd. lease site near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Larvae of C. dilutus were exposed to a freshwater control, WIP-OSPW, or FE5-OSPW for 4 or 7 days and survival, growth, and markers of oxidative stress and endocrine disruption were assessed. Survival was not significantly different among treatment groups. Compared to masses of larvae exposed to freshwater, masses of larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW were 49% lesser on day 4 and 62% lesser on day 7. However, organisms exposed to FE5-OSPW did not have significantly lesser masses than controls. Abundances of transcripts of glutathione-s-transferase (gst), catalase (cat), and glutathione peroxidase (gpx), which are important for the response to oxidative stress, were significantly altered in larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW, but not FE5-OSPW, relative to controls. Peroxidation of lipids was greater in larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW, but not FE5-OSPW. Exposure to fresh OSPW might have caused endocrine disruption because abundances of transcripts of the steroid hormone receptors, ultraspiricle protein (usp), ecysteroid receptor (esr), and estrogen related receptor (err) were greater in larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW for 7 days, but not FE5-OSPW. These results suggest that lesser growth of larvae of C. dilutus exposed to fresh OSPW might be due to oxidative stress and disruption of endocrine processes, and that aging of OSPW attenuates these adverse effects. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Fontainebleau Sand

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leth, Caspar Thrane

    2006-01-01

    The report is a summary of results from laboratory tests in the geotechncial research group on Fontainebleau sand.......The report is a summary of results from laboratory tests in the geotechncial research group on Fontainebleau sand....

  4. Estimation of vanadium water quality benchmarks for the protection of aquatic life with relevance to the Athabasca Oil Sands region using species sensitivity distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiffer, Stephanie; Liber, Karsten

    2017-11-01

    Elevated vanadium (V) concentrations in oil sands coke, which is produced and stored on site of some major Athabasca Oil Sands companies, could pose a risk to aquatic ecosystems in northern Alberta, Canada, depending on its future storage and utilization. In the present study, V toxicity was determined in reconstituted Athabasca River water to various freshwater organisms, including 2 midge species (Chironomus dilutus and Chironomus riparius; 4-d and 30-d to 40-d exposures) and 2 freshwater fish species (Oncorhynchus mykiss and Pimephales promelas; 4-d and 28-d exposures) to facilitate estimation of water quality benchmarks. The acute toxicity of V was 52.0 and 63.2 mg/L for C. dilutus and C. riparius, respectively, and 4.0 and 14.8 mg V/L for P. promelas and O. mykiss, respectively. Vanadium exposure significantly impaired adult emergence of C. dilutus and C. riparius at concentrations ≥16.7 (31.6% reduction) and 8.3 (18.0% reduction) mg/L, respectively. Chronic toxicity in fish presented as lethality, with chronic 28-d LC50s of 0.5 and 4.3 mg/L for P. promelas and O. mykiss, respectively. These data were combined with data from the peer-reviewed literature, and separate acute and chronic species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) were constructed. The acute and chronic hazardous concentrations endangering only 5% of species (HC5) were estimated as 0.64 and 0.05 mg V/L, respectively. These new data for V toxicity to aquatic organisms ensure that there are now adequate data available for regulatory agencies to develop appropriate water quality guidelines for use in the Athabasca Oil Sands region and elsewhere. Until then, the HC5 values presented in the present study could serve as interim benchmarks for the protection of aquatic life from exposure to hazardous levels of V in local aquatic environments. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:3034-3044. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

  5. Alternate approaches for assessing impacts of oil sands development on air quality: A case study using the First Nation Community of Fort McKay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Carla; Spink, David

    2017-09-25

    Previous analyses of continuously measured compounds in Fort McKay, an indigenous community in the Athabasca Oil Sands, have detected increasing concentrations of NO2 and total hydrocarbons (THC), but not of SO2, O3, total reduced sulfur compounds (TRS) or particulate matter (PM2.5). Yet the community frequently experiences odours, dust, and reduced air quality. We used Fort McKay's continuously monitored air quality data (1998-2014) as a case study to assess techniques for air quality analysis that make no assumptions regarding type of change. Linear trends analysis detected increasing concentrations of higher percentiles of NO2, NO and NOx, and THC. However, comparisons of all compounds between an early industrial expansion period (1998-2001) and current-day (2011-2014) show that concentrations of NO2, SO2, THC, TRS and PM2.5 have significantly increased, while concentrations of O3 are significantly lower. An assessment of the frequency and duration of periods when concentrations of each compound were above a variety of thresholds indicates that the frequency of air quality events is increasing for NO2, and THC. Assessment of change over time with odds ratios of the 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentile concentrations for each compound compared to an estimate of natural background variability showed that concentrations of TRS, SO2 and THC are dynamic, higher than background, and changes are non-linear and non-monotonic. An assessment of concentrations as a function of wind direction showed a clear and generally increasing influence of industry on air quality. This work shows that evaluating air quality without assumptions of linearity reveals dynamic changes in air quality in Fort McKay, and that it is increasingly being affected by oil sands operations. Implication Statement: Understanding the nature and types of air quality changes occurring in a community or region are essential for the development of appropriate air quality management policies. Time series

  6. Cover systems in the Athabasca oil sands : a summary of the Green Bullet and ten years of reclamation research at Syncrude Canada Ltd.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O' Kane, M. [O' Kane Consultants Inc., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2010-02-15

    This PowerPoint presentation discussed the use of a dry cover system over oil sand tailings as land reclamation strategy. Dry covers can range from a single layer of earthen material to several layers of different material types, including native soils, non-reactive tailings or waste rock, geosynthetic materials, and oxygen consuming organic materials. The 3 prototype covers used in the Athabasca deposit in northern Alberta include peat, glacial till and sedge-sphagnum open bog (SSOB). The hydraulic role of the covers was described. This presentation also described how the physical reclamation works, with particular reference to how the area is contoured to ensure proper drainage. Soil and vegetation assessments are undertaken to ensure the reclamation amendments are achieving the goals of the reclamation plan. tabs., figs.

  7. Paleolimnological assessment of nutrient enrichment on diatom assemblages in a priori defined nitrogen- and phosphorus-limited lakes downwind of the Athabasca Oil Sands, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen R. Laird

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available As the industrial footprint of the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR continues to expand, concern about the potential impacts of pollutants on the surrounding terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems need to be assessed. An emerging issue is whether recent increases in lake production downwind of the development can be linked to AOSR activities, and/or whether changing climatic conditions are influencing lake nutrient status. To decipher the importance of pollutants, particularly atmospheric deposition of reactive nitrogen (Nr, and the effects of climate change as potential sources of increasing lake production, lakes from both within and outside of the nitrogen deposition zone were analyzed for historical changes in diatom assemblages. Lake sediment cores were collected from a priori defined nitrogen (N - and phosphorus (P - limited lakes within and outside the N plume associated with the AOSR. Diatom assemblages were quantified at sub-decadal resolution since ca. 1890 to compare conditions prior to oil sands expansion and regional climate warming, to the more recent conditions in each group of lakes (Reference and Impacted, N- and P-limited lakes. Analyses of changes in assemblage similarity and species turnover indicates that changes in diatom assemblages were minimal both within and across all lake groups.  Small changes in percent composition of planktonic taxa, particularly small centric taxa (Discostella and Cyclotella species and pennate taxa, such as Asterionella formosa and Fragilaria crotonensis, occurred in some of the lakes. While these changes were consistent with potential climate effects on algal growth, water column stability and other factors; the timing and direction of biotic changes were variable among sites suggesting that any apparent response to climate was lake dependent. The absence of a consistent pattern of diatom changes associated with receipt of reactive nitrogen or intrinsic nutrient-limitation status of the lake

  8. Biogeochemical processes controlling the mobility of major ions and trace metals in aquitard sediments beneath an oil sand tailing pond: laboratory studies and reactive transport modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holden, A A; Haque, S E; Mayer, K U; Ulrich, A C

    2013-08-01

    Increased production and expansion of the oil sand industry in Alberta are of great benefit to the economy, but they carry major environmental challenges. The volume of fluid fine tailings requiring storage is 840×10(6) m(3) and growing, making it imperative that we better understand the fate and transport of oil sand process-affected water (OSPW) seepage from these facilities. Accordingly, the current study seeks to characterize both a) the potential for major ion and trace element release, and b) the principal biogeochemical processes involved, as tailing pond OSPW infiltrates into, and interacts with, underlying glacial till sediments prior to reaching down gradient aquifers or surface waters. Objectives were addressed through a series of aqueous and solid phase experiments, including radial diffusion cells, an isotope analysis, X-ray diffraction, and sequential extractions. The diffusion cells were also simulated in a reactive transport framework to elucidate key reaction processes. The experiments indicate that the ingress and interaction of OSPW with the glacial till sediment-pore water system will result in: a mitigation of ingressing Na (retardation), displacement and then limited precipitation of exchangeable Ca and Mg (as carbonates), sulfate reduction and subsequent precipitation of the produced sulfides, as well as biodegradation of organic carbon. High concentrations of ingressing Cl (~375 mg L(-1)) and Na (~575 mg L(-1)) (even though the latter is delayed, or retarded) are expected to migrate through the till and into the underlying sand channel. Trace element mobility was influenced by ion exchange, oxidation-reduction, and mineral phase reactions including reductive dissolution of metal oxyhydroxides - in accordance with previous observations within sandy aquifer settings. Furthermore, although several trace elements showed the potential for release (Al, B, Ba, Cd, Mn, Pb, Si, Sr), large-scale mobilization is not supported. Thus, the present

  9. Identification of individual tetra- and pentacyclic naphthenic acids in oil sands process water by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowland, Steven J; West, Charles E; Scarlett, Alan G; Jones, David; Frank, Richard A

