WorldWideScience

Sample records for oil sands

  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. Thermal Properties of oil sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    LEE, Y.; Lee, H.; Kwon, Y.; Kim, J.

    2013-12-01

    Thermal recovery methods such as Cyclic Steam Injection or Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) are the effective methods for producing heavy oil or bitumen. In any thermal recovery methods, thermal properties (e.g., thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and volumetric heat capacity) are closely related to the formation and expansion of steam chamber within a reservoir, which is key factors to control efficiency of thermal recovery. However, thermal properties of heavy oil or bitumen have not been well-studied despite their importance in thermal recovery methods. We measured thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and volumetric heat capacity of 43 oil sand samples from Athabasca, Canada, using a transient thermal property measurement instrument. Thermal conductivity of 43 oil sand samples varies from 0.74 W/mK to 1.57 W/mK with the mean thermal conductivity of 1.09 W/mK. The mean thermal diffusivity is 5.7×10-7 m2/s with the minimum value of 4.2×10-7 m2/s and the maximum value of 8.0×10-7 m2/s. Volumetric heat capacity varies from 1.5×106 J/m3K to 2.11×106 J/m3K with the mean volumetric heat capacity of 1.91×106 J/m3K. In addition, physical and chemical properties (e.g., bitumen content, electric resistivity, porosity, gamma ray and so on) of oil sand samples have been measured by geophysical logging and in the laboratory. We are now proceeding to investigate the relationship between thermal properties and physical/chemical properties of oil sand.

  3. Response to Oil Sands Products Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-01

    Tailings ponds are an operating facility common to all types of surface mining. For oil sands, tailings consisting of water , sand, clay, and residual ...oil, are pumped to these basins—or ponds— where settling occurs and water is recycled for reuse in the process. When the ponds are no longer required...of crude oil transported by tank vessel in Washington waters . In a 2013 Bloomburg Business news article , Dan Murtaugh states, “The dock probably

  4. Petrophysical Analysis of Oil Sand in Athabasca

    Science.gov (United States)

    cheong, S.; Lee, H.

    2013-12-01

    Oil sands are the major unconventional energy sources which have great reserves in Alberta, Canada. Recovery techniques such as CSS (Cyclic Steam Stimulation) and SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage) enabled to develop deeper bitumen about several hundred meter depth. Before applying CSS and SAGD, reservoir heterogeneity of mud barriers or shale breccias should be clarified to establish injection and production wells successfully. We conducted the integrated petro-physical analysis for oil sands deposits in Athabasca by correlating well logs with seismic data. From 33 well logs and 3D seismic, we have made P-wave impedance by recursive inversion. Target formations of our analysis were the top of Wabiskaw member. Using inverted impedance and multi-attributes, porosity volume was derived at a target depth. Porosity of time slice 375 ms ranged 20 ~ 40 % stretching porous sand body from NE to SW direction. Characteristics of porosity distribution may be useful to design optimum oil sands recovery in Athabasca.

  5. Mitigating in situ oil sands carbon costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Theriault, D.J.; Peterson, J. [Laricina Energy Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada); Heinrichs, H. [Canadian Chemical Technology Inc., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2008-10-15

    Carbon capture and sequestration is a complex problem with a variety of dimensions that need to be considered. The political, social, and regulatory pressures are forcing carbon costs on the oil sands industry in an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of oil sands operations. This paper reviewed the political, social, and regulatory pressures and obligations for the in-situ oil sands industry. It presented the views and insights of Laricina Energy on the carbon challenge. It also described the initiatives that Laricina Energy is taking to manage these imperatives and outlined the challenges the industry is facing. The purpose of the paper was to encourage dialogue and collaboration by the oil sands industry. The paper also described the dimensions of the carbon problem and how the industry can contribute to a solution. Last, the paper reviewed the parameters of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas containment and storage issues. It was concluded that the regulatory and policy requirements need to be clarified so that industry understands the new business landscape as well as the requirements that influence the economics of in-situ oil sands development. 7 refs., 7 figs.

  6. Water management in the oil sands industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pauls, R. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Fort McMurray, AB (Canada)

    2004-07-01

    Water management issues at Alberta's 4 oil sand deposits were discussed. The 4 deposits include the Peace River, Athabasca, Wabasca and Cold Lake deposits, with the Athabasca deposit being the largest and the only surface-mineable deposit. Large quantities of water are needed to extract bitumen from oil sands. This paper addressed water volume withdrawal from the Athabasca River, the primary source of water for the surface-mining oil sands industry. It also addressed Muskeg River watershed integrity, quality of water withdrawn from reclaimed landscapes, groundwater contamination, and ecological viability of end-pit lakes. Currently, half of Syncrude's oil sand is transported from mine to extraction plant by conveyor belts. The other half is pipelined as a warm water slurry. By 2005, all transport will be by pipeline. The oil sand is mixed with hot water, steam and surfactants to condition it for extraction. Seventy-nine per cent of the water used by Syncrude is recycled water and the remainder comes from the Athabasca River. Syncrude diverts 2.5 to 3 barrels of water from the Athabasca River for every barrel of oil produced. This paper discussed the in-stream flow needs of the Athabasca River based on protection of aquatic ecosystems. Flow needs are addressed by the Cumulative Effects Management Association (CEMA). The paper states that the proportion of annual flow withdrawn from the Athabasca River is too low to have a significant impact on aquatic systems, but the main concern lies in water use during low flow periods, typically during the winter months. Developers will likely come under pressure to develop off-site reservoirs to store water for use during these low-flow periods. tabs., figs.

  7. Cumulative environmental management and the oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2005-07-01

    In response to concerns regarding the cumulative environmental impacts of oil sands development within the Athabasca oil sands deposit, the government of Alberta established a Regional Sustainable Development Strategy (RSDS) to balance development with environmental protection. The environmental issues identified through the RSDS were addressed by the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA). CEMA's boundary is the Wood Buffalo region of northeastern Alberta. It identifies existing and future environmental effects in the region and proposes recommendations to regulatory bodies for reducing environmental impacts associated with oil sands development. This presentation outlined some of the 55 stakeholder representatives of CEMA, including Alberta government departments associated with resource development, oil sand developers within the region, and Aboriginal communities and First Nations. These stakeholders provide input on sector priorities and agree on environmental thresholds. Established working groups also address technical and scientific research issues identified in the RSDS such as sustainable ecosystems; surface waters; trace metals and air contaminants; nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxides; and land reclamation. To date, CEMA has submitted more than 50 reports and has made 4 major environmental recommendations for trace metal management, ecosystem management tools, a framework for acid deposition management, and a landscape design checklist. tabs., figs.

  8. 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.

  9. Collaborative production management for oil sands operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nelson, Andrew [Matrikon (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    This paper gives an overview of the collaborative production management of oil sands operations. Some characteristics of oil sands operations include oil treatment, hydro treating, diluent addition, logistics, and environmental impact assessments. Some of the business challenges include regulatory uncertainty, a fluid workforce and a technology still in the process of being developed. Improvement is only possible when process is assessed and measured; hence, production data management is very important. Production data measurements encompass such areas as planning, documentation and transactions. Regulatory data reporting is represented using a flow chart. The concepts of business application architecture and functional reference modeling are also explained. Benchmarking plays a vital role, some aspects of which would be technology, automation and integration. Certain advantages of timely assessment are increased production, equity, and goodwill as well as reduction in costs, risk, and capital requirements. The relevance and importance of collaboration, awareness of web technology and aggregate information are also explained. From the study, it can be concluded that the key to overall improvement in the oil sands industry will be improved production management.

  10. Oil sands mining water use and management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bender, M.; Long, D.; Fitch, M. [Golder Associates Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    There are currently 4 bitumen mining operations operating along the Athabasca River in northern Alberta. This paper presented details of the water licences, historical water use, present water use, and future plans for water management in relation to oil sands mining operations. The study was based on work currently conducted for the Oil Sands Developers Group (OSDG) and Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), as well as on mine site water balance analyses for proposed mines in the region. Typical mine site water balances were discussed, and water use rates for the mining operations were reviewed. The new Athabasca River water management framework may require that mines provide additional water storage or delayed reclamation of mine areas in order to offset water losses during winter low-flow periods. New regulations may also reduce the requirement for make-up water. The study also noted that release criteria are still being developed for on-site water within closed-loop mine operations. The oil sands industry will need to balance various factors related to water use in the future. 5 refs., 3 figs.

  11. Possibilities of preparation asphalt concrete by oil sands of Kazakhstan

    OpenAIRE

    Erbol Tileuberdi; Yerdos Ongarbayev; F. Behrendt; Schneider, I.; Yerzhan Imanbayev; B. Tuleutayev; Yerlan Doszhanov; Zulkhair Mansurov

    2012-01-01

    In the paper physicochemical properties of oil sands of Munayli-Mola deposits and efficient ways to use them for preparing asphalt concrete were represented. For determination of organic part of oil sands the extraction methods were used in Soxhlet apparatus by variety of solvents. It has been established 16 wt.% content of natural bitumen in oil sands, which compared with results of ash content determination. According to results of experiment, the natural bitumen is heavy oil and its charac...

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

    OpenAIRE

    John P. Robinson; Binner, Eleanor; Saeid, Abdul; Al-Harahsheh, Mohammad; Kingman, S. W.

    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. Oil sands to the rescue: oil sand microbial communities can degrade recalcitrant alkyl phenyl alkanoic acids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whitby, Corinne [University of Essex (Canada)], email: cwhitby@essex.ac.uk

    2011-07-01

    Almost half of all global oil reserves are found as biodegraded heavy oils found in vast tar sand deposits located in North and South America and these account for 47% of Canadian oil production. Oil sand extraction generates large amounts of toxic waste water, known as oil sand process waters (OSPW), that are stored in large tailing ponds that contain toxic compounds like naphthenic acids (NAs). The presence of NAs creates problems like toxicity, corrosion, and the formation of calcium napthenate deposits which block pipelines and other infrastructure and need to be removed. This paper presents oil sand microbial communities that can degrade these NAs. The approach is to apply new aliphatic and aromatic NAs as substrates to supplement and identify NA degrading microbes and also to identify the metabolites produced and explain NA degradation pathways and the functional genes involved. The chemistry and the processes involved are explained. From the results, it is suggested that pure cultures of P. putida KT2440 be used against NAs.

  15. Sand Failure Mechanism and Sanding Parameters in Niger Delta Oil Reservoirs

    OpenAIRE

    Sunday Isehunwa,; Andrew Farotade

    2010-01-01

    Sand production is a major issue during oil and gas production from unconsolidated reservoirs. In predicting the onset of sand production, it is important to accurately determine the failure mechanism and the contributing parameters. The aim of this study was to determine sand failure mechanism in the Niger-Delta, identify themajor contributing parameters and evaluate their effects on sanding.Completion and production data from 78 strings completed on 22 reservoirs in a Niger Delta oil Field ...

  16. Athabasca oil sands development : lessening the footprint

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dyer, R. [Alberta Environment, AB (Canada)

    2005-07-01

    This presentation provided an overview of the oil sands development footprint from the perspectives of industry, environmental associations and regulatory agencies. A map of regional oil sands developments was presented along with details of land disturbance to date. Industry strategies for lessening the impact of land disturbance include compact space-efficient mining operations; good planning; and effective, progressive reclamation. A closure and reclamation model was presented, along with key reclamation challenges such as overburden. Issues concerning tailings sands were examined. Details of Syncrude's closure vision were presented, including details of the Mildred Lake site. Details of the Fort McMurray Environmental Association were presented as well as various regional multi-stakeholder initiatives. A background of Syncrude and Suncor operations was presented as well as development projection forecasts. Impacts to the Boreal region were examined. Details of land reclamation by Syncrude were provided, as well as a chart of cumulative disturbances. It was noted that recent applications have indicated numerous reclamation uncertainties, including long-term performance of landforms and the feasibility of developing trafficable tailings landforms. It was suggested that the ecosystem dynamics of the Boreal are poorly understood. Exacerbating factors include the degraded state of soils; viability of end pit lakes; and climate change. It was suggested that operators are proposing to deal with landscape and technology uncertainty using adaptive management strategies. Government responses to the oil sand development footprint include the encouragement of more research into tailings technologies, end pit lake viability and reclamation; and the identification of regional landscape ecological thresholds by the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA). It was concluded that uncertainty needs to be addressed via a variety of policy and management options

  17. Geology of the Athabasca oil sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mossop, G. D.

    1980-01-01

    In-place bitumen resources in the Alberta oil sands are estimated at 1350 billion barrels. Open-pit mining and hot water extraction methods, which involve the handling of huge tonnages of earth materials, are being employed in the two commercial plants now operating. In situ recovery methods will be required to tap the 90 percent of reserves that are too deeply buried to be surface mined. Development of in situ technologies will be painstaking and expensive, and success will hinge on their compatibility with extremely complex geological conditions in the subsurface.

  18. 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.

  19. Non-aqueous heavy oil extraction from oil sand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bohnert, George [National Nuclear Security Administration (United States)

    2011-07-01

    The Kansas City plant operated by Honeywell has a long history of working with DOE NNSA on engineering and manufacturing services supporting national security requirements. The plant has developed a non-aqueous method for heavy oil extraction from oil sands. This method is environmentally friendly as it does not use any external body of water, which would normally be contaminated in the conventional method. It is a 2 phase process consisting of terpene, limonene or alpha pinene, and carbon dioxide. The CO2 and terpene phases are both closed loop systems which minimizes material loss. The limonene and alpha pinene are both naturally derived solvents that come from citrus sources or pine trees respectively. Carbon dioxide is an excellent co-solvent with terpene. There is also a possibility for heat loss recovery during the distillation phase. This process produces clean dry sand. Laboratory tests have concluded that this using non-aqueous liquids process works effectively.

  20. Sand Failure Mechanism and Sanding Parameters in Niger Delta Oil Reservoirs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunday Isehunwa,

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Sand production is a major issue during oil and gas production from unconsolidated reservoirs. In predicting the onset of sand production, it is important to accurately determine the failure mechanism and the contributing parameters. The aim of this study was to determine sand failure mechanism in the Niger-Delta, identify themajor contributing parameters and evaluate their effects on sanding.Completion and production data from 78 strings completed on 22 reservoirs in a Niger Delta oil Field were evaluated. Sand failure mechanisms and contributing parameters were identified and compared with published profiles. The results showed that cohesive stress is the predominant sand failure mechanism. Water cut, bean size and gas oil ratio (GOR impact sand production in the Niger Delta.

  1. A New Type of Exposed Oil Sand Mine

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    With several means of analysis, the unique organic compound component and distribution of exposed oil sand existing in Qinghai, north-west China, is revealed. Qinghhai oil sand has great content of light components with high saturated hydrocarbon content up to approximately 50%, while its heavy components of colloid and asphaltene is rather low (<38%); straight-chain alkane has a regular distribution concentrating mainly around C28; it has a very high atom ratio of H/C. The physical parameters of the oil sand mine are within the range of common heavy oils. Such chemical composition and distribution obviously differs from that of other known exposed oil sand mines. This particular property of the oil sand is formed due to the unique geographical and geological environment. Therefore, it is intended to exploit the mine with a new combined method, i.e., first drill horizontal wells and then opencut.

  2. Sand Production during Improved Oil Recovery in Unconsolidated Cores

    OpenAIRE

    Mohammad A. J. Ali.; S. M. Kholosy; A. A. Al-Haddad; K. K. AL-Hamad

    2012-01-01

    Steam injection is a mechanisms used for improved oil recovery (IOR) in heavy oil reservoirs. Heating the reservoir reduces the oil viscosity and causes the velocity of the moving oil to increase; and thus, the heated zone around the injection well will have high velocity. The increase of velocity in an unconsolidated formation is usually accompanied with sand movement in the reservoir creating a potential problem. Core samples from different wells in Kuwait were used to examine sand producti...

  3. The economics of oil definitions: the case of Canada's oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reynolds, D.B. [University of Alaska Fairbanks (United States). School of Management, Department of Economics

    2005-03-01

    Canada has chosen to define its 174 billion barrels of oil sand bitumen reserves as crude oil deposits, putting the country on a par with Saudi Arabia in potential oil production. However, the physical and economic definition of calling oil sand bitumen crude oil needs to be questioned. On the face of it, these definitions make Canada look as powerful as OPEC's leading producer, or Russia, on the world oil market. However, a fuller analysis shows that Canadian oil sand is quite different from crude oil and that Canada will have little if any effect on the global oil market, or on OPEC. (author)

  4. Alberta oil sands crudes : upgrading and marketing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-05-15

    Open pit mining and in situ techniques, such as steam stimulation, are used to recover Alberta's bitumen and heavy oil resources, which have higher viscosities than conventional hydrocarbons. The bitumen is typically upgraded to synthetic crude oil (SCO). In the simplest processing scheme, the bitumen is blended with diluent for ease in pipeline transport and then processed at refineries with upgrading facilities. The bitumen is also upgraded to light SCO at world-scale upgraders in Alberta. The SCO is then processed at refineries in downstream markets. The 2 categories of upgrading, notably primary and secondary upgrading, were described in this article along with technology options for both categories. Slurry hydrocracking is regarded as the most interesting emerging residual fuel upgrading technology. It combines special catalyst mixes with the latest slurry reactor designs as well as innovative catalyst capture and recycle schemes to produce very high conversions and potentially superior upgrading economics. The increase in volume and rate of SCO from Alberta provides refiners in the oil sands marketing sector an unprecedented choice of opportunities to improve profitability. Key trends indicate that production will increase substantially from 2008 to 2030. 5 figs.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Sulfur biogeochemistry of oil sands composite tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Warren, Lesley; Stephenson, Kate [Earth Sciences, McMaster University (Canada)], email: warrenl@mcmaster.ca; Penner, Tara [Syncrude Environmental Research (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    This paper discusses the sulfur biogeochemistry of oil sands composite tailings (CT). The Government of Alberta is accelerating reclamation activities on composite tailings. As a CT pilot reclamation operation, Syncrude is currently constructing the first freshwater fen. Minor unpredicted incidents with H2S gas released from the dewatering process associated with these reclamations have been reported. The objective of this study is to ascertain the connection between microbial activity and H2S generation within CT and to assess the sulfur biogeochemistry of untreated and treated (fen) CT over seasonal and annual timescales. The microbial geochemical interactions taking place are shown using a flow chart. CT is composed of gypsum, sand, clay and organics like naphthenic acids and bitumen. Sulfur and Fe cycling in mining systems and their microbial activities are presented. The chemistry and the processes involved within CT are also given along with the results. It can be said that the diverse Fe and S metabolizing microorganisms confirm the ecology involved in H2S dynamics.

  8. 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...

  9. New uses of gas in Canada : oil sands gas demand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Camarta, N. [Shell Canada Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2003-07-01

    The relationship between the price of natural gas and the development of oil sands in northern Alberta was discussed with reference to Shell Canada's Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP), its resource base and plans for future expansion. Several graphs were presented, depicting world scale resources, Canadian oil production, and the North American oil market. Graphs depicting future projections for oil sands natural gas demand and cogeneration capacity showed that the trend for both demand and capacity is steadily increasing. The AOSP is a large high quality reserve with low overburden. The project utilizes advanced bitumen clean-up technology and the site is equipped with a highly integrated refinery that exploits infrastructure synergies. Some of the risk factors associated with oil sand development were described as being capital costs, operating costs, commodity prices, labour supply, and the Kyoto Protocol. 24 figs.

  10. 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)

  11. Possibilities of preparation asphalt concrete by oil sands of Kazakhstan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erbol Tileuberdi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In the paper physicochemical properties of oil sands of Munayli-Mola deposits and efficient ways to use them for preparing asphalt concrete were represented. For determination of organic part of oil sands the extraction methods were used in Soxhlet apparatus by variety of solvents. It has been established 16 wt.% content of natural bitumen in oil sands, which compared with results of ash content determination. According to results of experiment, the natural bitumen is heavy oil and its characteristics close to characteristics of paving bitumen. The optimum content of oil sands in asphalt mix are 28 and 47 mass %, the mixes prepared under these conditions satisfy standard requirements of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the asphalt mixture ST RK 1225-2003.

  12. A Sand Control System for Light Oil Reservoir

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiang Yuzhang

    1996-01-01

    @@ Over 30-year water flooding in light oil sandstone reservoirs with loose argillaceous cement in Karamay oilfield results in severe sand production, varying from well to well with the different date of well completion.

  13. University of Utah Oil Sand Research and Development Program

    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.

    1993-12-31

    An overview of the Oil Sand Research and Development Program at the University of Utah will be presented. It will include resource characterization of the Uinta Basin oils and deposits and bitumens and bitumen-derived liquid recovery and upgrading technology and product utilization. The characterization studies will include the Whiterocks and Asphalt Ridge oil sands. The discussion of recovery and upgrading technologies will include aqueous separation, thermal recovery processes; solvent extraction, and thermal and catalytic upgrading of bitumen and bitumen-derived heavy oils. Product evaluation studies will include jet fuels, diesel fuel, asphalt and specialty chemicals. Plans for the future of the project will be discussed.

  14. Detecting oil sands process-affected waters in the Alberta oil sands region using synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavanagh, Richard J; Burnison, B Kent; Frank, Richard A; Solomon, Keith R; Van Der Kraak, Glen

    2009-06-01

    Large volumes of oil sands process-affected waters (OSPW) are produced during the extraction of bitumen from oil sand. There are approximately 10(9) m(3) of OSPW currently being stored in settling basins on oil sands mining sites in Northern Alberta. Developers plan to create artificial lakes with OSPW and it is expected that this water may eventually enter the environment. This study was conducted in order to determine if synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy (SFS) could detect OSPW contamination in water systems. Water samples collected from ponds containing OSPW and selected sites in the Alberta oil sands region were evaluated using SFS with an offset value of 18 nm. OSPW ponds consistently displayed a minor peak at 282.5 nm and a broad major peak ranging between 320 and 340 nm. Water from reference sites within the oil sands region had little fluorescence at 282.5 nm but greater fluorescence beyond 345 nm. Naphthenic acids are the major toxic component of OSPW. Both a commercial naphthenic acid and a naphthenic acid extract prepared from OSPW had similar fluorescent spectra with peaks at 280 nm and 320 nm and minor shoulders at approximately 303 and 331 nm. The presence of aromatic acids closely associated with the naphthenic acids may be responsible for unique fluorescence at 320-340 nm. SFS is proposed to be a simple and fast method to monitor the release of OSPW into ground and surface waters in the oil sands region.

  15. Production of oil from Intermountain West tar sands deposits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glassett, J.M.; Glassett, J.A.

    1976-03-01

    Six tar sand deposits in the Intermountain West, each containing more than one billion barrels of oil in place, are identified. All of these deposits are in eastern Utah and contain a total of twenty-eight billion barrels of oil. The names of the six deposits arranged in descending order of desirability for large-scale surface-mining oil recovery operations are as follows: Sunnyside, Tar Sand Triangle, Asphalt Ridge, P.R. Spring, Circle Cliffs, and Hill Creek. An overview of each deposit is presented including geology, surface-mining variables, chemical processing variables, environmental aspects, and economics. A comparison of Utah tar sands and Athabasca, Alberta, Canada tar sands is also presented.

  16. 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

  17. 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 Oil sands are natural deposits of sand materials that are rich in bitumen. Limited studies have been conducted to determine the dynamic behavior of oil sand materials. Recent difficulties encountered in oil sand mine fields in Canada substantiated...

  18. Origin of Unliberated Bitumen in Athabasca Oil Sands

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TuYun; J.B.O'Carroll; B.D.Sparks; L.S.Kotlyar; S.Ng; K.H.Chung; G.Cuddy

    2005-01-01

    Oil sands contain a so-called organic rich solids component (ORS), i.e., solids whose surfaces are strongly associated with toluene insoluble organic matter (TIOM). Typically, humic material is the major component of TIOM.It provides sites for adsorption and chemical fixation of bitumen. This bound bitumen is """"""""unliberated"""""""", and considerable mechanical or chemical energy may be required to release it. In order to establish a correlation between bitumen recovery and ORS content, a few selected oil sands were processed in a Batch Extraction Unit (BEU).Analysis of the middlings and coarse tailings streams from these tests indicated a relatively constant bitumen to ORS ratio of 2.8±0.7. This value allows the liberated-unliberated bitumen balance (LUBB) to be calculated for any given oil sands. The amounts of bitumen recovered as primary froth during the BEU experiments are close to the estimated liberated bitumen contents in each case tested. This observation indicates that the liberated-unliberated bitumen calculation is an important quantitative parameter for prediction of bitumen recovery under specific recovery conditions. Preliminary results indicate that the ORS content of an oil sands may be estimated from the carbon content of bitumen free oil sands solids.

  19. The use of stable isotopes to trace oil sands constituents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farwell, A.J.; Nero, V.; Dixon, D.G. [Waterloo Univ., ON (Canada). Dept. of Biology

    2002-07-01

    A study was conducted to determine the biological effects of oil sands mining operations on aquatic ecosystems. The study focused on the Athabasca oil sand deposit, the largest of 4 deposits in northern Alberta. In particular, the study examined the cycling of oil sand constituents in Benthic invertebrates collected from test pits at Syncrude Canada Ltd.. The invertebrates were similar in size, but different in the quantity of process-affected water or mature fine tailings containing residual bitumen. Dragonflies and damselflies in particular, showed trends of depletion for the carbon 13 isotope and enrichment in nitrogen 15 isotope in pits where levels of process affected water was high. The depletion of carbon 13 isotope suggests that oil sand constituents assimilate into the benthic food chain. The greatest carbon 13 depletion, which was approximately 27 per cent, was found to be in test pits with high turbidity. This implies that oil sands constituents degrade microbially instead of by photosynthetic production. All benthic invertebrate group demonstrated an incremental enrichment in nitrogen 15 isotope from the control pit to the pit with greatest levels of mature fine tailings.

  20. 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.

  1. Cleaning oil sands drilling waste in Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mikic, N.; Nilsen, C.; Markabi, M. [Mi SWACO, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    The waste generated from steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) wells is brought to the surface and separated by shale shakers. The waste can include drilling fluids and sand contaminated with bitumen. This paper described a new technology developed to treat waste using the addition of hot water and various mixing and separation technologies to reduce the viscosity of the bitumen and separate it from the sand. The bitumen-contaminated drill cuttings were mixed with hot water to form a slurry that was then separated through the G-force created by a hydrocyclone. A secondary separation was then conducted in an elutriation column to remove residual contaminants from the sand. The flow rate of the process was controlled by the fine solids composition of the cuttings, the temperature of the cleaning process, and the performance of the individual components. Laboratory tests conducted to tests the method showed that the sand particles produced using the method were clean enough to be safely disposed in the environment. A pilot study will be conducted to test the sand cleaning technology at a commercial scale. 6 refs., 3 figs.

  2. 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.

  3. A novel and innovative process to produce oil from tar sands and heavy oil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Denivelle, C. [OSEAD, Paris (France); Fourt, J.F. [Truffle Capital, Paris (France)

    2009-07-01

    Oil sands extraction by adsorption (OSEAD) was created in October 2006 to develop an innovative hydrocarbon extraction technology from oil sands. It has since grown by taking control of a lead, zinc and silver mine in Morocco. This paper discussed the novel and innovative OSEAD process to produce oil from tar sands and heavy oil. The paper provided a description of the oil sand samples and discussed lab testing. The adsorption and desorption phases were both outlined. The main properties of the agent were identified. A summary of the test work results was also presented. The optimized OSEAD process includes an ore preparation step involving mixing of oil sand and water at ambient temperature; an adsorption step involving addition of agent to the sand/water mix; a phase separation step; a desorption step; and a tailings treatment step. It was concluded that the laboratory test work performed on Canadian oil sands is conclusive in demonstrating the capacity of the OSEAD process to efficiently adsorb heavy and viscous hydrocarbon at ambient temperature and with limited amount of water addition. 11 figs., 1 appendix.

  4. 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

  5. Performance monitoring of electric shovels digging oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Patnayak, S. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Natural Resources Engineering Facility; Tannant, D.D. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering; Parsons, I. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Edmonton Research Centre; Del Valle, V. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Fort McMurray, AB (Canada)

    2005-07-01

    Some of the largest available mining equipment is used for oil sand mining operations. However, the performance of electric cable shovels varies with the diggability characteristics of the ground. In particular, oil sands diggability with cable shovels depends on structural geology, the depositional environment and geotechnical parameters. This paper described some of the key shovel performance indicators such as dig cycle time, digging energy and digging power. In winter, frost penetration can also affect oil sands diggability. The challenge of hard digging in oil sands is often addressed by blasting or ripping, which increases the cost of production and impedes productivity. The shovel performance is also influenced by other parameters such as operator skills, bucket and tooth design and shovel dipper trajectory. This paper demonstrated that hoist and crowd motor voltages and currents are useful in identifying the beginning and end of dig cycles. Performance indicators such as dig cycle time, hoist motor energy and power, and crowd motor energy and power were considered to assess material diggability. It was suggested that hoist power represents the ground diggability better than other performance indicators. 5 refs., 1 tab., 10 figs.

  6. 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 Oil sands are natural deposits of bituminous sand materials that are mined and processed for crude oil. They are routinely used in oil sand fields for building temporary and sometimes permanent roads serving mining and hauling activities. Although...

  7. 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.

  8. Successful strategies for water management in the oil sands region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, J.; Baker, M. [Shell Canada Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada). Oil Sands Division

    2004-07-01

    Since large quantities of water are required for oil sand mining, water withdrawals from rivers located near oil sand mining facilities may increase. This paper referred to the water-based extraction process at the Muskeg River Mine operated by Albian Sands Energy. Although water is recycled and reused as much as possible, drought conditions in Alberta have raised concerns about the potential increased rates of water withdrawal during seasonal low flow periods. Measures have been taken to manage river withdrawals and ensure sustainability of aquatic resources. A committee has been established under the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) to develop a management system for the Athabasca River. The committee includes stakeholders from federal and provincial governments, First Nations, non-government groups and industry. This paper describes the challenges facing oil sands developers in the region with particular emphasis on the role that the newly developed management system called 'Instream Flow Needs', will have on the cumulative water withdrawal from the Athabasca River. 9 figs.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. Oil sand process-affected water treatment using coke adsorption

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gamal El-Din, M.; Pourrezaei, P.; Chelme-Ayala, P.; Zubot, W. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    2010-07-01

    Oil sands operations generate an array of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) that will eventually be released to the environment. This water must be evaluated within conventional and advanced water treatment technologies. Water management strategies propose options for increased reuse and recycling of water from settling ponds, as well as safe discharge. This presentation outlined the typical composition of OSPW. Constituents of concern in OSPW include suspended solids, hydrocarbons, salts, ammonia, trace metals, and dissolved organics such as naphthenic acids (NAs). Petroleum coke is one of the by-products generated from bitumen extraction in the oil sands industry and can be used as one of the possible treatment processes for the removal of organic compounds found in OSPW. Activated carbon adsorption is an effective process, able to adsorb organic substances such as oils, radioactive compounds, petroleum hydrocarbons, poly aromatic hydrocarbons and various halogenated compounds. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the production of activated carbon from petroleum coke using steam as the activation media; to determine the factors affecting the absorption of NAs; and to evaluate the activated coke adsorption capacity for the reduction of NAs and dissolved organic carbons present in OSPW. It was concluded that petroleum non-activated coke has the ability to decrease COD, alkalinity, and NA concentration. tabs., figs.

  16. 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.

  17. North American Oil Sands: History of Development, Prospects for the Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-17

    mixture of sand, bitumen (a heavy crude that does not flow naturally), and water, can be mined or the oil can be extracted in-situ using thermal recovery...quartz sand, bitumen , and water that can either be mined or extracted in-situ5 using thermal recovery techniques. Typically, oil sands contain about...different technology for bitumen extraction than that used for Alberta’s water-wetted deposits. Oil sands are characterized as having a wet interface

  18. Oil sands water withdrawal challenges and the Athabasca River

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, J.; Baker, M. [Shell Canada Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada). Calgary Research Centre

    2003-07-01

    Drought conditions in Alberta have raised concerns regarding water withdrawal from the Athabasca River for oil sands development projects in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo in Northeastern Alberta. In particular, concerns have been raised about the potential increased rates of water withdrawal during seasonal low flow periods. A committee has been established under the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) to develop a management system for the Athabasca River. The committee includes stakeholders from federal and provincial governments, First Nations, non-government groups and industry. This paper describes the challenges facing oil sands developers in the region with particular emphasis on the role that the newly developed management system called 'Instream Flow Needs', will have on the cumulative water withdrawal from the Athabasca River. tabs., figs.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Managing the environmental challenges of oil sand development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weagle, K. [Cumulative Environmental Management Association, Fort McMurray, AB (Canada)

    2003-07-01

    A brief overview of the development of the oil sand industry in Alberta was provided with reference to proposed projects, government revenue, and jobs in the industry between 1995 and 2002. The major environmental concerns facing the industry are: corporations and environmental risk; the process required by both the federal government and the government of Alberta to address cumulative effects; and, an increased interest in resource development. Self-regulation in the sector was discussed, examining who pays the bills, and the triad of self-regulation. The author described the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) as being a multi-shareholder group working to implement sustainable development strategies by promoting management and understanding of cumulative impacts. The 14 themes of CEMA were examined, its goals reviewed, and the corporate structure described. Other challenges facing the oil sands industry originate from the Kyoto Protocol negotiations and construction costs. The Alberta government fosters a climate that encourages continued development in Alberta's oil sands areas. figs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debenest, T; Turcotte, P; Gagné, F; Gagnon, C; Blaise, C

    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) (72h-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 (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. Crown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Coagulation-flocculation pretreatment of oil sands process affected water

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pourrezaei, P.; El-Din, M.G. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    2008-07-01

    This presentation addressed the issue of water use in the oil sands industry and efforts to use this limited resource more efficiently. Three wastewater treatment schemes for oil sands tailings ponds were proposed, notably primary, secondary and tertiary treatment. Primary treatment involves the removal of suspended solids using physical-chemical treatments. Secondary treatment involves the removal of dissolved solids and organics using chemical oxidation, ultrafiltration or nanofiltration. Tertiary treatment involves removal of residual organics/solids using biological activated carbon filtration, sand filtration or reverse osmosis. The composition of oil sands process water (OSPW) was also discussed with reference to suspended solids, salts, hydrocarbons, other dissolved organics (such as naphthenic acids and phenols), ammonia, inorganic compounds and trace elements. The conventional coagulation/flocculation process is essential in industrial wastewater treatment. It is cost effective, easy to operate and energy efficient. The process is used because small suspended and colloidal particles and dissolved constituents cannot be removed quickly by sedimentation. A chemical method must be used. Coagulation/flocculation brings small suspended and colloidal particles into contact so that they collide, stick and grow to a size that settles readily. Alum is the predominant and least expensive water treatment coagulant used for the coagulation/flocculation process. It provides positively charged ions to neutralize the negative charge of colloidal particles resulting in aggregation. It creates big settling flocs that enmesh colloids as it settles. The factors affecting the process include pH, chemical type, chemical concentration, rapid mixing intensity, slow mixing intensity and time. tabs., figs.

  5. Assessing the bioremediation potential of algal species indigenous to oil sands process-affected waters on mixtures of oil sands acid extractable organics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruffell, Sarah E; Frank, Richard A; Woodworth, Adam P; Bragg, Leslie M; Bauer, Anthony E; Deeth, Lorna E; Müller, Kirsten M; Farwell, Andrea J; Dixon, D George; Servos, Mark R; McConkey, Brendan J

    2016-11-01

    Surface mining extraction of bitumen from oil sand in Alberta, Canada results in the accumulation of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). In attempts to maximize water recycling, and because its constituents are recognized as being toxic, OSPW is retained in settling basins. Consequently, research efforts are currently focused on developing remediation strategies capable of detoxifying OSPW to allow for eventual release. One potential bioremediation strategy proposes to utilize phytoplankton native to the Alberta oil sand region to sequester, break down, or modify the complex oil sands acid extractable organic (AEO) mixtures in OSPW. Preliminary attempts to quantify changes in total oil sands AEO concentration in test solutions by ESI-MS following a 14-day algal remediation period revealed the presence of unknown organic acids in control samples, likely released by the phytoplankton strains and often of the same atomic mass range as the oil sands AEO under investigation. To address the presence of these "biogenic" organic acids in test samples, ESI-MS in MRM mode was utilized to identify oil sands AEO "marker ions" that were a) present within the tested oil sands AEO extract and b) unique to the oil sands AEO extract only (e.g. atomic masses different from biogenic organic acids). Using this approach, one of the 21 tested algal strains, Stichococcus sp. 1, proved capable of significantly reducing the AEO marker ion concentration at test concentrations of 10, 30, and 100mgL(-1). This result, along with the accelerated growth rate and recalcitrance of this algal strain with exposure to oil sands AEO, suggests the strong potential for the use of the isolated Stichococcus sp. 1 as a candidate for bioremediation strategies.

  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. Characterization of napthenic acids in oil sands process-affected waters using fluorescence technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, L.; Alostaz, M.; Ulrich, A. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    2009-07-01

    Process-affected water from oil sands production plants presents a major environmental challenge to oil sands operators due to its toxicity to different organisms as well as its corrosiveness in refinery units. This abstract investigated the use of fluorescence excitation-emission matrices to detect and characterize changes in naphthenic acid in oil sands process-affected waters. Samples from oil sands production plants and storage ponds were tested. The study showed that oil sands naphthenic acids show characteristic fluorescence signatures when excited by ultraviolet light in the range of 260 to 350 mm. The signal was a unique attribute of the naphthenic acid molecule. Changes in the fluorescence signature can be used to determine chemical changes such as degradation or aging. It was concluded that the technology can be used as a non-invasive continuous water quality monitoring tool to increase process control in oil sands processing plants.

  10. Processing of tailings in Canadian oil sands industry

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Vast amounts of tailings are produced daily in bitumen extraction from the Athabasca oil sands. The coarse sand from the tailings stream is used to build dykes around the containment basin. The run-off slurry arrives at the water's edge in the tailings pond at a solids concentration of about 3%~8% by mass. Settling of the solids takes place "relatively fast", over several days, creating a "free water zone" that contains little solids. When the fine mineral solids concentration has reached about 15% by mass, the suspension develops non-Newtonian properties. After 2~3 years, the suspension concentration reaches a value of about 30% by mass at which the settling rate becomes extremely slow. Methods to handle the already created tailings ponds and new approaches to eliminate the creation of new ones will be discussed both from the industrial and fundamental prospective.

  11. Regional sustainable development strategy for the Athabasca oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Braat, T.; Barrett, R. [Alberta Environment, Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2003-07-01

    This paper describes the efforts by Alberta Environment to implement a regional sustainable development strategy for the oil sands industry. Alberta Environment gathers the views from industry, government, First Nations and non-governmental organizations on issues regarding cumulative environmental impacts and sustainable industrial development in Alberta's Athabasca oil sands area. This mandate is carried out through a multi-stakeholder partnership initiative called the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA). CEMA develops environmental management tools, guidelines and objectives to address environmental issues such as acid deposition, trace air pollutants and surface water quality. The NOx/SO{sub 2} Working Group and the Trace Metal and Air Contaminants Working Group of CEMA address air emissions issues. Their recommendations are referred to the appropriate regulatory agency for implementation. The Lakeland Industry and Community Association (LICA) was created in response to expansion of oil and gas production in the Cold Lake area. LICA is a not-for-profit organization that addresses the concerns of residents living near the Lakeland area to ensure that development is conducted in an environmentally responsible manner. The organization is developing regional environmental monitoring programs for soil, air and water. tabs., figs.

  12. Quantifying Sources of Methane in the Alberta Oil Sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baray, S.; Darlington, A. L.; Gordon, M.; Hayden, K.; Li, S. M.; Mittermeier, R. L.; O'brien, J.; Staebler, R. M.; McLaren, R.

    2015-12-01

    In the summer of 2013, an aircraft measurement campaign led by Environment Canada with participation from university researchers took place to investigate the sources and transformations of gas pollutants in the Alberta oil sands region close to Fort McMurray, Alberta. Apart from its ability to change the radiative forcing of the atmosphere, methane is also a significant precursor to the formation of formaldehyde, an important radical source. Thus, emissions of methane from facilities need to be understood since they can have air quality implications through alteration of the radical budget and hence, the oxidation capacity of the air mass. Methane was measured, along with other gases, via a cavity ring-down spectroscopy instrument installed on the Convair-580 aircraft. In total, there were 22 flights with 82 hours of measurements in the vicinity of oil sands facilities between August 13 and September 7, 2013. Various tools have been used to visualize the spatial and temporal variation in mixing ratios of methane and other trace gases in order to identify possible sources of methane. Enhancements of methane from background levels of 1.9 ppm up to ~4 ppm were observed close to energy mining facilities in the oil sands region. Sources of methane identified include open pit mining, tailings ponds, upgrader stacks and in-situ mining operations. Quantification of the emission rates of methane from distinct sources has been accomplished from box flights and downwind screen flights by identifying the ratios of trace gases emitted and through use of the Top-down Emission Rate Retrieval Algorithm (TERRA). Methane emission rates for some of these sources will be presented.

  13. Stabilization of sand dunes with oil residue:Application to civil engineering construction and environmental implications

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Esmail Aflaki; Alborz Hajiannia

    2015-01-01

    The present work ascertains the feasibility of oil residue treatment for stabilizing wind-blown sand dunes. Various combinations of natural collapsible saline from the Jandaq desert of Iran and oil residue from distillation towers of Iranian refineries were tested in laboratory experiments. Stabilized sands were evaluated in terms of geotechnical properties, permeability, and oil retention characteristics (i.e. bonding mechanisms, leaching and migrating behaviour of oil residue from the stabilized sands). Since the presence of oil residue in soils can pose an environmental threat, the optimum retention capacity of the stabilized sands is of critical concern. Relative to sand that was not augmented with oil residue, specimens made of 7% oil residues had the highest compressive strength, significantly higher cohesion and load bearing capacity, and considerably lower permeability. The effect of distilled water, saline water and municipal sewage on prepared specimens were also evaluated.

  14. Threshold Considerations and Wetland Reclamation in Alberta's Mineable Oil Sands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee Foote

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Oil sand extraction in Alberta, Canada is a multibillion dollar industry operating over 143 km² of open pit mining and 4600 km² of other bitumen strata in northern boreal forests. Oil production contributes to Canada-wide GDP, creates socio-cultural problems, provides energy exports and employment, and carries environmental risks regarding long-term reclamation uncertainties. Of particular concern are the implications for wetlands and water supply management. Mining of oil sands is very attractive because proven reserves of known quality occur in an accessible, politically stable environment with existing infrastructure and an estimated 5.5 billion extractable barrels to be mined over the next five decades. Extraction occurs under a set of limiting factors or thresholds including: limited social tolerance at local to international levels for externalities of oil sand production; water demands > availability; limited natural gas supplies for oil processing leading to proposals for hydroelectric dams and nuclear reactors to be constructed; difficulties in reclaiming sufficient habitat area to replace those lost. Replacement of the 85 km² of peat-forming wetlands forecast to be destroyed appears unlikely. Over 840 billion liters of toxic fluid byproducts are currently held in 170 km² of open reservoirs without any known process to purify this water in meaningful time frames even as some of it leaches into adjacent lands and rivers. Costs for wetland reclamation are high with estimates of $4 to $13 billion, or about 6% of the net profits generated from mining those sites. This raises a social equity question of how much reclamation is appropriate. Time frames for economic, political, and ecological actions are not well aligned. Local people on or near mine sites have had to change their area use for decades and have been affected by industrial development. Examining mining effects to estimate thresholds of biophysical realities, time scales

  15. 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.

  16. Robotics and automation for oil sands bitumen production and maintenance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipsett, M.G. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

    2008-07-01

    This presentation examined technical challenges and commercial challenges related to robotics and automation processes in the mining and oil sands industries. The oil sands industry has on-going cost pressures. Challenges include the depths to which miners must travel, as well as problems related to equipment reliability and safety. Surface mines must operate in all weather conditions with a variety of complex systems. Barriers for new technologies include high capital and operating expenses. It has also proven difficult to integrate new technologies within established mining practices. However, automation has the potential to improve mineral processing, production, and maintenance processes. Step changes can be placed in locations that are hazardous or inaccessible. Automated sizing, material, and ventilation systems are can also be implemented as well as tele-operated equipment. Prototypes currently being developed include advanced systems for cutting; rock bolting; loose rock detection systems; lump size estimation; unstructured environment sensing; environment modelling; and automatic task execution. Enabling technologies are now being developed for excavation, haulage, material handling systems, mining and reclamation methods, and integrated control and reliability. tabs., figs.

  17. On the application of heat integration in oil sands processing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salama, A.I.A. [Natural Resources Canada, Devon, AB (Canada). CANMET Western Research Centre

    2005-07-01

    During bitumen recovery, process heat is generated by burning natural gas or by using electrical energy that is also generated from a hydrocarbon source, typically coal. This adds carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) emissions to the atmosphere and contributes to global warming. The Canadian oil sands industry is challenged by stringent environmental regulations, including Kyoto Protocol obligations. In order to address the challenge of reducing CO{sub 2} emissions to the atmosphere, the oil sands industry has adopted more efficient operations, has implemented heat and process integration and efficient energy management into its bitumen recovery operations. In particular, it has targeted the optimal integration of the supply and removal of heat among the process streams. The use of heat integration schemes results in conservation of heat energy and reductions in utility requirements, energy consumption, and production cost per unit of production. This paper described a heat exchanger network (HEN) design automation using pinch technology in which the existing problem table algorithm (PTA) is used to determine the optimal heat energy targets. It then proposed a simple modification of the existing PTA and presented a newly developed and improved algorithm called the simple problem table algorithm (SPTA) that eliminates the lumping stage in the PTA. The algorithm is used to determine the optimal heat energy targets. The main objective of this method is to save expense by maximizing process to-process heat recovery. This also reduces the external utility requirements for steam and cooling water. 22 refs., 4 tabs., 7 figs.

  18. Mass and heat balance approach for oil sand flowsheets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salama, A.I.A. [Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada). CANMET Energy Technology Centre

    2009-07-01

    Plant flowsheet mass balance is carried out in many industrial applications to evaluate overall plant performance and to optimize plant recoveries. This information is necessary for improving the economics of the operation and improving profitability. Flowsheet mass balance begins with the collection of plant stream samples using well-known sampling schemes. Stream samples collected using ASTM sampling standards are then analyzed using ASTM analytical techniques to characterize stream components which often contain sampling and analytical errors. The paper presented an approach for oil sands flowsheet mass and heat balance where different objective functions were presented depending on the nature of the stream error distributions. Hot water or steam is used to heat plant streams in oil sands extraction and froth treatment plants. As such, an approach is needed to integrate mass and heat balance. The mass and heat balance approach proposed in this paper integrated mass and heat balance and optimized the deviations/errors between the raw/observed and estimated data sets. The estimated data set was constrained to satisfy mass and heat balance conditions around the flowsheet internal nodes. Stream normalization and stream normalization conditions were forced. The relationship between the flowsheet independent, dependent, and reference streams were identified. The number of the independent stream mass splits was expressed in terms of the number of streams, number of nodes, and number of reference streams. 9 refs., 3 tabs., 2 figs.

  19. Vanadium Geochemistry of Oil Sands Fluid Petroleum Coke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesbitt, Jake A; Lindsay, Matthew B J

    2017-03-07

    Vanadium has previously been linked to elevated toxicity of leachates derived from oil sands petroleum coke. However, geochemical controls on V mobility within coke deposits remain poorly constrained. Detailed examinations of porewater and solid-phase V geochemistry were therefore performed on oil sands fluid petroleum coke deposits in Alberta, Canada. Sample collection focused on both active and reclaimed deposits, which contained more than 3 × 10(7) m(3) of fluid petroleum coke. Dissolved V concentrations were highest (up to 3.0 mg L(-1)) immediately below the water table but decreased rapidly with increasing depth. This trend corresponded to a transition from mildly acidic (pH 6-7) and oxic conditions to mildly alkaline (pH 7-8.5) and anoxic conditions. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), electron microprobe analysis (EMPA), and micro-X-ray fluorescence (μXRF) mapping revealed coke particles exhibited an internal structure characterized by successive concentric layers. The outer margins of these layers were characterized by elevated V, Fe, Si, and Al concentrations, indicating the presence of inorganic phases. Micro-X-ray absorption near-edge structure (μXANES) spectroscopy revealed that V speciation was dominated by V(IV) porphyrins except at outer margins of layers, where octahedrally coordinated V(III) was a major component. Minor to trace V(V) was also detected within fluid petroleum coke particles.

  20. Remediation of oil-contaminated sand by coal agglomeration using ball milling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Yu-Jen; Shen, Yun-Hwei

    2011-10-01

    The mechanical shear force provided by a less energy intensive device (usually operating at 20-200 rpm), a ball mill, was used toperform coal agglomeration and its effects on remediation of a model fuel oil-contaminated sand were evaluated. Important process parameters such as the amount of coal added, milling time, milling speed and the size of milling elements are discussed. The results suggested that highly hydrophobic oil-coal agglomerates, formed by adding suitable amounts of coal into the oil-contaminated sand, could be mechanically liberated from cleaned sand during ball milling and recovered as a surface coating on the steel balls. Over 90% removal of oil from oil-contaminated sand was achieved with 6 wt% of coal addition and an optimum ball milling time of 20 min and speed of 200 rpm. This novel process has considerable potential for cleaning oil-contaminated sands.

  1. Properties Correlations and Characterization of Athabasca Oil Sands-derived Synthetic Crude Oil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wang Jun; Zhao Suoqi; Xu Chunming; Chung Keng H.

    2007-01-01

    Narrow fractions of Athabasca oil sands-derived synthetic crude oil (SCO) from Canada were obtained by distillation at 20 ℃ to 500 ℃ and characterized. The yield and properties, such as density, refractive index, viscosity,freezing point, sulfur and nitrogen content and UOP K-index, were correlated as a function of boiling temperature (Tb).The properties of naphtha fractions, jet fuel and diesel fractions could be predicted accurately with the correlations, which are useful for process design considerations, such as optimizing operating conditions of refinery processing units. The other key properties and characteristics of naphtha fractions, jet fuel, diesel and vacuum gas oil were also determined.

  2. The extraction of bitumen from western oil sands. Quarterly report, April--June 1993

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-07-01

    Accomplishments are briefly described for the following tasks: environmental impact statement; coupled fluidized bed bitumen recovery and coked sand combustion; water-based recovery of bitumen; rotary kiln process for recovery of bitumen and combustion of coke sand; recovery of bitumen from oil sands using fluidized bed reactors and combustion of spent sands in transport reactors; recovery of bitumen from oil sand and upgrading of bitumen by solvent extraction; catalytic and thermal upgrading of bitumens and bitumen-derived liquids; evaluation of Utah`s major oil sand deposits for the production of asphalt, high energy jet fuels and other specialty products; development of mathematical models for bitumen recovery and processing; completion of the cost examination study of the pilot plant restoration; development studies of equipment for three-product gravity separation of bitumen and sand; determine thickener requirements; and environmental studies of the North Salt Lake pilot plant rehabilitation and eventual operation and those environmental problems associated with eventual commercial products.

  3. NUMERICAL SIMULATION OF PARTICLE SEPARATION IN AN OIL-SAND SEPARATOR

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    The gathering systems of crude oil are greatly endangered by thefine sand and soil in oil. Up to now, how to separate sand from the viscid oil is still a technical problem for oil production home or abroad. Recently, Institute of Mechanics in Chinese Academy of Sciences hasdeveloped a new type of oil-sand separator, which has been applied successfully in oil field in situ. In this paper, the numerical method of vortex-stream function is used to predict the liquid-solid separating course and the efficiency for this oil-sand separator. Results show that the viscosity and particle diameter have much influence on the particle motion. The calculating separating efficiency is compared with that of experiment and indicates that this method can be used to model the complex two-phase flow in the separator.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reza Masoomi

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available 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 types of resin-coated sand and resin-coated ceramic have been considered. Then the various scenarios have been designed to optimize the size and type of proppant used in hydraulic fracturing in a sand oil reservoir in southwest of Iran. Also in this study increasing the cumulative oil recovery in fractured and Non-fractured wells in a sand oil reservoir in southwest of Iran have been investigated.

  5. Biological marker and conventional organic geochemistry of oil sands/heavy oils, Western Canada Basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brooks, P.W.; Fowler, M.G.; Macqueen, R.W. (Institute of Sedimentary and Petroleum Geology, Alberta (Canada))

    1988-01-01

    Forty-three samples of oil sands/heavy oils from most of the major Cretaceous deposits and the Upper Devonian Grosmont Formation of the underlying carbonate trend, have been examined by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Major organic geochemical differences observed between samples/deposits include the presence or absence on n-alkanes and isoprenoid alkanes, together with changes in the distributions of biological marker compounds. These differences reflect the degree of biodegradation suffered by the deposits. Three geochemical factors demonstrate that at least the Cretaceous samples are strikingly similar to one another, once the effects of biodegradation are discounted. These factors are the carbon number distribution of steroidal alkanes (C{sub 27}, C{sub 28}, and C{sub 29} diasteranes); the presence of 28,30-bisnorhopanes; and the relative abundance of 28,30-bisnorhopanes and gammacerane as compared with the ubiquitous 17{alpha}(H)-hopanes. These distinctive biomarker compositions and ratios indicate that the same or very similar sources generated the Cretaceous oil sands/heavy oils, despite the enormous volumes and their widespread geographic and stratigraphic distribution. The extent of isomerization of regular steranes and hopanes indicates that the bitumens show the same general level of maturity. All these data suggest that the Cretaceous bitumens were derived from a mature, conventional oil which was in turn derived from a presently unknown source facies. This oil must have migrated over large distances, suffering extensive biodegradation in place and possibly during migration.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. A Canadian perspective on the supply costs, production and economic impacts from oil sands development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McColl, D.; Masri, M. [Canadian Energy Research Inst., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2008-05-15

    This article provided a synopsis of oil sands research recently conducted at the Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI). The production profiles and capital expenditures that CERI has projected for oil sands projects were explored along with the macroeconomic benefits associated with oil sands development. In addition to rising capital and operating costs, bitumen producers are challenged by labour shortages and environmental concerns. However, CERI warrants continued growth in production from the oil sands industry, given the current high price state of the global oil market and security of supply concerns from oil importing countries. This article also provided background information and analysis to assess the implications of future development. The projected growth in the oil sands industry creates demands for infrastructure, housing, health care, education, and business services. The economic impacts were measured at the local, provincial, national and global levels in terms of changes in gross domestic product; changes in employment; and, changes in government revenues. It was concluded that with continued investment and development, Alberta's oil sands resource is expected to continue to produce oil for decades, and would eventually achieve 6 MMbpd production. 8 refs., 3 tabs., 10 figs.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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 of Oil Sand,? Final Progress Report, Phases I, II, & III, Submitted to Caterpillar, Inc., 2005. [3] Dusseault, M.B., and Morgenstern, N.R., ?Shear Strength of Athabasca Oil Sands,? Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 15, 1978, pp. 216?238. [4] Agar..., J.G., Morgenstern, N.R., and Scott, J.D., ?Shear Strength and Stress-Strain Behavior of Athabasca Oil Sand at Elevated Temperatures and Pressures,? Canadian Geotechnical Journal, Vol. 24, 1987, pp. 1?10. [5] Samieh, A.M., and Wong, R...

  16. Black gold rush in Canada[Tar sand oil]; Svart gullrush i Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gundersen, Ina

    2006-07-01

    In Alberta, Canada, oil companies are competing for licences to extract oil from the tar sand deposits. The occurrences cover an area equal to Belgium, and the total of recoverable oil is estimated to around 1700 million barrels. Descriptions of the recovery process and the competing companies are given.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elango, Vijaikrishnah; Urbano, Marilany; Lemelle, Kendall R; Pardue, John H

    2014-01-01

    Unique oil:sand aggregates, termed surface residue balls (SRBs), were formed on coastal headland beaches along the northern Gulf of Mexico as emulsified MC252 crude oil mixed with sand following the Deepwater Horizon spill event. The objective of this study is to assess the biodegradation potential of crude oil components in these aggregates using multiple lines of evidence on a heavily-impacted coastal headland beach in Louisiana, USA. SRBs were sampled over a 19-month period on the supratidal beach environment with reasonable control over and knowledge of the residence time of the aggregates on the beach surface. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and alkane concentration ratios were measured including PAH/C30-hopane, C2/C3 phenanthrenes, C2/C3 dibenzothiophenes and alkane/C30-hopane and demonstrated 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 samples from the intertidal did not demonstrate chemical changes consistent with biodegradation. Review and analysis of additional biogeochemical parameters suggested the existence of a moisture and nutrient-limited biodegradation regime on the supratidal beach environment. At this location, SRBs possess moisture contents 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 submerged oil mat 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

  18. 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

  19. Low temperature extraction and upgrading of oil sands and bitumen in supercritical fluid mixtures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brough, Sarah A; Riley, Sandra H; McGrady, G Sean; Tanhawiriyakul, Supaporn; Romero-Zerón, Laura; Willson, Christopher D

    2010-07-21

    Preliminary results are reported for the extraction and catalytic hydrocracking of Alberta bitumen and oil sands using supercritical fluid mixtures; high levels of extraction and upgrading were attained using reaction conditions significantly milder than those previously reported.

  20. The extraction of bitumen from western oil sands. Quarterly report, July--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.

    1993-11-01

    This report cites task number followed by a brief statement of each task and the action taken this quarter. The tasks are: NEPA environmental information statement; coupled fluidized-bed bitumen recovery and coked sand combustion; water-based recovery of bitumen; rotary kiln process for recovery of bitumen and combustion of coke sand; recovery of bitumen from oil sands using fluidized bed reactors and combustion of spent sands in transport reactors; recovery of bitumen from oil sand and upgrading of bitumen by solvent extraction; catalytic and thermal upgrading of bitumens and bitumen-derived liquids; evaluation of Utah`s major oil sand deposits for the production of asphalt, high energy jet fuels, and other specialty products; development of mathematical models for bitumen recovery and processing; completion of the cost estimation study of the pilot plant restoration; development studies of equipment for three-product gravity separation of bitumen and sand; development studies of disposal of sand by conveying or pumping of high solids concentration sand-water slurries; and environmental studies of the North Salt Lake pilot plant rehabilitation and eventual operation and those environmental problems associated with eventual commercial products.

  1. Environmental impact assessment in the Alberta oil sands area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mackenzie, I.B.; Herasymuik, G.; Schmidt, N.; Kovats, Z.; Clipperton, K. [Golder Associates Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2004-07-01

    Some of the activities associated with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process in oil sands operations in Alberta were reviewed with particular reference to key regional issues such as instream flow needs (IFN), basal water management, lake acidification potential, and climate change. The proven approaches to maintain timelines and maximize success were also discussed with reference to the factors that can be managed to promote an efficient application, review and approval process. It was noted that although the EIA process is well-defined and robust, it is evolving due to new challenges such as increasingly complex tools and new regulations. Alberta's Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) continuously refines environmental objectives for NOx, SOx, surface water, and the Muskeg River and the Athabasca River watersheds. In particular, much effort has gone into determining the water withdrawals from the Athabasca River during the winter months and its effect on resident fish populations. Operators must determine the viability of a project if studies of IFN indicate that there is limited river flow available for abstraction. This paper identified several factors that can be addressed to keep the process on schedule. These include planning, understanding issues, completing baseline surveys, and commanding the attention of regulators. 12 refs., 1 tab., 8 figs.

  2. Co-gasification of oil sand coke with coal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vejahati, Farshid; Gupta, Rajender [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Chemical and Materials Engineering

    2013-07-01

    Gasification of oil sand delayed coke with sub-bituminous and lignite coals was performed in an atmospheric entrained flow gasifier using steam and oxygen as gasifying agents. The underlying objective of this work was to assess the effects of the operating variables (i.e. temperature, oxygen and steam concentrations) and coal/coke blending ratio on gasification performance in a high-temperature in order to find the possible synergies in co-gasification of the fuels. Experiments were conducted at 1,400 C, using steam and oxygen to carbon weight ratios of (0.36-1.08) and (0.07-0.2), respectively in N{sub 2} carrier gas. The coke to coal weight ratios of 1/3, 1/2, and 2/3 were used for the blending tests. Particle size of 53-90 {mu}m with d{sub 50} = 75 {mu}m were used. In terms of char reactivity, blending did not show any significant positive effect. Slight deviations from linear additive line are in the order of experiment error. Gasification efficiency was also following a linear additive trend once more pointing out the lack of synergy in entrained flow gasification systems. The results however, showed that higher coke content clearly favored the H{sub 2} production.

  3. Production of high quality water for oil sands application

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beaudette-Hodsman, C.; Macleod, B. [Pall Corp., Mississauga, ON (Canada); Venkatadri, R. [Pall Corp., East Hills, NY (United States)

    2008-10-15

    This paper described a pressurized microfiltration membrane system installed at an oil sands extraction site in Alberta. The system was designed to complement a reverse osmosis (RO) system installed at the site to produce the high quality feed water required by the system's boilers. Groundwater in the region exhibited moderate total suspended solids and high alkalinity and hardness levels, and the RO system required feed water with a silt density index of 3 or less. The conventional pretreatment system used at the site was slowing down production due to the severe fouling of the RO membranes. The new microfiltration system contained an automated PVDF hollow fiber microfiltration membrane system contained in a trailer. Suspended particles and bacteria were captured within the filter, and permeate was sent to the RO unit. Within 6 hours of being installed, the unit was producing water with SDI values in the range of 1.0 to 2.5. It was concluded that the microfiltration system performed reliably regardless of wide variations in feed water quality and flow rates. 3 refs., 1 tab., 8 figs.

  4. Review of four major environmental effects monitoring programs in the oil sands region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lott, E.O.; Jones, R.K. [EO Consulting, BC (Canada)

    2010-10-15

    The lack of knowledge on current environmental effects monitoring programs for the mineable oil sands region generates a low public confidence in environment health monitoring and reporting programs for the oil sands operations. In 2010, the Oil Sands Research and Information Network (OSRIN) supervised a study reviewing the major environmental effects monitoring programs that are underway in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Four main environmental effects monitoring and reporting organizations existing in the oil sands area were engaged to describe their programs through this study: Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI), Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA), Regional Aquatic Monitoring Program (RAMP), Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA). These different organizations have specific roles in providing information, data and understanding of ecosystem effects. A one page visual summary of environmental effects monitoring in the oil sands area resulted from the information received from these organizations and detailed fact sheets were presented for each one of the programs. The report of this study also presents seven other environmental monitoring initiatives or organizations such as Alberta Environment and Environment Canada environmental effects monitoring program. The main observation that emerged from the review was the lack of detailed understanding shown by the stakeholders regarding the monitoring activities performed in the oil sands area. There is a lack of communication of the different programs that are conducted in the region. The study also pointed out that no efforts were put in cross-linking the various programs to be assured that every concerns related to environmental effects associated with oil sands operations were addressed. A better understanding of environmental effects and an improvement in public confidence in the data and its interpretation would probably be observed with the establishment of a

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Impact of edible oil injection on the permeability of aquifer sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coulibaly, Kapo M.; Borden, Robert C.

    2004-07-01

    Recent laboratory and field studies have shown that food-grade edible oils can be injected into the subsurface for installation of in-situ permeable reactive barriers. However to be effective, the oil must be distributed out away from the oil injection points without excessive permeability loss. In this work, we examine the distribution of soybean oil in representative aquifer sediments as non-aqueous phase liquid oil (NAPL oil) or as an oil-in-water emulsion. Laboratory columns packed with sands or clayey sands were flushed with either NAPL oil or a soybean emulsion followed by plain water, while monitoring permeability loss and the final oil residual saturation. NAPL oil can be injected into coarse-grained sands. However NAPL injection into finer grained sediments requires high injection pressures which may not be feasible at some sites. In addition, NAPL injection results in high oil residual saturations and moderate permeability losses. In contrast, properly prepared emulsions can be distributed through sands with varying clay content without excessive pressure buildup, low oil retention and very low to moderate permeability loss. For effective transport, the emulsion must be stable, the oil droplets must be significantly smaller than the mean pore size of the sediment and the oil droplets should have a low to moderate tendency to stick to each other and the aquifer sediments. In our work, oil retention and associated permeability loss increased with sediment clay content and with the ratio of droplet size to pore size. For sandy sediments, the permeability loss is modest (0-40% loss) and is proportional to the oil residual saturation.

  9. 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

  10. Heavy oil components sorbed onto clay minerals in Canadian oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fendel, A.; Schwochau, K. (Institute for Petroleum and Organic Geochemistry, Nuclear Research Centre (KFA), Julich (DE))

    1988-06-01

    In siliciclastic reservoir rocks the surface-active clay minerals are presumed to be predominantly responsible for the sorption of polar oil components. In order to achieve a better insight into the nature of the oil components sorbed onto clay minerals, unconsolidated Canadian Oil Sands (Cold Lake, Athabasca) were exhaustively extracted with dichloromethane to remove the free oil. The clay minerals (grain fraction less than or equal to2 ..mu..m) were then separated by gravitational sedimentation. After the extraction up to 3 wt of organic carbon still remained on the clays. The amount of aliphatic carbon adhering to the clays was assessed by means of IR-spectroscopy. The clay minerals were successively extracted with solvent mixtures of increasing polarity in order to release the bound oil components. The extracts were fractionated into chemically defined compound classes by semi-preparative liquid chromatography and MPLC. The fractions were characterized by GC, GC-MS and IR-spectroscopy. Components containing oxygen functions (carboxylic acids, esters, alcohols, ketones) appear to be preferentially bound by clays. Moreover, a small amount of hydrocarbons, in particular saturates, are sorbed by clays.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Inversion of Airborne Electromagnetic Data: Application to Oil Sands Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristall, J.; Farquharson, C. G.; Oldenburg, D. W.

    2004-05-01

    . We provide an example that involves the interpretation of an airborne time-domain electromagnetic data-set from an oil sands exploration project in Alberta. The target is the layer that potentially contains oil sands. This layer is relatively resistive, with its resistivity increasing with increasing hydrocarbon content, and is sandwiched between two more conductive layers. This is quite different from the classical electromagnetic geophysics scenario of looking for a conductive mineral deposit in resistive shield rocks. However, inverting the data enabled the depth, thickness and resistivity of the target layer to be well determined. As a consequence, it is concluded that airborne electromagnetic surveys, when combined with inversion procedures, can be a very cost-effective way of mapping even fairly subtle conductivity variations over large areas.

  14. Use of gravity drainage and quasi-homogenous dykes for containment of oil sands tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nichols, L.; Czajewski, K. [Terracon Geotechnique Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2008-06-15

    Solutions to the disposal of byproducts from oil sands processing into tailings ponds in Alberta were examined. Gravity drainage of composite tailings (CT) was used as a mechanism to facilitate the consolidation of CT in critical areas of the containment ponds through the use of internal sand layers within the body of the deposit. Critical areas were defined as the areas around the perimeters of the containment ponds. The aim of the solution was to provide long-term stability to the disposal area through the creation of stiff deposits around the perimeter and through the facilitation of reclamation efforts on the surface. It was concluded that use of the quasi-homogenous dykes is the only commercially proven method of reducing the fine tailings inventory of the oil sands industry. It was concluded that the use of gravity drainage and quasi-homogenous dykes for oil sands containment structures will assist the industry in reducing its environmental footprint.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruple, John; Keiter, Robert

    2010-12-31

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. Examination of oil sands projects : gasification, CO{sub 2} emissions and supply costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elliott, K. [Energy Resources Conservation Board, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2008-10-15

    Non-conventional resources such as Alberta's oil sands are experiencing increased global interest because of the decline in global conventional oil and natural gas reserves. Bitumen extraction and upgrading is an energy intensive process. This paper provided a general discussion of Alberta's oil sands reserves, production and energy requirements. The paper discussed the application of different technologies to the oil sands, and in particular, the use of gasification as a method to produce bitumen-derived synthesis gas. Two oil sands projects currently under construction and implementing gasification technology were briefly described. The paper also provided a comparison of emission intensities from projects that employ gasification leading to a forecast of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from the oil sands. The impact of Alberta's legislation and the federal framework on greenhouse gas emissions were also examined. Last, the paper discussed a supply cost methodology to compare an integrated extraction and upgrading project using gasification versus a similar project using a conventional steam methane reforming process (SMR). It was concluded that after comparing carbon dioxide emission intensities across different types of projects, the type of project that would be most heavily impacted by greenhouse gas emissions penalties was an in-situ extraction with an upgrading project that employed gasification technology. 36 refs., 5 tabs., 12 figs., 1 appendix.

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

  1. Historical trends in greenhouse gas emissions of the Alberta oil sands (1970-2010)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Englander, Jacob G.; Bharadwaj, Sharad; Brandt, Adam R.