    2011-05-15

    The oils sands industry of Canada produces large volumes of process water (OSPW) which is stored in large lagoons. The OSPW contains complex mixtures of somewhat toxic, water-soluble, acid-extractable organic matter sometimes called 'naphthenic acids' (NA). Concerns have been raised over the possible environmental impacts of leakage of OSPW and a need has therefore arisen for better characterisation of the NA. Recently, we reported the first identification of numerous individual tricyclic NA in OSPW by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC/ToF-MS) of the methyl esters. The acids were diamondoid adamantane acids, resulting, it was proposed, from biotransformation of the corresponding alkyladamantane hydrocarbons, which is a known process. Biotransformation of higher alkylated diamondoid hydrocarbons was, until now, unknown but here we describe the identification of numerous pentacyclic NA as diamantane and alkyldiamantane acids, using the same methods. Further, we suggest tentative structures for some of the tetracyclic acids formed, we propose, by ring-opening of alkyldiamantanes. We suggest that this is further evidence that some of the acid-extractable organic matter in the OSPW originates from extensive biodegradation of the oil, whether in-reservoir or environmental, although other oxidative routes (e.g. processing) may also be possible. The results may be important for helping to better focus reclamation and remediation strategies for NA and for facilitating the identification of the sources of NA in contaminated environmental samples. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  10. Biodegradation of subsurface oil in a tidally influenced sand beach: Impact of hydraulics and interaction with pore water chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Xiaolong; Boufadel, Michel C.; Lee, Kenneth; Abrams, Stewart; Suidan, Makram

    2015-05-01

    The aerobic biodegradation of oil in tidally influenced beaches was investigated numerically in this work using realistic beach and tide conditions. A numerical model BIOMARUN, coupling a multiple-Monod kinetic model BIOB to a density-dependent variably saturated groundwater flow model 2-D MARUN, was used to simulate the biodegradation of low-solubility hydrocarbon and transport processes of associated solute species (i.e., oxygen and nitrogen) in a tidally influenced beach environment. It was found that different limiting factors affect different portions of the beach. In the upper intertidal zone, where the inland incoming nutrient concentration was large (1.2 mg N/L), oil biodegradation occurred deeper in the beach (i.e., 0.3 m below the surface). In the midintertidal zone, a reversal was noted where the biodegradation was fast at shallow locations (i.e., 0.1 m below the surface), and it was due to the decrease of oxygen with depth due to consumption, which made oxygen the limiting factor for biodegradation. Oxygen concentration in the midintertidal zone exhibited two peaks as a function of time. One peak was associated with the high tide, when dissolved oxygen laden seawater filled the beach and a second oxygen peak was observed during low tides, and it was due to pore oxygen replenishment from the atmosphere. The effect of the capillary fringe (CF) height was investigated, and it was found that there is an optimal CF for the maximum biodegradation of oil in the beach. Too large a CF (i.e., very fine material) would attenuate oxygen replenishment (either from seawater or the atmosphere), while too small a CF (i.e., very coarse material) would reduce the interaction between microorganisms and oil in the upper intertidal zone due to rapid reduction in the soil moisture at low tide. This article was corrected on 22 JUN 2015. See the end of the full text for details.

  11. Permanent deformation behavior of naturally occurring bituminous sands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Anochie-Boateng, Joseph

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Oil sand, or tar sand, is a generic name given to bituminous sand deposits that are rich in bitumen or asphalt content to the extent that oil can be extracted from these deposits. The typical 8% to 15% presence of bitumen in the soil composition...

  12. Acid Deposition Simulations for Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Canadian Oil Sands, using the Global Environmental Multiscale - Modelling Air-quality and CHemistry (GEM-MACH) System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makar, Paul; Akingunola, Ayodeji; Moran, Michael; Wong, Isaac; Aherne, Julian; Hayden, Katherine; Li, Shao-Meng; Zhang, Junhua; Baratzedah, Pegha; Pabla, Balbir; Cheung, Philip; Cole, Amanda; Kirk, Jane; Scott, Ken

    2017-04-01

    The Global Environmental Multiscale - Modelling Air-quality and CHemistry (GEM-MACH) system (version 2) was used to carry out simulations of acid deposition for the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. These model predictions include the hourly deposition of four sulphur and eleven nitrogen containing species (SO2(g), HSO3(-)(aq) , SO4(2-)(aq), particulate sulphate, and NH3(g), NO2(g), HNO3(g), NH4(+)(aq), NO3(-)(aq), HONO(g), PAN(g), HNO4(g), particulate nitrate, particulate ammonium, and gaseous organic nitrate, respectively). A two-bin aerosol size distribution configuration of GEM-MACH was used to estimate the annual deposition of these chemicals, for the period August 1, 2013 through July 31, 2014, at two resolutions—a 10km resolution North American domain and a 2.5km resolution Alberta and Saskatchewan domain. The model estimates of acid deposition from both resolutions (version 2), were used to determine the relative contributions of the different species towards total sulphur and nitrogen deposition, and to evaluate the effect of model resolution on estimates of acid deposition. The potential ecosystem impacts of acid deposition were examined via comparison of model-predicted total deposition to different sources of sulphur and nitrogen critical load data, for forest and lake ecosystems in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan. The deposition estimates were compared to observations of snowpack sulphur and nitrogen ions, collected during the winter of 2013. The processes underlying acidifying deposition in the vicinity of the Canadian oil sands were examined in more detail using the 12-bin aerosol size distribution configuration of GEM-MACH (version 2), for a period from mid-August to mid-September 2013. This time period corresponds to an aircraft measurement intensive campaign designed to examine emissions, transportation, and deposition associated with air pollution sources in the Canadian oil sands. Multiple model simulation scenarios were

  13. Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) Satellite Validations of Ammonia, Methanol, Formic Acid, and Carbon Monoxide over the Canadian Oil Sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    The URLs link to the data archive of the Troposphere Emission Spectrometer (TES) retrievals. These include the transects included in the Canadian Tar Sands study. A brief description of TES is listed below. TES is a spectrometer that measures the infrared-light energy (radiance) emitted by Earth's surface and by gases and particles in Earth's atmosphere. Every substance warmer than absolute zero emits infrared radiation at certain signature wavelengths. Spectrometers measure this radiation as a means of identifying the substances.TES has very high spectral resolution, which gives it the ability to pinpoint the wavelengths at which the substances are emitting. This enables precise identification of the substances, and also provides information about their location in the atmosphere. Emission wavelengths can vary with temperature and pressure, so seeing the emissions with great precision enables scientists to infer the temperature and pressure of the chemicals from which they came. This, in turn, implies that the chemicals being observed are at a certain altitude where those temperatures and pressures apply. The ability to determine the altitude of the observed chemicals enables TES to distinguish radiation from the upper and lower atmosphere, and focus on the lower layer - the troposphere.Since it observes light in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, similar to night-vision goggles, TES can observe both day and night. Its spectral range overlaps t

  14. Net soil respiration and greenhouse gas balance along a sequence of forest disturbance to smallholder rubber and oil palm plantations in Sumatra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khusyu Aini, Fitri; Hergoualc'h, Kristell; Smith, Jo; Verchot, Louis; Martius, Christopher

    2017-04-01

    The rapid increase in demand for land to establish oil palm and rubber plantations has led to the conversion of forests, with potential impacts on greenhouse gas emissions and on climate change. This study evaluates the net greenhouse gas balance following forest change to other land uses, i.e. one year rubber plantation, twenty-year rubber plantation and eight year oil palm plantation on Sumatran mineral soils. None of the plantations had ever been fertilized previously. During this study they were fertilized to provide nitrogen at the recommended rate used by farmers (33.3 kg N ha-1 y-1). The ecosystem stores carbon in litterfall, standing litter biomass (undergrowth vegetation, leaves, twigs, litter on the soil surface), soil organic matter, root biomass, and standing tree biomass. It releases carbon to the atmosphere through soil respiration fluxes, negative values indicating that carbon is stored by the land use change and positive values indicating emissions to the atmosphere. Net soil respiration was assessed using a mass balance approach: standing litter and tree biomass were measured once; the rate of carbon accumulation from standing litter and tree biomass was calculated by dividing the stock by the age of plantation or the time since logging started in the disturbed forest. The carbon accumulation in standing litter, tree biomass in the forest and soil organic matter for all land-uses was estimated from available in the literature. Root biomass for each land-use system was calculated using the root:shoot ratio. The net soil respiration of carbon dioxide from the forest, disturbed forest, one year rubber plantation, twenty-year rubber plantation and oil palm plantation were calculated to be -6 (± 5), 12 (± 6), 11 (± 15), 10 (± 5), 39 (± 7) Mg ha-1 y-1, respectively. Soil nitrous oxide, methane and litterfall were measured for 14 months and respiration fluxes were measured for 5 months across land uses and different seasons. The measured emissions of

  15. The effect of high and low dissolved oxygen on the toxicity of oil sands coke and its leachate to Chironomus tentans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Squires, A.J.; Liber, K. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada)

    2003-07-01

    A study was conducted to assess the effect of low dissolved oxygen on the long-term leaching potential of the toxic constituents found in coke. Coke is one of the waste products produced during the oil sand upgrading process used at Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Suncor Energy Inc. Coke is contaminated by metals and organic compounds which can leach into the environment. In this study, coke from both companies was exposed to reconstituted water and high dissolved oxygen for a period of 30 days, during which time the overlying water containing the leachate and the coke pore-water was chemically analyzed. The benthic macroinvertebrate, Chironomus tentans, was exposed to the aged coke and the overlying leachate after the 30 day period. The study did not reveal any major difference in the survival or growth between the dissolved oxygen treatments or any of the leachate treatments. The macroinvertebrate in the aged Syncrude grew significantly while the Suncor coke strongly inhibited both survival and growth of the macroinvertebrate. The study demonstrates that coke has the potential to negatively affect benthic organisms if it is used uncovered in an aquatic reclamation effort.