    2013-12-01

    There has been increased scrutiny of the Alberta oil sands due to their high carbon intensity (CI) relative to conventional crude oil. Relying entirely on public and peer-reviewed data sources, we examine historical trends in the CI of oil sands extraction, upgrading, and refining. Monthly data were collected and interpolated from 1970 to 2010 (inclusive) for each oil sands project. Results show a reduction in oil sands CI over time, with industry-average full-fuel cycle (well-to-wheels, WTW) CI declining from 165 gCO2e MJ-1 higher heating value (HHV) of reformulated gasoline (RFG) to 105 (-12, +9) gCO2e MJ-1 HHV RFG. 2010 averages by production pathways are 102 gCO2e MJ-1 for Mining and 111 gCO2e MJ-1 for in situ. The CI of mining-based projects has declined due to upgrader efficiency improvements and a shift away from coke to natural gas as a process fuel. In situ projects have benefitted from substantial reductions in fugitive emissions from bitumen batteries. Both mining and in situ projects have benefitted from improved refining efficiencies. However, despite these improvements, the CI of oil sands production (on a pathway-average basis) ranges from 12 to 24% higher than CI values from conventional oil production. Due to growing output, total emissions from the oil sands continue to increase despite improved efficiency: total upstream emissions were roughly 65 MtCO2e in 2010, or 9% of Canada’s emissions.

  2. Application of microwave energy for curing of molding sands containing oil binders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Stachowicz

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available This works presents the results of studies concerning possibility of application of microwave heating in the curing process of molding sands containing oil binders. Molding sands prepared with three kinds of binders, that is oils C, DL and Retanol, have been subject to experiments. The sands have been dried with two methods: in a microwave chamber of 750W power and, for comparison, with classical method at the temperature of 200°C for 120 minutes. Tensile and bending strength of the samples have been determined after cooling down. It has been found that microwave drying in the low-power device used for experiments is effective only in case of molding sand prepared with addition of DL binder. The temperature of heated, even up to 32 minutes in a microwave chamber, blocks prepared from the remaining two masses, was insufficient to initiate binding process. The undertaken attempts of binder modification and introduction of additives intensifying microwave heating process allowed for achievement of satisfactory results. It has been found that power of the heating device is the main factor determining efficiency of microwave curing of molding sands containing oil binders. An additional experiment has been conducted on a laboratory workstation allowing for microwave heating of small mass samples with a high output power of magnetron concentrated in a small substrate volume. It has been observed that microwave drying process of molding sands was of dynamic character over a short period of time, not exceeding 120 seconds, thus assuring efficient curing of the sands containing the used oil binders. Therefore, application of devices of properly high microwave output power allows for efficient drying of oil molding sands, while simultaneously assuring the possibility to reduce time and energy consumption necessary for production of foundry cores of proper functional characteristics.

  3. Do peat amendments to oil sands wet sediments affect Carex aquatilis biomass for reclamation success?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-15

    The oil sands industries of Alberta (Canada) have reclamation objectives to return the mined landscape to equivalent pre-disturbance land capability. Industrial operators are charged with reclaiming a vast landscape of newly exposed sediments on saline-sodic marine-shales sediments. Incorporated in these sediments are by-products resulting from bitumen extraction (consolidated tailings (CT), tailings-sand (TS), and oil sands processed water (OSPW)). A sedge community dominated by Carex aquatilis was identified as a desirable and representative late-succession community for wet-meadow zones of oil sands-created marshes. However, the physical and chemical conditions, including high salinity and low nutrient content of CT and TS sediments suppress plant growth and performance. We experimentally tested the response of C. aquatilis to amendments with peat-mineral-mix (PM) on oil sand sediments (CT and TS). In a two factorial design experiment, we also tested the effects of OSPW on C. aquatilis. We assessed survival, below- and aboveground biomass, and physiology (chlorophyll a fluorescence). We demonstrated that PM amendments to oil sands sediments significantly increased C. aquatilis survival as well as below and aboveground biomass. The use of OSPW significantly reduced C. aquatilis belowground biomass and affected its physiological performance. Due to its tolerance and performance, we verified that C. aquatilis was a good candidate for use in reclaiming the wet-meadow zones of oil sands-created marshes. Ultimately, amending CT and TS with PM expedited the reclamation of the wetland to a C. aquatilis-community which was similar in gross structure to undisturbed wetlands of the region.

  4. Taking the wheel : correcting the course of cumulative environmental management in the Athabasca oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Severson-Baker, C.; Grant, J.; Dyer, S.

    2008-08-18

    There are many concerns regarding unresolved environmental impacts from oil sands development, such as lower water levels in the Athabasca River, the creation of toxic tailings dumps, strip-mining and drilling thousands of square kilometres of Alberta's boreal forest. This report provided a proposal to reform the current approaches used by the governments of Alberta and Canada to environmental management in the Athabasca boreal region, since they have failed to protect Alberta's environment from rapidly expanding oil sands development. The report addressed oil sands fever issues as well as environmental mismanagement in the oil sands. Issues that were discussed included key ingredients for effective environmental management; the regional sustainable development strategy; best intentions and the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA); and losing confidence and leaving CEMA. A proposed path forward was suggested. Recommendations included suspending approvals until environmental management was implemented; re-constituting stakeholder engagement; and implementing a regional land use strategy. It was concluded that an integrated regional plan is a fundamental yet missing ingredient for effective environmental management in the oil sands region. 2 tabs., 2 figs., 1 appendix.

  5. Comparison of CO{sub 2} fixation in spent oil sand between experiment and simulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Han, Dure; Jang, Dongha; Jeon, Yeongshin; Kim, Hyungtaek [Ajou Univ., Yeongtong-gu (Korea, Republic of). Div. of Energy Systems Research

    2013-07-01

    Global Warming caused by the Greenhouse gas has become a serious global issue due to the increasing in the use of fossil fuel and it is being exhausted. Recently, a great deal of research is being carried out to develop alternatives to fossil fuels. The oil sands have become one of the alternative energy sources. However, it is composed of about 10% bitumen and the rest becomes waste. Moreover, oil sands need a large amount of natural gas to provide heat and steam for bitumen extraction. In this study, it has been focused on the satisfaction both CO{sub 2} reduction and waste disposal by using spent oil sand after extraction bitumen from oil sand. Additionally, Aspen Plus was used to simulate to know about its carbonation reactivity. First, we analyzed the analysis of spent oil sand and discovered that it is of mostly composed of SiO{sub 2}, so it needs pretreatment with CaO aqueous solution. After the pretreatment, it is performed by changes in temperature and pressure. The optimum is decided 500 C, 25 atm and reduced rate of mass was calculated 21.92% about carbonation reactivity by using simulation.

  6. The mechanisms of electrical heating for the recovery of bitumen from oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McGee, B.C.W. [McMillan-McGee Corp., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Vermeulen, F.E. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2004-07-01

    This paper described the Electro-Thermal Dynamic Stripping Process (ET-DSP), a thermal recovery process in which oil sands are electrically heated. This technology has evolved since the 1970s as an alternative to steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) and surface mining of Alberta's oil sands. The heat and mass transfer mechanisms associated with electrical heating were examined along with the gravity forces to better understand how the heated bitumen is recovered from the oil sand. Initially, all fluids are immobile. Heat is created in the oil sand as a current flows through the connate water. This results in a pressure and temperature distribution that is characteristic to an electrical heating process. The electrical heating process changes as the temperature of the oil sand increases and as the bitumen is produced. The heat, mass and electromagnetic fields are strongly coupled and are in a transient state throughout the recovery process. This paper presented the main mechanism for electrical heating in terms of equations. A 3-dimensional quasi-harmonic finite element electromagnetic model was coupled to a mass and energy equation and solved in time. A thermal recovery strategy was then presented in terms of electrode spacing, duration of heating, energy supply and ideal operating conditions.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of current oil sands technologies: GHOST model development and illustrative application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charpentier, Alex D; Kofoworola, Oyeshola; Bergerson, Joule A; MacLean, Heather L

    2011-11-01

    A life cycle-based model, GHOST (GreenHouse gas emissions of current Oil Sands Technologies), which quantifies emissions associated with production of diluted bitumen and synthetic crude oil (SCO) is developed. GHOST has the potential to analyze a large set of process configurations, is based on confidential oil sands project operating data, and reports ranges of resulting emissions, improvements over prior studies, which primarily included a limited set of indirect activities, utilized theoretical design data, and reported point estimates. GHOST is demonstrated through application to a major oil sands process, steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). The variability in potential performance of SAGD technologies results in wide ranges of "well-to-refinery entrance gate" emissions (comprising direct and indirect emissions): 18-41 g CO(2)eq/MJ SCO, 9-18 g CO(2)eq/MJ dilbit, and 13-24 g CO(2)eq/MJ synbit. The primary contributor to SAGD's emissions is the combustion of natural gas to produce process steam, making a project's steam-to-oil ratio the most critical parameter in determining GHG performance. The demonstration (a) illustrates that a broad range of technology options, operating conditions, and resulting emissions exist among current oil sands operations, even when considering a single extraction technology, and (b) provides guidance about the feasibility of lowering SAGD project emissions.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

    2017-08-11

    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

  13. The growth and photosynthesis of Typha in oil sands process affected material and water

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foote, L. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Hornung, J. [Petro-Canada, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2007-07-01

    Aquatic plants such as cattail contribute substantially to the energy flow in wetlands. Since Typha (cattail) plants acquire and cycle carbon and nutrients through wetlands, their growth and recycling of captured nutrients are an important part of natural, healthy wetland ecosystems. Cattail are pervasive and satisfy many of the criteria to be used as indicators of wetland integrity. This study investigated if cattail growth and carbon accrual were influenced by oil sands process materials (OSPM) such as consolidated tailings (CT). The purpose was to facilitate land reclamation initiatives by evaluating the impact that constituents of oil sands process material have on aquatic plant growth. The study was conducted at Suncor's experimental trenches. Six lined basins were used, of which 3 were filled with natural water and 3 were filled with trench water. Cattail were planted in different growth medium combinations, including CT over CT; soil over soil; soil over CT; and soil over sterilized sand. All leaf lengths and widths were measured along with the photosynthesis of the leaves and root and plant biomass at planting and after 2-years growth. A larger leaf area was observed under oil sands process influence, which may indicate increased carbon accrual above ground. Leaf area data suggested that CT affected plants are quite productive. The study also indicated that oil sands affected water may reduce plant fitness, and therefore could influence the overall oil sands reclamation timelines. Conversely, cattail grown in soil capped process affected material had a much larger leaf area compared to those grown in soil capped sand, most likely due to the higher levels of ammonia in process affected material.

  14. Oil shale, tar sand, coal research advanced exploratory process technology, jointly sponsored research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Speight, J.G.

    1992-01-01

    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.

  15. Extraction, separation, and intramolecular carbon isotope characterization of athabasca oil sands acids in environmental samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahad, Jason M E; Pakdel, Hooshang; Savard, Martine M; Simard, Marie-Christine; Smirnoff, Anna

    2012-12-04

    Here we report a novel approach to extract, isolate, and characterize high molecular weight organic acids found in the Athabasca oil sands region using preparative capillary gas chromatography (PCGC) followed by thermal conversion/elemental analysis-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (TC/EA-IRMS). A number of different "naphthenic acids" surrogate standards were analyzed as were samples from the bitumen-rich unprocessed McMurray Formation, oil sands process water, groundwater from monitoring wells, and surface water from the Athabasca River. The intramolecular carbon isotope signature generated by online pyrolysis (δ(13)C(pyr)) showed little variation (±0.6‰) within any given sample across a large range of mass fractions separated by PCGC. Oil sand, tailings ponds, and deep McMurray Formation groundwater were significantly heavier (up to ∼9‰) compared to surface water and shallow groundwater samples, demonstrating the potential use of this technique in source apportionment studies.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Ozonation of oil sands process water removes naphthenic acids and toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Angela C; Zubot, Warren; MacKinnon, Michael D; Smith, Daniel W; Fedorak, Phillip M

    2008-03-01

    Naphthenic acids are naturally-occurring, aliphatic or alicyclic carboxylic acids found in petroleum. Water used to extract bitumen from the Athabasca oil sands becomes toxic to various organisms due to the presence of naphthenic acids released from the bitumen. Natural biodegradation was expected to be the most cost-effective method for reducing the toxicity of the oil sands process water (OSPW). However, naphthenic acids are poorly biodegraded in the holding ponds located on properties leased by the oil sands companies. In the present study, chemical oxidation using ozone was investigated as an option for mitigation of this toxicity. Ozonation of sediment-free OSPW was conducted using proprietary technology manufactured by Seair Diffusion Systems Inc. Ozonation for 50min generated a non-toxic effluent (based on the Microtox bioassay) and decreased the naphthenic acids concentration by approximately 70%. After 130min of ozonation, the residual naphthenic acids concentration was 2mgl(-1): or = 22).

  19. Monitoring degradation of oil sands constituents and foodweb dynamics in aquatic reclamation using stable isotopes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farwell, A.J.; Butler, B.J.; Dixon, D.G. [Waterloo Univ., ON (Canada). Dept. of Biology; Mackinnon, M.D. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2003-07-01

    The process of extracting bitumen from the Athabasca oil sands deposits in northern Alberta generates large volumes of process-affected water with highly toxic constituents such as naphthenic acids. Napthenic acids can biodegrade and become less toxic in reclaimed aquatic systems. This study used stable isotopes to examine the cycling of oil sands constituents in aquatic systems. Benthic invertebrates were collected from test pits at Syncrude Canada Ltd. Dragonflies and damselflies showed trends in carbon 13 depletion and nitrogen 15 enrichment in pits with high levels of process-affected water. Chironomids and amphipods showed only nitrogen 15 enrichment. Carbon 13 depletion suggests invertebrate assimilation and incorporation of oil sands constituents through the microbial foodweb. It is important to define the isotope pathway of naphthenic acid degradation because naphthenic acids could represent a major source of carbon in reclaimed systems.

  20. 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.

  1. Proceedings of the CEMA reclamation workshop on creating wetlands in the oil sands : final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bacon, L. (comp.)

    2006-08-15

    The Creating Wetlands in the Oil Sands Reclamation workshop was held to solicit expert views from leading authorities in a number of disciplines related to the creation and study of wetlands, as well as to investigate challenges in the creation of wetlands in reclaimed oil sands landscapes. This document provided a detailed transcript of each presentation and all discussions that followed. The workshop was divided into 5 sessions: (1) wetlands background information; (2) groundwater conditions and boreal wetlands; (3) creating wetland types; (4) wildlife in boreal wetlands and traditional environmental knowledge; and (5) treatment wetlands. An expert panel overview provided presentations on post-mining restoration of boreal landscapes in oil sands regions; the creation of fens, marshes and shallow water wetlands at oil sands sites and the restoration of damaged peatlands. A outline of the physical scale of the oil sands mining disturbances was provided during the first session, as well a review of regulatory requirements for reclamation. A general overview of the chemical and biological properties of the process-affected waters from oil sands mining was provided. First Nations groups present at the workshop advised that research on muskeg should be a priority. Requirements for wetland development were reviewed. It was noted that climate, substrate and position on the landscape are important factors in the development of engineered wetlands. It was concluded that recent research activities have contributed to greater overall confidence that wetlands creation will become a successful reclamation strategy. While there are many variables beyond the control of reclamation management capabilities, important factors such as water chemistry, water level fluctuation and the amounts of nutrients within a wetlands system can be successfully managed in restoration scenarios. A total of 16 papers were presented.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Characterization of oil sands process-affected waters by liquid chromatography orbitrap mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Alberto S; Bhattacharjee, Subir; Martin, Jonathan W

    2013-05-21

    Recovery of bitumen from oil sands in northern Alberta, Canada, occurs by surface mining or in situ thermal recovery, and both methods produce toxic oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). A new characterization strategy for surface mining OSPW (sm-OSPW) and in situ OSPW (is-OSPW) was achieved by combining liquid chromatography with orbitrap mass spectrometry (MS). In electrospray positive and negative ionization modes (ESI(+)/ESI(-)), mass spectral data were acquired with high resolving power (RP > 100,000-190,000) and mass accuracy (method should be further applied to environmental forensic analysis of water in the region.

  7. Developing Sand-Gravel Viscous Oil Reservoir in Le'an Oilfield

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    He Shenghou

    1995-01-01

    @@ The main oil-bearing series of Le'an Oilfield, Shengli Oil Province, which was discovered in 1970s are sand-gravel bodies on the base of the Eocene Guantao Formation. It is difficult to produce crude oil with conventional method from this thin reservoir due to its complicated lithology, extra viscous oil and edge water. We have conducted integrated study on geology, reservoir engineering, thermal production technology, horizontal drilling technology and comprehensive study. By five years' field experiment and operation, a prominent effect of development and good economic benefit have been achieved and an example has been set up for thermal recovery from extra viscous reservoir.

  8. Exploratory Study of Oil Palm Shell as Partial Sand Replacement in Concrete

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Muthusamy

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Malaysia being one of the world largest palm oil producers has been disposing oil palm shell, which is a by-product from palm oil mill thus causing negative impact to the environment. At the same time, extensive mining of natural river sand in large amount to meet the increasing demand of concrete production for the use in rapidly developing construction industry has posed the risk of natural aggregate depletion and ecological imbalance in future. The effect of finely Crushed Oil Palm Shell (COPS as partial sand replacement material in concrete mix towards density and compressive strength was investigated in this study. Total of five mixes consisting various content of crushed oil palm shell as partial sand replacement ranging from 0, 25, 50, 75 and 100% were prepared in form of cubes. All the specimens were water cured before tested at 7, 14 and 28 days. Compressive strength was conducted in accordance to BSEN 12390. Generally, the compressive strength and density decrease with the increase in the crushed oil palm shell replacement level. Between 50 to 75% replacement, the mix produced possess lower density enabling it to be categorized as lightweight concrete and has the potential to be used as non-load bearing structure. The application in structural concrete material is suited for mix consisting around 25% of crushed oil palm shell.

  9. A new approach to the management of cumulative environmental impacts, the Alberta Oil Sands area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weagle, K.V. [Cumulative Environmental Association, Wood Buffalo, AB (Canada)

    2002-06-01

    Resource development in the oil sand industry of Northeastern Alberta is enjoying a wave of renewed interest fuelled in part by changes made in the tax and royalty structure for oil sands developments in the province, the development of new technology and the price of oil. Announcements were made of investments totalling approximately 51 billion dollars in the oil sand industry over the next ten years in all deposits. The issue of cumulative environmental effects has been amplified accordingly. In June 2000, an association was formed, the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA), consisting of stakeholders and based on consensus, with a mandate to address 72 issues related to potential cumulative impacts in the expanded development of the Wood Buffalo Region. Five working groups were formed, as well as three standing committees. To mitigate the cumulative effects, the working groups and standing committees are working on management objectives, management systems and research recommendations. The regulatory bodies receive the recommendations, and the implementation process involves the issuance of permits and licenses. Research and monitoring activities play a vital role in the environmental management system and are part of other current environmental initiatives. Some of the initiatives are managed by the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association, Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program, and the Canadian Oil Sands Network for Research and Development. These organizations touch on topics including air quality monitoring, aquatics monitoring and environmental research. 1 fig.

  10. Investing in our future : responding to the rapid growth of oil sands development : final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2006-12-29

    This action plan addressed current challenges facing communities in the Fort McMurray region as a result of the rapid growth of the oil sands industry, with particular reference to the impacts of oil sands development over the next 5-year period. Current and anticipated gaps in local services were identified for housing; transportation; municipal infrastructure; health care; education; social services; policing; and the environment. The report demonstrated that the population of Fort McMurray will continue to grow at approximately 8 per cent over the next 5 years. The housing shortage in Fort McMurray has compounded the challenge of retaining workforces needed to expand the oil sands industry. The regional municipality is no longer able to fund critical infrastructure projects for water treatment and solid waste. Health services are also inadequate, and transportation issues are becoming a major concern. The report determined that planning is needed to ensure the equal allocation of resources among different communities. Coordination between the province and governmental agencies is also needed. Recommendations include investment in infrastructure; the development of policies and research to promote enhanced oil recovery; sustainable development; and business planning for high growth areas. Industry should continue to contribute to the community in substantial ways, and increases in manpower should be provided to Alberta Environment to focus on the cumulative effects of oil sands mining in the region. Further specific recommendations were provided to address infrastructure gaps in the region. 25 tabs., 12 figs.

  11. Shining a light on oil sands production : spectroscopy could bring flash of insight to ore processing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zlotnikov, D.

    2010-09-15

    Oil sands are a mixture of silts, sands and clay, and the variability poses challenges to surface mine operators. A professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta has been working on a spectroscopy project to provide the oil sand industry with real-time ore composition and particle size readings from the mine face. These can then be used to adjust processing conditions at the extraction plant or froth treatment facility, ensuring optimal recovery levels and smooth operation. Developing a spectrographic fingerprint of an ore sample involves shining a very narrow wavelength of light at the sample, recording the intensity of reflected light and repeating the process across a range of wavelengths. The challenges of putting the spectroscopic equipment at the mine site were described. The project is 1 of the more than 20 projects currently at the Centre for Oil Sands Innovation (COSI), a partnership between Imperial Oil and the University of Alberta. Imperial contributed $10 million in funding over the following 5 years, with the governments of Alberta and Canada contributing additional funds. Imperial Oil is not the only beneficiary of COSI research, as all work that comes out of COSI is ultimately published. 1 fig.

  12. 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.

  13. Adsorption of surfactants on sand surface in enhanced oil recovery: Isotherms, kinetics and thermodynamic studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bera, Achinta; Kumar, T.; Ojha, Keka; Mandal, Ajay, E-mail: mandal_ajay@hotmail.com

    2013-11-01

    Adsorption of surfactants onto reservoir rock surface may result in the loss and reduction of their concentrations in surfactant flooding, which may render them less efficient or ineffective in practical applications of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) techniques. Surfactant flooding for EOR received attraction due to its ability to increase the displacement efficiency by lowering the interfacial tension between oil and water and mobilizing the residual oil. This article highlights the adsorption of surfactants onto sand surface with variation of different influencing factors. It has been experimentally found that adsorption of cationic surfactant on sand surface is more and less for anionic surfactant, while non-ionic surfactant shows intermediate behaviour. X-ray diffraction (XRD) study of clean sand particles has been made to determine the main component present in the sand particles. The interaction between sand particles and surfactant has been studied by Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy of the sand particles before and after aging with surfactant. Salinity plays an important role in adsorption of anionic surfactant. Batch experiments were also performed to understand the effects of pH and adsorbent dose on the sorption efficiency. The sand particles exhibited high adsorption efficiency at low pH for anionic and nonionic surfactants. But opposite trend was found for cationic surfactant. Adsorption data were analyzed by fitting with Langmuir, Freundlich, Redlich-Peterson, and Sips isotherm models. Results show that the Langmuir isotherm and pseudo-second order kinetics models suit the equilibrium and kinetics of adsorption on sand surface. Thermodynamics feasibility of the adsorption process was also studied to verify the spontaneity of the process.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Biosurfactant-producing and oil-degrading Bacillus subtilis strains enhance oil recovery in laboratory sand-pack columns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gudiña, Eduardo J; Pereira, Jorge F B; Costa, Rita; Coutinho, João A P; Teixeira, José A; Rodrigues, Lígia R

    2013-10-15

    Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery (MEOR) technology uses microorganisms and their metabolites to retrieve unrecoverable oil from mature reservoirs. In situ stimulation of biosurfactant-producing and oil-degrading microorganisms reduces the capillary forces retaining the oil inside the reservoir and decreases its viscosity, thus promoting oil flow and consequently production. In this work, a sand-pack column model was designed to simulate oil recovery operations and evaluate mobilization of residual oil by the selected microorganisms. Four different hydrocarbon mixtures and three Bacillus subtilis strains isolated from crude oil samples were used. Additional oil recoveries ranged from 6 to 24% depending on the hydrocarbon mixture and microorganism used. Biosurfactant production was observed with all the microorganisms and hydrocarbon mixtures studied. The oils recovered after incubation with B. subtilis isolates showed a reduction in the percentage of long-chain n-alkanes and lower viscosity when compared with the original oils. The results obtained suggest that stimulation of the selected B. subtilis strains in situ can contribute to mobilize entrapped oil in mature reservoirs. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Uptake of Organic Contaminants by Plants from Oil Sands Fine Tailings

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    The objectives of this experiment were to evaluate the performance of different plant species growing in different kinds of oil sands fine tailings,and to estimate the uptake of organic contaminants by plants from the oil sands fine tailings.In general,total hydrocarbon in the plant could be ranked(beginning with the highest)as:unweathered plant 4 tailings (UWT),Freeze-Thawtailings(FT),weathered plant 4 tailings(WT),and consolidated tailings(CT) for the willow,poplar and cattails.For grass,CT amended with tailings sand and muskeg had the highest hydrocarbon level in the field treatment,however,other three kinds of tailings(FT,WT and UWT) had lower but similar to each other hydrocarbon levels.

  19. Potential for in situ chemical oxidation of acid extractable organics in oil sands process affected groundwater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sohrabi, V; Ross, M S; Martin, J W; Barker, J F

    2013-11-01

    The process of bitumen extraction from oil sands in Alberta, Canada leads to an accumulation of toxic acid-extractable organics (AEOs) in oil sands process water (OSPW). Infiltration of OSPW from tailings ponds and from their retaining sand dykes and subsequent transport towards surface water has occurred. Given the apparent lack of significant natural attenuation of AEOs in groundwater, remediation may be required. This laboratory study evaluates the potential use of unactivated persulfate and permanganate as in situ oxidation agents for remediation of AEOs in groundwater. Naphthenic acids (NAs; CnH2n+zO2), which are a component of the acutely toxic AEOs, were degraded by both oxidants in OSPW samples. Permanganate oxidation yielded some residual dissolved organic carbon (DOC) whereas persulfate mineralized the AEO compounds with less residual DOC. Acid-extractable organics from oxidized OSPW had essentially no Microtox toxicity.

  20. An update to the construction of the Suncor oil sands tailings pond 5 cover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abusaid, Ayman; Pollock, Gord; Fear, Catherine; McRoberts, Ed [AMEC Earth and Environmental (Canada); Wells, Sean [Suncor Energy Inc. (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    Tailings, produced during the extraction process that separates bitumen from oil sand, are pumped into holding ponds. The heaviest material - mostly sand - settles to the bottom, while water rises to the top, creating a middle layer, the mature fine tailings (MFT), made up of fine clay particles suspended in water. Suncor is using consolidated tailings technology to speed up the consolidation of MFT. To facilitate reclamation of its pond 5 oil sands tailings pond and make a trafficable surface, Suncor began construction of a full-scale floating cover over the fluid tailings in the pond in January, 2010. A road and infill approach was taken which involved constructing a network of roads as the first stage, followed by constructing the area between the roads (or cells) in the following stage, using geosynthetics overlain by petroleum coke. The results from a series of field trials conducted during this year and from other novel aspects of construction are presented and discussed in this paper.

  1. Post-Secondary Learning Priorities of Workers in an Oil Sands Camp in Northern Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahy, Patrick J.; Steel, Nancy

    2008-01-01

    This paper reports results to date of a three-year project by Athabasca University, intended to determine the education and training needs and interests of employees in a work camp in northern Alberta's oil sands. (Future reports will address results of efforts to provide programming suiting the needs identified, and the uptake, satisfaction,…

  2. Productivity of chironomid larvae exposed to oil sands process water : in situ vs. lab bioassay results

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

    Oil sands process water (OSPW) contains toxic concentrations of salts and napthenic acids that may compromise wetland reclamation efforts. The productivity of wetland biota is one of the criteria used by the Alberta government to determine if land leased to oil sands mining companies is restored. This study determined how chironomid productivity is influenced by the water from oil sands process material (OSPM) affected wetland. In this study, 26 10-day in situ and laboratory bioassays from water of three oil sands process material (OSPM) were compared with water from 3 reference wetlands to determine the influence of water from OSPM affected wetlands on chironomid productivity. Parallel studies were conducted with Chironomus riparius lab-cultured larvae and Chironomus sp larvae cultured from egg masses collected from an OSPW-affected wetland. In situ, chironomids were housed in small cylinders with fine-mesh netting to allow water exchange and contact with the sediment. Preliminary estimates of chironomids emerging from study wetlands indicated that native and lab cultured chironomids are not uniformly responsive to OSPW.

  3. ECONOMIC SIGNIFICANCE OF DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, AND EXTRACTION OF BITUMEN FROM BITUMINOUS SAND AND HEAVY OIL IN NIGERIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nwizug-bee L. K.

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Nigeria has the largest oil sands and bitumen resources in Africa and is one of the main leading countries in the world from the point of view of its significant potential heavy oil deposits. Research of geological and physicochemical properties confirmed that the Nigerian bitumen is an important energy source and an alternative source of hydrocarbon feedstock for the petrochemical industry. Nigeria imports black oil for the petrochemical industry and its heavy oil can act in place of this black oil. In addition, researchers have successfully established the possibility of producing electrical energy from this heavy oil. Tar sands and bitumen are able to help improve the economy of Nigeria

  4. Sand-wear resistance of brush electroplated nanocomposite coating in oil and its application to remanufacturing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DONG Shi-yun; XU Bin-shi; DU Ling-zhong; YANG Hua

    2005-01-01

    Sand-wear resistance of nano scale alumina particle reinforced nickel matrix composite coating (n-Al2O3/ Ni) prepared by brush electroplating technique was investigated via wear tests in sand-contaminated oil lubricant,comparing with that of AISI1045 steel and brush electroplated Ni coating. Effects of testing load, sand content and sand size on worn volume of the three materials, and also coating surface roughness on worn volume of the brush electroplated coatings were accessed. Results show that the worn volume of all the three materials increases with increasing of testing load, sand content and sand size. In the same conditions, n-Al2 O3/Ni composite coating has the smallest worn volume while AISI1045 steel has the largest because of the n-Al2 O3 particle effects. As to n-Al2 O3/Ni and Ni coatings, the surface-polished coatings have obviously lower worn volume than the as-plated coatings. The brush electroplated n-Als O3/Ni composite coating was employed to remanufacture the sand-worn bearing seats of a heavy vehicle and good results were gained.

  5. Supplying Synthetic Crude Oil from Canadian Oil Sands: A Comparative Study of the Costs and CO2 Emissions of Mining and In-Situ Recovery

    OpenAIRE

    M?jean, A.; Hope, Chris

    2010-01-01

    High crude oil prices and the eventual decline of conventional oil production raise the issue of alternative fuels such as non-conventional oil. The paper describes a simple probabilistic model of the costs of synthetic crude oil (SCO) produced from Canadian oil sands. Synthetic crude oil is obtained by upgrading bitumen that is first produced through mining or in-situ recovery techniques. This forward-looking analysis quantifies the effects of learning and production constraints on the costs...

  6. 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.

  7. The effect of oil sands tailings pond sediments on embryo-larval walleye (Sander vitreus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raine, J C; Turcotte, D; Tumber, V; Peru, K M; Wang, Z; Yang, C; Headley, J V; Parrott, J L

    2017-10-01

    Walleye (Sander vitreus) are a commercially important North American fish species that inhabit the Athabasca River. This river flows through the Athabasca oil sands where natural sources of bitumen erode from the McMurray formation. Little information is available on responses of walleye embryos to oil sands tailings pond sediments in a laboratory setting. The current study describes the design and implementation of a daily-renewal bioassay to assess the potential effects of tailings pond sediments from the Athabasca oil sands area on walleye development. Developing walleye embryos were exposed to increasing concentrations of two tailings pond sediments (collected in the Athabasca oil sands area) until the completion of yolk absorption in control fish. Sediments from the tailings pond represent a mixture of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and alkylated PAHs. During the 31 day exposure, the walleye were examined for mortalities, weight, length and developmental abnormalities to provide an initial evaluation of the effects of the oil sands tailings pond sediments. Walleye embryo survival differed between the tailings pond sediments, and survival decreased with increasing sediment concentration. Alkylated PAH content differed between the two tailings pond sediments and lower embryo survival corresponded to higher total and alkylated PAH content. Tailings pond sediment-exposed walleye exhibited a delay in development, as well as increased percentages of larvae with heart and yolk sac edema, and cranial and spinal malformations. These abnormalities in development are often associated with PAH and alkylated PAH exposure. This study provides an exposure design that can be used to assess sediment toxicity to early developmental stages of a fish species not commonly tested in the lab, and lays the groundwork for future studies with this and other difficult-to-culture species. These results offer information on the potential effects of tailings pond sediments

  8. An airborne assessment of atmospheric particulate emissions from the processing of Athabasca oil sands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. G. Howell

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available During the Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS campaign, two NASA research aircraft, a DC-8 and a P-3B, were outfitted with extensive trace gas (the DC-8 and aerosol (both aircraft instrumentation. Each aircraft spent about a half hour sampling air around the oil sands mining and upgrading facilities near Ft. McMurray, Alberta, Canada. The DC-8 circled the area, while the P-3B flew directly over the upgrading plants, sampling close to the exhaust stacks, then headed downwind to monitor the aerosol as it aged. At short range, the plume from the oil sands is a complex mosaic of freshly nucleated ultrafine particles from a SO2 and NO2-rich plume, fly ash and soot from industrial processes, and dust from dirt roads and mining operations. Shortly downwind, organic aerosol appears in quantities that rival SO4=, either as volatile organic vapors condense or as they react with the H2SO4. The DC-8 pattern allowed us to integrate total flux from the oil sands facilities within about a factor of two uncertainty that spanned values consistent with 2008 estimates from reported SO2 and NO2 emissions. In contrast, CO fluxes exceeded reported regional emissions, due either to variability in production or sources missing from the emissions inventory. The conversion rate of SO2 to aerosol SO4= of ~6% per hour is consistent with earlier reports, though OH concentrations are insufficient to accomplish this. Other oxidation pathways must be active. Altogether, organic aerosol and black carbon emissions from the oil sands operations are small compared with the forest fires present in the region during the summer. The oil sands do contribute significant sulfate and exceed fire production of SO2 by an order of magnitude.

  9. Cell abundance and microbial community composition along a complete oil sand mining and reclamation process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lappé, M.; Schneider, B.; Kallmeyer, J.

    2012-12-01

    Hydrocarbons constitute an important energy source for microbes but can also be of environmental concern. Microbial activity causes hydrocarbon degradation and thereby loss of economical value, but also helps to remove hydrocarbons from the environment. The present study characterizes the abundance of microbes along the oil sand mining process in Alberta, Canada, as a first approach to assess the impact of mining and oil extraction on the microbial population. After mining the oil is extracted from the sediment by a hot-water extraction (50-60°C), resulting in three major fractions: crude oil, tailings sand and fine tailings. The tailings sand is used as substratum for newly developing soils on the reclamation areas. The very liquid fine tailings still have a TOC content of about 4.3% and are pumped into tailings ponds, where they need up to three decades to settle and solidify. After deposition, these mature fine tailings (MFTs) are enriched in organics (TOC content between 9.6 and 16.8%) and dredged out of the ponds and put on dumps for several years for dewatering. Finally they are brought out onto the reclamation sites and deposited below the sand layer. Cells were extracted from oily sediments according to the protocol of Lappé and Kallmeyer (2011), stained with SYBR Green I and counted by fluorescence microscopy. Cell abundance in the unprocessed oil sand is around 1.6 x 107 cells cm-3. After processing the fresh fine tailings still contain around 1.6 x 107 cells cm-3. Cell counts in the processed MFTs are 5.8 x 107 cells cm-3, whereas in the sand used as substratum for newly developing soils, they are twice as high (1.4 x 108). In root-bearing horizons, cell counts reach 1.1 x 109 cell cm-3. Cell numbers calculated from cultivation experiments are in the same range. Higher cell counts in the tailings sand are probably due to a higher nitrogen supply through the addition of a 35 cm top layer of a peat-mineral mix. In the sand nitrate concentrations are high

  10. InSAR Monitoring of Surface Deformation in Alberta's Oil Sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearse, J.; Singhroy, V.; Li, J.; Samsonov, S. V.; Shipman, T.; Froese, C. R.

    2013-05-01

    Alberta's oil sands are among the world's largest deposits of crude oil, and more than 80% of it is too deep to mine, so unconventional in-situ methods are used for extraction. Most in situ extraction techniques, such as Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), use steam injection to reduce the viscosity of the bitumen, allowing it to flow into wells to be pumped to the surface. As part of the oil sands safety and environmental monitoring program, the energy regulator uses satellite radar to monitor surface deformation associated with in-situ oil extraction. The dense vegetation and sparse infrastructure in the boreal forest of northern Alberta make InSAR monitoring a challenge; however, we have found that surface heave associated with steam injection can be detected using traditional differential InSAR. Infrastructure and installed corner reflectors also allow us to use persistent scatterer methods to obtain time histories of deformation at individual sites. We have collected and processed several tracks of RADARSAT-2 data over a broad area of the oil sands, and have detected surface deformation signals of approximately 2-3 cm per year, with time series that correlate strongly with monthly SAGD steam injection volumes.

  11. Model study on winning of Canadian oil sands in open pit mines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vogt, W.

    1980-11-01

    The oil sands of the Athabaska River in the Canadian Province of Alberta, with a geologically demonstrated oil content of 101 gigatons, are among the most important oil sand deposits in the world. Currently CONCOR and SYNCRUDE are pusing ahead with extraction plants with a design capacity of 65 000 and 125 000 barrels per calendar day. Interest in the oil sands has increased in recent years with increasing oil prices, and future projects are now being prepared. In view of the not inconsiderable encroachment which open pit mines, and particularly the dumping of extraction residues, will make on the landscape, recultivation is of major importance. It introduces large tasks for current and future operators since the extreme climatic conditions, shortage of earth capable of being recultivated, and the nature of the residues of the extraction plants make the restoration of the landscape difficult to a high degree. To shed light on the technical-economic aspects, and particularly the ecological aspects of future projects, the Department of Environment of the Province of Alberta granted the firms Techman Ltd., Calgary, and Rheinbraun Consulting GmbH, Cologne, the contract for the working out of a model study in 1977. The findings of this study reproduced here in shortened and summarized form.

  12. Enhanced ex situ bioremediation of crude oil contaminated beach sand by supplementation with nutrients and rhamnolipids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolopoulou, M; Pasadakis, N; Norf, H; Kalogerakis, N

    2013-12-15

    Mediterranean coastal regions are particularly exposed to oil pollution due to extensive industrialization, urbanization and transport of crude and refined oil to and from refineries. Bioremediation of contaminated beach sand through landfarming is both simple and cost-effective to implement compared to other treatment technologies. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of alternative nutrients on biodegradation of crude oil contaminated beach sand in an effort to reduce the time required for bioremediation employing only indigenous hydrocarbon degraders. A natural sandy soil was collected from Agios Onoufrios beach (Chania, Greece) and was contaminated with weathered crude oil. The indigenous microbial population in the contaminated sand was tested alone (control treatment) or in combination with inorganic nutrients (KNO3 and K2HPO4) to investigate their effects on oil biodegradation rates. In addition, the ability of biosurfactants (rhamnolipids), in the presence of organic nutrients (uric acid and lecithin), to further stimulate biodegradation was investigated in laboratory microcosms over a 45-day period. Biodegradation was tracked by GC/MS analysis of aliphatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons components and the measured concentrations were corrected for abiotic removal by hopane normalizations. It was found that the saturated fraction of the residual oil is degraded more extensively than the aromatic fraction and the bacterial growth after an incubation period of approximately 3 weeks was much greater from the bacterial growth in the control. The results show that the treatments with inorganic or organic nutrients are equally effective over almost 30 days where C12-C35n-alkanes were degraded more than 97% and polyaromatic hydrocarbons with two or three rings were degraded more than 95% within 45 days. The results clearly show that the addition of nutrients to contaminated beach sand significantly enhanced the activity of

  13. Structural Control of Sand Bodies and Deep Exploration for Oil and Gas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Cheng Rihui; Lin Changsong; Zheng Herong

    2002-01-01

    The structural styles can be used to analyses and predict developments and distributions of sand bodies in a rift basin. The dynamic process of faulting and sedimentation can be expressed as follow: the basin topography controlled by fault activity can control water dynamics; which in turn affect the transport and sedimentation of sediments. The corresponding analysis between structural styles and sand depositional types includes the following aspects: (1) in section, the corresponding between development of fault terraces and sand depositional types; (2) in plane, the relationship between faults' association and distributions of sand bodies. There are four types of terrace styles to be identified. They are Steep Slope Single Fault Terrace (SSSFT), Steep Slope Multiple Fault Terrace (SSMFT), Gentle Slope (GS) and Gentle Slope Multiple Fault Terrace (GSMFT), which also can be divided into six subtypes by the timing of the faults activities and the directions of their activity migrations (basinward and landward or marginward). They correspond to the following sand depositions such as alluvial fan, fan delta and turbidite fan etc.. The analysis of structure-sedimentation is a discussion on the rank Ⅲ sequence evolution under the condition of pulsing or episodic fault activities. It has been recognized four plane fault associations such as the comb, the broom, the fork and the fault-fold association as well as the corresponding sand distributions. Structural-sedimentary models above mentioned are significant for the deep oil and gas exploration when lacking of the drill data. It may reduce multiple resolutions in the interpretation of seismic-sedimentary facies and promote sand predictions through the constraints of the structural styles of the basin units. The structural-sedimentary pattern can be used as a geological model in oil and gas exploration in the rift basins.

  14. 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. .

  15. Pore Scale Analysis of Oil Shale/Sands Pyrolysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lin, Chen-Luh [Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States); Miller, Jan [Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)

    2011-03-01

    There are important questions concerning the quality and volume of pore space that is created when oil shale is pyrolyzed for the purpose of producing shale oil. In this report, 1.9 cm diameter cores of Mahogany oil shale were pyrolyzed at different temperatures and heating rates. Detailed 3D imaging of core samples was done using multiscale X-ray computed tomography (CT) before and after pyrolysis to establish the pore structure. The pore structure of the unreacted material was not clear. Selected images of a core pyrolyzed at 400oC were obtained at voxel resolutions from 39 microns (Οm) to 60 nanometers (nm). Some of the pore space created during pyrolysis was clearly visible at these resolutions and it was possible to distinguish between the reaction products and the host shale rock. The pore structure deduced from the images was used in Lattice Boltzmann simulations to calculate the permeability in the pore space. The permeabilities of the pyrolyzed samples of the silicate-rich zone were on the order of millidarcies, while the permeabilities of the kerogen-rich zone after pyrolysis were very anisotropic and about four orders of magnitude higher.

  16. Secondary ferroan dolomite rhombs in oil reservoirs, Chadra Sands, Gialo field, Libya

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al-Shaieb, Z.; Shelton, J.W.

    1978-03-01

    Oil-productive, Oligocene Chadra sands in Gialo field, Libya, at depths of 600 to 750 m contain small dolomite rhombs. The rhombs are present as single crystals on detrital grains and as nonmosaic aggregates in pore space. The dolomite is calcium-rich and contains up to 10% iron but not measurable sodium or strontium. Total dissolved solids of produced interstitial water from the Chadra sand range from about 4,500 to 10,000 ppM. Introduction of fresh (meteoric) water into the Chadra sands, which were deposited in shallow-marine (shelf) environment, was responsible for formation of the dolomite rhombs. Iron in the dolomite rhombs was derived from alteration of galuconite.

  17. Oil sands development and its impact on atmospheric wet deposition of air pollutants to the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynam, Mary M; Dvonch, J Timothy; Barres, James A; Morishita, Masako; Legge, Allan; Percy, Kevin

    2015-11-01

    Characterization of air pollutant deposition resulting from Athabasca oil sands development is necessary to assess risk to humans and the environment. To investigate this we collected event-based wet deposition during a pilot study in 2010-2012 at the AMS 6 site 30 km from the nearest upgrading facility in Fort McMurray, AB, Canada. Sulfate, nitrate and ammonium deposition was (kg/ha) 1.96, 1.60 and 1.03, respectively. Trace element pollutant deposition ranged from 2 × 10(-5) - 0.79 and exhibited the trend Hg < Se < As < Cd < Pb < Cu < Zn < S. Crustal element deposition ranged from 1.4 × 10(-4) - 0.46 and had the trend: La < Ce < Sr < Mn < Al < Fe < Mg. S, Se and Hg demonstrated highest median enrichment factors (130-2020) suggesting emissions from oil sands development, urban activities and forest fires were deposited. High deposition of the elements Sr, Mn, Fe and Mg which are tracers for soil and crustal dust implies land-clearing, mining and hauling emissions greatly impacted surrounding human settlements and ecosystems.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Technology Options and Integration Concepts for Implementing CO2 Capture in Oil-Sands Operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ordorica-Garcia, G.; Nikoo, M. [Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, Edmonton, Alberta (Canada); Carbo, M. [Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands ECN, Petten (Netherlands); Bolea, I. [Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza (Spain)

    2012-09-15

    The majority of the technology development for CO2 capture and storage (CCS) is driven by the electric-utility industry, in which the emphasis is on large centralized units for electric-power generation with coal as the primary fuel. The implementation of CCS in oil-sands operations has significant potential to provide meaningful carbon-emissions reductions. This paper presents various concepts for integrating leading CO2-capture techniques to bitumen-extraction and -upgrading processes. The main carbon-capture technologies are reviewed, and their relative advantages and disadvantages for implementation in bitumen mining, thermal bitumen extraction, and bitumen upgrading are discussed, leading to a qualitative assessment of their suitability for each oil-sands process.

  2. The Caustic Alkali-free Water Extraction Agents for Treating Inner Mongolia Oil Sands

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Shen Zhibing; Zhang Juntao; Zhang Jie; Liang Shengrong

    2014-01-01

    The caustic alkali-free water extraction agents were studied for treating the oil sands excavated from Inner Mon-golia, China. Several kinds of chemical reagents were evaluated, among which sodium carbonate (SC), sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate (SD) and sodium chloride were conifrmed as composite solutes. Their proportion was optimized by an orthogonal test. The optimum proportion of the composite agent covered 0.03%of SD, 0.50%of sodium chloride, 3.00%of SC, with the rest composed of water. The optimal operating condition was also conifrmed. The oil sands were extracted at the following optimized conditions:a treating time of 15 min, a temperature of 80℃and an extraction agent/feed ratio of 1:1, with the bitumen yield reaching more than 96%. The extraction agent after separation from the bitumen product can be recycled for reuse to carve out a good environmentally friendly route.

  3. 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.

  4. Oil sands : a teacher's guide[Activities for Ontario junior and intermediate classes : social studies, science and technology, geography, science and language

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blasetti, C.; Logan, A.; McKay, K. [Inside Education, Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2003-07-01

    This teacher's guide for grades 4 to 9 demonstrates an awareness of how Canada's oil sands are produced, the environmental impacts associated with oil sands development, conservation of the resource, and the future of the oil sands industry in Canada. It presents expectations for the Ontario curriculum and includes several educational tools such as poster quick activities; a reader's theatre script; a newspaper article reporting on how Alberta oil sands has influenced the growth of Fort McMurray; an introductory lesson on how oil is processed from oil sands in northern Alberta; experiments to visualize the viscosity of the oil extracted from the oil sands; and, how to extract the resource. The guide also addresses issues regarding wildlife, land reclamation and climate change. figs.

  5. Self assembly, mobilization, and flotation of crude oil contaminated sand particles as granular shells on gas bubbles in water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tansel, Berrin; Boglaienko, Daria

    2017-01-01

    Contaminant fate and transport studies and models include transport mechanisms for colloidal particles and dissolved ions which can be easily moved with water currents. However, mobilization of much larger contaminated granular particles (i.e., sand) in sediments have not been considered as a possible mechanism due to the relatively larger size of sand particles and their high bulk density. We conducted experiments to demonstrate that oil contaminated granular particles (which exhibit hydrophobic characteristics) can attach on gas bubbles to form granular shells and transfer from the sediment phase to the water column. The interactions and conditions necessary for the oil contaminated granular particles to self assemble as tightly packed granular shells on the gas bubbles which transfer from sediment phase to the water column were evaluated both experimentally and theoretically for South Louisiana crude oil and quartz sand particles. Analyses showed that buoyancy forces can be adequate to move the granular shell forming around the air bubbles if the bubble radius is above 0.001mm for the sand particles with 0.28mm diameter. Relatively high magnitude of the Hamaker constant for the oil film between sand and air (5.81×10(-20)J for air-oil-sand) indicates that air bubbles have high affinity to attach on the oil film that is on the sand particles in comparison to attaching to the sand particles without the oil film in water (1.60×10(-20)J for air-water-sand). The mobilization mechanism of the contaminated granular particles with gas bubbles can occur in natural environments resulting in transfer of granular particles from sediments to the water column. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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)

  7. Effects of Different Ultrasound Irradiation Frequencies and Water Temperatures on Extraction Rate of Bitumen from Oil Sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okawa, Hirokazu; Saito, Tomonao; Hosokawa, Ryota; Nakamura, Takashi; Kawamura, Youhei; Sugawara, Katsuyasu

    2010-07-01

    Low (28 kHz) and high (200 kHz) frequency sonication combined with hot water treatments at 45 and 75 °C were investigated to assess the effects of different ultrasound frequencies and water temperatures on the extraction of bitumen from oil sand. A mechanical stirrer was also used to compare the efficiency of separation. Bitumen extraction tests were performed under argon, air, and nitrogen atmospheres. Sonication at 200 kHz was shown to extract bitumen effectively from oil sand at 75 °C. The bitumen extraction rate for sonication at 200 kHz was slightly higher than that at 28 kHz. For low temperature (45 °C) solutions, only sonication at 28 kHz could extract bitumen from oil sand, demonstrating that sonication at 28 kHz can effectively breakdown the oil sand aggregates into a suspension.

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddique, Tariq; Kuznetsov, Petr; Kuznetsova, Alsu; Arkell, Nicholas; Young, Rozlyn; Li, Carmen; Guigard, Selma; Underwood, Eleisha; Foght, Julia M

    2014-01-01

    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 vs. 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 (Ca(2+)) and magnesium (Mg(2+)) and increasing bicarbonate (HCO(-) 3) 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.

  10. Atmospheric deposition of mercury and methylmercury to landscapes and waterbodies of the Athabasca oil sands region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Jane L; Muir, Derek C G; Gleason, Amber; Wang, Xiaowa; Lawson, Greg; Frank, Richard A; Lehnherr, Igor; Wrona, Fred

    2014-07-01

    Atmospheric deposition of metals originating from a variety of sources, including bitumen upgrading facilities and blowing dusts from landscape disturbances, is of concern in the Athabasca oil sands region of northern Alberta, Canada. Mercury (Hg) is of particular interest as methylmercury (MeHg), a neurotoxin which bioaccumulates through foodwebs, can reach levels in fish and wildlife that may pose health risks to human consumers. We used spring-time sampling of the accumulated snowpack at sites located varying distances from the major developments to estimate winter 2012 Hg loadings to a ∼20 000 km(2) area of the Athabasca oil sands region. Total Hg (THg; all forms of Hg in a sample) loads were predominantly particulate-bound (79 ± 12%) and increased with proximity to major developments, reaching up to 1000 ng m(-2). MeHg loads increased in a similar fashion, reaching up to 19 ng m(-2) and suggesting that oil sands developments are a direct source of MeHg to local landscapes and water bodies. Deposition maps, created by interpolation of measured Hg loads using geostatistical software, demonstrated that deposition resembled a bullseye pattern on the landscape, with areas of maximum THg and MeHg loadings located primarily between the Muskeg and Steepbank rivers. Snowpack concentrations of THg and MeHg were significantly correlated (r = 0.45-0.88, p < 0.01) with numerous parameters, including total suspended solids (TSS), metals known to be emitted in high quantities from the upgraders (vanadium, nickel, and zinc), and crustal elements (aluminum, iron, and lanthanum), which were also elevated in this region. Our results suggest that at snowmelt, a complex mixture of chemicals enters aquatic ecosystems that could impact biological communities of the oil sands region.

  11. Satellite Based Analysis of Carbon Monoxide Levels Over Alberta Oil Sand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marey, H. S.; Hashisho, Z.; Fu, L.; Gille, J. C.

    2014-12-01

    The rapid expansion of oil sands activities and massive energy requirements to extract and upgrade the bitumen require a comprehensive understanding of their potential environmental impacts, particularly on air quality. In this study, satellite-based analysis of carbon monoxide (CO) levels was used to assess the magnitude and distribution of this pollutant throughout Alberta oil sands region. Measurements of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) V5 multispectral product that uses both near-infrared and the thermal-infrared radiances for CO retrieval were used. MOPITT-based climatology and inter-annual variations were examined for 12 years (2002-2013) on spatial and temporal scales. Seasonal climatological maps for CO total columns indicated conspicuous spatial variations in all seasons except in winter where the CO spatial variations are less prominent. High CO loadings are observed to extend from the North East to North West regions of Alberta, with highest values in spring. The CO mixing ratios at the surface level in winter and spring seasons exhibited dissimilar spatial distribution pattern where the enhancements are detected in south eastern rather than northern Alberta. Analyzing spatial distributions of Omega at 850 mb pressure level for four seasons implied that, conditions in northeastern Alberta are more favorable for up lofting while in southern Alberta, subsidence of CO emissions are more likely. Time altitude CO profile climatology as well as the inter-annual variability were investigated for the oil sands and main urban regions in Alberta to assess the impact of various sources on CO loading. Monthly variations over urban regions are consistent with the general seasonal cycle of CO in Northern Hemisphere which exhibits significant enhancement in winter and spring, and minimum mixing ratios in summer. The typical seasonal CO variations over the oil sands region are less prominent. This study has demonstrated the potential use of multispectral CO

  12. Optimization of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid System in a Sand Oil Reservoir in Southwest of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reza Masoomi

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Fracturing fluid is one of the most important components of a hydraulic fracturing operation. Currently a lot of fluids are available for hydraulic fracturing. In order to selecting the most appropriate fracturing fluid for oil and gas wells with special characteristics, should be well understood fluid properties and should be informed about how changes in fluid properties to achieve the desired results. The aim of this study is optimization of viscosity and gel concentration in water base and foam base fluids which are used in hydraulic fracturing process in a sand oil reservoir in southwest of Iran. For this purpose various scenarios have been designed for various kinds of water base fluids and foam base fluids. Then the cumulative oil production has been estimated versus time and fracture half length. In addition the final required fracturing fluid and proppant have been determined for hydraulic fracturing in studied reservoir. Also in this study increasing the cumulative oil recovery in fractured and Non-fractured wells in a sand oil reservoir in southwest of Iran have been investigated.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aggarwal, Monika; Whiteway, James; Seabrook, Jeffrey; Gray, Lawrence; Strawbridge, Kevin B.

    2016-06-01

    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.

  14. Comparison of polymer applications to treatment of oil sands fine tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, H.; Zhou, J.; Chow, R. [Alberta Research Council, Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    Oil sands tailings are disposed of into large ponds where the coarse particles settle out, and fine particles settle down very slowly to form a stable suspension called mature fine tailings (MFTs). Many oil sands projects are not meeting tailings management targets. Polymer applications are being designed to create agglomerated particles. This presentation discussed a study that compared 3 types of polymers in solids dewatering processes: (1) polyacrylamide (PAM); a aluminum PAM hybrid (Al-PAM) and a thermal-sensitive poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide (PNIPAM). The aim of the study was to determine the optimal polymeric facilitation. Oil sands tailings from lab flotation tests were used. The effect on the initial settling rate of the tailings using the polymers was studied. Inter-particle forces were also compared, as well as the effects of temperature on polymer transitions in aqueous solutions. The effects of the polymers on silica settling and consolidation were examined. Dewatering performance was also compared. Multi-function polymers (MFP) were used to enhance water recovery from settling, consolidation and filtration. Synergetic-effect polymers (SEP) were used to enhance bitumen and water recovery. Results of the study showed that PAM effectively induced solids flocculation, but flocculants were irregular in shape. Al-PAM induced stronger flocculation of particles with dense spherical flocculants. PNIPAM enhanced dewatering in both settling and consolidation. It was concluded that PNIPAM manipulated inter-particle forces with the help of external stimuli conditions to obtain solids sediment with less volume. tabs., figs.

  15. 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.

  16. Co-occurrence of methanogenesis and N2 fixation in oil sands tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, C E Victoria; Foght, Julia M; Siddique, Tariq

    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 N2 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 N2 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 (CH4) at the same rate as N-containing cultures, indicating a mechanism of overcoming apparent N-deficiency. Acetylene reduction and (15)N2 incorporation in all N-deficient cultures (with or without PAM) suggested active N2 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 N2-fixing species. The results are important in understanding long-term production of biogenic greenhouse gases in oil sands tailings. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Oil sands mining and reclamation cause massive loss of peatland and stored carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rooney, Rebecca C.; Bayley, Suzanne E.; Schindler, David W.

    2012-01-01

    We quantified the wholesale transformation of the boreal landscape by open-pit oil sands mining in Alberta, Canada to evaluate its effect on carbon storage and sequestration. Contrary to claims made in the media, peatland destroyed by open-pit mining will not be restored. Current plans dictate its replacement with upland forest and tailings storage lakes, amounting to the destruction of over 29,500 ha of peatland habitat. Landscape changes caused by currently approved mines will release between 11.4 and 47.3 million metric tons of stored carbon and will reduce carbon sequestration potential by 5,734–7,241 metric tons C/y. These losses have not previously been quantified, and should be included with the already high estimates of carbon emissions from oil sands mining and bitumen upgrading. A fair evaluation of the costs and benefits of oil sands mining requires a rigorous assessment of impacts on natural capital and ecosystem services. PMID:22411786

  18. 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.

  19. Dynamic simulation of cable shovel specific energy in oil sands excavation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Awuah-Offei, K. [Missouri-Rolla Univ., Rolla, MO (United States). School of Materials, Energy and Earth Resources; Frimpong, S. [Missouri-Rolla Univ., Rolla, MO (United States). Dept. of Mining Engineering, Mining and Nuclear Engineering; Askari-Nasab, H. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering

    2005-07-01

    Oil sand excavation requires the use cable shovels which constitute one of the major costs in surface mining operations. Random occurrences of shales and limestones within the Athabasca oil sands formation result in varying shovel diggability and stress loading of the boom-crowd-dipper-teeth assembly which reduces digging efficiency. This inefficient use of cable shovels negatively affects the return on capital investment in these otherwise effective machines. In the Athabasca oil sands, varying stress loading has the potential to increase shovel downtime and increase maintenance costs. This paper presented a newly developed cable shovel simulator that uses shovel kinematics and dynamics, dynamic cutting resistance and payload models. It can model the specific energy needed to overcome the resistance to machine motion and material digging. The comprehensive model considers both machine motion and machine-formation interaction forces. It also provides a comprehensive theoretical assessment of shovel performance. The model is useful to mining engineers when examining both the machine operating parameters and material parameters that influence shovel performance. The study showed that bulk density is the most important material property influencing diggability. Operator preferences also influence the specific energy of excavation. 12 refs., 2 tabs., 6 figs.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Application of forward osmosis membrane technology for oil sands process-affected water desalination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yaxin; Liang, Jiaming; Liu, Yang

    2016-01-01

    The extraction process used to obtain bitumen from the oil sands produces large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). As a newly emerging desalination technology, forward osmosis (FO) has shown great promise in saving electrical power requirements, increasing water recovery, and minimizing brine discharge. With the support of this funding, a FO system was constructed using a cellulose triacetate FO membrane to test the feasibility of OSPW desalination and contaminant removal. The FO systems were optimized using different types and concentrations of draw solution. The FO system using 4 M NH4HCO3 as a draw solution achieved 85% water recovery from OSPW, and 80 to 100% contaminant rejection for most metals and ions. A water backwash cleaning method was applied to clean the fouled membrane, and the cleaned membrane achieved 77% water recovery, a performance comparable to that of new FO membranes. This suggests that the membrane fouling was reversible. The FO system developed in this project provides a novel and energy efficient strategy to remediate the tailings waters generated by oil sands bitumen extraction and processing.

  3. Methanogenic biodegradation of paraffinic solvent hydrocarbons in two different oil sands tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamad Shahimin, Mohd Faidz; Siddique, Tariq

    2017-04-01

    Microbial communities drive many biogeochemical processes in oil sands tailings and cause greenhouse gas emissions from tailings ponds. Paraffinic solvent (primarily C5-C6; n- and iso-alkanes) is used by some oil sands companies to aid bitumen extraction from oil sands ores. Residues of unrecovered solvent escape to tailings ponds during tailings deposition and sustain microbial metabolism. To investigate biodegradation of hydrocarbons in paraffinic solvent, mature fine tailings (MFT) collected from Albian and CNRL ponds were amended with paraffinic solvent at ~0.1wt% (final concentration: ~1000mgL(-1)) and incubated under methanogenic conditions for ~1600d. Albian and CNRL MFTs exhibited ~400 and ~800d lag phases, respectively after which n-alkanes (n-pentane and n-hexane) in the solvent were preferentially metabolized to methane over iso-alkanes in both MFTs. Among iso-alkanes, only 2-methylpentane was completely biodegraded whereas 2-methylbutane and 3-methylpentane were partially biodegraded probably through cometabolism. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing showed dominance of Anaerolineaceae and Methanosaetaceae in Albian MFT and Peptococcaceae and co-domination of "Candidatus Methanoregula" and Methanosaetaceae in CNRL MFT bacterial and archaeal communities, respectively, during active biodegradation of paraffinic solvent. The results are important for developing future strategies for tailings reclamation and management of greenhouse gas emissions.

  4. Biodegradation and origin of oil sands in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhou Shuqing; Huang Haiping; Liu Yuming

    2008-01-01

    The oil sands deposits in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) comprise of at least 85% of the total immobile bitumen in place in the world and are so concentrated as to be virtually the only such deposits that are economically recoverable for conversion to oil.The major deposits are in three geographic and geologic regions of Alberta: Athabasca,Cold Lake and Peace River.The bitumen reserves have oil gravities ranging from 8 to 12° API,and are hosted in the reservoirs of varying age,ranging from Devonian (Grosmont Formation) to Early Cretaceous (Mannville Group).They were derived from light oils in the southern Alberta and migrated to the north and east for over 100 km during the Laramide Orogeny,which was responsible for the uplift of the Rocky Mountains.Biodegradation is the only process that transforms light oil into bitumen in such a dramatic way that overshadowed other alterations with minor contributions.The levels of biodegradation in the basin increasing from west (non-biodegraded) to east (extremely biodegraded) can be attributed to decreasing reservoir temperature,which played the primary role in controlling the biodegradation regime.Once the reservoir was heated to approximately 80 ℃,it was pasteurized and no biodegradation would further occur.However,reservoir temperature could not alone predict the variations of the oil composition and physical properties.Compositional gradients and a wide range of biodegradation degree at single reservoir column indicate that the water-leg size or the volume ratio of oil to water is one of the critical local controls for the vertical variations of biodegradation degree and oil physical properties.Late charging and mixing of the fresh and degraded oils ultimately dictate the final distribution of compositions and physical properties found in the heavy oil and oil sand fields.Oil geochemistry can reveal precisely the processes and levels that control these variations in a given field,which opens the

  5. A risk-based approach for identifying constituents of concern in oil sands process-affected water from the Athabasca Oil Sands region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McQueen, Andrew D; Kinley, Ciera M; Hendrikse, Maas; Gaspari, Daniel P; Calomeni, Alyssa J; Iwinski, Kyla J; Castle, James W; Haakensen, Monique C; Peru, Kerry M; Headley, John V; Rodgers, John H

    2017-04-01

    Mining leases in the Athabasca Oil Sands (AOS) region produce large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) containing constituents that limit beneficial uses and discharge into receiving systems. The aim of this research is to identify constituents of concern (COCs) in OSPW sourced from an active settling basin with the goal of providing a sound rational for developing mitigation strategies for using constructed treatment wetlands for COCs contained in OSPW. COCs were identified through several lines of evidence: 1) chemical and physical characterization of OSPW and comparisons with numeric water quality guidelines and toxicity endpoints, 2) measuring toxicity of OSPW using a taxonomic range of sentinel organisms (i.e. fish, aquatic invertebrates, and a macrophyte), 3) conducting process-based manipulations (PBMs) of OSPW to alter toxicity and inform treatment processes, and 4) discerning potential treatment pathways to mitigate ecological risks of OSPW based on identification of COCs, toxicological analyses, and PBM results. COCs identified in OSPW included organics (naphthenic acids [NAs], oil and grease [O/G]), metals/metalloids, and suspended solids. In terms of species sensitivities to undiluted OSPW, fish ≥ aquatic invertebrates > macrophytes. Bench-scale manipulations of the organic fractions of OSPW via PBMs (i.e. H2O2+UV254 and granular activated charcoal treatments) eliminated toxicity to Ceriodaphnia dubia (7-8 d), in terms of mortality and reproduction. Results from this study provide critical information to inform mitigation strategies using passive or semi-passive treatment processes (e.g., constructed treatment wetlands) to mitigate ecological risks of OSPW to aquatic organisms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. ECONOMIC SIGNIFICANCE OF DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, AND EXTRACTION OF BITUMEN FROM BITUMINOUS SAND AND HEAVY OIL IN NIGERIA

    OpenAIRE

    Nwizug-bee L. K.

    2016-01-01

    Nigeria has the largest oil sands and bitumen resources in Africa and is one of the main leading countries in the world from the point of view of its significant potential heavy oil deposits. Research of geological and physicochemical properties confirmed that the Nigerian bitumen is an important energy source and an alternative source of hydrocarbon feedstock for the petrochemical industry. Nigeria imports black oil for the petrochemical industry and its heavy oil can act in place of this bl...

  7. 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

  8. Influence of Geometric Parameters of the Hydrocyclone and Sand Concentration on the Water/Sand/Heavy-Oil Separation Process: Modeling and Simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Farias

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In the oil exploitation, produced fluids are composed of oil, gas, water and sand (depending on the reservoir location. The presence of sand in flow oil leads to several industrial problems for example: erosion and accumulation in valves and pipeline. Thus, it is necessary to stop production for manual cleaning of equipments and pipes. These facts have attracted attention of academic and industrial areas, enabling the appearing of new technologies or improvement of the water/oil/sand separation process. One equipment that has been used to promote phase separation is the hydrocyclone due to high performance of separation and required low cost to installation and maintenance. In this sense, the purpose of this work is to study numerically the effect of geometric parameters (vortex finder diameter of the hydrocyclone and sand concentration on the inlet fluid separation process. A numerical solution of the governing equations was obtained by the ANSYS CFX-11 commercial code. Results of the streamlines, pressure drop and separation efficiency on the hydrocyclone are presented and analyzed. It was observed that the particles concentration and geometry affect the separation efficiency of the hydrocyclone.

  9. Evaluation of bioemulsifier mediated Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery using sand pack column.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suthar, Harish; Hingurao, Krushi; Desai, Anjana; Nerurkar, Anuradha

    2008-10-01

    Bacillus licheniformis K125, isolated from an oil reservoir, produces an effective bioemulsifier. The crude bioemulsifier showed 66% emulsification activity (E(24)) and reduced the surface tension of water from 72 to 34 mN/m. It contains substantial amount of polysaccharide, protein and lipid. This bioemulsifier is pseudoplastic non-Newtonian in nature. It forms oil in water emulsion which remains stable at wide range of pH, temperature and salinity. It gave 43+/-3.3% additional oil recovery upon application to a sand pack column designed to simulate an oil reservoir. This is 13.7% higher than that obtained from crude lipopeptide biosurfactants produced by the standard strain, Bacillus mojavensis JF2 and 8.5% higher than hot water spring isolate, Bacillus licheniformis TT42. The increased oil recovery obtained by using the crude bioemulsifier can be attributed to its combined surface and emulsification activity. Its mechanism of oil recovery must be similar to the mechanism exhibited by surfactant-polymer flooding process of chemical enhanced oil recovery.

  10. 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

  11. Biogeochemical characterization of MC252 oil:sand aggregates on a coastal headland beach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urbano, Marilany; Elango, Vijaikrishnah; Pardue, John H

    2013-12-15

    MC252 oil:sand aggregates, termed surface residue balls (SRBs), were sampled for physical, chemical and microbial characteristics from different tidal zones on a coastal headland beach in Louisiana, USA. Supratidal SRBs were smaller, had low moisture content, and salinities that were <2 ppt. Intertidal SRBs were hypersaline and had higher N and sulfate concentrations, consistent with regular tidal inundation. Crude oil components were highest in the intertidal "oil mat" SRBs with C1- and C2-phenanthrenes, C2- and C3-dibenzothiophenes comprising the majority of the PAH concentrations. In the other SRB categories, PAHs and alkanes were depleted and profiles were skewed toward higher molecular weight compounds. Oxygen microelectrode measurements demonstrated that saturated O2 is present immediately after wetting, but O2 consumption in the interior of the aggregate occurs after a few days. Microbial populations varied with position on the beach but sequences similar to known PAH-degrading taxa (Mycobacterium sp. and Stenotrophomonas sp.) were observed.

  12. 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.