  16. Research investigations in oil shale, tar sand, coal research, advanced exploratory process technology, and advanced fuels research: Volume 1 -- Base program. Final report, October 1986--September 1993

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, V.E.

    1994-05-01

    Numerous studies have been conducted in five principal areas: oil shale, tar sand, underground coal gasification, advanced process technology, and advanced fuels research. In subsequent years, underground coal gasification was broadened to be coal research, under which several research activities were conducted that related to coal processing. The most significant change occurred in 1989 when the agreement was redefined as a Base Program and a Jointly Sponsored Research Program (JSRP). Investigations were conducted under the Base Program to determine the physical and chemical properties of materials suitable for conversion to liquid and gaseous fuels, to test and evaluate processes and innovative concepts for such conversions, to monitor and determine environmental impacts related to development of commercial-sized operations, and to evaluate methods for mitigation of potential environmental impacts. This report is divided into two volumes: Volume 1 consists of 28 summaries that describe the principal research efforts conducted under the Base Program in five topic areas. Volume 2 describes tasks performed within the JSRP. Research conducted under this agreement has resulted in technology transfer of a variety of energy-related research information. A listing of related publications and presentations is given at the end of each research topic summary. More specific and detailed information is provided in the topical reports referenced in the related publications listings.

  17. Century-long source apportionment of PAHs in Athabasca oil sands region lakes using diagnostic ratios and compound-specific carbon isotope signatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jautzy, Josué; Ahad, Jason M E; Gobeil, Charles; Savard, Martine M

    2013-06-18

    Evaluating the impact that airborne contamination associated with Athabasca oil sands (AOS) mining operations has on the surrounding boreal forest ecosystem requires a rigorous approach to source discrimination. This study presents a century-long historical record of source apportionment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in dated sediments from two headwater lakes located approximately 40 and 55 km east from the main area of open pit mining activities. Concentrations of the 16 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) priority PAHs in addition to retene, dibenzothiophene (DBT), and six alkylated groups were measured, and both PAH molecular diagnostic ratios and carbon isotopic signatures (δ(13)C) of individual PAHs were used to differentiate natural from anthropogenic inputs. Although concentrations of PAHs in these lakes were low and below the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) guidelines, diagnostic ratios pointed to an increasingly larger input of petroleum-derived (i.e., petrogenic) PAHs over the past 30 years concomitant with δ(13)C values progressively shifting to the value of unprocessed AOS bitumen. This petrogenic source is attributed to the deposition of bitumen in dust particles associated with wind erosion from open pit mines.

  18. Formation and Growth of Sulfate Aerosols in the Presence of Hydrocarbons: Results from the 2013 Summer Oil Sands FOSSILs Field Campaign, Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiri, N.; Ghahremaninezhad, R.; Rempillo, O. T.; Norman, A. L.

    2014-12-01

    Sulfur dioxide oxidation and the effect of oxidation products in formation and growth of aerosols have been studied widely. Despite this, significant gaps still exist in understanding the role of organic matter in SO2 oxidation. Organic molecules, such as Criegee radicals originating from biogenic sources, are expected to be important for SO2 oxidation in addition to organic molecules of anthropogenic origin. A study of SO2 and aerosol sulfate downwind of the oil sands region was conducted as part of the FOSSILS campaign in the summer of 2013 to better understand aerosol growth from SO2 oxidation in the presence of hydrocarbons and the distribution of sulfate in size-segregated aerosols. Hydrocarbons present in the atmosphere during the sampling campaign, collected using evacuated canisters, were characterized using a pre-concentration trap coupled to a GC-FID. The results from this campaign will be explored to determine SO2 oxidation pathways and the effects of oxidation products to aerosol formation and growth.

  19. Silver-Ion Solid Phase Extraction Separation of Classical, Aromatic, Oxidized, and Heteroatomic Naphthenic Acids from Oil Sands Process-Affected Water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Rongfu; Chen, Yuan; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2016-06-21

    The separation of classical, aromatic, oxidized, and heteroatomic (sulfur-containing) naphthenic acid (NA) species from unprocessed and ozone-treated oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) was performed using silver-ion (Ag-ion) solid phase extraction (SPE) without the requirement of pre-methylation for NAs. OSPW samples before SPE and SPE fractions were characterized using ultra performance liquid chromatography ion mobility time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-IM-TOFMS) to corroborate the separation of distinct NA species. The mass spectrum identification applied a mass tolerance of ±1.5 mDa due to the mass errors of NAs were measured within this range, allowing the identification of O2S-NAs from O2-NAs. Moreover, separated NA species facilitated the tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) characterization of NA compounds due to the removal of matrix and a simplified composition. MS/MS results showed that classical, aromatic, oxidized, and sulfur-containing NA compounds were eluted into individual SPE fractions. Overall results indicated that the separation of NA species using Ag-ion SPE is a valuable method for extracting individual NA species that are of great interest for environmental toxicology and wastewater treatment research, to conduct species-specific studies. Furthermore, the separated NA species on the milligram level could be widely used as the standard materials for environmental monitoring of NAs from various contamination sites.

  20. Effects of canopy-deposition interaction on H{sup +} supply to soils in Pinus banksiana and Populus tremuloides ecosystems in the Athabasca oil sands region in Alberta, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jung, Kangho, E-mail: kangho@ualberta.ca [Department of Renewable Resources, 442 Earth Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E3 (Canada); Chang, Scott X., E-mail: scott.chang@ualberta.ca [Department of Renewable Resources, 442 Earth Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E3 (Canada); Arshad, M.A., E-mail: charlie.arshad@ales.ualberta.ca [Department of Renewable Resources, 442 Earth Sciences Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2E3 (Canada); Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Beaverlodge Research Farm, Beaverlodge, AB, T0H 0C0 (Canada)

    2011-05-15

    Soil acidification has been of concern in the oil sands region in Alberta due to increased acid deposition. Using the canopy budget model, and accounting for H{sup +} canopy leaching by organic acids, we determined sources and sinks of H{sup +} in throughfall in jack pine (Pinus banksiana) and trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) stands in two watersheds from 2006 to 2009. In pine stands, H{sup +} deposition was greater in throughfall than in bulk precipitation while the opposite was true in aspen stands. The annual H{sup +} interception deposition was 148.8-193.8 and 49.7-70.0 mol{sub c} ha{sup -1} in pine and aspen stands, respectively; while the annual H{sup +} canopy leaching was 127.1-128.7 and 0.0-6.0 mol{sub c} ha{sup -1}, respectively. The greater H{sup +} supply in pine stands was caused by greater interception deposition of SO{sub 4}{sup 2-} and organic acids released from the pine canopy. Such findings have significant implications for establishing critical loads for various ecosystems in the oil sands region. - Highlights: > We monitored acid deposition in the oil sands region of Alberta over three years. > A modified canopy budget model was developed to evaluate H{sup +} budget as the first such attempt in western Canada. > The H{sup +} supply by organic acid leaching from jack pine canopy was a significant source of H{sup +}. > This has implications for establishing critical loads for acid deposition for watersheds in the region. - A modified canopy budget model was developed and organic acid leaching from jack pine canopies was a significant source of H{sup +} in the oil sands region of Alberta.

  1. The extraction of bitumen from western tar sands. Annual report, July 1990--July 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oblad, A.G.; Bunger, J.W.; Deo, M.D.; Hanson, F.V.; Miller, J.D.; Seader, J.D.

    1992-04-01

    Contents of this report include the following: executive summary; characterization of the native bitumen from the Whiterocks oil sand deposit; influence of carboxylic acid content on bitumen viscosity; water based oil sand separation technology; extraction of bitumen from western oil sands by an energy-efficient thermal method; large- diameter fluidized bed reactor studies; rotary kiln pyrolysis of oil sand; catalytic upgrading of bitumen and bitumen derived liquids; ebullieted bed hydrotreating and hydrocracking; super critical fluid extraction; bitumen upgrading; 232 references; Appendix A--Whiterocks tar sand deposit bibliography; Appendix B--Asphalt Ridge tar sand deposit bibliography; and Appendix C--University of Utah tar sands bibliography.

  2. Integration of geologic and reservoir data to reevaluate performance of Terminal 8, an upper Miocene reservoir in Long Beach unit, Wilmington oil field, Los Angeles, California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berman, B.H.

    1988-03-01

    The Terminal 8 reservoir consists of 615 ft of net oil sand. Vertical closure of the oil-saturated sandstone is 1080 ft. Areal extent is 13,350 ac. The reservoir sandstones are turbidites that have been correlated with the Puente Formation. The environment of deposition is an outer fan (sandstone-to-shale ratio of 1.2) in the lower Terminal sandstones and midfan in the upper Terminal sandstone (sandstone-to-shale ratio of 3.8). The fault block is located on the northeastern flank of the Wilmington anticline and is bounded by two intersecting normal faults and by oil-water contacts. Development started in 1969. Infill drilling after 1980 extended the boundaries and provided new data that led to reevaluation of the reservoir. The nine original sand units were divided into 13 flow units. Volumetrics were calculated for each flow unit using Zycor software. Mapping of electric log-derived water saturation and net oil-sand data revealed discrepancies, the result of varying log quality, different log types, lack of thin sand definition, and changing clay content. Computer-generated maps were constructed for each flow unit, and for weighted averages the units were combined into upper and lower Terminal zones. Individual maps are: structure, net oil sand, original water saturation, current water saturation, original oil in place, current oil in place, original reserves, current reserves, oil produced, pressure, and water cut. Mapping of original oil in place revealed fluid barriers within the reservoir. Mapping of current oil in place indicated moved oil and defined undrained areas. Water cut, fluid entry surveys, and temperature-spinner-tracer survey mapping revealed permeability trends. Pressure data confirmed sealing faults. This detailed study defined suspected, but never analyzed, complexities of the Terminal 8 reservoir.