  13. Metal removal from oil sands tailings pond water by indigenous micro-alga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahdavi, Hamed; Ulrich, Ania C; Liu, Yang

    2012-09-01

    This paper reports the removal of ten target metals of environmental concern ((53)Cr, Mn, Co, (60)Ni, (65)Cu, (66)Zn, As, (88)Sr, (95)Mo, and Ba) from oil sands tailings pond water. The organism responsible for removal was found to be an indigenous green micro-alga identified as Parachlorella kessleri by sequencing of the 23S rRNA gene. P. kessleri grew in tailings pond water samples taken from two oil sands operators (Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Albian Sands Energy Inc.), and enriched with low (0.24 mM NO(3)(-) and 0.016 mM PO(4)(-3)) and high (1.98 mM NO(3)(-) and 0.20mM PO(4)(-3)) concentrations of nutrient supplements (the most realistic scenario). The removal of (60)Ni, (65)Cu, As, (88)Sr, (95)Mo, and Ba from Syncrude tailings pond water was significantly enhanced by high concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus, whereas the high nutrient concentrations adversely affected the removal of Co, (60)Ni, As, (88)Sr, and Mo in samples of Albian tailings pond water. Based on ANOVA two-factor analysis, higher nutrient concentration does not always result in higher metal removal, and TPW source must also be considered. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Jennifer C; Welday, Jennifer N; Buckley, Brian; Ferguson, Alesia; Gurian, Patrick L; Mena, Kristina D; Yang, Ill; McCandlish, Elizabeth; Solo-Gabriele, Helena M

    2016-08-27

    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 necessary to more

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. InSAR Observations and Modeling of Anthropogenic Surface Deformation in the Alberta Oil Sands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearse, J.; Singhroy, V.; Samsonov, S. V.; Li, J.

    2014-12-01

    Recent Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) observations over northern Alberta, Canada show persistent surface uplift occurring at rates of 1-4 cm/year, localized at several sites where the Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) technique is currently being used to extract bitumen from the Athabasca oil sands. We find that uplift rates above the horizontal injector wells are strongly correlated with rates of steam injection, even though there is a net fluid loss from the reservoir pore space as oil and water are withdrawn through the production wells. In combination with available steam injection and bitumen production data at four sites, we use numerical reservoir flow models to explain how the thermal and geomechanical effects of steam injection on an oil sand reservoir can generate uplift at the surface. Results of our numerical experiments show that persistent surface heave consistent with observed rates can be driven by stress changes in the reservoir due to porous flow and thermal expansion.

  2. 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

  3. Constraining Microbial Community Response During Oil Sands Reclamation via Lipid and Isotope Biosignatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradford, L. M.; Ziolkowski, L. A.; Ngonadi, N.; Warren, L. A.; Slater, G. F.

    2013-12-01

    A pilot scale reclamation project in the Athabasca oil sands region (Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada) has created an artificial freshwater fen typical of the boreal forest region in which the oil sands occur. At this site, composite tailings (CT) residue was overlain with a thick sand cap and a freshwater fen constructed on top. This project began in 2009, with most wetland development occurring over the summer of 2012. It is recognized that the response of microbial communities to reclamation activities has the potential to play a significant role in the outcome of reclamation. Microbial biodegradation of petroleum residues may improve reclamation outcomes, while production of by-products, particularly hydrogen sulphide gas (H2S) via bacterial sulphate reduction, must be assessed to manage any potential negative impacts. Phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) concentration and isotopic analysis were used to characterize the response of in situ microbial communities within the reclamation fen system. Increases in PLFA concentrations were observed in sediment taken from the sand layer at sample sites within the fen from during its establishment. Initial values equivalent to circa 106 cells/gram in July 2011 increased to values equivalent to 107cells/gram in August 2012 and then to 108 cells/gram in November 2012. Analysis of the radiocarbon (Δ14C) content of total organic carbon shows an increase in Δ14C from highly depleted values (-983×2‰) in July 2011, consistent with petroleum hydrocarbons dominating the total organic carbon, to more 14C enriched values as fen development progressed (-423×2.1‰ in August 2012 and -417×1.4‰ in November 2012). This indicates inputs of more modern organic matter potentially associated with the peat used to construct the fen and/or inputs from recent photosynthesis. The correlation between the observed PLFA increases and this increase in modern carbon inputs suggests that reclamation activities have stimulated the increase in the

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) reproduction is impaired in aged oil sands process-affected waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kavanagh, Richard J; Frank, Richard A; Oakes, Ken D; Servos, Mark R; Young, Rozlyn F; Fedorak, Phillip M; MacKinnon, Mike D; Solomon, Keith R; Dixon, D George; Van Der Kraak, Glen

    2011-01-17

    Large volumes of fluid tailings are generated during the extraction of bitumen from oil sands. As part of their reclamation plan, oil sands operators in Alberta propose to transfer these fluid tailings to end pit lakes and, over time, these are expected to develop lake habitats with productive capabilities comparable to natural lakes in the region. This study evaluates the potential impact of various oil sands process-affected waters (OSPW) on the reproduction of adult fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) under laboratory conditions. Two separate assays with aged OPSW (>15 years) from the experimental ponds at Syncrude Canada Ltd. showed that water containing high concentrations of naphthenic acids (NAs; >25 mg/l) and elevated conductivity (>2000 μS/cm) completely inhibited spawning of fathead minnows and reduced male secondary sexual characteristics. Measurement of plasma sex steroid levels showed that male fathead minnows had lower concentrations of testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone whereas females had lower concentrations of 17β-estradiol. In a third assay, fathead minnows were first acclimated to the higher salinity conditions typical of OSPW for several weeks and then exposed to aged OSPW from Suncor Energy Inc. (NAs ∼40 mg/l and conductivity ∼2000 μS/cm). Spawning was significantly reduced in fathead minnows held in this effluent and male fathead minnows had lower concentrations of testosterone and 11-ketotestosterone. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that aged OSPW has the potential to negatively affect the reproductive physiology of fathead minnows and suggest that aquatic habitats with high NAs concentrations (>25 mg/l) and conductivities (>2000 μS/cm) would not be conducive for successful fish reproduction.

  7. Trace metal mobilization from oil sands froth treatment thickened tailings exhibiting acid rock drainage.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-15

    Froth treatment thickened tailings (TT) are a waste product of bitumen extraction from surface-mined oil sands ores. When incubated in a laboratory under simulated moist oxic environmental conditions for ~450d, two different types of TT (TT1 and TT2) exhibited the potential to generate acid rock drainage (ARD) by producing acid leachate after 250 and 50d, respectively. We report here the release of toxic metals from TT via ARD, which could pose an environmental threat if oil sands TT deposits are not properly managed. Trace metal concentrations in leachate samples collected periodically revealed that Mn and Sr were released immediately even before the onset of ARD. Spikes in Co and Ni concentrations were observed both pre-ARD and during active ARD, particularly in TT1. For most elements measured (Fe, Cr, V, As, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, and Se), leaching was associated with ARD production. Though equivalent acidification (pH2) was achieved in leachate from both TT types, greater metal release was observed from TT2 where concentrations reached 10,000ppb for Ni, 5000ppb for Co, 3000ppb for As, 2000ppb for V, and 1000ppb for Cr. Generally, metal concentrations decreased in leachate with time during ARD and became negligible by the end of incubation (~450d) despite appreciable metals remaining in the leached TT. These results suggest that using TT for land reclamation purposes or surface deposition for volume reduction may unfavorably impact the environment, and warrants application of appropriate strategies for management of pyrite-enriched oil sands tailings streams.

  8. 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.

  9. The future of the Canadian oil sands: Engineering and project management advances

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Madden, Peter; Morawski, Jacek

    2010-09-15

    Production technology and project management developments in Canada's oil sands industry, in the context of AMEC's experience as EPCM service provider, are discussed. Effective project management systems and workfront planning are critical to achieve cost and schedule targets and optimum construction execution. Construction Work Packages divide work into discrete pieces and Construction Work Execution Plans influence scheduling of engineering and procurement deliverables. AMEC's Engineering Data Warehouse works with intelligent engineering design tools to ensure information related to a piece of equipment is consistent across all systems. HSSE systems are proactively developed and AMEC's progressive improvement in safety performance is demonstrated.

  10. Quantitative Methods for Reservoir Characterization and Improved Recovery: Application to Heavy Oil Sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Castle, James W.; Molz, Fred W.; Bridges, Robert A.; Dinwiddie, Cynthia L.; Lorinovich, Caitlin J.; Lu, Silong

    2003-02-07

    This project involved application of advanced analytical property-distribution methods conditioned to continuous outcrop control for improved reservoir characterization and simulation. 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, California. Improved prediction of interwell reservoir heterogeneity was needed to increase productivity and to reduce recovery cost for California's heavy oil sands, which contained approximately 2.3 billion barrels of remaining reserves in the Temblor Formation and in other formations of the San Joaquin Valley.

  11. 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.

  12. Fine study on single sand body and measures for tapping the potential of residual oil during polymer flooding in Pubei reservoir of Daqing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Y. J.

    2016-08-01

    In order to effectively guide the narrow channel sand body oil fields to exploit, according to the sand body distribution characteristics and geological genesis of narrow channel sand body oil fields, the type of single sand body is clarified. By means of identification of logging curves and correlation of well-tie profile, the internal structure of single sand body is recognized. and then the remaining oil genesis, distribution characteristics and the potential areas for polymer flooding are clarified by combining numerical simulation technology and dynamic analysis technology, and the remaining oil potential tapping method is designed by taking into consideration various factors including the characteristics of the remaining oil, reservoir property and product dynamic character. The result shows that the single sand body is divided into five types including multiphase channel superposition, distributary channel, single channel, sheet sand and lenticular sand. Potential remaining oil mainly are distributed in thick oil layers of multiphase channel superposition type and distributary channel type in which channel sands were developed and sedimentary environment are stable inner front facies and lake regressive inner front facies. The remaining oil is developed by optimizing the parameters of polymer flooding and combining many different measures. The study provides technical support for the efficient exploration for polymer flooding.

  13. Danger in the nursery : impact on birds of tar sands oil development in Canada's boreal forest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wells, J. [Boreal Songbird Initiative, Seattle, WA (United States); Casey-Lefkowitz, S.; Chavarria, G. [Natural Resources Defense Council, New York, NY (United States); Dyer, S. [Pembina Institute, Drayton Valley, AB (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    This report discussed the impacts of tar sands oil development in Canada's boreal forest. The Canadian boreal forest is one of the world's most important breeding areas for migratory birds, with 1 billion to 3 billion individual birds from at least 300 species known to regularly breed there. Approximately 30 per cent of all shorebirds and 30 per cent of all landbirds that breed in the United States and Canada do so within the boreal. The section of the boreal forest that sits over the tar sands region of Alberta is rapidly being fragmented by oil development. As much as 34 to 66 per cent of the Canadian boreal forest, up to 438 million acres, may no longer be intact. In Alberta, 86 per cent of the boreal forest is no longer considered intact, thus putting valuable bird habitat at risk. This report first provided background information on Canada's boreal forest as North America's nesting bird destination. It then reviewed the dangers created by tar sands operations for boreal birds. It noted that tar sands mining destroys boreal bird habitat; tailings ponds trap birds in oil waste; tar sands drilling fragments bird habitat; tar sands water withdrawals harm wetlands and water habitats; and tar sands toxins weaken and kill boreal birds. The impacts of tar sands pipelines and refineries were also discussed along with global warming impacts on boreal birds and the path forward for habitat protection. It was recommended that Alberta should implement a moratorium on new tar sands lease sales, and that Alberta and Canada should halt project approvals until long-term mitigation strategies and conservation measures are in place. refs., tabs., figs.

  14. 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.

  15. Regional Sustainable Development Strategy for the Athabasca Oil Sand Area : progress report July 2001

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boyd, M.

    2001-07-01

    This report presents an update on the implementation of the Regional Sustainable Development Strategy for the Athabasca Oil Sands Area (RSDS) which was first released in July 1999 as a framework for managing the cumulative environmental effects of oil sands developments in Alberta to ensure sustainable development. The development of the Athabasca deposit has meant significant economic growth for northeastern Alberta, but also significant environmental impacts. The Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) is a regional multi-stakeholder group composed of government, industry, environmental organizations, and Aboriginal groups. Both CEMA and RSDS are working in partnership to ensure that environmental objectives are met. RSDS outlined activities and timelines for 14 different themes regarding environmental issues. The delivery of initial products is expected from the fall of 2001 to 2002. Individual product reports will be published and made available to the public as soon as objectives are developed and approved. CEMA has established 5 working groups and several subgroups that have established work plans, budgets and funding plans for their projects. The 5 working groups are as follows: (1) the sustainable ecosystems working group which will deal with issues regarding wildlife, landscapes, and cultural resources, (2) the trace metals and air contaminants working group, (3) nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide management working group, (4) the water working group, and (5) the reclamation working group. This paper described the challenges facing each group and the progress that has been made thus far. 1 tab., 3 figs.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddique, Tariq; Kuznetsov, Petr; Kuznetsova, Alsu; Li, Carmen; Young, Rozlyn; Arocena, Joselito M; Foght, Julia M

    2014-01-01

    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 Fe(III) minerals in MFT to amorphous Fe(II) minerals during methanogenic metabolism of an added organic substrate. Synchrotron analyses suggested that ferrihydrite (5Fe2O3. 9H2O) and goethite (α-FeOOH) were the dominant Fe(III) 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 (SEM). 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.

  18. Enriching acid rock drainage related microbial communities from surface-deposited oil sands tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Courtney; Xiao, Yeyuan; Roberts, Deborah J

    2016-10-01

    Little is known about the microbial communities native to surface-deposited pyritic oil sands tailings, an environment where acid rock drainage (ARD) could occur. The goal of this study was to enrich sulfur-oxidizing organisms from these tailings and determine whether different populations exist at pH levels 7, 4.5, and 2.5. Using growth-based methods provides model organisms for use in the future to predict potential activities and limitations of these organisms and to develop possible control methods. Thiosulfate-fed enrichment cultures were monitored for approximately 1 year. The results showed that the enrichments at pH 4.5 and 7 were established quicker than at pH 2.5. Different microbial community structures were found among the 3 pH environments. The sulfur-oxidizing microorganisms identified were most closely related to Halothiobacillus neapolitanus, Achromobacter spp., and Curtobacterium spp. While microorganisms related to Chitinophagaceae and Acidocella spp. were identified as the only possible iron-oxidizing and -reducing microbes. These results contribute to the general knowledge of the relatively understudied microbial communities that exist in pyritic oil sands tailings and indicate these communities may have a potential role in ARD generation, which may have implications for future tailings management.

  19. Experimental research on accelerated consolidation using filter jackets in fine oil sands tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tol van, F.; Yao, Y.; Paaseen van, L.; Everts, B. [Delft Univ. of Technology, Delft (Netherlands). Dept. of Geotechnology

    2010-07-01

    This PowerPoint presentation discussed prefabricated vertical drains used to enhance the dewatering of fine oil sand tailings. Filtration tests conducted with thickened tailings on standard PVD jackets were presented. Potential clogging mechanisms included clogging of the filter jacket by particles, blinding of the jackets by filter cake, the decreased permeability of consolidated tailings around the drain, and the clogging of the filter jacket with bitumen. Polypropylene and polyester geotextiles were tested in a set-up that replicated conditions observed at 5 to 10 meters below mud level in an oil sand tailings pond. A finite strain consolidation model was used to interpret results obtained in the experimental study. The relationship between the void ratio and hydraulic conductivity was investigated. Results of the study showed that neither the bitumen nor the fines in the sludge cause serious blinding of the filter jackets during the 40 day test period. The consolidation process was adequately simulated with the finite strain consolidation model. tabs., figs.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Development of accelerated dewatering technology for managing oil sands fine fluid tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lahaie, R. [Syncrude Canada Ltd., Fort McMurray, AB (Canada); Seto, J.T.C. [BGC Engineering Inc., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Chapman, D. [O' Kane Consultants Inc., Saskatoon, SK (Canada); Carrier, W.D. III [Argila Enterprises Inc., Lakeland, FL (United States)

    2010-07-01

    This article discussed an accelerated dewatering technique being applied and tested for managing fine fluid tailings produced from oil sands mining. The process involved rim ditching and a decant system to promote the drainage of surface waters and enhance the drying and densification of mature fine tailings (MFT). To field test the procedure, a deposit containing 60,000 cubic metres of in-line flocculated MFT was constructed and instrumented to monitor consolidation and dewatering response of the MFT deposit over time. Ten months after being filled, the deposit had settled about 1.2 metres, which corresponds to a 19 percent reduction in volume relative to initial filling. The field test will continue for several more years, during which time the deposit will continue to be monitored and sampled. The Florida phosphate industry has used rim ditching for over 20 years, but the process had never before been applied to oil sand tailings. The paper discussed the particular consolidation behaviour of MFT, the rim ditch concept, the layout of the containment pit and instrumentation, the pit filling procedure, and post-filling observations. 6 refs., 12 figs.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penner, Tara J; Foght, Julia M

    2010-06-01

    Processing oil sands to extract bitumen produces large volumes of a tailings slurry comprising water, silt, clays, unrecovered bitumen, and residual solvent used in the extraction process. Tailings are deposited into large settling basins, where the solids settle by gravity to become denser mature fine tailings (MFT). A substantial flux of methane, currently estimated at ~40 million L/day, is being emitted from the Mildred Lake Settling Basin. To better understand the biogenesis of this greenhouse gas, the methanogenic consortia in MFT samples from depth profiles in 2 tailings deposits (Mildred Lake Settling Basin and West In-Pit) were analyzed by constructing clone libraries of amplified archaeal and bacterial 16S rRNA genes. The archaeal sequences, whose closest matches were almost exclusively cultivated methanogens, were comparable within and between basins and were predominantly (87% of clones) affiliated with acetoclastic Methanosaeta spp. In contrast, bacterial clone libraries were unexpectedly diverse, with the majority (~55%) of sequences related to Proteobacteria, including some presumptive nitrate-, iron-, or sulfate-reducing, hydrocarbon-degrading genera (e.g., Thauera, Rhodoferax, and Desulfatibacillum). Thus, MFT harbour a diverse community of prokaryotes presumptively responsible for producing methane from substrates indigenous to the MFT. These findings contribute to our understanding of biogenic methane production and densification of MFT in oil sands tailings deposits.

  5. Oil sands process-affected water impairs feeding by Daphnia magna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lari, Ebrahim; Steinkey, Dylan; Morandi, Garrett; Rasmussen, Joseph B; Giesy, John P; Pyle, Greg G

    2017-05-01

    Growth in extraction of bitumen from oil sands has raised concerns about influences of this industry on surrounding environments. Water clearance rate (a surrogate of feeding rate by Daphnia magna) in water containing D. magna exposed to oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) and its principal components, dissolved component (DC) and suspended particulate matter (SPM), was reduced to 72, 29, and 59% of controls, respectively. This study also examined several possible mechanisms for the observed changes algal cell density (i.e., feeding rate). There was no change in the digestive enzymes trypsin or amylase when D. magna were exposed to DC or SPM; however, exposure to total OSPW reduced trypsin activity. Mandible rolling or post-abdominal rejections, which are indicators of feeding and palatability of food, were not affected by any exposures to OSPW. Beating of thoracic limbs, which provides water flow toward the feeding groove, was reduced by exposure to SPM or total OSPW. Peristaltic activity was reduced by exposure to DC, which then might result in reduced digestion time in D. magna exposed to DC, SPM or whole OSPW. All treatments caused an increase in numbers of intact algae cells in the hindgut and excreted material. These results suggest that both DC and SPM affect feeding of D. magna by impairing actions of the digestive system, but most probably not by reducing rates of ingestion.

  6. Effects of oil sands waste water on the wood frog (rana sylvatica)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hersikorn, B.; Smits, J.E. [Saskatchewan Univ., Regina, SK (Canada)

    2007-07-01

    The sustainability of various reclamation strategies can be determined by the growth and health of indigenous amphibians (Wood Frogs). This paper referred to the large quantities of tailings water that are generated by oil sand extraction activities. It presented the results of a study that was conducted in the spring and summer of 2006 and 2007 on reclaimed formation wetlands comprising tailings water. The objective was to understand the impact of these wetlands on native amphibians. Frogs were exposed to wetlands containing oil sands process affected water (OSPW) and reference water (no OSPW). Six experimental trenches were made at one site in the first year. Each trench had 3 enclosures with 50 tadpoles. In the second year, there were 13 sites, including 6 reference and 7 OSPW affected sites, which were classified as old (more than 8 yrs) or young (less than 7 yrs). Four enclosures, with 50 tadpoles each, were placed in each wetland. The study involved the evaluation of growth rate, survival, time to metamorphosis, thyroid hormone concentrations, liver EROD activity, and tissue retinol concentrations. In addition, stable isotopes were used to track carbon flow from primary production plants, through the food chain, to tadpoles and frogs which represent intermediate and higher trophic levels in reclaimed wetlands.

  7. Evaluation of microbial biofilm communities from an Alberta oil sands tailings pond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golby, Susanne; Ceri, Howard; Gieg, Lisa M; Chatterjee, Indranil; Marques, Lyriam L R; Turner, Raymond J

    2012-01-01

    Bitumen extraction from the oil sands of Alberta has resulted in millions of cubic meters of waste stored on-site in tailings ponds. Unique microbial ecology is expected in these ponds, which may be key to their bioremediation potential. We considered that direct culturing of microbes from a tailings sample as biofilms could lead to the recovery of microbial communities that provide good representation of the ecology of the tailings. Culturing of mixed species biofilms in vitro using the Calgary Biofilm Device (CBD) under aerobic, microaerobic, and anaerobic growth conditions was successful both with and without the addition of various growth nutrients. Denaturant gradient gel electrophoresis and 16S rRNA gene pyrotag sequencing revealed that unique mixed biofilm communities were recovered under each incubation condition, with the dominant species belonging to Pseudomonas, Thauera, Hydrogenophaga, Rhodoferax, and Acidovorax. This work used an approach that allowed organisms to grow as a biofilm directly from a sample collected of their environment, and the biofilms cultivated in vitro were representative of the endogenous environmental community. For the first time, representative environmental mixed species biofilms have been isolated and grown under laboratory conditions from an oil sands tailings pond environment and a description of their composition is provided.

  8. Limitation of fluorescence spectrophotometry in the measurement of naphthenic acids in oil sands process water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Weibing; Ewanchuk, Andrea; Perez-Estrada, Leonidas; Sego, Dave; Ulrich, Ania

    2013-01-01

    Fluorescence spectrophotometry has been proposed as a quick screening technique for the measurement of naphthenic acids (NAs). To evaluate the feasibility of this application, the fluorescence emission spectra of NAs extracted from three oil sands process water sources were compared with that of commercial NAs. The NAs resulting from the bitumen extraction process cannot be differentiated because of the similarity of the fluorescence spectra. Separation of the fluorescent species in NAs using high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detector proved unsuccessful. The acidic fraction of NAs is fluorescent but the basic fraction of NAs is not fluorescent, implying that aromatic acids in NAs give rise to the fluorescent signals. The concentrations of NAs in oil sands process water were measured by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), fluorescence spectrophotometry and ultra high performance liquid chromatography-time of flight/mass spectrometry (UPLC-TOF/MS). Commercial Merichem and Kodak NAs are the best standards to use when measuring NAs concentration with FTIR and fluorescence spectrophotometry. In addition, the NAs concentrations measured by fluorescence spectrophotometry are about 30 times higher than those measured by FTIR and UPLC-TOF/MS. The findings in this study underscore the limitation of fluorescence spectrophotometry in the measurement of NAs.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Characterization of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Emissions at Sites of Oil Sands Extraction and Upgrading in northern Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marrero, J.; Simpson, I. J.; Meinardi, S.; Blake, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    The crude oil reserves in Canada's oil sands are second only to Saudi Arabia, holding roughly 173 billion barrels of oil in the form of bitumen, an unconventional crude oil which does not flow and cannot be pumped without heating or dilution. Oil sands deposits are ultimately used to make the same petroleum products as conventional forms of crude oil, though more processing is required. Hydrocarbons are the basis of oil, coal and natural gas and are an important class of gases emitted into the atmosphere during oil production, particularly because of their effects on air quality and human health. However, they have only recently begun to be independently assessed in the oil sands regions. As part of the 2008 ARCTAS airborne mission, whole air samples were collected in the boundary layer above the surface mining operations of northern Alberta. Gas chromatography analysis revealed enhanced concentrations of 53 VOCs (C2 to C10) over the mining region. When compared to local background levels, the measured concentrations were enhanced up to 1.1-400 times for these compounds. To more fully characterize emissions, ground-based studies were conducted in summer 2010 and winter 2011 in the oil sands mining and upgrading areas. The data from the 200 ground-based samples revealed enhancements in the concentration of 65 VOCs. These compounds were elevated up to 1.1-3000 times above background concentrations and include C2-C8 alkanes, C1-C5 alkyl nitrates, C2-C4 alkenes and potentially toxic aromatic compounds such as benzene, toluene, and xylenes.

  12. 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

  13. Development of high temperature resistant geomembranes for oil sands secondary containments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mills, A. [Layfield Environmental Systems Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada); Martin, D. [Layfield Geosynthetics and Industrial Fabrics Ltd., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    Plastic liner materials are often adversely impacted by chemicals at elevated temperatures. Heat accelerates the oxidation of the polymeric chains, which in turn accelerates the degradation of the plastic. This paper discussed geomembrane containment systems placed under heated petroleum storage tanks at an oil sands processing plant. Various high temperature-resistant geomembrane materials were tested. Compatibility testing procedures for the various fluids contained by the systems were outlined. Installation procedures for the membranes were also discussed. The membrane systems were designed for use with heavy gas oil; light gas oil; and naphtha. Temperatures in the ground below the tanks were approximately 79 degrees C. Testing was done using sealed containers held in an oil bath at temperatures of 105 degrees C. Heat applied to the chemicals during the tests pressurized the test vessels. Liner materials used in the initial tests included an ester-based thermoplastic polyurethane liner; high density polyethylene (HDPE); linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), polypropylene (PP) olefins; polyvinyl chloride (PVC); and polyvinylidene (PVDF) materials. A second set of tests was then conducted using alloy materials and PVC. Heat stability tests demonstrated that the blue 0.75 mm alloy showed a tensile strength ratio within the industry's 15 per cent pass criteria. The samples were then tested with diluted bitumen and diluents at 65, 85 and 100 degrees C. The developed liners were installed underneath petroleum tanks with leak detection chambers. It was concluded that the geomembrane liners prevented the hot liquids from leaking. 4 refs., 8 tabs.

  14. Microbial turnover and incorporation of organic compounds in oil sand mining reclamation sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lappé, M.; Kallmeyer, J.

    2013-12-01

    Microorganisms play an important role in the development of new soils and in the reclamation of disturbed landscapes. Especially in hydrocarbon-contaminated soils their ability to degrade organic matter and pollutants makes them essential to re-establish full ecosystem functionality. Microbes are also involved in the mobilization of nutrients for plant growth and in the production of greenhouse gases. Reclamation sites from oil sand mining activities in Alberta, Canada, contain residual bitumen as well as other hydrocarbons. So, these areas provide a great opportunity to study microbial degradation of residual contaminants from oil sand. To get an impression of degradation rates as well as metabolic pathways, incubation experiments were performed in the lab. We measured microbial turnover (catabolic metabolism) and incorporation (anabolic metabolism) rates of different common organic compounds in samples from differently treated reclamation sites - with plant cover and without plant cover. About 10 g of sample material was suspended in 10 mL of a solution that mimics the in-situ concentration of dissolved ions. Radioactively labelled 14C-acetate was added as a common substrate, whereas 14C-naphthenic acid was chosen to investigate the microbial community's capability to utilize a typical hydrocarbon pollutant in oil sand tailings as a nutrient source. To test for the influence of fertilizers on microbial activity, phosphate, nitrate and potassium were added to some samples in different combinations. Incubations were run over two different time periods (7 and 14 days). At the end of each incubation experiment, the amount of produced 14CO2, 14C incorporated into the cells and the remaining unreacted 14C in the slurry were measured. First results show that most of the added 14C-acetate is used for respiration as it is mostly released as 14CO2. In upper soil layers only about 3% of 14C is incorporated into cells, whereas in deeper horizons with lower cell abundances

  15. Well-to-Wheels Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Canadian Oil Sands Products: Implications for U.S. Petroleum Fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Hao; Brandt, Adam R; Yeh, Sonia; Englander, Jacob G; Han, Jeongwoo; Elgowainy, Amgad; Wang, Michael Q

    2015-07-07

    Greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations affecting U.S. transportation fuels require holistic examination of the life-cycle emissions of U.S. petroleum feedstocks. With an expanded system boundary that included land disturbance-induced GHG emissions, we estimated well-to-wheels (WTW) GHG emissions of U.S. production of gasoline and diesel sourced from Canadian oil sands. Our analysis was based on detailed characterization of the energy intensities of 27 oil sands projects, representing industrial practices and technological advances since 2008. Four major oil sands production pathways were examined, including bitumen and synthetic crude oil (SCO) from both surface mining and in situ projects. Pathway-average GHG emissions from oil sands extraction, separation, and upgrading ranged from ∼6.1 to ∼27.3 g CO2 equivalents per megajoule (in lower heating value, CO2e/MJ). This range can be compared to ∼4.4 g CO2e/MJ for U.S. conventional crude oil recovery. Depending on the extraction technology and product type output of oil sands projects, the WTW GHG emissions for gasoline and diesel produced from bitumen and SCO in U.S. refineries were in the range of 100-115 and 99-117 g CO2e/MJ, respectively, representing, on average, about 18% and 21% higher emissions than those derived from U.S. conventional crudes. WTW GHG emissions of gasoline and diesel derived from diluted bitumen ranged from 97 to 103 and 96 to 104 g CO2e/MJ, respectively, showing the effect of diluent use on fuel emissions.

  16. Increased thyroid hormone levels in tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) on reclaimed wetlands of the athabasca oil sands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentes, Marie-Line; McNabb, Anne; Waldner, Cheryl; Smits, Judit E G

    2007-08-01

    The oil sands of Alberta, Canada are one of the world's largest reserves of crude oil. Oil sands mining companies are now investigating the ecological impacts of reclamation strategies in which wetlands are used for the bioremediation of waste materials. To examine the endocrine disrupting potential of chemicals in Oil Sands Process Materials (OSPM), thyroid hormone concentrations were measured in plasma and thyroid glands of nestling tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) from wetlands partly filled with mine tailings. Plasma triiodothyronine (T(3)) concentrations and thyroxine (T(4)) content within thyroid glands were elevated in nestlings from OSPM sites compared to those from the reference site. Results suggested enhanced hormone synthesis by the thyroid glands independently of activation of the pituitary-thyroid axis, as well as increased deiodination of T(4) into T(3) in peripheral tissues. This might have resulted from exposure to oil sands associated chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and from environmental factors such as food availability. Modulation of thyroid function might have negative effects on metabolism, behavior, feather development, and molt, which could compromise postfledging survival.

  17. 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

  18. 油井的防砂技术研究%Research of Sand Control Technique of Oil Well

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李明; 王蒙; 赵英男; 陈思; 何金钢

    2013-01-01

    随着油田进入开发后期,开采的难度不断加大,含砂井越来越多。这种现象已成为油田开发过程中的主要难题之一。各油田均存在大量的高含砂井。油井出砂的原因极其复杂,从开始钻井到采油、注水过程中,每一个环节对出砂都有影响。而人为因素造成的油井出砂,应该尽量避免。分析油井的出砂机理,应用更先进的防砂工艺技术,提高防砂效果显得尤为重要。%As the field entered the development stage, its exploitation is becoming increasingly difficult, its oil wells have more and more sand. The phenomenon has become one of the main problems in the process of oil field development. There are various oilfield with high sand content well. Sand production is very complex. From the start of drilling oil, water flooding process, each link may have an impact on the sand. We should try to avoid man-made sand. Therefore, the sand production mechanism analysis, selection of sand control technology is more advanced, improving the effect of sand control is particularly important.

  19. The stable isotopes of site wide waters at an oil sands mine in northern Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, Thomas; Barbour, S. Lee; Gibson, John J.

    2016-10-01

    Oil sands mines have large disturbance footprints and contain a range of new landforms constructed from mine waste such as shale overburden and the byproducts of bitumen extraction such as sand and fluid fine tailings. Each of these landforms are a potential source of water and chemical release to adjacent surface and groundwater, and consequently, the development of methods to track water migration through these landforms is of importance. The stable isotopes of water (i.e. 2H and 18O) have been widely used in hydrology and hydrogeology to characterize surface water/groundwater interactions but have not been extensively applied in mining applications, or specifically to oil sands mining in northern Alberta. A prerequisite for applying these techniques is the establishment of a Local Meteoric Water Line (LMWL) to characterize precipitation at the mine sites as well as the development of a 'catalogue' of the stable water isotope signatures of various mine site waters. This study was undertaken at the Mildred Lake Mine Site, owned and operated by Syncrude Canada Ltd. The LMWL developed from 2 years (2009/2012) of sample collection is shown to be consistent with other LMWLs in western Canada. The results of the study highlight the unique stable water isotope signatures associated with hydraulically placed tailings (sand or fluid fine tailings) and overburden shale dumps relative to natural surface water and groundwater. The signature associated with the snow melt water on reclaimed landscapes was found to be similar to ground water recharge in the region. The isotopic composition of the shale overburden deposits are also distinct and consistent with observations made by other researchers in western Canada on undisturbed shales. The process water associated with the fine and coarse tailings streams has highly enriched 2H and 18O signatures. These signatures are developed through the non-equilibrium fractionation of imported fresh river water during evaporation from

  20. Oil sands terrestrial habitat and risk modeling for disturbance and reclamation - Phase I report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Welham, C. [FORRx Consulting Inc., Belcarra, BC (Canada)

    2010-11-15

    The main purpose of this study is to build a framework that includes risk management and strategic decision-making to assess the impact of natural and industrial disturbance on ecosystem products and services and on the existence of habitat for terrestrial species in Alberta's Lower Athabasca planning region. This will include an evaluation of the impact of disturbance, conservation and reclamation activities associated with oil sands development both at the lease and regional levels. The basecase scenario, established in Phase I, includes a dendrochronology study of the link between climate and tree growth in the sub boreal region that comprises oil sands mining, an analysis of habitat availability for 10 wildlife species compared with reclamation activities on the Kearl Lake mine, and an examination of the potential for development of high levels of water stress in recent reclamation plantations at the Kearl Lake mine. Four tree species of the subboreal forests of Alberta and Saskatchewan were considered for the dendrochronology study: the white spruce or Picea glauca, the black spruce or Picea mariana, the jack pine or Pinus banksiana, and the trembling aspen or Populus tremuloides. This study shows that the water stress observed during the year has restricted the radial growth of white spruce and a link has been established between radial growth and increasing season precipitation and summer temperatures. The purposes of the habitat suitability analysis were to list habitats suitability models that could be applied to Alberta boreal forests, distinguish the parameters used in those models that can be simulated with an ecosystem simulation model, simulate the reclamation prescriptions detailed in the Kearl Lake EIA documents with the ecosystem simulation model and generate output suitable for populating each habitat suitability model. The establishment of ecologically viable reclamation plans in the oil sands region can be hard to manage regarding the

  1. 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

  2. Culturing oil sands microbes as mixed species communities enhances ex situ model naphthenic acid degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demeter, Marc A; Lemire, Joseph A; Yue, Gordon; Ceri, Howard; Turner, Raymond J

    2015-01-01

    Oil sands surface mining for bitumen results in the formation of oil sands process water (OSPW), containing acutely toxic naphthenic acids (NAs). Potential exists for OSPW toxicity to be mitigated by aerobic degradation of the NAs by microorganisms indigenous to the oil sands tailings ponds, the success of which is dependent on the methods used to exploit the metabolisms of the environmental microbial community. Having hypothesized that the xenobiotic tolerant biofilm mode-of-life may represent a feasible way to harness environmental microbes for ex situ treatment of OSPW NAs, we aerobically grew OSPW microbes as single and mixed species biofilm and planktonic cultures under various conditions for the purpose of assaying their ability to tolerate and degrade NAs. The NAs evaluated were a diverse mixture of eight commercially available model compounds. Confocal microscopy confirmed the ability of mixed and single species OSPW cultures to grow as biofilms in the presence of the NAs evaluated. qPCR enumeration demonstrated that the addition of supplemental nutrients at concentrations of 1 g L(-1) resulted in a more numerous population than 0.001 g L(-1) supplementation by approximately 1 order of magnitude. GC-FID analysis revealed that mixed species cultures (regardless of the mode of growth) are the most effective at degrading the NAs tested. All constituent NAs evaluated were degraded below detectable limits with the exception of 1-adamantane carboxylic acid (ACA); subsequent experimentation with ACA as the sole NA also failed to exhibit degradation of this compound. Single species cultures degraded select few NA compounds. The degradation trends highlighted many structure-persistence relationships among the eight NAs tested, demonstrating the effect of side chain configuration and alkyl branching on compound recalcitrance. Of all the isolates, the Rhodococcus spp. degraded the greatest number of NA compounds, although still less than the mixed species cultures

  3. 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

  4. Reactivation of wells through reentries with a horizontal section in unconsolidated heavy oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bolanos, C.; Suarez, S.; Silvera, M. [LAGOVEN, Maturin (Venezuela)

    1995-12-31

    The current exploitation areas of heavy oil are located in southern Monagas and have an estimated STOOIP of 26.5 MMMBLs. The production mechanisms are bottom water drive and rock expansion. Cumulative production reaches 685 million barrels up to July 1994. In order to optimize the exploitation of the heavy and extra heavy oil remaining reserves by lowering the pressure drop between reservoir and the wellbore, reduce costs to increase the profits from these reservoirs, a program of horizontal redrill or {open_quotes}reentries,{close_quotes} as known widely, was started. This paper presents the experiences and results obtained after 41 horizontal reentries made in Jobo, Pilon, and Morichal Fields in the period April 1993 to July 1994. Up to July 1994 wells were active with an associated of 21.7 MBOPD with an average of 20% water cut, confirming the successful application of this technology in heavy oils and unconsolidated sands. Several points will be discussed such as reservoir characteristics, well design, horizontal length, productivity index, drilling, completion, water production, surface equipment, and production of horizontal wells compared with vertical wells.

  5. Electro-thermal pilot in the Athabasca oil sands : theory versus performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McGee, B.C.W. [E-T Energy, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    This paper provided details of a proof of concept test of E-T Energy's electro-thermal dynamic stripping process (ET-DSP). The technology combined features of electro-thermal heating with heat transfer by convection. Water was injected into the ends of an electrode where power density was most intense. Injected water carried heat away from the electrode into the reservoir. The tests were preceded by a mathematical model designed to quantify performance metrics including the amount of water usage for produced oil, energy input requirements, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, drilling performance, and operating costs. Field tests included a monitoring phase with new progressive cavity pumps (PCPs). Results of the tests and modelling studies showed that recovery factors were achieved with less energy use than thought possible. An energy oil ratio of 61.52 kWh per barrel was achieved for the production of bitumen from X05 was equivalent to a steam oil ratio of 0.49. Increases in temperature were achieved within 30 days. It was concluded that the ET-DSP process provided an efficient in situ thermal recovery technology for the production of bitumens. Recovery factors were demonstrated at 75 per cent or more. The process also provided rapid and uniform heating without the need for injection and displacing reservoir fluids. The process produced bitumens that were sand-free, with virtually no emulsions. 8 refs., 3 tabs., 10 figs.

  6. 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)

  7. 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...

  8. Review of legislation and policy related to reclamation landform design in the Athabasca oil sands region of Alberta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morin, D. [DMS Consulting, Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2006-09-15

    As development of oil sand mining increases in northeastern Alberta and as expectations for the performance of reclaimed mine land increases, guidance is needed for the reclamation and design of mining landforms at all stages of a mine's operation. The Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) created the Landform Design Subgroup of the Reclamation Working Group in order to develop reclamation landform design guidelines that could be adopted by the Athabasca oil sands region. Several government departments, industry groups and non-governmental organizations have collaborated in the development of reclamation guidelines. In 2002, the Landform Design Subgroup interviewed government regulators and industry representatives to determine legislation that applies to reclamation landform design in the oil sands region. The main elements of applicable legislation were summarized along regulation, policy, guidelines and approvals that influence landform design and closure planning. Their investigation found that minimal specific guidance is available in the legislation regarding landform design related to reclamation and closure of oil sand mines. However, there are certain key documents that give valuable guidance on wetlands, soil, vegetation and forestry reclamation requirements that could be applied to reclamation and mine closure. It was determined that the approvals issued under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act provide the most guidance on the reclamation requirement placed on a company. It was recommended that reclamation guidelines must be established that address geotechnical issues regarding land reclamation. 48 refs., 7 tabs., 2 appendices.

  9. Closing the performance gap : the challenge for cumulative effects management in Alberta's Athabasca oil sands region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kennett, S.A. [Calgary Univ., AB (Canada). Canadian Inst. of Resources Law

    2007-05-15

    This paper examined cumulative effects management strategies adopted by the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) and the Regional Sustainable Development Strategy (RSDS), multi-stakeholder collaborations established after a set of public hearings conducted before Alberta's Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) in 1997. The initiatives were designed to examine challenges related to the management of cumulative effects of large-scale oil sands developments. However, the scale, pace, and intensity of oil sands development has now exceeded initial expectations, and concerns have been expressed over the inability of the initiatives to adequately address cumulative effects management issues. Stakeholders involved in the initiatives have also expressed doubts over the ability of the initiatives to achieve tangible results. This paper provided details of 16 interviews conducted with participants in CEMA as well as a variety of industry members, and government agencies. Respondents indicated that CEMA's performance gap was caused by the complexity of issues related to cumulative effects management, deficiencies in the initiative's organizational processes, and divergence between participants on objectives. Approaches to narrowing CEMA's performance gap must consider the rapid pace of oil sands development and the significant obstacles to cumulative effects management within legal, institutional, and policy structures. It was concluded that intense conflict around oil sands development is likely if CEMA's performance gaps are not addressed. refs.

  10. Compromised metamorphosis and thyroid hormone changes in wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) raised on reclaimed wetlands on the Athabasca oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hersikorn, Blair D., E-mail: blair.hersikorn@usask.c [Toxicology Centre, University of Saskatchewan, 44 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 5B3 (Canada); Smits, Judit E.G., E-mail: judit.smits@ucalgary.c [Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 4Z6 (Canada)

    2011-02-15

    The wet landscape approach to oil sands tailings reclamation in the Athabasca Oil Sands region involves creating wetlands from fluid tailings in mined-out pits. We measured time to metamorphosis, thyroid hormone status, and detoxification enzyme (EROD) induction in Wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) tadpoles raised on reclaimed oil sands wetlands of different ages [young ({<=}7 yr) vs. old (>7 yr)] and compared data with tadpoles raised on reference (control) wetlands. Metamorphosis was delayed or never occurred in tadpoles raised in young tailings; those exposed to older tailings developed similarly to those in reference wetlands. Thyroid hormone disruption likely played an important role in the metamorphosis delay as the T3:T4 ratio was lowest in tadpoles raised in young, tailings-affected wetlands. Our findings suggest tailings wetlands become less toxic with age, and that these amphibians will be able to complete their life cycle in tailing wetlands that have sufficiently detoxified with age. - This work provides guidance for reclamation of oil sands tailings and shows the usefulness of frogs and caging studies in environmental toxicology.

  11. Next-Generation Sequencing Assessment of Eukaryotic Diversity in Oil Sands Tailings Ponds Sediments and Surface Water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar, Maria; Richardson, Elisabeth; Tan, BoonFei; Walker, Giselle; Dunfield, Peter F; Bass, David; Nesbø, Camilla; Foght, Julia; Dacks, Joel B

    2016-11-01

    Tailings ponds in the Athabasca oil sands (Canada) contain fluid wastes, generated by the extraction of bitumen from oil sands ores. Although the autochthonous prokaryotic communities have been relatively well characterized, almost nothing is known about microbial eukaryotes living in the anoxic soft sediments of tailings ponds or in the thin oxic layer of water that covers them. We carried out the first next-generation sequencing study of microbial eukaryotic diversity in oil sands tailings ponds. In metagenomes prepared from tailings sediment and surface water, we detected very low numbers of sequences encoding eukaryotic small subunit ribosomal RNA representing seven major taxonomic groups of protists. We also produced and analysed three amplicon-based 18S rRNA libraries prepared from sediment samples. These revealed a more diverse set of taxa, 169 different OTUs encompassing up to eleven higher order groups of eukaryotes, according to detailed classification using homology searching and phylogenetic methods. The 10 most abundant OTUs accounted for > 90% of the total of reads, vs. large numbers of rare OTUs (tailings ponds harbour complex communities of microbial eukaryotes indicating that these organisms should be taken into account when studying the microbiology of the oil sands. © 2016 The Author(s) Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology © 2016 International Society of Protistologists.

  12. Airborne Petcoke Dust is a Major Source of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yifeng; Shotyk, William; Zaccone, Claudio; Noernberg, Tommy; Pelletier, Rick; Bicalho, Beatriz; Froese, Duane G; Davies, Lauren; Martin, Jonathan W

    2016-02-16

    Oil sands mining has been linked to increasing atmospheric deposition of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR), but known sources cannot explain the quantity of PAHs in environmental samples. PAHs were measured in living Sphagnum moss (24 sites, n = 68), in sectioned peat cores (4 sites, n = 161), and snow (7 sites, n = 19) from ombrotrophic bogs in the AOSR. Prospective source samples were also analyzed, including petroleum coke (petcoke, from both delayed and fluid coking), fine tailings, oil sands ore, and naturally exposed bitumen. Average PAH concentrations in near-field moss (199 ng/g, n = 11) were significantly higher (p = 0.035) than in far-field moss (118 ng/g, n = 13), and increasing temporal trends were detected in three peat cores collected closest to industrial activity. A chemical mass-balance model estimated that delayed petcoke was the major source of PAHs to living moss, and among three peat core the contribution to PAHs from delayed petcoke increased over time, accounting for 45-95% of PAHs in contemporary layers. Petcoke was also estimated to be a major source of vanadium, nickel, and molybdenum. Scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy confirmed large petcoke particles (>10 μm) in snow at near-field sites. Petcoke dust has not previously been considered in environmental impact assessments of oil sands upgrading, and improved dust control from growing stockpiles may mitigate future risks.

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. Molten salt reactors and the oil sands: odd couple or key to north american energy independence?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    LeBlanc, D., E-mail: d_leblanc@rogers.com [Ottawa Valley Research Associates Ltd., Ottawa, Ontario (Canada); Quesada, M.; Popoff, C.; Way, D. [Penumbra Energy, Calgary, Alberta (Canada)

    2012-07-01

    The use of nuclear power to aid oil sands development has often been proposed largely due to the virtual elimination of natural gas use and thus a large reduction in GHG emissions. Nuclear power can replace natural gas for process steam production (SAGD) and electricity generation but also potentially for hydrogen production to upgrade bitumen for pipeline transit, synthetic crude production and even at the final refinery stage. Prior candidates included CANDU and gas cooled Pebble Bed Reactors. The case for CANDU use can be shown to be marginally economic with a proven technology but with an uncertainty of current construction costs and too large a unit size (~2400 MWth). PBRs offered modest theoretical cost savings, smaller unit size and the ability to offer higher temperatures needed for thermochemical hydrogen production from water. Interest in PBRs however has greatly waned with the cancellation of their major South African development program which highlighted the severe challenges of helium as a coolant and TRISO fuel manufacturing. More recently, Small Modular Reactors based on scaled down light water reactor technology have attracted interest but are unlikely to compete economically outside of niche applications. However, a 'new' reactor option, the Molten Salt Reactor, has been rapidly gaining momentum over the past decade. This 'new' technology was actually developed over 50 years ago as a thorium breeder reactor to compete with the sodium cooled fast breeder reactor (U-Pu cycle). During this time two molten salt test reactors were constructed. A modern version however would likely be a simpler converter design using Low Enriched Uranium but needing only a small fraction the uranium resources of LWRs or CANDUs. Besides resource sustainability, these unique designs offer large potential improvements in the areas of capital costs, safety and nuclear waste. This presentation will explain the unique attributes and advantages of these

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. Fifteen-year trends in criteria air pollutants in oil sands communities of Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bari, Md; Kindzierski, Warren B

    2015-01-01

    An investigation of ambient air quality was undertaken at three communities within the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) of Alberta, Canada (Fort McKay, Fort McMurray, and Fort Chipewyan). Daily and seasonal patterns and 15-year trends were investigated for several criteria air pollutants over the period of 1998 to 2012. A parametric trend detection method using percentiles from frequency distributions of 1h concentrations for a pollutant during each year was used. Variables representing 50th, 65th, 80th, 90th, 95th and 98th percentile concentrations each year were identified from frequency distributions and used for trend analysis. Small increasing concentration trends were observed for nitrogen dioxide (Air quality in Fort Chipewyan was much better and quite separate in terms of absence of factors influencing criteria air pollutant concentrations at the other community stations.

  20. Rock physics for 4D modeling of heavy oil sands in Petromonagas field

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Florez-Nino, J.M. [BP America Inc., Houston, TX (United States); Vega, V. [BP Andean, Caracas (Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of)

    2009-07-01

    Seismic reservoir characterization and monitoring requires a good understanding of the many factors that influence the elastic properties of reservoir rocks, as well as the changes in elastic properties induced by reservoir production, such as those derived from variations in pressure, temperature, or reservoir porosity and saturation. This understanding can be obtained from a both rock physics modeling and direct laboratory measurements. This paper presented a rock physics analysis carried out to integrate well-log and seismic data for reservoir characterization and forward modeling of four-dimensional seismic response in heavy oil sands. The paper also presented an evaluation of the seismic response related to thermal recovery, including an analysis that accounted for frequency-dependant p-wave velocity dispersion; highly viscous fluid; temperature effects on fluid properties; and pressure effects on rock properties. It was concluded that p-wave and shear-wave velocity variation as a function of temperature are the dominant factors to consider while integrating well-log and seismic data in sands of the Morichal members of the Oficina formation in Venezuela. 6 refs., 9 figs.

  1. 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.

  2. Vegetation community composition in wetlands created following oil sand mining in Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Marie-Claude; Foote, Lee; Ciborowski, Jan J H

    2016-05-01

    Reclaiming wetlands following open pit mining for industrial oil sand extraction is challenging due to the physical and chemical conditions of the post-mined landscape. The aim of our study was to examine and compare the influence of oil sands process water (OSPW) and material (fine fluid tails or FFT) on the plant community composition of created wetlands. Compared to created-unamended and natural wetlands, the created wetlands amended with OSPW and/or FFT (created-tailings wetlands) had significantly higher water salinity, conductivity, dissolved oxygen concentration and lower oxidative-reductive potential. Water chemistry parameters of created-unamended did not differ significantly from those of natural wetlands. The sediment of created wetlands had significantly less moisture, total nitrogen, and organic content than the natural wetlands. The application of OSPW/FFT in created wetlands will likely lead to initial vegetation composition atypical of natural regional wetlands. For the objective of reclaiming vegetation composition to the status of natural regional wetlands, unamended wetlands were the best reclamation option, based on the physical and chemical parameters measured. Despite being the favored reclamation option, created-unamended wetlands' physical and chemical characteristics remain atypical of natural wetlands. Most significantly, the basin morphometry of created wetlands was significantly different from that of naturally-formed wetlands in the region, and this appears to partly explain difference in vegetation composition. We also demonstrate that species richness alone is not a useful measure in wetland monitoring. Instead, plant community composition is a better indicator of wetland conditions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 Dambient tracer experiment in the Oil 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.

  7. Screening of genotoxicity and mutagenicity in extractable organics from oil sands process-affected water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zetouni, Nikolas C; Siraki, Arno G; Weinfeld, Michael; Pereira, Alberto Dos Santos; Martin, Jonathan W

    2016-11-01

    Large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) are produced by the oil sands surface mining industry during alkaline hot-water extraction of bitumen. It is well documented that the acid extractable organics (AEOs) in OSPW, a highly complex mixture of acidic and polar neutral substances, are acutely toxic; but few studies have examined the genotoxicity or mutagenicity of this mixture. In the present study, the in vitro SOS Chromotest and the Ames test (TA98 and TA100 strains) were used to evaluate genotoxicity and mutagenicity for whole OSPW AEOs in the presence and absence of biotransformation by rat S9 liver enzymes. Two subfractions were also examined in the same assays: neutral extractable fraction (F1-NE), and the subsequent acid extractable fraction (F2-AE). In the SOS assay, whole AEO was cytotoxic when concentrated 2× (i.e., twice as concentrated as the environmental sample) and showed increasing genotoxic response above 6×. Co-exposure with S9 had a protective effect on the cell SOS-inducing factor and survival but did not eliminate genotoxicity above 6× concentrations. Most of the cytotoxicity was attributable to F2-AE, but both F1-NE and F2-AE had similar genotoxic dose-responses above 6×. In the Ames test without S9, whole AEO was mutagenic in both strains above 10× concentrations. Co-incubation with S9 had little effect on the TA100 strain but with TA98 resulted in bioactivation at midlevel doses (1.5-6.3×) and protection at higher doses (10-25×). The 2 subfractions were mutagenic in both strains but with different dose-responses. Further research in vivo or in more relevant cells is warranted to investigate the carcinogenic risks of OSPW. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;9999:1-8. © 2016 SETAC.

  8. Direct evaluation of in situ biodegradation in Athabasca oil sands tailings ponds using natural abundance radiocarbon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahad, Jason M E; Pakdel, Hooshang

    2013-09-17

    Compound-specific stable (δ(13)C) and radiocarbon (Δ(14)C) isotopes of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) were used to evaluate carbon sources utilized by the active microbial populations in surface sediments from Athabasca oil sands tailings ponds. Algal-specific PLFAs were absent at three of the four sites investigated, and δ(13)CPLFA values were generally within ~3‰ of that reported for oil sands bitumen (~-30‰), suggesting that the microbial communities growing on petroleum constituents were dominated by aerobic heterotrophs. Δ(14)CPLFA values ranged from -906 to -586‰ and pointed to significant uptake of fossil carbon, particularly in PLFAs (e.g., cy17:0 and cy19:0) often associated with petroleum hydrocarbon degrading bacteria. The comparatively heavier Δ(14)C values found in other, less specific PLFAs (e.g., 16:0) indicated the preferential uptake of younger organic matter by the general microbial population. Since the main carbon pools in tailings sediment were essentially "radiocarbon dead" (i.e., Δ(14)C ~ -1000‰), the principal source for this relatively modern carbon is considered to be the Athabasca River, which provides the bulk of the water used in the bitumen extraction process. The preferential utilization of the minor amount of younger and presumably more labile material present in systems otherwise dominated by petroleum carbon has important implications for remediation strategies, since it implies that organic contaminants may persist long after reclamation has begun. Alternatively, this young organic matter could play a vital and necessary role in supporting the microbial utilization of fossil carbon via cometabolism or priming processes.

  9. Harnessing oil sands microbial communities for use in ex situ naphthenic acid bioremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demeter, Marc A; Lemire, Joe; George, Iain; Yue, Gordon; Ceri, Howard; Turner, Raymond J

    2014-02-01

    The caustic hot water extraction process used to release bitumen from the Alberta oil sands generates large volumes of tailings waste, or oil sands process water (OSPW). OSPW contains several components of environmental concern including diluents, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and naphthenic acids (NAs); the latter are of particular concern as they are acutely toxic to aquatic organisms and mammals. Studies have demonstrated that the naturally occurring OSPW bacteria are capable of metabolizing the NAs. However, this in situ process takes place over hundreds of years, and is incomplete, leaving a recalcitrant fraction of NAs intact. In this study we explore options for recovering and harnessing the naturally occurring OSPW bacteria for potential future use in an aerobic ex situ OSPW treatment system. Here we evaluate our recovered microbes on their ability to degrade two model NAs, cyclohexane carboxylic acid and cyclohexane acetic acid. Using OSPW as a source for a bacterial inoculum, we were able to compare single and multispecies OSPW cultures, grown as either a biofilm, or as a planktonic suspension. Furthermore, we examined the effect of available nutrients on the ability of these cultures to degrade NAs. All biofilms were grown using the Calgary Biofilm Device. GC-MS, and GC-FID reveal that multispecies biofilm and planktonic cultures are each capable of degrading both NAs; a trait not observed for single species cultures. Moreover, complementary carbon sources have a tangible effect on the ability of the cultures to initiate the degradation of the NAs. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Development of wear resistant nanostructured duplex coatings by high velocity oxy-fuel process for use in oil sands industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Gobinda C; Khan, Tahir I; Glenesk, Larry B

    2009-07-01

    Oil sands deposits in Northern Alberta, Canada represent a wealth of resources attracting huge capital investment and significant research focus in recent years. As of 2005, crude oil production from the current oil sands operators accounted for 50% of Canada's domestic production. Alberta's oil sands deposits contain approximately 1.7 trillion barrels of bitumen, of which over 175 billion are recoverable with current technology, and 315 billion barrels are ultimately recoverable with technological advances. A major problem of operating machinery and equipment in the oil sands is the unpredictable failure from operating in this highly aggressive environment. One of the significant causes of that problem is premature material wear. An approach to minimize this wear is the use of protective coatings and, in particular, a cermet thin coating. A high level of coating homogeneity is critical for components such as bucketwheels, draglines, conveyors, shovels, heavyhauler trucks etc. that are subjected to severe degradation through abrasive wear. The identification, development and application of optimum wear solutions for these components pose an ongoing challenge. Nanostructured cermet coatings have shown the best results of achieving the degree of homogeneity required for these applications. In this study, WC-17Co cermet powder with nanocrystalline WC core encapsulated with 'duplex' Co layer was used to obtain a nanostructured coating. To apply this coating, high velocity oxy-fuel (HVOF) thermal spraying technique was used, as it is known for producing wear-resistant coatings superior to those obtained from plasma-based techniques. Mechanical, sliding wear and microstructural behavior of the coating was compared with those of the microstructured coating obtained from spraying WC-10Co-4Cr cermet powder by HVOF technique. Results from the nanostructured coating, among others, showed an average of 25% increase in microhardness, 30% increase in sliding wear resistance and

  13. 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

  14. Performance of a constructed fen peatland: Reclamation of oil sands landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, J. S.

    2013-12-01

    Wetlands cover >60% of the landscape in the Athabasca oils sands development region. These are predominantly fen peatlands, that rely to varying extent on base-rich surface- and/or ground-water derived from adjacent mineral lands. Large areas of peatland are removed by surface stripping to access the bitumen. Reclamation of post-mined landscapes to peatland has not previously been attempted. Groundwater modeling was used to guide design choices on the optimal geometry, placement (layering) and hydraulic properties of locally available materials; these include processed tailings sand, as well peat and forest soils from newly developed lease areas. The constructed system comprises a ~3 ha fen with 2 m of peat and an adjacent upland specifically designed to supply the requisite water to maintain suitable hydrological conditions. The upland is primarily tailings sand covered by a forest soil. The constructed fen/upland system was set within a ~30 ha basin that was reclaimed using standard techniques and materials, and supplements water inputs to the designed system. Both fen and upland were placed at water contents well below equilibrium levels, so there was concern about the wetland function during the years following construction. However, in its first year following construction (2013), a higher than normal snowpack flooded the system, but by surface inflow rather than seepage from the upland. Ground-ice in the fen limited the general infiltration and percolation of meltwater into the peat, although fortuitously a localized recharge pipe developed through thermal erosion and substantially recharged the fen. Water was redistributed beneath the fen through a highly permeable sublayer (petroleum coke) designed for this purpose, and created artesian pressures. Backflow into the upland also resulted, although much of the upland remains well below design water contents. Modification of the upland soils by plowing, and development of local recharge basins, is expected to

  15. 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.

  16. Oil sand production and processing. Technology, economy, environmental aspects. 2. ed.; Oelsandgewinnung und -verarbeitung. Technik, Oekonomie, Umweltaspekte

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meyer-Renschhausen, Martin

    2012-07-01

    The nearing decline in global oil production with all its consequences gives rise to the question as to possible alternative technologies, both on the application and the supply side. What contribution can come from a more efficient use of oil? What other liquid fuels can replace today's supply of crude oil? What role will unconventional oil resources play in the future? What quantities of oil can be made available from these reserves and over which time horizons? What restrictions exist on their exploitation? The purpose of the present study was to examine these questions for the example of one of the most significant alternative technologies on the supply side, namely that of unconventional oil resources. Since unconventional oil resources are very heterogeneous in terms of deposit characteristics, oil quality and exploitation technologies, the present study was restricted to a single type, namely that of oil sand extraction. This is currently the furthest developed unconventional oil resource both technically and economically, making it an ideal choice for a case study on the opportunities and risks of unconventional oil resources.

  17. Dielectric properties of oil sands at 2.45 GHz with TE1,0,11 mode determined by a rectangular cavity resonator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erdogan, Levent; Akyel, Cevdet; Ghannouchi, Fadhel M

    2011-01-01

    Oil obtained from oil sands resources constitute an important portion of the oil industry in Canada. Extraction of the bitumen from oil sands is very crucial process because of its cost and environmental impact. Microwave energy applicators by heating oil sands at microwave frequencies can be an excellent alternative to extract bitumen with the advantages of being potentially cost-effective and environmentally friendly method of extraction. In order to design and manufacture a microwave energy applicator, its dielectric properties must be known. In this study, as the first part of our ultimate microwave energy applicator project, in advance, the complex permittivity of oil sands was measured by using rectangular cavity resonator, designed and fabricated in Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal laboratories, at 2.45 GHz with TE1,0,1 mode. The accuracy of the permittivity measurement results obtained with the developed system was verified against those obtained using a commercial open-ended probe system as well the values of well known materials documented in open literature. Since there is no study found in the literature about the complex permittivity values of oil sands at 2.45 GHz, the present study would be of great help and important guide for those who plan to design and manufacture microwave energy applicators in order to extract the bitumen from the oil sands.

  18. 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 laboratory-colu

  19. 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.

  20. Oil sands thickened froth treatment tailings exhibit acid rock drainage potential during evaporative drying.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

    Bitumen extraction from oil sands ores after surface mining produces different tailings waste streams: 'froth treatment tailings' are enriched in pyrite relative to other streams. Tailings treatment can include addition of organic polymers to produce thickened tailings (TT). TT may be further de-watered by deposition into geotechnical cells for evaporative drying to increase shear strength prior to reclamation. To examine the acid rock drainage (ARD) potential of TT, we performed predictive analyses and laboratory experiments on material from field trials of two types of thickened froth treatment tailings (TT1 and TT2). Acid-base accounting (ABA) of initial samples showed that both TT1 and TT2 initially had net acid-producing potential, with ABA values of -141 and -230 t CaCO₃ equiv. 1000 t(-1) of TT, respectively. In long-term kinetic experiments, duplicate ~2-kg samples of TT were incubated in shallow trays and intermittently irrigated under air flow for 459 days to simulate evaporative field drying. Leachates collected from both TT samples initially had pH~6.8 that began decreasing after ~50 days (TT2) or ~250 days (TT1), stabilizing at pH~2. Correspondingly, the redox potential of leachates increased from 100-200 mV to 500-580 mV and electrical conductivity increased from 2-5 dS m(-1) to 26 dS m(-1), indicating dissolution of minerals during ARD. The rapid onset and prolonged ARD observed with TT2 is attributed to its greater pyrite (13.4%) and lower carbonate (1.4%) contents versus the slower onset of ARD in TT1 (initially 6.0% pyrite and 2.5% carbonates). 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing analysis revealed rapid shift in microbial community when conditions became strongly acidic (pH~2) favoring the enrichment of Acidithiobacillus and Sulfobacillus bacteria in TT. This is the first report showing ARD potential of TT and the results have significant implications for effective management of pyrite-enriched oil sands tailings streams/deposits. Copyright © 2014

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dompierre, Kathryn A; Lindsay, Matthew B J; Cruz-Hernández, Pablo; Halferdahl, Geoffrey M

    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 186Mm(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 10m of the FFT. Major pore-water constituents included Na (880±96mgL(-1)) and Cl (560±95mgL(-1)); Ca (19±4.1mgL(-1)), Mg (11±2.0mgL(-1)), K (16±2.3mgL(-1)) and NH3 (9.9±4.7mgL(-1)) were consistently observed. Iron and Mn concentrations were low within FFT pore water, whereas SO4 concentrations decreased sharply across the FFT-water interface. Geochemical modeling indicated that FeS(s) precipitation was favoured under SO4-reducing conditions. Pore water was also under-saturated with respect to gypsum [CaSO4·2H2O], and near saturation with respect to calcite [CaCO3], dolomite [CaMg(CO3)2] and siderite [FeCO3]. 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(s), pyrite [FeS2], 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 insight into the chemistry of pore water released from FFT to the overlying water cover.

  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. 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.

  6. Paste proposed for oil sands : Golder's paste technology offers relief for industry's black eye

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tollinsky, N.

    2010-06-15

    This article described a new tailings treatment technology developed as an environmentally-friendly alternative to underwater tailings disposal. Golder Paste Technology Ltd. has tested the technology at a pilot plant with a shipment of 36 drums of oil sands tailings. The technology was designed for use in areas with limited water resources. Water is removed from the tailings in a paste plant and then recirculated for re-use. The end product has the consistency of toothpaste, takes up less space, and allows for faster reclamation of tailings disposal sites. Some environmental protection agencies are concerned about the effects of the tailings ponds on wildlife in the oil sands region. The higher price of the paste technology is expected to be offset by cost savings and reduced exposure to liability. 2 figs.

  7. 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.

  8. Receptor Modeling of Epiphytic Lichens to Elucidate the Sources and SpatialDistribution of Inorganic Air Pollution in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    The contribution of inorganic air pollutant emissions to atmospheric deposition in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) of Alberta, Canada was investigated in the surrounding boreal forests, using a common epiphytic lichen bio-indicator species (Hypogymnia physodes) and applyi...

  9. 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...

  10. Receptor Modeling of Epiphytic Lichens to Elucidate the Sources and SpatialDistribution of Inorganic Air Pollution in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    The contribution of inorganic air pollutant emissions to atmospheric deposition in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) of Alberta, Canada was investigated in the surrounding boreal forests, using a common epiphytic lichen bio-indicator species (Hypogymnia physodes) and applyi...

  11. 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...

  12. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in caribou, moose, and wolf scat samples from three areas of the Alberta oil sands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundin, Jessica I; Riffell, Jeffrey A; Wasser, Samuel K

    2015-11-01

    Impacts of toxic substances from oil production in the Alberta oil sands (AOS), such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), have been widely debated. Studies have been largely restricted to exposures from surface mining in aquatic species. We measured PAHs in Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou), moose (Alces americanus), and Grey wolf (Canis lupus) across three areas that varied in magnitude of in situ oil production. Our results suggest a distinction of PAH level and source profile (petro/pyrogenic) between study areas and species. Caribou samples indicated pyrogenic sourced PAHs in the study area previously devastated by forest fire. Moose and wolf samples from the high oil production area demonstrated PAH ratios indicative of a petrogenic source and increased PAHs, respectively. These findings emphasize the importance of broadening monitoring and research programs in the AOS.

  13. 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.

  14. Achieving conservation when opportunity costs are high: optimizing reserve design in Alberta's oil sands region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard R Schneider

    Full Text Available Recent studies have shown that conservation gains can be achieved when the spatial distributions of biological benefits and economic costs are incorporated in the conservation planning process. Using Alberta, Canada, as a case study we apply these techniques in the context of coarse-filter reserve design. Because targets for ecosystem representation and other coarse-filter design elements are difficult to define objectively we use a trade-off analysis to systematically explore the relationship between conservation targets and economic opportunity costs. We use the Marxan conservation planning software to generate reserve designs at each level of conservation target to ensure that our quantification of conservation and economic outcomes represents the optimal allocation of resources in each case. Opportunity cost is most affected by the ecological representation target and this relationship is nonlinear. Although petroleum resources are present throughout most of Alberta, and include highly valuable oil sands deposits, our analysis indicates that over 30% of public lands could be protected while maintaining access to more than 97% of the value of the region's resources. Our case study demonstrates that optimal resource allocation can be usefully employed to support strategic decision making in the context of land-use planning, even when conservation targets are not well defined.

  15. Achieving conservation when opportunity costs are high: optimizing reserve design in Alberta's oil sands region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Richard R; Hauer, Grant; Farr, Dan; Adamowicz, W L; Boutin, Stan

    2011-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that conservation gains can be achieved when the spatial distributions of biological benefits and economic costs are incorporated in the conservation planning process. Using Alberta, Canada, as a case study we apply these techniques in the context of coarse-filter reserve design. Because targets for ecosystem representation and other coarse-filter design elements are difficult to define objectively we use a trade-off analysis to systematically explore the relationship between conservation targets and economic opportunity costs. We use the Marxan conservation planning software to generate reserve designs at each level of conservation target to ensure that our quantification of conservation and economic outcomes represents the optimal allocation of resources in each case. Opportunity cost is most affected by the ecological representation target and this relationship is nonlinear. Although petroleum resources are present throughout most of Alberta, and include highly valuable oil sands deposits, our analysis indicates that over 30% of public lands could be protected while maintaining access to more than 97% of the value of the region's resources. Our case study demonstrates that optimal resource allocation can be usefully employed to support strategic decision making in the context of land-use planning, even when conservation targets are not well defined.