  3. Fractionation of oil sands-process affected water using pH-dependent extractions: a study of dissociation constants for naphthenic acids species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Rongfu; Sun, Nian; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; McPhedran, Kerry N; Changalov, Mohamed; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2015-05-01

    The fractionation of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) via pH-dependent extractions was performed to quantitatively investigate naphthenic acids (NAs, CnH2n+ZO2) and oxidized NAs (Ox-NAs) species (CnH2n+ZO3 and CnH2n+ZO4) using ultra-performance liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-TOFMS). A mathematical model was also developed to estimate the dissociation constant pKa for NAs species, considering the liquid-liquid extraction process and the aqueous layer acid-base equilibrium. This model provides estimated dissociation constants for compounds in water samples based on fractionation extraction and relative quantification. Overall, the sum of O2-, O3-, and O4-NAs species accounted for 33.6% of total extracted organic matter. Accumulative extracted masses at different pHs revealed that every oxygen atom added to NAs increases the pKa (i.e., O2-NAs

  4. The effect of oil sands process-affected water and model naphthenic acids on photosynthesis and growth in Emiliania huxleyi and Chlorella vulgaris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beddow, Jessica; Johnson, Richard J; Lawson, Tracy; Breckels, Mark N; Webster, Richard J; Smith, Ben E; Rowland, Steven J; Whitby, Corinne

    2016-02-01

    Naphthenic acids (NAs) are among the most toxic organic pollutants present in oil sands process waters (OSPW) and enter marine and freshwater environments through natural and anthropogenic sources. We investigated the effects of the acid extractable organic (AEO) fraction of OSPW and individual surrogate NAs, on maximum photosynthetic efficiency of photosystem II (PSII) (FV/FM) and cell growth in Emiliania huxleyi and Chlorella vulgaris as representative marine and freshwater phytoplankton. Whilst FV/FM in E. huxleyi and C. vulgaris was not inhibited by AEO, exposure to two surrogate NAs: (4'-n-butylphenyl)-4-butanoic acid (n-BPBA) and (4'-tert-butylphenyl)-4-butanoic acid (tert-BPBA), caused complete inhibition of FV/FM in E. huxleyi (≥10 mg L(-1)n-BPBA; ≥50 mg L(-1)tert-BPBA) but not in C. vulgaris. Growth rates and cell abundances in E. huxleyi were also reduced when exposed to ≥10 mg L(-1)n- and tert-BPBA; however, higher concentrations of n- and tert-BPBA (100 mg L(-1)) were required to reduce cell growth in C. vulgaris. AEO at ≥10 mg L(-1) stimulated E. huxleyi growth rate (p ≤ 0.002), yet had no apparent effect on C. vulgaris. In conclusion, E. huxleyi was generally more sensitive to NAs than C. vulgaris. This report provides a better understanding of the physiological responses of phytoplankton to NAs which will enable improved monitoring of NA pollution in aquatic ecosystems in the future. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  5. Effects of different pretreatments on the performance of ceramic ultrafiltration membrane during the treatment of oil sands tailings pond recycle water: a pilot-scale study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loganathan, Kavithaa; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; El-Din, Mohamed Gamal

    2015-03-15

    Membrane filtration is an effective treatment method for oil sands tailings pond recycle water (RCW); however, membrane fouling and rapid decrease in permeate flux caused by colloids, organic matter, and bitumen residues present in the RCW hinder its successful application. This pilot-scale study investigated the impact of different pretreatment steps on the performance of a ceramic ultrafiltration (CUF) membrane used for the treatment of RCW. Two treatment trains were examined: treatment train 1 consisted of coagulant followed by a CUF system, while treatment train 2 included softening (Multiflo™ system) and coagulant addition, followed by a CUF system. The results indicated that minimum pretreatment (train 1) was required for almost complete solids removal. The addition of a softening step (train 2) provided an additional barrier to membrane fouling by reducing hardness-causing ions to negligible levels. More than 99% removal of turbidity and less than 20% removal of total organic carbon were achieved regardless of the treatment train used. Permeate fluxes normalized at 20 °C of 127-130 L/m(2) h and 111-118 L/m(2) h, with permeate recoveries of 90-93% and 90-94% were observed for the treatment trains 1 and 2, respectively. It was also found that materials deposited onto the membrane surface had an impact on trans-membrane pressure and influenced the required frequencies of chemically enhanced backwashes (CEBs) and clean-in-place (CIP) procedures. The CIP performed was successful in removing fouling and scaling materials such that the CUF performance was restored to baseline levels. The results also demonstrated that due to their low turbidity and silt density index values, permeates produced in this pilot study were suitable for further treatment by high pressure membrane processes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Modelling Effects of Cover Material and Cover Depth on Hydrological Regime and Salt Redistribution in Reclaimed Oil Sand Landscapes in Northern Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welegedara, N.; Grant, R. F.; Quideau, S.; Lloret, E.

    2014-12-01

    Large-Scale surface mining is continuing in the Athabasca oil sands region in northern Alberta, Canada, causing significant ecosystem disturbances and changes in hydrology. Reclamation efforts in this region require understanding processes that control water, nutrient and salt fluxes through reclaimed landscapes which is critical to restoring their productivity. These processes were tested in a comprehensive mathematical model, ecosys, which was used to determine the effect of different cover thicknesses on water balance, water buffering capacity, salinity and the productivity in the South Bison Hills reclamation site of Syncrude Canada (SCL). This site was constructed in 1999 by capping peat mineral mix and secondary (glacial till) soil over saline sodic overburden. The site was constructed with three different soil cover thicknesses: 35 cm (thin), 50 cm (intermediate) and 100 cm (thick) along a 20% north facing slope. Model outputs were validated with field measured volumetric water content, runoff, snow data, electrical conductivity (EC) and plant productivity data recorded from 1999 to 2013. Model and field results show differences in horizontal and vertical water transport among the three reclaimed prototype covers. Lower water retention capacity in the 35 cm cover compared to the 50 cm and 100 cm covers caused greater soil moisture variation so that permanent wilting point was reached during dry years, decreasing plant growth due to water stress. In addition, the modeled and field-measured EC values indicated some upward salt movement from overburden to cover material over the time. This movement caused higher EC values (6 - 8 dS m-1) to be reached in the shallow rooting zone of the 35 cm and 50 cm covers than of the 100 cm cover several years after the covers were established. The determination of cost effective but ecologically sustainable cover depth is a challenge and will be a focus in future simulations.

  7. Assessment of multi-trophic changes in a shallow boreal lake simultaneously exposed to climate change and aerial deposition of contaminants from the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summers, Jamie C; Kurek, Joshua; Rühland, Kathleen M; Neville, Erin E; Smol, John P

    2017-08-15

    The Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) has been intensely developed for industrial bitumen extraction and upgrading since the 1980s. A paucity of environmental monitoring prior to development raises questions about baseline conditions in freshwater systems in the region and ecological responses to industrial activities. Further, climatic changes prompt questions about the relative roles of climate and industry in shaping aquatic ecosystems through time. We use aquatic bioindicators from multiple trophic levels, concentrations of petrogenic contaminants (dibenzothiophenes), and spectrally-inferred chlorophyll-a preserved in well-dated sediments of a closed-basin, shallow lake ~50km away from the main area of industry, in conjunction with climate observations, to assess how the biotic assemblages of a typical AOSR lake have changed during the past ~75years. We examine the contributions of the area's stressors in structuring aquatic communities. Increases in sedimentary measures of petrogenic contaminants provide clear evidence of aerial contaminant deposition from local industry since its establishment, while climate records demonstrate consistent warming and a recent period of reduced precipitation. Quantitative comparisons of biological assemblages from before and after the establishment of regional industry find significant (pchanges are not consistent with a threshold-type shift in response to the onset of regional industry. Rather, biotic assemblages from multiple trophic levels suggest transitions to an increasingly complex benthic environment and relatively warmer waters, which, like the increasing trends in inferred primary production, are consistent with a changing climate. These findings highlight the important role of climate conditions in regulating primary production and structuring aquatic communities in these shallow systems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Predicted toxicity of naphthenic acids present in oil sands process-affected waters to a range of environmental and human endpoints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scarlett, Alan G; West, Charles E; Jones, David; Galloway, Tamara S; Rowland, Steven J

    2012-05-15

    Naphthenic acids (NAs) are considered to be a major toxic component of oil sands process-affected waters (OSPW) and are also widely used for industrial processes. The effects of previously identified NAs (54 in total), together with six alkylphenols, were modelled for a range of environmental and human toxicity related endpoints using ADMET predictor™ software. In addition to the models, experimental CALUX® assays were performed on seven tricyclic diamondoid acids. Most of the NAs modelled were predicted to have lethal median concentrations (LC(50)) >100 μM for the three aquatic species modelled. Polycyclic acids containing a single aromatic ring were predicted to be the most toxic to fathead minnows with LC(50)s typically ca 1 μM. Some of these compounds were also predicted to be the most carcinogenic (based on rat and mouse models), possess human estrogenic and androgenic activity and potentially disrupt reproductive processes. Some aliphatic pentacyclic acids also were predicted to exhibit androgenic activity and, uniquely amongst the compounds tested, act as substrates for the cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP3A4. Consistent with the models' predictions for the tricyclic acids, no estrogenic or androgenic activity was detected by ER/AR CALUX®. Further experimental validation of the predictions should now be performed for the compounds highlighted by the models (e.g. priority should perhaps be focused on the polycyclic monoaromatic acids and the aliphatic pentacyclic acids). If shown to be accurate, these compounds can then be targeted for toxicity reduction remediation efforts. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. The development of a rugged, field portable membrane introduction tandem mass spectrometer and its use as an on-line monitor for volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds in the Alberta Oil Sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nicholas, Davey [Applied Environmental Research Laboratories (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    In Alberta, steam assisted gravity drainage is a process often used to enhance oil recovery from open pit mining or heavy oil reservoirs. This process releases volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds (VOC/SVOC) into the atmosphere or process waters. Thus a field portable analytical instrument is needed to monitor VOC/SVOC. The aim of this paper is to present the development of such a tool and its results. A field portable membrane introduction tandem mass spectrometer was developed through a multiyear collaboration between Statoil, NTNU and Griffin. This technology can analyze both atmospheric and aqueous environmental samples. Calibrations of the system were carried out in a laboratory and the system was then tested in two field trials in the Alberta oil sands. This work gives results of these different tests and explores the use of thermally assisted membrane interfaces and in-membrane trap and release strategies.

  10. Characterizing resilient behavior of naturally occurring bituminous sands for road construction

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Anochie-Boateng, Joseph

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Oil sand is a generic name given to natural deposits of bituminous sand materials that are mined for crude oil production. These materials are currently used as subgrade materials of temporary and permanent roads in oil sand fields for operating...

  11. Study of the anti-sand sucker rod pump

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Hangxin; Lv, Bingxin; Xi, Wenkui; Yi, Peng

    2017-06-01

    In order to solve the problem of sand stuck in the sucker rod pump, an anti-sand sucker rod pump is designed. The anti-sand sucker rod pump includes the conventional sucker rod pump and the swirl flow device. The sand particles can be separated from the oil in the swirl flow device, so the plunger of the sucker rod pump cannot be stuck. The motion equation of the sand particles in oil is deduced. The virtual model of the swirl flow device is built in GAMBIT software. And simulation of solid-liquid two phase flow is simulated in software FLUENT. The simulation results show that the swirl flow device can realize the sand particles separation from the oil completely. So the pump can have the effect of anti-sands.

  12. Sands styrke

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, H. Moust; Jørgensen, Mogens B.; Poulsen, H. Serup

    1975-01-01

    På grundlag af triaxialforsøg med D=7 og 20 cm og varierende højde på løse og faste lejringer af Blokhussand kan effekten af varierende højde-breddeforhold og spændingsniveau samt skalaeffekten bestemmes. Ved sammenligning med pladeforsøg med overfladelast op til 8 t/m2 kan den almindelige fremga...... fremgangsmåde ved bæreevneberegninger på sand undersøges....

  13. sand mold

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovačević, Lazar; Terek, Pal; Miletić, Aleksandar; Kakaš, Damir

    2014-08-01

    Interfacial heat transfer coefficient at the metal-mold interface (IHTC) was estimated by an iterative algorithm based on the function specification method. An Al-9 wt% Si alloy plate casting was made in a sand mold prepared by CO2 process. Thermal history obtained from the experiment was used to solve an inverse heat conduction problem. Acquired transient IHTC values are then given in function of the casting surface temperature at the interface. By comparing the obtained results with previous findings, the influence of grain fineness number and consequently of mold roughness on maximum IHTC values is revealed.

  14. Using biofilms and grazing chironomids (Diptera: Chironomidae) to determine primary production, nitrogen stable isotopic baseline and enrichment within wetlands differing in anthropogenic stressors and located in the Athabasca oil sands region of Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frederick, K.; Ciborowski, J.J. [Windsor Univ., Windsor, ON (Canada); Wytrykush, C.M. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    This presentation reported on a study that investigated the effects of oil sands process materials (OSPM) and construction disturbances on primary production and nitrogen stable isotope enrichment in reclaimed and reference wetlands at oil sands mines in the Athabasca basin. Productivity and food web analyses were instrumental in evaluating the succession and viability of reclaimed wetlands. Primary production was estimated through chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentrations and biomass. Carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stable isotope ratios were used to identify energy sources, storage and the magnitude and direction of energy transfer within food webs. The objectives were to determine primary productivity, the N baseline, and N enrichment from biofilms and grazing invertebrates colonizing artificial substrates immersed in the water column of two OSPM-affected, two constructed reference and two natural reference wetlands. The lower biomass and Chl a concentrations in OSPM-affected and constructed wetlands suggests that both anthropogenic disturbance and OSPM have an adverse effect on primary productivity and overall wetland function.

  15. Geologic assessment of undiscovered conventional oil and gas resources in the Lower Paleogene Midway and Wilcox Groups, and the Carrizo Sand of the Claiborne Group, of the Northern Gulf coast region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warwick, Peter D.

    2017-09-27

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently conducted an assessment of the undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas potential of Tertiary strata underlying the onshore areas and State waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico coastal region. The assessment was based on a number of geologic elements including an evaluation of hydrocarbon source rocks, suitable reservoir rocks, and hydrocarbon traps in an Upper Jurassic-Cretaceous-Tertiary Composite Total Petroleum System defined for the region by the USGS. Five conventional assessment units (AUs) were defined for the Midway (Paleocene) and Wilcox (Paleocene-Eocene) Groups, and the Carrizo Sand of the Claiborne Group (Eocene) interval including: (1) the Wilcox Stable Shelf Oil and Gas AU; (2) the Wilcox Expanded Fault Zone Gas and Oil AU; (3) the Wilcox-Lobo Slide Block Gas AU; (4) the Wilcox Slope and Basin Floor Gas AU; and (5) the Wilcox Mississippi Embayment AU (not quantitatively assessed).The USGS assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources for the Midway-Wilcox-Carrizo interval resulted in estimated mean values of 110 million barrels of oil (MMBO), 36.9 trillion cubic feet of gas (TCFG), and 639 million barrels of natural gas liquids (MMBNGL) in the four assessed units. The undiscovered oil resources are almost evenly divided between fluvial-deltaic sandstone reservoirs within the Wilcox Stable Shelf (54 MMBO) AU and deltaic sandstone reservoirs of the Wilcox Expanded Fault Zone (52 MMBO) AU. Greater than 70 percent of the undiscovered gas and 66 percent of the natural gas liquids (NGL) are estimated to be in deep (13,000 to 30,000 feet), untested distal deltaic and slope sandstone reservoirs within the Wilcox Slope and Basin Floor Gas AU.

  16. Boron in tree-ring as an indicator of forest disturbances in the Lower Athabasca Oil Sands region, Northeastern Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bégin, Christian; Savard, Martine M.; Marion, Joëlle; Thiffault, Évelyne; Pinno, Brad

    2016-04-01

    Industrial activities related to oil sands (OS) extraction in northeastern Alberta (Canada) have generated, since 1967, important quantities of NOx and SO2 emissions that can lead to several negative effects on forest ecosystems including the potential for soil acidification. In addition, mining processes, tailing pond treatments and heavy transport (haul roads) in mining areas are considered important sources of air contaminants that have the potential to impair forest health by affecting the nutrient balance and physiology of trees. In this study, we analysed micronutrients (B, Fe, Zn, Na, Cu) and macronutrients (Ca, Mg, Mn, K) in the tree-ring series of jack pine (Pinus banksiana) and spruce (Picea glauca and Picea mariana) trees growing at different distances from the heart of mining operations (two sites for each species). Based on tree-ring records, our aims were to provide a historical perspective on the nutritional status of forest ecosystems and to identify temporal changes in tree-ring chemistry that can be attributed to OS activities. One of the key findings of this research is the direct and immediate response of boron (B) in woody tissues of all studied species to mining operations. During the pre-mining period (prior to 1967) [B] variations in tree-rings of the three species covary with other elements such as Na and Fe and are likely controlled by environmental factors, namely climatic conditions. After 1970, [B] increases and strongly departs from trends of other elements. In jack pine trees (54 km NNE of the centre of industrial operations) the increasing trend is abrupt with mean [B] increasing from 11.7 mg/kg during the pre-industrial period to 14.3 mg/kg during mining period. In spruce trees at the proximal site (14 km NE), [B] increases gradually and nicely reproduces the historical pattern of industrial emissions with mean pre-mining [B] of 29.5 mg/kg increasing to 92.1 mg/kg during the mining period. At the four spruce sites, the increasing

  17. Sand Diver

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Alan J.

    2005-01-01

    A few years ago, I was preparing to teach a summer enrichment program for middle school students at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. With swimming on the minds of most kids during the summer, I thought buoyancy would be a fun topic to discuss. An interesting way to introduce this concept is by discussing the beer-drinking balloonist who, in a lawn chair, floated to 11,000 feet above Los Angeles in 1997. However, I needed a hands-on project and was not about to go purchase some lawn chairs to duplicate this experiment. A simple submersible called the "Sand Diver" was designed and is now used as a hands-on activity for my introductory physics course.

  18. It's in the sand

    OpenAIRE

    Mitchell, Clive

    2016-01-01

    Sand is sand isn’t it? Sand gets everywhere but rather than a nuisance it is a valuable, high-purity raw material. Clive Mitchell, Industrial Minerals Specialist at the British Geological Survey (BGS), talks us through what sand is, what it can be used for and how to find it. His exploration of sand takes us from the deserts of Arabia to the damp sand pits of Mansfield!