  16. Incorporating stakeholder values into environmental decision making and management in the Athabasca Oil Sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuschminder, J. [C. E. Jones and Associates Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2004-09-30

    Ways to incorporate stakeholder values into the environmental decision making process are discussed, with particular emphasis on the several multi-stakeholder consensus-driven associations established for this purpose in the Athabasca Oil Sands region. These associations were tasked to formulate recommendations for regulators regarding regional environmental and social issues. Occasionally, an alternative mechanism, primarily negotiated settlements, were used to settle socio-economic and environmental concerns specific to a particular group or region. It is worthy of note that in the Athabasca Region there are 46 identified environmentally concerned stakeholders from industry, government, aboriginal communities, and non-governmental organizations. The framework set up to handle issues provides each of these stakeholder group access to industry directly, either through one-on-one meetings or through the various multi-stakeholder associations which have been created to deal with social impacts. The Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) stands out as one of the first multi-stakeholder organizations created to deal with cumulative environmental effects and long-term impacts for the region. It makes recommendations to the Alberta Environment Department's Regional Sustainable Development Strategy (RSDS) that is accountable for managing the region's cumulative environmental effects. The existence of these associations allows for the discussion of reasonable alternatives, and provides a forum to find common ground to examine all available options, thus reducing the potential for conflicts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hong; Yu, Tong; Liu, Yang

    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 H2S 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. H2S 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Impact of Oils Sands Mining on Nitrogen-Limited Peatland Ecosystems in Alberta Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vile, M. A.; Wieder, R.; Scott, K.; Prsa, T.; Quinn, J.; Vitt, D. H.

    2010-12-01

    Peatlands of boreal Canada represent large reservoirs of sequestered carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). Cycling of C and N in peatlands is intrinsically linked, especially in bogs - peatlands isolated from ground- and surface-water inputs, receiving nutrients exclusively from the atmosphere, which in the absence of N pollution, ensures an N-limited, nutrient-poor ecosystem. A growing concern associated with the development of Alberta’s Oil Sands Mining (OSM) is the potential for regionally elevated deposition of N-compounds (NOx). Prior to OSM, N inputs to bogs were limited exclusively to (1) biological N fixation, and (2) bulk atmospheric deposition. Currently, data examining the effect of purported increases in N and S deposition in this region are limited. Our goal was to determine patterns in atmospheric N deposition on N concentrations in bog porewaters at 5 sites spanning varying distances from the OSM region: Mildred, McKay, McMurray, Anzac and Utikuma bog (14, 24, 51, 71 and 300 km, respectively). Specifically, we wanted to test the hypothesis that OSM results in higher N deposition leading to elevated N in porewaters. Deposition of N was greatest at Mildred, followed by McKay, McMurray, and Anzac, and significantly lowest at Utikuma Bog (F4,49 = 5.9, p resin samplers placed at each site (n=50 total; 10 per site) and porewaters were collected using a modified sipper design (n=15; 3 per site; 10-10cm depth intervals per sipper).

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. ET-DSP{sup TM} : an environmentally friendly process for the oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heath, G. [E-T Energy Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    Although the Electro-Thermal Dynamic Stripping Process (ET-DSP{sup TM}) was initially developed to remediate contaminated soils, it has evolved into an environmentally sound method for recovering bitumen from the Athabasca oil sands. This progression was in response to environmental concerns and the need for an economical alternative to mining and other energy-intensive, in-situ resource recovery methods. The key metrics needed to design a commercially viable pilot project were identified and quantified using a proof-of-concept test and an expanded field test. Geological modeling of 8 sections of land confirmed that sufficient resources are available to justify a commercial development. The economic viability of proceeding with the commercial production of 1,590 m{sup 3} of bitumen per day was verified with financial modeling of the ET-DSP process. The model envisaged the drilling of approximately 1,000 wells per year for the next 20 years. The model emphasized that the integrated development plan must incorporate the lessons learned from the preceding test phases coupled with further innovations in both drilling and production techniques. The plan must also continue to lower energy intensity, reduce water use, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure reclamation of surface disturbances.

  3. 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.

  4. Toxicity of Athabasca River and oil sands sediments to larval fish

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parrott, J.; Turcotte, D.; Headley, J.; Hewitt, M. [Environment Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This presentation reported on a study that evaluated oil sands tailings pond sediments and sediments from the Athabasca River for embryo-larval toxicity in fathead minnows and walleye. Following 20 days of exposure to 5 sediments from the Athabasca River at concentrations up to 25 g/L, there were no observed effects in fathead minnow eggs and larvae. However, at concentrations as low as 0.2 to 1 g wet wt/L, two of three tailings pond sediments were toxic to fathead minnows. Larvae growth was reduced in all three tailings pond sediments. Nine of 18 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) measured in tailing pond sediments were found to be above the Freshwater Sediment Quality Guidelines set by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME), with phenanthrene being the highest. The values for total dry weight PAHs and total naphthenic acids in tailings pond sediment and river sediment were discussed. The cause for the observed toxicity in fathead minnow larvae could not be determined based on the preliminary study results. As part of the ongoing study, walleye eggs and larvae are being exposed to the sediments to compare their relative sensitivity and to determine possible causative compounds.

  5. 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.

  6. Pseudomonads biodegradation of aromatic compounds in oil sands process-affected water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yanyan; McPhedran, Kerry N; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2015-07-15

    Aromatic naphthenic acids (NAs) have been shown to be more toxic than the classical NAs found in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). To reduce this toxicity, Pseudomonas fluorescens and Pseudomonas putida were used to determine their ability to biodegrade aromatic compounds including treatments considering the impacts of external carbon and iron addition. Results showed that with added carbon P. fluorescens and P. putida have the capability of biodegrading these aromatics. In the presence of external carbon, gene expression of a functional PAH-ring hydroxylating dioxygenase (PAH-RHDα) was determined through reverse transcription real-time PCR, suggesting active degradation of OSPW aromatic compounds. Although no significant classical NAs removal was observed during this process, toxicity was reduced by 49.3% under optimal conditions. OSPW toxicity was eliminated with the combination of ozonation at a dose of 80 mg/L followed by biodegradation, indicating that it is a promising combined OSPW treatment approach for the safe discharge to the aquatic environment.

  7. Mixed-species biofilms cultured from an oil sand tailings pond can biomineralize metals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golby, Susanne; Ceri, Howard; Marques, Lyriam L R; Turner, Raymond J

    2014-07-01

    Here, we used an in vitro biofilm approach to study metal resistance and/or tolerance of mixed-species biofilms grown from an oil sand tailings pond in northern Alberta, Canada. Metals can be inhibitory to microbial hydrocarbon degradation. If microorganisms are exposed to metal concentrations above their resistance levels, metabolic activities and hydrocarbon degradation can be slowed significantly, if not inhibited completely. For this reason, bioremediation strategies may be most effective if metal-resistant microorganisms are used. Viability was measured after exposure to a range of concentrations of ions of Cu, Ag, Pb, Ni, Zn, V, Cr, and Sr. Mixed-species biofilms were found to be extremely metal resistant; up to 20 mg/L of Pb, 16 mg/L of Zn, 1,000 mg/L of Sr, and 3.2 mg/L of Ni. Metal mineralization was observed by visualization with scanning electron microscopy with metal crystals of Cu, Ag, Pb, and Sr exuding from the biofilms. Following metal exposure, the mixed-species biofilms were analyzed by molecular methods and were found to maintain high levels of species complexity. A single species isolated from the community (Rhodococcus erythropolis) was used as a comparison against the mixed-community biofilm and was seen to be much less tolerant to metal stress than the community and did not biomineralize the metals.

  8. 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.

  9. Ozonation of oil sands process-affected water accelerates microbial bioremediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Jonathan W; Barri, Thaer; Han, Xiumei; Fedorak, Phillip M; El-Din, Mohamed Gamal; Perez, Leonidas; Scott, Angela C; Jiang, Jason Tiange

    2010-11-01

    Ozonation can degrade toxic naphthenic acids (NAs) in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW), but even after extensive treatment a residual NA fraction remains. Here we hypothesized that mild ozonation would selectively oxidize the most biopersistent NA fraction, thereby accelerating subsequent NA biodegradation and toxicity removal by indigenous microbes. OSPW was ozonated to achieve approximately 50% and 75% NA degradation, and the major ozonation byproducts included oxidized NAs (i.e., hydroxy- or keto-NAs). However, oxidized NAs are already present in untreated OSPW and were shown to be formed during the microbial biodegradation of NAs. Ozonation alone did not affect OSPW toxicity, based on Microtox; however, there was a significant acceleration of toxicity removal in ozonated OSPW following inoculation with native microbes. Furthermore, all residual NAs biodegraded significantly faster in ozonated OSPW. The opposite trend was found for ozonated commercial NAs, which are known to contain no significant biopersistent fraction. Thus, we suggest that ozonation preferentially degraded the most biopersistent OSPW NA fraction, and that ozonation is complementary to the biodegradation capacity of microbial populations in OSPW. The toxicity of ozonated OSPW to higher organisms needs to be assessed, but there is promise that this technique could be applied to accelerate the bioremediation of large volumes of OSPW in Northern Alberta, Canada.

  10. Biohydrogen production from forest and agricultural residues for upgrading of bitumen from oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sarkar, Susanjib; Kumar, Amit [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta (Canada)

    2010-02-15

    In this study, forest residues (limbs, tops, and branches) and straw (from wheat and barley) are considered for producing biohydrogen in Western Canada for upgrading of bitumen from oil sands. Two types of gasifiers, namely, the Battelle Columbus Laboratory (BCL) gasifier and the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) gasifier are considered for biohydrogen production. Production costs of biohydrogen from forest and agricultural residues from a BCL gasification plant with a capacity of 2000 dry tonnes/day are 1.17 and 1.29/kg of H{sub 2}, respectively. For large-scale biohydrogen plant, GTI gasification is the optimum technology. The delivered-biohydrogen costs are 2.19 and 2.31/kg of H{sub 2} at a plant capacity of 2000 dry tonnes/day from forest and agricultural residues, respectively. Optimum capacity for biohydrogen plant is 3000 dry tonnes/day for both residues in a BCL gasifier. In a GTI gasifier, although the theoretical optimum sizes are higher than 3000 dry tonnes/day for both feedstocks, the cost of production of biohydrogen is flat above a plant size of 3000 dry tonnes/day. Hence, a plant at the size of 3000 dry tonnes/day could be built to minimize risk. Carbon credits of 119 and 124/tonne of CO{sub 2} equivalent are required for biohydrogen from forest and agricultural residues, respectively. (author)

  11. 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

  12. Monitoring the Effects of Oil Sands Process-Affected Water (OSPW) on Thecamoebian Assemblages: An Experimental Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christie, D. G.; McCarthy, F. F.; Penner, T.; MacKinnon, M. M.

    2009-05-01

    Thecamoebian (testate amoeba) assemblages have been shown to respond over short time periods to environmental conditions in aquatic reclamation options under development at oil sands operations in northeastern Alberta. This makes them a useful bio-monitoring tool for assessing reclamation success. Thecamoebian responses to Oil Sands Process Water (OSPW) have been monitored in the field at lacustrine and wetland test sites established by Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Suncor Energy Ltd. These field studies have confirmed that the generation times of testate amoebas is sufficiently rapid to permit the construction of a controlled laboratory experiment to be completed within one year, where controlled exposures of a natural assemblage of thecamoebians to OSPW can be undertaken to better understand the community responses to stressors We intend to culture these protists in the lab and monitor their response to different concentrations of OSPW in a controlled environment. Survival and changes in relative community composition (difflugiids vs. centropyxids) will be used to establish the dilution of OSPW in which thecameobians can survive and examine how a natural assemblage changes over time in response to increased concentrations of OSPW. This will assist in reclamation management in the Oil Sands region of Alberta.

  13. 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.

  14. Plasma proteome profiles of White Sucker (Catostomus commersonii) from the Athabasca River within the oil sands deposit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Denina B D; Sherry, James P

    2016-09-01

    There are questions about the potential for oil sands related chemicals to enter the Athabasca River, whether from tailing ponds, atmospheric deposition, precipitation, or transport of mining dust, at concentrations sufficient to negatively impact the health of biota. We applied shotgun proteomics to generate protein profiles of mature male and female White Sucker (Catostomus commersonii) that were collected from various sites along the main stem of the Athabasca River in 2011 and 2012. On average, 399±131 (standard deviation) proteins were identified in fish plasma from each location in both years. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software was used to determine the proteins' core functions and to compare the datasets by location, year, and sex. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to determine if variation in the number of proteins related to a core function among all male and female individuals from both sampling years was affected by location. The core biological functions of plasma proteins that were common to both sampling years for males and females from each location were also estimated separately (based on Ingenuity's Knowledge Base). PCA revealed site-specific differences in the functional characteristics of the plasma proteome from white sucker sampled from downstream of oil sands extraction facilities compared with fish from upstream. Plasma proteins that were unique to fish downstream of oil sands extraction were related to lipid metabolism, small molecule biochemistry, vitamin and mineral metabolism, endocrine system disorders, skeletal and muscular development and function, neoplasia, carcinomas, and gastrointestinal disease.

  15. Anaerobic biodegradation of longer-chain n-alkanes coupled to methane production in oil sands tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siddique, Tariq; Penner, Tara; Semple, Kathleen; Foght, Julia M

    2011-07-01

    Extraction of bitumen from mined oil sands ores produces enormous volumes of tailings that are stored in settling basins (current inventory ≥ 840 million m(3)). Our previous studies revealed that certain hydrocarbons (short-chain n-alkanes [C(6)-C(10)] and monoaromatics [toluene, o-xylene, m-xylene]) in residual naphtha entrained in the tailings are biodegraded to CH(4) by a consortium of microorganisms. Here we show that higher molecular weight n-alkanes (C(14), C(16), and C(18)) are also degraded under methanogenic conditions in oil sands tailings, albeit after a lengthy lag (~180 d) before the onset of methanogenesis. Gas chromatographic analyses showed that the longer-chain n-alkanes each added at ~400 mg L(-1) were completely degraded by the resident microorganisms within ~440 d at ~20 °C. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis of clone libraries implied that the predominant pathway of longer-chain n-alkane metabolism in tailings is through syntrophic oxidation of n-alkanes coupled with CO(2) reduction to CH(4). These studies demonstrating methanogenic biodegradation of longer-chain n-alkanes by microbes native to oil sands tailings may be important for effective management of tailings and greenhouse gas emissions from tailings ponds.

  16. Thyroid pathology in deer mice (Peromyscus maniculata) from a reclaimed mine site on the athabasca oil sands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Movasseghi, Ahmad; Rodríguez-Estival, Jaime; Smits, Judit E G

    2017-03-01

    Information on naturally occurring thyroid disease in wild animals in general and in small mammals specifically is extremely limited. In the present field-based work, we investigated the structure and function of thyroid glands of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculata) studied as sentinels of ecosystem sustainability on reclaimed areas post-mining on the oil sands of northeastern Alberta, because of their greater sensitivity to contaminants relative to meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) on the same sites. Extraction of bitumen in the oil sands of northeastern Alberta, results in the release of contaminants including polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs), metals, and metalloids to the environment that have a measurable biological cost to wildlife living in the affected areas. In previous investigations, deer mice exposed to pollution at reclaimed areas showed compromised ability to regenerate glutathione indicating oxidative stress, together with decreased testicular mass and body condition during the breeding season. In the present study, thyroid glands from those deer mice from the reclaimed site had markedly increased follicular cell proliferation and decreased colloid compared to animals from the reference site. This pathology was positively associated with the greater oxidative stress in the deer mice. Thyroid hormones, both thyroxine and triiodothyronine, were also higher in animals with greater oxidative stress indicating increased metabolic demands from contaminant related subclinical toxicity. This work emphasizes the value of using a combination of endocrinological, histological and oxidative stress biomarkers to provide sensitive measures of contaminant exposure in small mammals on the oil sands.

  17. 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

  18. Could Poor Fens BE More Sensitive than Bogs to Elevated N Deposition in the Oil Sands Region of Northern Alberta?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieder, R. K.; Vile, M. A.; Scott, K. D.

    2015-12-01

    Bogs and fens cover 29% of the 140,000 km2 Oil Sands Administrative Area (OSAA) in northern Alberta, a region characterized by quite low background N deposition (1-2 kg/ha/yr). However, development of the oil sands resource has led to increasing emission of nitrogen oxides, which are then returned to regional ecosystems as elevated atmospheric N deposition. Given the nutrient deficient nature of bogs and poor fens, elevated N deposition from oil sands development could potentially affect peatland ecosystem structure and function. To evaluate the ecosystem-level effects of N deposition, since 2011, we have experimentally applied N to a bog and a poor fen near Mariana Lakes, Alberta, located far enough from the OSAA to be unaffected by oil sands emissions. Treatments include simulated rainfall equivalent to N deposition of 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 kg/ha/yr, plus control plots receiving no added water (3 replicate plots per site per N treatment). Concentrations of NH4+-N, NO3- N, and DON at the top of the peatland water table did not increase with increasing N deposition, averaging 0.61, 0.09, and 1.07 mg/L, respectively, in the bog, and 0.53, 0.10, and 0.81 mg/L, respectively, in the poor fen. Ericaceous shrub abundance increased with increasing N deposition in both the bog and the poor fen, although plot-scale greenness (hand-held spectral measurement of the Normalized Difference Red Edge (NDRE) index) increased with N deposition in the poor fen, but not in the bog. Segmented regression indicated that in the poor fen, at N deposition above 14-16 kg/ha/yr, total microbial, bacterial, and fungal biomass in the top 5 cm of peat increased with N deposition, with no effect at lower N deposition. No effect of N deposition on microbial, bacterial, or fungal biomass was observed at 5-10 cm in the poor fen, or at either 0-5 or 5-10 cm in the bog. In the poor fen, microbial, bacterial, and fungal biomass increased with NDRE, but the effect was not significant in the bog

  19. Fine root dynamics in lodgepole pine and white spruce stands along productivity gradients in reclaimed oil sands sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamro, Ghulam Murtaza; Chang, Scott X; Naeth, M Anne; Duan, Min; House, Jason

    2015-10-01

    Open-pit mining activities in the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada, create disturbed lands that, by law, must be reclaimed to a land capability equivalent to that existed before the disturbance. Re-establishment of forest cover will be affected by the production and turnover rate of fine roots. However, the relationship between fine root dynamics and tree growth has not been studied in reclaimed oil sands sites. Fine root properties (root length density, mean surface area, total root biomass, and rates of root production, turnover, and decomposition) were assessed from May to October 2011 and 2012 using sequential coring and ingrowth core methods in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl.) and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench.) Voss) stands. The pine and spruce stands were planted on peat mineral soil mix placed over tailings sand and overburden substrates, respectively, in reclaimed oil sands sites in Alberta. We selected stands that form a productivity gradient (low, medium, and high productivities) of each tree species based on differences in tree height and diameter at breast height (DBH) increments. In lodgepole pine stands, fine root length density and fine root production, and turnover rates were in the order of high > medium > low productivity sites and were positively correlated with tree height and DBH and negatively correlated with soil salinity (P productivity gradient and was negatively correlated with soil compaction. In conclusion, fine root dynamics along the stand productivity gradients were closely linked to stand productivity and were affected by limiting soil properties related to the specific substrate used for reconstructing the reclaimed soil. Understanding the impact of soil properties on fine root dynamics and overall stand productivity will help improve land reclamation outcomes.

  20. 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

  1. Molybdenum carbide nanoparticles as catalysts for oil sands upgrading: Dynamics and free-energy profiles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Xingchen; Salahub, Dennis R. [Department of Chemistry, Institute for Quantum Science and Technology, and Centre for Molecular Simulation, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4 (Canada)

    2015-12-31

    There is no doubt that a huge gap exists in understanding heterogeneous catalysis between a cluster model of a few atoms and a bulk model of periodic slabs. Nanoparticles, which are crucial in heterogeneous catalysis in industry, lie in the middle of the gap. We present here our work on the computational modelling of molybdenum carbide nanoparticles (MCNPs) as the catalysts for the upgrading of oil sands in the in-situ environment, using benzene hydrogenation as a model reaction. With a cluster model, efforts were first made to understand the mechanism of the reaction with a density functional theory (DFT) study on the adsorption of benzene and its hydrogenation product – cyclohexane, as well as the cyclic hydrogenation reaction intermediates on the Mo{sub 2}C(0001) surface. From the thermodynamic data, along with literature information, it was found that the benzene hydrogenation reaction on molybdenum carbide happens most likely through a Langmuir-Hinshelwood mechanism with the gradual lifting up of the benzene molecule. The electron localization function (ELF) was then used to help understand the nature of the interactions between the MCNPs, identifying strong multi-center interactions between the adsorbates and the MCNPs. To enable the treatment of larger nanoparticles, a fast semi-empirical density functional tight-binding (DFTB) method was parameterized. With this method, the potential energy profiles of benzene hydrogenation reactions on different sizes of MCNPs are calculated. The study was then extended to consider a MCNP embedded in solvent (benzene), using a quantum mechanical (DFTB) / molecular mechanical approach. Calculations on the free energies profiles with the umbrella sampling method show that the entropy of the MCNPs and the solvent are essential in understanding the catalytic activity of the transition metal related nanoparticles for solid/liquid heterogeneous catalysis.

  2. 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 (CH4 and CO2) 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 CH4, CO2 and reduced sulfur compounds (RSCs) (including H2S) 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 H2S and 2-methylthiophene>2.5-dimethylthiophene>3-methylthiophene>thiofuran>butyl mercaptan>carbonyl sulfide, where H2S and 2-methylthiophene contributed 81% of the gas produced. CH4 and CO2 production occurred after week 5 at 40.7μmolCH4/mL MFT and 5.9μmolCO2/mL MFT (1.5% w/v diluent treatment). The amount of H2S and CH4 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.

  3. Palaeolimnological assessment of lake acidification and environmental change in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergi PLA

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Exploitation of the Athabasca Oil Sands has expanded hugely over the last 40 years. Regional emissions of oxidised sulphur and nitrogen compounds increased rapidly over this period and similar emissions have been linked to lake acidification in other parts of North America and Europe. To determine whether lakes in the region have undergone acidification, 12 lakes within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and the Caribou Mountains were selected to cover chemical and spatial gradients and sediment cores were obtained for palaeolimnological analyses including radiometric dating, diatom analysis, isotopic analysis of bulk sediment 13C and 15N, and spheroidal carbonaceous particles (SCPs. All lake sediment cores show evidence of industrial contamination based on SCPs, but there is no clear industrial signal in stable isotopes. Most lakes showed changes in diatom assemblages and sediment C:N ratios consistent with nutrient enrichment over various timescales, with potential drivers including climatic change, forest fires and anthropogenic nitrogen deposition. Only one of the 12 lakes investigated showed strong evidence of acidification with a decline in diatom-inferred pH from 6.3 to 5.6 since 1970 linked to increasing relative abundances of the acidophilous diatom species Actinella punctata, Asterionella ralfsii and Fragilariforma polygonata. Analysis of mercury (Hg in the acidified lake showed increasing sediment fluxes over the last 20 years, a possible indication of industrial contamination. The acidified lake is the smallest of those studied with the shortest residence time, suggesting a limited capacity for neutralisation of acid inputs in catchment soils or by inlake processes.

  4. Carbon and sulfur cycling by microbial communities in a gypsum-treated oil sands tailings pond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos-Padrón, Esther; Bordenave, Sylvain; Lin, Shiping; Bhaskar, Iyswarya Mani; Dong, Xiaoli; Sensen, Christoph W; Fournier, Joseph; Voordouw, Gerrit; Gieg, Lisa M

    2011-01-15

    Oil sands tailings ponds receive and store the solid and liquid waste from bitumen extraction and are managed to promote solids densification and water recycling. The ponds are highly stratified due to increasing solids content as a function of depth but can be impacted by tailings addition and removal and by convection due to microbial gas production. We characterized the microbial communities in relation to microbial activities as a function of depth in an active tailings pond routinely treated with gypsum (CaSO(4)·2H(2)O) to accelerate densification. Pyrosequencing of 16S rDNA gene sequences indicated that the aerobic surface layer, where the highest level of sulfate (6 mM) but no sulfide was detected, had a very different community profile than the rest of the pond. Deeper anaerobic layers were dominated by syntrophs (Pelotomaculum, Syntrophus, and Smithella spp.), sulfate- and sulfur-reducing bacteria (SRB, Desulfocapsa and Desulfurivibrio spp.), acetate- and H(2)-using methanogens, and a variety of other anaerobes that have been implicated in hydrocarbon utilization or iron and sulfur cycling. The SRB were most abundant from 10 to 14 mbs, bracketing the zone where the sulfate reduction rate was highest. Similarly, the most abundant methanogens and syntrophs identified as a function of depth closely mirrored the fluctuating methanogenesis rates. Methanogenesis was inhibited in laboratory incubations by nearly 50% when sulfate was supplied at pond-level concentrations suggesting that in situ sulfate reduction can substantially minimize methane emissions. Based on our data, we hypothesize that the emission of sulfide due to SRB activity in the gypsum treated pond is also limited due to its high solubility and oxidation in surface waters.

  5. 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.

  6. Roles of Thermophiles and Fungi in Bitumen Degradation in Mostly Cold Oil Sands Outcrops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Man-Ling; An, Dongshan; Caffrey, Sean M; Soh, Jung; Dong, Xiaoli; Sensen, Christoph W; Oldenburg, Thomas B P; Larter, Steve R; Voordouw, Gerrit

    2015-10-01

    Oil sands are surface exposed in river valley outcrops in northeastern Alberta, where flat slabs (tablets) of weathered, bitumen-saturated sandstone can be retrieved from outcrop cliffs or from riverbeds. Although the average yearly surface temperature of this region is low (0.7°C), we found that the temperatures of the exposed surfaces of outcrop cliffs reached 55 to 60°C on sunny summer days, with daily maxima being 27 to 31°C. Analysis of the cooccurrence of taxa derived from pyrosequencing of 16S/18S rRNA genes indicated that an aerobic microbial network of fungi and hydrocarbon-, methane-, or acetate-oxidizing heterotrophic bacteria was present in all cliff tablets. Metagenomic analyses indicated an elevated presence of fungal cytochrome P450 monooxygenases in these samples. This network was distinct from the heterotrophic community found in riverbeds, which included fewer fungi. A subset of cliff tablets had a network of anaerobic and/or thermophilic taxa, including methanogens, Firmicutes, and Thermotogae, in the center. Long-term aerobic incubation of outcrop samples at 55°C gave a thermophilic microbial community. Analysis of residual bitumen with a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer indicated that aerobic degradation proceeded at 55°C but not at 4°C. Little anaerobic degradation was observed. These results indicate that bitumen degradation on outcrop surfaces is a largely aerobic process with a minor anaerobic contribution and is catalyzed by a consortium of bacteria and fungi. Bitumen degradation is stimulated by periodic high temperatures on outcrop cliffs, which cause significant decreases in bitumen viscosity.

  7. Molybdenum carbide nanoparticles as catalysts for oil sands upgrading: Dynamics and free-energy profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xingchen; Salahub, Dennis R.

    2015-12-01

    There is no doubt that a huge gap exists in understanding heterogeneous catalysis between a cluster model of a few atoms and a bulk model of periodic slabs. Nanoparticles, which are crucial in heterogeneous catalysis in industry, lie in the middle of the gap. We present here our work on the computational modelling of molybdenum carbide nanoparticles (MCNPs) as the catalysts for the upgrading of oil sands in the in-situ environment, using benzene hydrogenation as a model reaction. With a cluster model, efforts were first made to understand the mechanism of the reaction with a density functional theory (DFT) study on the adsorption of benzene and its hydrogenation product - cyclohexane, as well as the cyclic hydrogenation reaction intermediates on the Mo2C(0001) surface. From the thermodynamic data, along with literature information, it was found that the benzene hydrogenation reaction on molybdenum carbide happens most likely through a Langmuir-Hinshelwood mechanism with the gradual lifting up of the benzene molecule. The electron localization function (ELF) was then used to help understand the nature of the interactions between the MCNPs, identifying strong multi-center interactions between the adsorbates and the MCNPs. To enable the treatment of larger nanoparticles, a fast semi-empirical density functional tight-binding (DFTB) method was parameterized. With this method, the potential energy profiles of benzene hydrogenation reactions on different sizes of MCNPs are calculated. The study was then extended to consider a MCNP embedded in solvent (benzene), using a quantum mechanical (DFTB) / molecular mechanical approach. Calculations on the free energies profiles with the umbrella sampling method show that the entropy of the MCNPs and the solvent are essential in understanding the catalytic activity of the transition metal related nanoparticles for solid/liquid heterogeneous catalysis.

  8. 稠油出砂冷采数学模型研究%Modeling Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    潘一; 肖立志

    2011-01-01

    随着世界经济快速发展和对石油需求的不断增长,具有巨大勘探潜力和广阔发展前景的重油成为21世纪重要的能源资源之一,全球稠油储量目前达到6万亿桶.稠油出砂冷采(CHOPS)是重油生产的重要方法之一,该技术可以避免热采时油层出砂、气窜和采油成本高的问题.因此,对稠油出砂冷采技术进行相关研究,具有重要的战略意义.在对CHOPS的蚯蚓洞生长和泡沫油流两个主要机制进行比较的基础上,提出了耦合地质力学和流体力学的稠油出砂冷采模型.为了验证模型的可靠性和实用性,使用油田实际数据对模型进行验证,分析了对CHOPS技术应用影响较大的几个参数,进一步确定了该技术的应用范围.最后分析了模型的优缺点,提出了模型今后的发展方向,确定了下一步的研究重点.%Heavy oil is the most important resource to supplement the loss of oil in the 21st century. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that there are 6 trillion barrels of heavy oil worldwide. Currently, the standard heavy oil production is based on steam injection, which faces a great challenge because of the sand production, gas channelling, and high costs. Cold Heavy Oil Production with Sand (CHOPS) has extremely good primary performance, high oil production rates, high primary recovery factors, and low operational costs. In this paper, the mathematical and numerical descriptions are given for the sand production within the context of continuum mechanics and finite dements, with emphasis on the physics of the sand production and its relation to the interaction between hydrodynamics and geomechanics. A mathematical model is proposed based on the erosion mechanics, while the instability associated with the sand production is treated within the framework of the high gradient continuum mixture theory. Numerical results of the proposed model are in good agreement with the oil field data, which shows that

  9. A SIMPLE ANALYTICAL MODEL FOR PREDICTING SAND PRODUCTION IN A NIGER DELTA OIL FIELD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isehunwa S.O

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Sand production, which is predominant in the Niger Delta, is a growing concern in the petroleum industry because of the associated technical, operational and economic challenges. The development of sanding predictive tools and effective management strategies has received much attention in literature. However, most of the publishedtheoretical models have been validated with laboratory or data obtained from petroleum provinces other than the Niger Delta. This work developed a simple analytical model for predicting sand production and validated it using 16 wells in a Niger Delta Field. The results confirmed the well-known impact of flow rate, fluid viscosity and grain size and density on sanding rates. It was also observed that at moderate production rates, sanding in the Niger Delta Field has relatively small arch lengths of below 30 feet.

  10. Death by a thousand cuts : impacts of in situ oil sands development on Alberta's boreal forest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schneider, R. [Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Dyer, S. [Pembina Institute, Drayton Valley, AB (Canada)

    2006-08-15

    In situ oil sands development techniques are significantly more damaging to the environment than conventional oil extraction methods. The area impacted by oil sands development in Alberta is expected to be in the region of 13.8 million hectares, equal to 21 per cent of the province. In this report, the 10,600 hectare OPTI-Nexen Long Lake project was used as a case study of a state-of-the art steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operation. The study suggested that a total of 8.3 per cent of the Long Lake lease will be cleared for SAGD infrastructure. Approximately 80 per cent of the land parcel will be within 250 m of an industrial feature. Nearly 24,000 m{sup 3} of water will be needed each day for steam production and processing. If all leases for oil sands development in Alberta are subjected to the same industrial footprint as the Long Lake project, 296,00 hectares of forest will be cleared and over 30,000 km of access roads will be built. The boreal forest in which the SAGD developments are taking place is home to many wildlife species who are sensitive to industrial disturbances. Habitats for many wildlife species will be reduced to small scattered islands, which may result in a serious decline in regional biodiversity. Ecological tipping points for many species are already being exceeded at current levels of industrial development. This report presented evidence from studies of caribou, furbearers such as lynx and martens and forest birds which indicated that some species are at risk of extirpation from oil sands development. The report recommended the immediate implementation of conservation offset measures such as the establishment of wildlife reserves where industrial development is not permitted. It was recommended that a cap be placed on cumulative industrial impacts to maintain basic ecological function. It was concluded that there is an urgent need for the development of a regional strategic plan that includes long-term management objectives that are

  11. 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.

  12. Toxic effects of oil sand naphthenic acids on the biomass accumulation of 21 potential phytoplankton remediation candidates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodworth, Adam P J; Frank, Richard A; McConkey, Brendan J; Müller, Kirsten M

    2012-12-01

    The oil sands of northern Alberta, Canada contain an estimated 170 billion barrels of crude oil. Extraction processes produce large amounts of liquid tailings known as oil sand process affected water (OSPW) that are toxic to aquatic organisms. Naphthenic acids (NAs), and their sodium salts, represent a significant contributor to the toxicity of these waters. Due to the recalcitrant nature of these compounds, an effective mode of remediation has yet to be established. This study investigates the suitability of the use of phytoplankton for remediation efforts based on two criteria: the ability of phytoplankton strains to withstand the toxic effects of NAs, and their rate of biomass accumulation. A total of 21 phytoplankton strains were isolated from waters containing NAs, cultured, and maintained under unialgal conditions. These strains were then exposed to NAs in concentrations ranging from 0mg L(-1) to 1000mg L(-1) over a 14 day period. Inhibition of growth was observed at 30mg L(-1) NA (one strain), 100mg L(-1) NA (one strain), 300mg L(-1) NA (six strains), and 1000mg L(-1) NA (six strains). Five strains failed to show any growth inhibition at any test concentration and two strains could not be analysed due to poor growth during the test period. Strains were then ranked based on their suitability for use in remediation efforts.

  13. 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.

  14. 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, p100% 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.

  15. The adsorption and release of sulfur in mineral and organic soils of the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitfield, C J; Adkinson, A; Eimers, M C; Watmough, S A

    2010-01-01

    Mineral soil and fibric peat from acid-sensitive western boreal catchments in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region of Alberta, Canada were evaluated for their ability to adsorb and release SO(4)(2-). Laboratory batch studies indicated that SO(4)(2-) adsorption in mineral soil from both the A and B horizons exhibits a limited response to elevated SO(4)(2-) concentrations, with the slope of initial mass isotherms mineral soils and the potential drought-induced S release from peatlands in this region where increased S deposition is expected, further investigation of acidification impacts is warranted.