  19. INFLUENCE OF TIDE AND WAVES ON WASHOUT OF DISSOLVED NUTRIENTS FROM THE BIOREMEDIATION ZONE OF A COARSE-SAND BEACH: APPLICATION IN OIL-SPILL BIOREMEDIATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Successful bioremediation of oil-contaminated beaches requires maintenance of a sufficient quantity of growth-limiting nutrients in contact with the oiled beach materials. A conservative tracer study was conducted on a moderate-energy, sandy beach on Delaware Bay to estimate the...

  20. Photochemical model evaluation of the ground-level ozone impacts on ambient air quality and vegetation health in the Alberta oil sands region: Using present and future emission scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vijayaraghavan, Krish; Cho, Sunny; Morris, Ralph; Spink, David; Jung, Jaegun; Pauls, Ron; Duffett, Katherine

    2016-09-01

    One of the potential environmental issues associated with oil sands development is increased ozone formation resulting from NOX and volatile organic compound emissions from bitumen extraction, processing and upgrading. To manage this issue in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) in northeast Alberta, a regional multi-stakeholder group, the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA), developed an Ozone Management Framework that includes a modelling based assessment component. In this paper, we describe how the Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) model was applied to assess potential ground-level ozone formation and impacts on ambient air quality and vegetation health for three different ozone precursor cases in the AOSR. Statistical analysis methods were applied, and the CMAQ performance results met the U.S. EPA model performance goal at all sites. The modelled 4th highest daily maximum 8-h average ozone concentrations in the base and two future year scenarios did not exceed the Canada-wide standard of 65 ppb or the newer Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standards of 63 ppb in 2015 and 62 ppb in 2020. Modelled maximum 1-h ozone concentrations in the study were well below the Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objective of 82 ppb in all three cases. Several ozone vegetation exposure metrics were also evaluated to investigate the potential impact of ground-level ozone on vegetation. The chronic 3-months SUM60 exposure metric is within the CEMA baseline range (0-2000 ppb-hr) everywhere in the AOSR. The AOT40 ozone exposure metric predicted by CMAQ did not exceed the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) threshold of concern of 3000 ppb-hr in any of the cases but is just below the threshold in high-end future emissions scenario. In all three emission scenarios, the CMAQ predicted W126 ozone exposure metric is within the CEMA baseline threshold of 4000 ppb-hr. This study outlines the use of photochemical modelling of the impact of an industry (oil

  1. Fifth DOE symposium on enhanced oil and gas recovery and improved drilling technology. Volume 2. Oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Linville, B. [ed.

    1979-01-01

    Volume 2 contains papers from the following sessions: residual oil determination; thermal methods; heavy oil-tar sands; technology transfer; and carbon dioxide flooding. Individual papers were processed.

  2. Net Locality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Souza e Silva, Adriana Araujo; Gordon, Eric

    Provides an introduction to the new theory of Net Locality and the profound effect on individuals and societies when everything is located or locatable. Describes net locality as an emerging form of location awareness central to all aspects of digital media, from mobile phones, to Google Maps...... of emerging technologies, from GeoCities to GPS, Wi-Fi, Wiki Me, and Google Android....

  3. Net Neutrality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Savin, Andrej

    2017-01-01

    Repealing “net neutrality” in the US will have no bearing on Internet freedom or security there or anywhere else.......Repealing “net neutrality” in the US will have no bearing on Internet freedom or security there or anywhere else....

  4. Choosing an optimum sand control method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ehsan Khamehchi

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Formation sand control is always one of the main concerns of production engineers. There are some different methods to prevent sand production. Choosing a method for preventing formation sand production depends on different reservoir parameters and politic and economic conditions. Sometimes, economic and politic conditions are more effective to choose an optimum than reservoir parameters. Often, simultaneous investigation of politic and economic conditions with reservoir parameters has different results with what is expected. So, choosing the best sand control method is the result of thorough study. Global oil price, duration of sand control project and costs of necessary equipment for each method as economic and politic conditions and well productivity index as reservoir parameter are the main parameters studied in this paper.

  5. Parametric analysis of applicability of sand production control in oil wells; Analise parametrica da aplicabilidade do controle de producao de areia em pocos de petroleo

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silva, Filipe S.B. da; Couto, Paulo [Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), RJ (Brazil). Curso de Engenharia do Petroleo

    2008-07-01

    The present work discusses about the selection of the best sand control method to be adopted for offshore operations according to a specific technologic limitation and by demands imposed by the environment in which it is used. First of all, the paper mentions the phenomena of solids carrying. Then the source environments of the study are analyzed. This approach is considered important because it is the basis for understanding the final part of the research, composed of the method/environment correlation. Three fictitious offshore fields based on real data are presented. In each of them, two wells are studied, one cased, and one open holed. Parameters like permeability and UCS have the same conceptual relevance as the sand control methods presented. The analysis of methods follows those used for the environments. The following methods are presented: by restriction of solids flow, by drag strength reduction and by increase of cohesion strength. Emphasis is given on mechanic methods. Finally, this study concludes its initial purpose, which is selecting the best sand control method for each well, substantiating in each one, the reason for the choice. (author)

  6. Industrial sand and gravel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolley, T.P.

    2013-01-01

    Domestic production of industrial sand and gravel in 2012 was about 49.5 Mt (55 million st), increasing 13 percent compared with that of 2011. Some important end uses for industrial sand and gravel include abrasives, filtration, foundry, glassmaking, hydraulic fracturing sand (frac sand) and silicon metal applications.

  7. Effects of oil and gas well-drilling fluids on the biomass and community structure of microbiota that colonize sands in running seawater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, G A; Nickels, J S; Bobbie, R J; Richards, N L; White, D C

    1982-01-01

    Well-drilling fluid and a number of the known components (barite, clay, Aldacide, Surflo, and Dowicide, were tested for effects on the biomass and community structure of the microbiota that colonize marine sands exposed for eight weeks to running ambient seawater. Shading the microbiota from light depressed the microflora without a significant effect on the biomass, while well-drilling fluids layered on the surface or mixed with the sand significantly increased a component of the bacteria and the microfauna as reflected in changes in the fatty acid composition. There were some shading effects from the surface layering of well-drilling fluids as reflected in the fatty acids from the microflora when compared to the sands mixed with well-drilling fluids. Barite had essentially no effect on the biomass or community structure while clays increased nearly all of the biomass indicators for the bacteria as well as the microfauna; the clay overlay mirrors the effect of the drilling fluids. Aldacide shifted the bacterial composition, depressing the proportions of microbes containing the cyclopropane fatty acids and the anaerobic pathways of desaturation. Concentrations of 1 and 15 microgram/L increased the bacterial biomass as reflected in the total lipid (16:0) and extractable lipid phosphate coupled with a decrease in the total microeukaryotes. Surflo increased the biomass and shifted the bacterial community structure at concentrations between 4 and 800 microgram/L. The lowest level also stimulated the microfauna. Dowicide at 100 microgram/L increased the bacteria forming cis-vaccenic acid and the microfauna similar to low concentrations of Surflo.

  8. Review of Sand Production Prediction Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossein Rahmati

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Sand production in oil and gas wells can occur if fluid flow exceeds a certain threshold governed by factors such as consistency of the reservoir rock, stress state and the type of completion used around the well. The amount of solids can be less than a few grams per cubic meter of reservoir fluid, posing only minor problems, or a substantial amount over a short period of time, resulting in erosion and in some cases filling and blocking of the wellbore. This paper provides a review of selected approaches and models that have been developed for sanding prediction. Most of these models are based on the continuum assumption, while a few have recently been developed based on discrete element model. Some models are only capable of assessing the conditions that lead to the onset of sanding, while others are capable of making volumetric predictions. Some models use analytical formulae, particularly those for estimating the onset of sanding while others use numerical models, particularly in calculating sanding rate. Although major improvements have been achieved in the past decade, sanding tools are still unable to predict the sand mass and the rate of sanding for all field problems in a reliable form.

  9. Eastern Scheldt Sand, Baskarp Sand No. 15

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, A. T; Madsen, E. B.; Schaarup-Jensen, A. L.

    The present data report contains data from 13 drained triaxial tests, performed on two different sand types in the Soil Mechanics Laboratory at Aalborg University in March, 1997. Two tests have been performed on Baskarp Sand No. 15, which has already ken extensively tested in the Soil Mechanics...... Laboratory. The remaining 11 triaxial tests have ben performed on Eastern Scheldt Sand, which is a material not yet investigated at the Soil Mechanics Laboratory. In the first pari of this data report, the characteristics of the two sand types in question will be presented. Next, a description...

  10. RESTful NET

    CERN Document Server

    Flanders, Jon

    2008-01-01

    RESTful .NET is the first book that teaches Windows developers to build RESTful web services using the latest Microsoft tools. Written by Windows Communication Foundation (WFC) expert Jon Flanders, this hands-on tutorial demonstrates how you can use WCF and other components of the .NET 3.5 Framework to build, deploy and use REST-based web services in a variety of application scenarios. RESTful architecture offers a simpler approach to building web services than SOAP, SOA, and the cumbersome WS- stack. And WCF has proven to be a flexible technology for building distributed systems not necessa

  11. The extraction of bitumen from western tar sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oblad, A.G.; Bunger, J.W.; Deo, M.D.; Hanson, F.V.; Miller, J.D.; Seader, J.D.

    1990-07-01

    Topics discussed include: characterization of bitumen impregnated sandstone, water based tar sand separation technology, electrophoretic characterization of bitumen and fine mineral particles, bitumen and tar sand slurry viscosity, the hot water digestion-flotation process, electric field use on breaking water-in-oil emulsions, upgrading of bitumens and bitumen-derived liquids, solvent extraction.

  12. The extraction of bitumen from western tar sands. Annual report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oblad, A.G.; Bunger, J.W.; Deo, M.D.; Hanson, F.V.; Miller, J.D.; Seader, J.D.

    1990-07-01

    Topics discussed include: characterization of bitumen impregnated sandstone, water based tar sand separation technology, electrophoretic characterization of bitumen and fine mineral particles, bitumen and tar sand slurry viscosity, the hot water digestion-flotation process, electric field use on breaking water-in-oil emulsions, upgrading of bitumens and bitumen-derived liquids, solvent extraction.

  13. Baskarp Sand No. 15

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borup, Marianne; Hedegaard, Jette

    The Soil Mechanics Laboratory has started performing tests with a new sand, Baskarp No 15. Baskarp No 15 is a graded sand from Sweden. The shapes of the largest grains are round, while the small grains have sharp edges. The main part of of Baskarp No 15 is quarts, but it also contains feldspar...... and biotit. Mainly the sand will be used for tests concerning the development og the theory of building up pore pressure in sand, L. B. Ibsen 1993....

  14. Baskarp Sand No. 15

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ibsen, Lars Bo; Bødker, Lars Bødker

    The Soil Mechanics Laboratory has started performing tests with a new sand, Baskarp No 15. Baskarp No 15 is a graded sand from Sweden. The shapes of the largest grains are round, while the small grains have sharp edges. The main part of of Baskarp No 15 is quarts, but it also contains feldspar...... and biotit. Mainly the sand will be used for tests concerning the development of the theory of building up pore pressure in sand....

  15. Petri Nets

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Associate Professor of. Computer Science and. Automation at the Indian. Institute of Science,. Bangalore. His research interests are broadly in the areas of stochastic modeling and scheduling methodologies for future factories; and object oriented modeling. GENERAL I ARTICLE. Petri Nets. 1. Overview and Foundations.

  16. Petri Nets

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 4; Issue 8. Petri Nets - Overview and Foundations. Y Narahari. General Article Volume 4 Issue 8 August 1999 pp ... Author Affiliations. Y Narahari1. Department ot Computer Science and Automation, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, India.

  17. Lund Sand No 0

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ibsen, Lars Bo; Jakobsen, Finn Rosendal

    During the last 15 years the Geotechnical Engineering Group (GEG) at Aalborg University has performed triaxial tests with a sand called Lund No 0. Lund No 0 is a graded sand from a gravel pit near Horsens in Denmark. For the classification of the sand the following tests have been performed: Sieve...

  18. Impact of the Keystone XL pipeline on global oil markets and greenhouse gas emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, Peter; Lazarus, Michael

    2014-09-01

    Climate policy and analysis often focus on energy production and consumption, but seldom consider how energy transportation infrastructure shapes energy systems. US President Obama has recently brought these issues to the fore, stating that he would only approve the Keystone XL pipeline, connecting Canadian oil sands with US refineries and ports, if it `does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution'. Here, we apply a simple model to understand the implications of the pipeline for greenhouse gas emissions as a function of any resulting increase in oil sands production. We find that for every barrel of increased production, global oil consumption would increase 0.6 barrels owing to the incremental decrease in global oil prices. As a result, and depending on the extent to which the pipeline leads to greater oil sands production, the net annual impact of Keystone XL could range from virtually none to 110 million tons CO2 equivalent annually. This spread is four times wider than found by the US State Department (1-27 million tons CO2e), who did not account for global oil market effects. The approach used here, common in lifecycle analysis, could also be applied to other pending fossil fuel extraction and supply infrastructure.

  19. Research investigations in oil shale, tar sand, coal research, advanced exploratory process technology, and advanced fuels research: Volume 2 -- Jointly sponsored research program. Final report, October 1986--September 1993

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, V.E.

    1994-09-01

    Numerous studies have been conducted in five principal areas: oil shale, tar sand, underground coal gasification, advanced process technology, and advanced fuels research. In subsequent years, underground coal gasification was broadened to be coal research, under which several research activities were conducted that related to coal processing. The most significant change occurred in 1989 when the agreement was redefined as a Base Program and a Jointly Sponsored Research Program (JSRP). Investigations were conducted under the Base Program to determine the physical and chemical properties of materials suitable for conversion to liquid and gaseous fuels, to test and evaluate processes and innovative concepts for such conversions, to monitor and determine environmental impacts related to development of commercial-sized operations, and to evaluate methods for mitigation of potential environmental impacts. This report is divided into two volumes: Volume 1 consists of 28 summaries that describe the principal research efforts conducted under the Base Program in five topic areas. Volume 2 describes tasks performed within the JSRP. Research conducted under this agreement has resulted in technology transfer of a variety of energy-related research information. A listing of related publications and presentations is given at the end of each research topic summary. More specific and detailed information is provided in the topical reports referenced in the related publications listings.

  20. Using normal ranges for interpreting results of monitoring and tiering to guide future work: A case study of increasing polycyclic aromatic compounds in lake sediments from the Cold Lake oil sands (Alberta, Canada) described in Korosi et al. (2016).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munkittrick, Kelly R; Arciszewski, Tim J

    2017-12-01

    Since the publishing of the Kelly et al. papers (2009, 2010) describing elevated contaminants in snow near the Alberta oil sands, there has been a significant expansion of monitoring efforts, enhanced by $50M a year contributed by industry to a regional Joint Oil Sands Monitoring (JOSM) program. In parallel to the intensification of research and monitoring efforts, including expansion of measured indicators, techniques for chemical analysis have also become more sensitive. Both factors contribute to the increased sensitivity and power, and improve our capacity to detect any change. The increase in capability requires a counterbalance to account for trivial change. This can be done using an interpretative approach that requires contextualization of differences to meaningfully inform environmental monitoring programs and provide focus for action. Experience obtained through 25 years of involvement with Canada's Environmental Effects Monitoring (EEM) program has shown that a tiered program informed by triggers can provide the context to make decisions about monitoring priorities. Here we provide a potential interpretation framework using a case study around the Korosi et al. (2016) study which found recent increases in alkylated polycyclic aromatic compounds (aPACs) in the Cold Lake in situ oil sands area. Public contaminant profiles from the JOSM studies in the oil sands region are used to evaluate the changes using an interpretation framework based on estimated normal ranges using existing data for site-specific, local and regional (distant) levels that was modelled after the tiered Canadian EEM design. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Oils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cobbett, G.T.B.

    1907-07-08

    Crude petroleum having a density of 850 to 900 is purified with sulfuric acid, decanted, mixed with benzine or petrol, and again treated with sulfuric acid and decanted. The remaining acid and coloring-matter are removed by washing with water, or treating with oxalic acid, zinc carbonate, lead carbonate, calcium carbonate, or oxide of zinc. The product is used as a fuel for internal-combustion engines. Specifications No. 28,104, A.D. 1906, and No. 12,606, A.D. 1907, are referred to. According to the Provisional Specification, the process is applicable to shale or schist oil.

  2. Sand dunes - a study of the different dune formations in the Namib Sand Sea, Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sangunji, Antonio

    2017-04-01

    Sand dunes - a study of the different dune formations in the Namib Sand Sea, Namibia By: Antonio Sangunji, Academia Secondary School, Windhoek, Namibia The Namib Sand Sea has spectacular dunes, some of which are 5700 years old. Large, complex, linear dune in the northern part of the Namib Sand Sea provide new information on the age and internal sedimentary structures of these dunes, with important implications for interpretations of paleoclimates and the rock record of eolian sandstones. Academia Secondary School learners study several science subjects including Life and Physical sciences. As part of their Science course, they study the environment and landforms. To better understand the dune dynamics, several grade 8 pupils, 35 learners in total were taken to the field to demonstrate the formation of dunes. One of the highest points in the Namib Sand Sea - Dune 7 which is 388 meters was visited. Learners made models of the dunes in the classroom with different types of modeling clay, such as oil-based, polymer, dough and pottery clay. The learners also carried out hands-on exercises on the link between different types of sand, wind speed, size and altitude of the dunes. Field trips are a great opportunity for learners to learn how sand dunes are formed and show how simple experiments can be used to demonstrate dune formation.

  3. Influence green sand system by core sand additions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Špirutová

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Today, about two thirds of iron alloys casting (especially for graphitizing alloys of iron are produced into green sand systems with usually organically bonded cores. Separation of core sands from the green sand mixture is very difficult, after pouring. The core sand concentration increase due to circulation of green sand mixture in a closed circulation system. Furthermore in some foundries, core sands have been adding to green sand systems as a replacement for new sands. The goal of this contribution is: “How the green sand systems are influenced by core sands?”This effect is considered by determination of selected technological properties and degree of green sand system re-bonding. From the studies, which have been published yet, there is not consistent opinion on influence of core sand dilution on green sand system properties. In order to simulation of the effect of core sands on the technological properties of green sands, there were applied the most common used technologies of cores production, which are based on bonding with phenolic resin. Core sand concentration added to green sand system, was up to 50 %. Influence of core sand dilution on basic properties of green sand systems was determined by evaluation of basic industrial properties: moisture, green compression strength and splitting strength, wet tensile strength, mixture stability against staling and physical-chemistry properties (pH, conductivity, and loss of ignition. Ratio of active betonite by Methylene blue test was also determined.

  4. The technique of sand control with expandable screens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao, P. [Petrochina, Liaohe (China). Liaohe Oilfield Co.

    2009-07-01

    Sand production in heavy oil reservoirs can limit the normal production of oil wells. In this study, expandable screens were used as a sand control mechanism by filtering the sand as it entered the wellbore. The screen systems consists of an expandable outer housing, an expandable base pipe and a filtering layer. The screen expands radially through an expandable cone and presses into the casing well. Axial tension is used to shrink the screens radially through a fishing anchor in order to remove them from the well. The lack of a sand ring between the screen and the casing increases the flow area of the oil and reduces flow resistance caused by fine silt blockages. A series of laboratory experiments were conducted to study the expansion and shrinkage properties of the screens. A field test conducted at a well located in the Liaohe oilfield in China demonstrated that good sand control results can be obtained without the need for pump checking. It was concluded that the sand control method is easy to use and provides good sand control results in large open flow areas. 2 refs., 2 tabs., 3 figs.

  5. Modelling sand wave variation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sterlini-Van der Meer, Fenneke

    2009-01-01

    The sea floor of shallow seas is rarely flat and often dynamic. A widely occurring bedform type is the sand wave. Sand waves form more or less regular wavelike patterns on the seabed with crests up to one third of the water depth, wave lengths of hundreds of metres and a migration rate of metres up

  6. Sands cykliske styrke

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ibsen, Lars Bo

    1992-01-01

    Sands cykliske styrke kan beskrives ved Cyclic Liquefaction, Mobilisering, Stabilization og Instant Stabilization. I artiklen beskrives hvorfor Stabilization og Instant Stabilization ikke observeres, når sands udrænede styrke undersøges i triaxial celler, der anvender prøver med dobbelt prøvehøjde....

  7. Crescimento, teor e composição do óleo essencial de melissa cultivada sob malhas fotoconversoras Growth, content and composition of lemon balm essential oil cultivated under color shading nets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata da Silva Brant

    2009-08-01

    . The treatments were lemon balm's plants cultivated under full sunshine, black shading net (50%, red shading net (50% and blue shading net (50%. The characteristics evaluated were: plant's height; dry phytomass of leaves, stems, aerial part, roots and total; root/aerial part ratio; total leaf area; leaf area ratio; leaf weight ratio; specific leaf area; content, yield and composition of the essential oil. The utilization of nets favored the growth organs dry phytomass yield, independently of the color, in comparison with total sun light. Plants under red shading had lower content of essential oil and yield, but they showed the higher content of citral.

  8. Activation of Aspen Wood with Carbon Dioxide and Phosphoric Acid for Removal of Total Organic Carbon from Oil Sands Produced Water: Increasing the Yield with Bio-Oil Recycling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veksha, Andrei; Bhuiyan, Tazul I.; Hill, Josephine M.

    2016-01-01

    Several samples of activated carbon were prepared by physical (CO2) and chemical (H3PO4) activation of aspen wood and tested for the adsorption of organic compounds from water generated during the recovery of bitumen using steam assisted gravity drainage. Total organic carbon removal by the carbon samples increased proportionally with total pore volume as determined from N2 adsorption isotherms at −196 °C. The activated carbon produced by CO2 activation had similar removal levels for total organic carbon from the water (up to 70%) to those samples activated with H3PO4, but lower yields, due to losses during pyrolysis and activation. A method to increase the yield when using CO2 activation was proposed and consisted of recycling bio-oil produced from previous runs to the aspen wood feed, followed by either KOH addition (0.48%) or air pretreatment (220 °C for 3 h) before pyrolysis and activation. By recycling the bio-oil, the yield of CO2 activated carbon (after air pretreatment of the mixture) was increased by a factor of 1.3. Due to the higher carbon yield, the corresponding total organic carbon removal, per mass of wood feed, increased by a factor of 1.2 thus improving the overall process efficiency. PMID:28787817

  9. Activation of Aspen Wood with Carbon Dioxide and Phosphoric Acid for Removal of Total Organic Carbon from Oil Sands Produced Water: Increasing the Yield with Bio-Oil Recycling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrei Veksha

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Several samples of activated carbon were prepared by physical (CO2 and chemical (H3PO4 activation of aspen wood and tested for the adsorption of organic compounds from water generated during the recovery of bitumen using steam assisted gravity drainage. Total organic carbon removal by the carbon samples increased proportionally with total pore volume as determined from N2 adsorption isotherms at −196 °C. The activated carbon produced by CO2 activation had similar removal levels for total organic carbon from the water (up to 70% to those samples activated with H3PO4, but lower yields, due to losses during pyrolysis and activation. A method to increase the yield when using CO2 activation was proposed and consisted of recycling bio-oil produced from previous runs to the aspen wood feed, followed by either KOH addition (0.48% or air pretreatment (220 °C for 3 h before pyrolysis and activation. By recycling the bio-oil, the yield of CO2 activated carbon (after air pretreatment of the mixture was increased by a factor of 1.3. Due to the higher carbon yield, the corresponding total organic carbon removal, per mass of wood feed, increased by a factor of 1.2 thus improving the overall process efficiency.

  10. Sand and Gravel Deposits

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — This dataset is a statewide polygon coverage of sand, gravel, and stone resources. This database includes the best data available from the VT Agency of Natural...

  11. Vestled - Hvide Sande

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Juel-Christiansen, Carsten; Hesselbjerg, Marianne; Schønherr, Torben

    2009-01-01

    Værket Vestled i Hvide Sande præsenteret i sammenhæng af 1000 nutidige landskabsarkitektoniske arbejder fra hele verden, hvor hvert værk vises på én side......Værket Vestled i Hvide Sande præsenteret i sammenhæng af 1000 nutidige landskabsarkitektoniske arbejder fra hele verden, hvor hvert værk vises på én side...

  12. Running Out Of and Into Oil. Analyzing Global Oil Depletion and Transition Through 2050

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Greene, David L. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Hopson, Janet L. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Li, Jia [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2003-10-01

    This report presents a risk analysis of world conventional oil resource production, depletion, expansion, and a possible transition to unconventional oil resources such as oil sands, heavy oil and shale oil over the period 2000 to 2050. Risk analysis uses Monte Carlo simulation methods to produce a probability distribution of outcomes rather than a single value.

  13. MECHANICAL REGENERATION OF SAND WASTE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. I. Gnir

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The experimental activation of the sand regenerator of the firm SINTO is carried out at ОАО “MZOO". It is shown that sand grains are cleared from films of binding agents, that allows to use the treated sand for preparation of agglutinant and core sands.

  14. Sand dynamics in the Mekong River channel and export to the coastal ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, J. D.; Allison, M. A.; Di Leonardo, D. R.; Weathers, H. D.; Ogston, A. S.; McLachlan, R. L.; Xing, F.; Meselhe, E. A.

    2017-09-01

    Two field campaigns were conducted in the tidal and estuarine reach of the Sông Hậu distributary of the Mekong River to explore the dynamics of sand transport and export to the coastal ocean. This study examines variations in suspended sand concentration and net flux of suspended and bedload sand with respect to changes in discharge between the October 2014 high discharge and March 2015 low discharge season. Isokinetic measurements of suspended sand were used to calibrate a larger dataset of LISST profiles to report suspended sand mass concentrations. During the high discharge season, ebb and flood currents are a primary control on suspended sand concentrations. Ebb tidal flows are more capable of sand transport than flooding flows, due to river discharge augmenting tidal currents. Sand in suspension is primarily derived locally from bed material sand. Bedform transport estimates were limited, but suggest that bedload sand transport is less than 10% of net suspended sand flux. Very low concentrations of suspended sand sediment are found during the low discharge season. These low concentrations are likely caused by (1) a reduction in maximum ebb tide shear stresses associated with less freshwater input, and (2) mud mantling in the bed associated with upstream migration of estuarine circulation, that inhibits local sourcing (resuspension) of bed sand. Results of the observational study were used to calibrate a numerical model of annual sand flux to the ocean from all distributaries of the Mekong River. Annual sand export is estimated at 6.5 ± 1.6 Mt yr-1. The Định An subdistributary accounts for 32% of this total while the smaller Trần Đề subdistributary accounts for only 9%.

  15. Financial and monetary policy responses to oil price shocks: evidence from oil-importing and oil-exporting countries

    OpenAIRE

    Filis, George; Chatziantoniou, I.

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we investigate the financial and monetary policy responses to oil price shocks using a Structural VAR framework. We distinguish between net oil-importing and net oil-exporting countries. Since the 80s, a significant number of empirical studies have been published investigating the effect of oil prices on macroeconomic and financial variables. Most of these studies though, do not make a distinction between oil-importing and oil-exporting economies. Overall, our results indicate ...

  16. Solvent extraction of Southern US tar sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Penney, W.R.

    1990-01-01

    The Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Arkansas, in association with Diversified Petroleum Recovery, Inc. (DPR) of Little Rock, Arkansas, has been developing a solvent extraction process for the recovery of bitumen from tar sands for the past five years. The unique feature of the process is that the bitumen is recovered from the solvent by contacting with a co-solvent, which causes the bitumen to precipitate. The overall purpose of this project is to study both the technical and economic feasibility of applying this technology for recovery of bitumen from tar sands by (1) investigating the socioeconmic factors which affect (a) plant siting and (b) the market value of recovered bitumen; (2) operating a process demonstration unit at the rate of 1 lb/hr recovered bitumen while producing clean sand and recyclable solvents; and (3) determine the economic conditions which will make a bitumen recovery project economical. DPR has analyzed the historical trends of domestic production, consumption, discoveries and reserves of crude oil. They have started an investigation of the volatility in the price of crude oil and of gasoline prices and of the differential between gasoline and crude oil. DPR continues to analyze the geographical movement and demand for asphalt products. Utah does not appear economically attractive as a site for a bitumen from tar sands asphalt plant. Oklahoma sites are now being studied. This report also contains the quarterly progress report from a University of Nevada study to determine bitumen composition, oxygen uptake rates, and viscosities of Alabama and Utah bitumens. Both reports have been indexed separately for inclusion on the data base.

  17. A Mechanistic Model for Predicting and Optimising Oil-Sand Flow in Horizontal Wells Modèle mécanistique pour la prévision et l’optimisation des écoulements huile-sable dans des puits horizontaux

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sw