  16. 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

  17. 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,...

  18. Dissolved organic compounds in reused process water for steam-assisted gravity drainage oil sands extraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawaguchi, Hideo; Li, Zhengguo; Masuda, Yoshihiro; Sato, Kozo; Nakagawa, Hiroyuki

    2012-11-01

    The in situ oil sands production method called steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) reuses process wastewater following treatment. However, the treatment and reuse processes concentrate contaminants in the process water. To determine the concentration and dynamics of inorganic and organic contaminants, makeup water and process water from six process steps were sampled at a facility employing the SAGD process in Alberta, Canada. In the groundwater used for the makeup water, the total dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content was 4 mg/L. This significantly increased to 508 mg/L in the produced water, followed by a gradual increase with successive steps in subsequent water treatments. The concentrations and dynamics of DOC constituents in the process water determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry showed that in the produced water, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as acetone (33.1 mg/L) and 2-butanone (13.4 mg/L) predominated, and there were significant amounts of phenolic compounds (total 9.8 mg/L) and organic acids including naphthenic acids (NAs) corresponding to the formula C(n)H(2n+Z)O(X) for combinations of n = 4 to 18, Z = 0 and -2, and X = 2 to 4 (53 mg/L) with trace amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) such as naphthalene and phenanthrene. No organic contaminants, except for saturated fatty acids, were detected in the groundwater. The concentration of DOC in the recycled water was 4.4-fold higher than that in the produced water. Likewise, the total concentrations of phenols and organic acids in the recycled water were 1.7- and 4.5-fold higher than in the produced water, whereas the total concentrations of VOCs and PAHs in the recycled water were reduced by over 80%, suggesting that phenols and organic acids are selectively concentrated in the process water treatment. This comprehensive chemical analysis thus identified organic constituents that were concentrated in the process water and which interfere with subsequent

  19. Extraction of bitumen, crude oil and its products from tar sand and contaminated sandy soil under effect of ultrasound.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramov, O V; Abramov, V O; Myasnikov, S K; Mullakaev, M S

    2009-03-01

    In the present paper, the kinetics of the water extraction of bitumen from tar sand and crude oil or residual fuel oil from model contaminated soils under the effect of ultrasound is studied. The influence of process temperature, ultrasound power, the nature, and properties of the components of heterogeneous mixtures being separated, and the concentration of added alkaline reagents on the rate and degree of oil recovery is investigated. A functional form of the dependencies of separation efficiency on the mean size of solid particles and the temperature of a working medium is found. Optimum concentrations of reagents in the process solution are determined. It is shown that the spent solution of sodium silicate can be multiply used for separation, its reuse even speeding up the yield of oil in the initial period. Taking into account obtained results, a multipurpose pilot plant with a flow-type reactor for ultrasonic extraction of petroleum and its products from contaminated soils was manufactured and tested. During tests, the purification of sandy soil contaminated with residual fuel oil was carried out which verified the results of laboratory studies.

  20. 加拿大Athabasca油砂中部分沥青质油不易分离的原因%Origin of Unliberated Bitumen in Athabasca Oil Sands

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    Oil sands contain a so-called organic rich solids component (ORS), i.e., solids whose surfaces are strongly associated with toluene insoluble organic matter (TIOM). Typically, humic material is the major component of TIOM.It provides sites for adsorption and chemical fixation of bitumen. This bound bitumen is "unliberated", and considerable mechanical or chemical energy may be required to release it. In order to establish a correlation between bitumen recovery and ORS content, a few selected oil sands were processed in a Batch Extraction Unit (BEU).Analysis of the middlings and coarse tailings streams from these tests indicated a relatively constant bitumen to ORS ratio of 2.8±0.7. This value allows the liberated-unliberated bitumen balance (LUBB) to be calculated for any given oil sands. The amounts of bitumen recovered as primary froth during the BEU experiments are close to the estimated liberated bitumen contents in each case tested. This observation indicates that the liberated-unliberated bitumen calculation is an important quantitative parameter for prediction of bitumen recovery under specific recovery conditions. Preliminary results indicate that the ORS content of an oil sands may be estimated from the carbon content of bitumen free oil sands solids.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leshchyshyn, Theodore Henry

    The oil sands of Alberta contain some one trillion barrels of bitumen-in-place, most contained in the McMurray, Wabiskaw, Clearwater, and Grand Rapids formations. Depth of burial is 0--550 m, 10% of which is surface mineable, the rest recoverable by in-situ technology-driven enhanced oil recovery schemes. To date, significant commercial recovery has been attributed to Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS) using vertical wellbores. Other techniques, such as Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) are proving superior to other recovery methods for increasing early oil production but at initial higher development and/or operating costs. Successful optimization of bitumen production rates from the entire reservoir is ultimately decided by the operator's understanding of the reservoir in its original state and/or the positive and negative changes which occur in oil sands and heavy oil deposits upon heat stimulation. Reservoir description is the single most important factor in attaining satisfactory history matches and forecasts for optimized production of the commercially-operated processes. Reservoir characterization which lacks understanding can destroy a project. For example, incorrect assumptions in the geological model for the Wolf Lake Project in northeast Alberta resulted in only about one-half of the predicted recovery by the original field process. It will be shown here why the presence of thin calcite streaks within oil sands can determine the success or failure of a commercial cyclic steam project. A vast amount of field data, mostly from the Primrose Heavy Oil Project (PHOP) near Cold Lake, Alberta, enabled the development a simple set of correlation curves for predicting bitumen production using CSS. A previously calibtrated thermal numerical simulation model was used in its simplist form, that is, a single layer, radial grid blocks, "fingering" or " dilation" adjusted permeability curves, and no simulated fracture, to generate the first cycle production

  2. 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.

  3. On Treating Sand--Flowed Wells in Jianghan Oil Field%江汉油区出砂油井治理技术研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨君; 龚兵; 张建国; 刘影

    2012-01-01

    Four decades of exploration has exposed the stratum of Jianghan Oil Field to increasingly severe sand flows which results in more times of well maintenance each year, seriously undermining the regular oil production. This paper demonstrates the studies and infield experiments of sand removal of sand well shafts and lifting by sand carrying techniques according to the geological features of sand production reservoirs and the production status of wells plagued by sand production in Jianghan. The results show that adopting those techniques has achieved some improvement in sand control and mitigate sand flows' impact on oil production, throwing light on future technique development for sand flow wells treatment.%经过40年的开发,江汉油区地层出砂越来越严重,致使作业维护井次逐年上升,严重影响了油井的正常生产。根据江汉油区出砂储层地质特征和出砂井生产现状,有针对性地开展出砂井井筒清砂和携砂举升采油技术研究或矿场试验,使出砂井治理收到了一定效果,缓解了地层出砂对油井生产的影响,为进一步开展出砂油井治理指明了主攻技术方向。

  4. 加拿大油砂行业的发展现状与挑战%Status and challenges of Canadian oil sands industry

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王科; 熊苡; William X.Wei; Michael Henry; 冯连勇

    2015-01-01

    油砂作为世界非常规石油资源中的重要组成部分 ,近年来正在受到越来越多的关注.由于加拿大油砂行业形势变化速度很快 ,我们有必要清楚地了解其行业的最新动态.本文以油砂行业最新的信息和数据为基础 ,介绍了加拿大油砂资源的开发现状和油砂行业生产商现状 ;通过对加拿大油砂行业绩效的定量分析 ,发现了虽然加拿大油砂产量和收入近年来呈逐年上升趋势,其财务绩效和股市绩效却双双呈现下滑趋势;结合以上分析和相关机构的评价结果总结了加拿大油砂行业发展面临的五大挑战 ,分别是油砂实现价格处于劣势、行业成本居高不下、外输通道严重受限、原住民问题困难重重、行业监管日益严苛.%Oil sand ,as an important type of unconventional oil resource in the world ,is attracting more and more attentions in recent years .Since the Canadian oil sands industry is changing fast ,it is necessary to know the latest dynamics of it .Based on the latest information and data ,this paper introduces the status of Canadian oil sands development and the status of major Canadian oil sands producers .Through quantitative analysis of the Canadian oil sands industry performance ,the author find that although the production and sales revenue of Canadian oil sands industry are growing ,the financial performance and stock market performance are both declining in recent years .Furthermore ,this paper summarizes five major challenges that Canadian oil sands industry faces based on both the analysis above and evaluation results of related agencies .The five challenges are:weak oil sands price ,high industry cost ,limited export channels ,objection of aborigines and the stricter and stricter industry regulations .

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Canadian entrepreneur looks to Utah oil sands : possible hurdles include gaining acceptance for a new technology, funding and regulatory approval

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Diekmeyer, P.

    2010-09-15

    Alberta-based Earth Energy Resources has chosen Utah for its first major oilsand development project. Utah has excellent oil sands resources, but most cannot be economically extracted using conventional methods. The president of Earth Energy Resources has proposed to use new technologies, processes and workflow methods to make resource extraction economically viable. The company currently holds a 100 percent interest in 3,170 hectares under lease from the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) in the PR Spring deposit. The recoverable high-quality bitumen is estimated at 250 million barrels. The oil sands in Utah are disaggregated and spread out over a relatively wide area. The bitumen quality is very similar to that found in the Athabasca deposit, but it has a much lower sulphur content. Earth Energy Resources plans on using the Ophus Process which involves a series of small 2,000 barrel per day production facilities that can be easily set up, and moved as the resources in one particular area are recovered. Production could be expanded as needed by the addition of more facilities. An environmentally sound citrus-based extraction chemical will replace much of the mechanical energy and caustic soda mixture used in the Clark Process. The new energy and water efficient process will significantly reduce the quantity of middlings produced in the process, thereby eliminating the need for tailings ponds and reducing environmental impacts. 1 fig.

  9. Photocatalytic degradation kinetics of naphthenic acids in oil sands process-affected water: Multifactorial determination of significant factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leshuk, Tim; de Oliveira Livera, Diogo; Peru, Kerry M; Headley, John V; Vijayaraghavan, Sucharita; Wong, Timothy; Gu, Frank

    2016-12-01

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is generated as a byproduct of bitumen extraction in Canada's oil sands. Due to the water's toxicity, associated with dissolved acid extractable organics (AEO), especially naphthenic acids (NAs), along with base-neutral organics, OSPW may require treatment to enable safe discharge to the environment. Heterogeneous photocatalysis is a promising advanced oxidation process (AOP) for OSPW remediation, however, predicting treatment efficacy can be challenging due to the unique water chemistry of OSPW from different tailings ponds. The objective of this work was to study various factors affecting the kinetics of photocatalytic AEO degradation in OSPW. The rate of photocatalytic treatment varied significantly in two different OSPW sources, which could not be accounted for by differences in AEO composition, as studied by high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). The effects of inorganic water constituents were investigated using factorial and response surface experiments, which revealed that hydroxyl (HO) radical scavenging by iron (Fe(3+)) and bicarbonate (HCO3(-)) inhibited the NA degradation rate. The effects of NA concentration and temperature on the treatment kinetics were also evaluated in terms of Langmuir-Hinshelwood and Arrhenius models; pH and temperature were identified as weak factors, while dissolved oxygen (DO) was critical to the photo-oxidation reaction. Accounting for all of these variables, a general empirical kinetic expression is proposed, enabling prediction of photocatalytic treatment performance in diverse sources of OSPW.

  10. Quantification of changes in oil sands mining infrastructure land based on RapidEye and SPOT5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ying; Lantz, Nicholas; Guindon, Bert; Shipman, Todd; Chao, Dennis; Raymond, Don

    2013-10-01

    Natural resources development, spanning exploration, production and transportation activities, alters local land surface at various spatial scales. Quantification of these anthropogenic changes, both permanent and reversible, is needed for compliance assessment and for development of effective sustainable management strategies. Multi-spectral high resolution imagery data from SPOT5 and RapidEye were used for extraction and quantification of the anthropogenic and natural changes for a case study of Alberta bitumen (oil sands) mining located near Fort McMurray, Canada. Two test sites representative of the major Alberta bitumen production extraction processes, open pit and in-situ extraction, were selected. A hybrid change detection approach, combining pixel- and object-based target detection and extraction, is proposed based on Change Vector Analysis (CVA). The extraction results indicate that the changed infrastructure landscapes of these two sites have different footprints linked with their differing oil sands production processes. Pixeland object-based accuracy assessments have been applied for validation of the change detection results. For manmade disturbances, other than fine linear features such as the seismic lines, accuracies of about 80% have been achieved at the pixel level while, at the object level, these rise to 90-95%. Since many disturbance features are transient, the land surface changes by re-growth of vegetation and the capability for natural restoration on the mining sites have been assessed.

  11. 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.

  12. Elucidating mechanisms of toxic action of dissolved organic chemicals in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morandi, Garrett D; Wiseman, Steve B; Guan, Miao; Zhang, Xiaowei W; Martin, Jonathan W; Giesy, John P

    2017-08-08

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is generated during extraction of bitumen in the surface-mining oil sands industry in Alberta, Canada, and is acutely and chronically toxic to aquatic organisms. It is known that dissolved organic compounds in OSPW are responsible for most toxic effects, but knowledge of the specific mechanism(s) of toxicity, is limited. Using bioassay-based effects-directed analysis, the dissolved organic fraction of OSPW has previously been fractionated, ultimately producing refined samples of dissolved organic chemicals in OSPW, each with distinct chemical profiles. Using the Escherichia coli K-12 strain MG1655 gene reporter live cell array, the present study investigated relationships between toxic potencies of each fraction, expression of genes and characterization of chemicals in each of five acutely toxic and one non-toxic extract of OSPW derived by use of effects-directed analysis. Effects on expressions of genes related to response to oxidative stress, protein stress and DNA damage were indicative of exposure to acutely toxic extracts of OSPW. Additionally, six genes were uniquely responsive to acutely toxic extracts of OSPW. Evidence presented supports a role for sulphur- and nitrogen-containing chemical classes in the toxicity of extracts of OSPW. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Granular activated carbon for simultaneous adsorption and biodegradation of toxic oil sands process-affected water organic compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Islam, Md Shahinoor; Zhang, Yanyan; McPhedran, Kerry N; Liu, Yang; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2015-04-01

    Naphthenic acids (NAs) released into oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) during bitumen processing in Northern Alberta are problematic for oil sands industries due to their toxicity in the environment and resistance to degradation during conventional wastewater treatment processes. Granular activated carbon (GAC) has shown to be an effective media in removing biopersistent organics from wastewater using a combination of adsorption and biodegradation removal mechanisms. A simultaneous GAC (0.4 g GAC/L) adsorption and biodegradation (combined treatment) study was used for the treatment of raw and ozonated OSPW. After 28 days of batch treatment, classical and oxidized NAs removals for raw OSPW were 93.3% and 73.7%, and for ozonated OSPW were 96.2% and 77.1%, respectively. Synergetic effects of the combined treatment process were observed in removals of COD, the acid extractable fraction, and oxidized NAs, which indicated enhanced biodegradation and bioregeneration in GAC biofilms. A bacteria copy number >10(8) copies/g GAC on GAC surfaces was found using quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction after treatment for both raw and ozonated OSPW. A Microtox(®) acute toxicity test (Vibrio fischeri) showed effective toxicity removal (>95.3%) for the combined treatments. Therefore, the simultaneous GAC adsorption and biodegradation treatment process is a promising technology for the elimination of toxic OSPW NAs.

  14. 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 (oil fumigation combined with medium storage at 12 °C as an integrated approach to baby ginger storage. © 2014 Institute of Food Technologists®

  15. 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.

  16. Spatial Distribution of Lead Isotope Ratios and Inorganic Element Concentrations in Epiphytic Lichens from the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graney, J. R.; Landis, M. S.; Puckett, K.; Edgerton, E.; Krupa, S.; Percy, K.

    2013-12-01

    Coupled studies of inorganic element concentrations and lead (Pb) isotope ratios have been conducted on Hypogymnia physodes samples collected in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) in Alberta, Canada in 2002, 2008, and 2011. To investigate the spatial extent of air emissions, the lichens were collected from sites as far as 160 km from the mining and processing operations. 30 milligram sub-samples of the lichens were microwave digested, and the extracts were analyzed using DRC-ICPMS to determine elemental concentrations, and sector field ICPMS to measure Pb isotope ratios. Concentrations of elements in the lichens were found to reflect proximity to mining and oil processing sites as well as topography, ecosystem differences, and the metabolic biogeochemistry of the lichens. An exponential decrease in concentration of metals associated with fugitive dust (aluminum and others) versus distance from the mining sites, suggests elevated coarse particle emissions associated with mining operations. Near source concentrations of metals with an oil signature (vanadium and others) are less enhanced and more homogeneous than the metals in the fugitive dust, reflecting emission and deposition of smaller diameter particles at greater distances from oil processing sources. The mining and oil processing signatures are superimposed over elemental concentrations that reflect the nutrient needs of the lichens. These findings are being confirmed through ongoing studies using dichot samplers to collect coarse and fine particulate aerosol samples. The lichen samples collected beyond 50 km from the mining and processing sites cluster into a Pb isotope grouping with a 207Pb / 206Pb ratio of 0.8650 and a 208Pb / 206Pb ratio near 2.095. This grouping likely reflects the regional background Pb isotope ratio signature. 207Pb / 206Pb and 208Pb / 206Pb ratios decrease as one nears the mining and processing operations. This indicates that other Pb source(s), (e.g. Pb in the bitumen from the oil

  17. Oil shale, tar sand, coal research, advanced exploratory process technology, jointly sponsored research. Quarterly technical progress report, January--March 1993

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-09-01

    Accomplishments for the past quarter are briefly described for the following areas of research: oil shale; tar sand; coal; advanced exploratory process technology; and jointly sponsored research. Oil shale and tar sand researches cover processing studies. Coal research includes: coal combustion; integrated coal processing concepts; and solid waste management. Advanced exploratory process technology covers: advanced process concepts; advanced mitigation concepts; and oil and gas technology. Jointly sponsored research includes: organic and inorganic hazardous waste stabilization; CROW{sup TM} field demonstration with Bell Lumber and Pole; development and validation of a standard test method for sequential batch extraction fluid; 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; 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; oil field waste cleanup using tank bottom recovery process; remote chemical sensor development; in situ treatment of manufactured gas plant contaminated soils demonstration program; solid-state NMR analysis of naturally and artificially matured kerogens; and development of an effective method for the clean-up of natural gas.

  18. 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

    2017-08-10

    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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. An investigation of problematic solids in oil sands processing : separation and characterization of organic matter strongly bound to oil sands solids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCracken, T.; Woods, J.R.; Kung, J.; Fu, D.; Kingston, D.; Kotlyar, L.S. [National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, ON (Canada). Inst. for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology; Sparks, B.D. [V. Bede Technical Associates, Ottawa, ON (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    Some of the solid fractions in Athabasca oilsands are associated with strongly bound organic matter that is insoluble in toluene, a solvent commonly used to extract bitumen. The presence of toluene insoluble organic matter (TIOM) increases oil wettability of solids which may adversely affect the release of bitumen from the oilsands. Some of the solid material from the coking operation may be carried over to downstream operations where it can cause fouling. This study used supercritical fluid extraction with methanol to remove TIOM from oilsands after extraction of bitumen by toluene. The methanol extract (ME) is soluble in toluene and was analyzed. Results were compared with corresponding bitumen fractions prepared using a modified HPLC SARA separation technique. Number average molecular weights for the ME were similar to those for resins separated from bitumen. The study also showed that the number of alkyl substituents on aromatic ring systems and the lengths of paraffinic straight chains for resins and ME samples were similar, with only minor differences in terms of H/C atomic ratios and aromaticities. The ME was more polar than the resin and asphaltene fractions, which may explain the selective adsorption of this fraction. tabs., figs.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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 (polluted megacities such as Mexico City and are attributed to 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

  6. Effects of oil pollution at Kuwait's Greater Al-Burgan oil field on the timing of morning emergence, basking and foraging behaviors by the sand lizard Acanthodactylus scutellatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Hashem, M Abdulla; Brain, P F; Omar, S Ahmad

    2008-02-15

    An attempt was made to study the effects of oil pollution in a desert location (the Greater Al-Burgan oil fields, an area damaged in the second Gulf War) in Kuwait on the behaviour of the Sand lizard A. scutellatus. Polluted sites with apparently different degrees of contamination (namely tar mat, soot and clear sites) were compared with control areas outside this region. Between 2002 and 2003, ten lizards (5 of each sex) on each polluted and each control site were observed in the field at a time of the year when they were highly active. Air, substrate and burrow temperatures were recorded and lizards were monitored for their morning emergence times, as well as their basking and foraging activities. The present study confirmed that the morning emergence times and the basking behavior varied in sand lizards among the different pollution site categories. Physical changes in the tar mat sites caused the substrate temperatures in these locations to rise more quickly in the morning in response to solar gain than was the case in the other sites. This gives lizards in these locations the opportunity to emerge earlier and to start eating more quickly, giving them an energetic advantage (perhaps, in turn, influencing their rates of growth and fecundity). The clear sites had the next earliest emergence and were the next hottest but it is difficult to account for this in terms of the physical characteristics of this site. The basking times were clearly shorter on the dark soot and tar mat sites that appeared to have higher solar gain than control or clear sites. There did not appear to be any obvious differences in foraging activity of lizards in the different locations. It appears that some aspects of simple behaviour in these lizards provides a reliable, noninvasive indices for assessing oil pollution in desert locations. The precise impact of these changes in these reptiles on their long-term viability needs to be evaluated.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-01

    Mercator (UTM) Zone 16 and the North Ameri- can Vertical Datum (NAVD) of 1988 (using the GEOID09 model) coordi- nate systems . The 2011 LiDAR data were...cooperative workplan with BP) derived the 2010 SAV data from 1 ft resolution visible and near - infrared imagery collected by Aerometric in October 2010...and near -term impacts to the island system . The sand berm provided short-term benefits, primarily through the intro- duction of sediment into a

  9. Geochemical interactions between process-affected water from oil sands tailings ponds and North Alberta surficial sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holden, A A; Donahue, R B; Ulrich, A C

    2011-01-25

    In Northern Alberta, the placement of out-of-pit oil sands tailings ponds atop natural buried sand channels is becoming increasingly common. Preliminary modeling of such a site suggests that process-affected (PA) pond water will infiltrate through the underlying clay till aquitard, reaching the sand channel. However, the impact of seepage upon native sediments and groundwater resources is not known. The goal of this study is to investigate the role of adsorption and ion exchange reactions in the clay till and their effect on the attenuation or release of inorganic species. This was evaluated using batch sorption experiments (traditional and a recent modification using less disturbed sediment samples) and geochemical modeling with PHREEQC. The results show that clay till sediments have the capacity to mitigate the high concentrations of ingressing sodium (600 mg L(-1)), with linear sorption partitioning coefficients (K(d)) of 0.45 L kg(-1). Ion exchange theory was required to account for all other cation behaviour, precluding the calculation of such coefficients for other species. Qualitative evidence suggests that chloride will behave conservatively, with high concentrations remaining in solution (375 mg L(-1)). As a whole, system behaviour was found to be controlled by a combination of competitive ion exchange, dissolution and precipitation reactions. Observations, supported by PHREEQC simulations, suggest that the influx of PA water will induce the dissolution of pre-existing sulphate salts. Sodium present in the process-affected water will exchange with sediment-bound calcium and magnesium, increasing the divalent ions' pore fluid concentrations, and leading to the precipitation of a calcium-magnesium carbonate mineral phase. Thus, in similar tailings pond settings, particularly if the glacial till coverage is thin or altogether absent, it is reasonable to expect that high concentrations of sodium and chloride will remain in solution, while sulphate

  10. Coupling lead isotopes and element concentrations in epiphytic lichens to track sources of air emissions in the Alberta Oil Sands Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    A study was conducted that coupled use of element concentrations and lead (Pb) isotope ratios in the lichen Hypogymnia physodes collected during 2002 and 2008, to assess the impacts of air emissions from the Alberta Oil Sands Region (AOSR, Canada) mining and processing operations...

  11. Desalination of oil sands process-affected water and basal depressurization water in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada: application of electrodialysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Eun-Sik; Dong, Shimiao; Liu, Yang; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2013-01-01

    The high content of inorganic species in water used to extract bitumen from the Alberta oil sands and in the groundwater below the oil sands is an increasing environmental concern. These water matrices require treatment before they can be reused or safely discharged. Desalination of the oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) and groundwater, or basal depressurization water (BDW), can be accomplished with deionization techniques such as electrodialysis (ED). In order to achieve the effective ED treatment, OSPW and BDW were pretreated with coagulation-flocculation-sedimentation to remove solid species and turbidity. We demonstrated that a conductivity range for industrial reuse of OSPW and BDW can be achieved with the ED treatment and showed the possibility of applying ED in the oil sands industry. A continuous ED system that reuses the diluate stream as a source for the concentrate stream was designed. The cost of a hypothetical ED water treatment plant in Fort McMurray, Alberta, was estimated to be C$10.71 per cubic meter of treated water.

  12. Coupling lead isotopes and element concentrations in epiphytic lichens to track sources of air emissions in the Alberta Oil Sands Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    A study was conducted that coupled use of element concentrations and lead (Pb) isotope ratios in the lichen Hypogymnia physodes collected during 2002 and 2008, to assess the impacts of air emissions from the Alberta Oil Sands Region (AOSR, Canada) mining and processing operations...

  13. Emission rate estimates determined for a large number of volatile organic compounds using airborne measurements for the oil sands facilities in Alberta, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, S. M.; Leithead, A.; Moussa, S.; Liggio, J.; Moran, M. D.; Wang, D. K.; Hayden, K. L.; Darlington, A.; Gordon, M.; Staebler, R. M.; Makar, P.; Stroud, C.; McLaren, R.; Liu, P.; O'brien, J.; Mittermeier, R. L.; Zhang, J.; Marson, G.; Cober, S.; Wolde, M.; Wentzell, J.

    2016-12-01

    In August and September of 2013, aircraft-based measurements of air pollutants were made during a field campaign in support of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan on Oil Sands Monitoring in Alberta, Canada. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were determined using a high resolution proton-transfer-reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer (PTR-ToF-MS) continuously at 2-5 second resolution during the flights, and from 680 discretely sampled stainless steel canisters collected during flights followed by offline GC-MS and GC-FID analyses for four large oil sands surface mining facilities. The Top-down Emission Rate Retrieval Algorithm (TERRA), developed at Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), was applied to the aromatics and oxygenated VOC results from the PTR-ToF-MS to determine their emission rates. Additional VOC species, determined in the canisters, were compared with the PTR-ToF-MS VOC species to determine their emission ratios. Using these emission ratios and the emission rates for the aromatics and oxygenated VOCs, the individual emission rates for 73-90 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were determined for each of the four major oil sands facilities. The results are the first independently determined emission rates for a large number of VOCs at the same time for large industrial complexes such as the oil sands mining facilities. These measurement-based emission data will be important for strengthening VOC emission reporting.

  14. Investigating the Microbial Degradation Potential in Oil Sands Fluid Fine Tailings Using Gamma Irradiation: A Metagenomic Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanMensel, Danielle; Chaganti, Subba Rao; Boudens, Ryan; Reid, Thomas; Ciborowski, Jan; Weisener, Christopher

    2017-08-01

    Open-pit mining of the Athabasca oil sands has generated large volumes of waste termed fluid fine tailings (FFT), stored in tailings ponds. Accumulation of toxic organic substances in the tailings ponds is one of the biggest concerns. Gamma irradiation (GI) treatment could accelerate the biodegradation of toxic organic substances. Hence, this research investigates the response of the microbial consortia in GI-treated FFT materials with an emphasis on changes in diversity and organism-related stimuli. FFT materials from aged and fresh ponds were used in the study under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Variations in the microbial diversity in GI-treated FFT materials were monitored for 52 weeks and significant stimuli (p tailings biogeochemistry and the impacts of GI treatment on microorganisms as an effect for targeting toxic organics. The outcomes of this study highlight the potential for this approach to accelerate stabilization and reclamation end points. Graphical Abstract.

  15. Western Shallow Oil Zone, Elk Hills Field, Kern County, California: General reservoir study, Appendix 4, Fourth Wilhelm sand

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carey, K.B.

    1987-09-01

    The general Reservoir Study of the Western Shallow Oil Zone was prepared by Evans, Carey and Crozier as Task Assignment 009 with the United States Department of Energy. This study, Appendix IV, addresses the Fourth Wilhelm Sand and its sub units and pools. Basic pressure, production and assorted technical data were provided by the US Department of Energy staff at Elk Hills. Basic pressure production and assorted technical data were provided by the US Department of Energy staff at Elk Hills. These data were accepted as furnished with no attempt being made by Evans, Carey and Crozier for independent verification. This study has identified the petrophysical properties and the past productive performance of the reservoir. Primary reserves have been determined and general means of enhancing future recovery have been suggested. It is hoped that this volume can now additionally serve as a take off point for exploitation engineers to develop specific programs toward the end. 12 figs., 9 tabs.

  16. In vitro evaluation of the toxic effects and endocrine disrupting potential of oil sands processed water and naphthenic acids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, X.; Wiseman, S.; Higley, E.; Jones, P.D.; Hecker, M.; Giesy, J.P. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada); Gamel El Din, M.; Martin, J.W. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    Naphthenic acids (NAs) are the primary toxic constituents of oil sands process-affected waters (OSPW). This presentation reported on a series of in vitro studies that were initiated to evaluate potential endocrine modulating effects of OSPW and their constituent NAs. The H295R steroidogenesis bioassay was used to examine the impact of OSPW and NA on 52 steroidogenesis. In particular, dose-response and time course studies were conducted to evaluate the impact of OSPW and NAs on testosterone and estradiol production. Aromatase activity and transcript abundance of the key 11 steroidogenic enzymes were also quantified to complement analysis of hormone levels. The MVLN trans-activation assay was used to test the estrogenicity/anti-estrogenicity of OSPW and NAs. In vitro cell viability and apoptosis (live-dead) caused by OSPW and NAs was quantified by the MTS reduction and caspase-3/7 activity in H295R and MVLN cells.

  17. 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.

  18. Case study : evaluation of oilfield and water well disposal well designs for oil sands facility in northern Alberta, Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Champollion, Y.; Gleixner, M.R.; Wozniewicz, J. [Golder Associates Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada); MacFarlane, W.D.; Skulski, L. [Nexen Canada Ltd., Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2003-07-01

    Large volumes of wastewater disposal capacity will be required for the production of bitumen at the Long Lake Project, located in northeastern Alberta. An unconsolidated sand aquifer is the target formation for disposal. An evaluation of two disposal well designs, perforated casing (standard oil and gas approach), and wire-wound telescopic screen (standard water well approach) was performed. Skin, transmissivity and storability were the hydraulic parameters quantified. Full superposition type curves were used to conduct the transient analysis, along with the use of pressure derivative data. The results from the injection tests revealed that the sand aquifer at the Long Lake Project had suitable aquifer disposal capacity. The test results also revealed that clogging takes place in the vicinity of the wellbore, probably because of suspended solids in the injection water and the degassing effects. The water well design, as opposed to the standard oilfields well, makes provision for less costly re-development during operations, something that might be required if clogging problems occur. 3 refs., 8 figs.

  19. Vertical gradients in carbon flow and methane production in a sulfate-rich oil sands tailings pond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stasik, Sebastian; Wendt-Potthoff, Katrin

    2016-12-01

    Oil sands tailings ponds are primary storage basins for tailings produced during oil sands processing in Alberta (Canada). Due to microbial metabolism, methane production contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, but positively affects tailings densification, which is relevant for operational water re-use. Depending on the age and depth of tailings, the activity of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) may control methanogenesis due to the competition for substrates. To assess the depth-related impact of sulfate reduction on CH4 emissions, original tailings of two vicinal pond profiles were incubated in anoxic microcosms with/without molybdate as selective inhibitor of microbial sulfate reduction. Integrating methane production rates, considerable volumes of CH4 emissions (∼5.37 million L d(-1)) may be effectively prevented by the activity of SRB in sulfidic tailings between 3.5 and 7.5 m. To infer metabolic potentials controlling methanogenic pathways, a set of relevant organic acids (acetate, formate, propionate, butyrate, lactate) was added to part of the microcosms. Generally, organic acid transformation shifted with depth, with highest rates (305-446 μmol L(-1) d(-1)) measured in fresh tailings at 5.5-7.5 m. In all depths, a transient accumulation of acetate revealed its importance as key intermediate during organic matter decomposition. SRB dominated the transformation of acetate, butyrate and propionate, but were not essential for lactate and formate turnover. Acetate as methanogenic substrate was important only at 13.5 m. At 1-7.5 m, methanogenesis significantly increased in presence of organic acids, most likely due to the syntrophic oxidation of acetate to CO2 by SRB and subsequent conversion to CH4. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Preferential methanogenic biodegradation of short-chain n-alkanes by microbial communities from two different oil sands tailings ponds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahimin, Mohd Faidz Mohamad; Foght, Julia M; Siddique, Tariq

    2016-05-15

    Oil sands tailings ponds harbor diverse anaerobic microbial communities capable of methanogenic biodegradation of solvent hydrocarbons entrained in the tailings. Mature fine tailings (MFT) from two operators (Albian and CNRL) that use different extraction solvents were incubated with mixtures of either two (n-pentane and n-hexane) or four (n-pentane, n-hexane, n-octane and n-decane) n-alkanes under methanogenic conditions for ~600 d. Microbes in Albian MFT began methane production by ~80 d, achieving complete depletion of n-pentane and n-hexane in the two-alkane mixture and their preferential biodegradation in the four-alkane mixture. Microbes in CNRL MFT preferentially metabolized n-octane and n-decane in the four-alkane mixture after a ~80 d lag but exhibited a lag of ~360 d before commencing biodegradation of n-pentane and n-hexane in the two-alkane mixture. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing revealed Peptococcaceae members as key bacterial n-alkane degraders in all treatments except CNRL MFT amended with the four-alkane mixture, in which Anaerolineaceae, Desulfobacteraceae (Desulfobacterium) and Syntrophaceae (Smithella) dominated during n-octane and n-decane biodegradation. Anaerolineaceae sequences increased only in cultures amended with the four-alkane mixture and only during n-octane and n-decane biodegradation. The dominant methanogens were acetoclastic Methanosaetaceae. These results highlight preferential n-alkane biodegradation by microbes in oil sands tailings from different producers, with implications for tailings management and reclamation.

  1. Naphthenic acids speciation and removal during petroleum-coke adsorption and ozonation of oil sands process-affected water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamal El-Din, Mohamed; Fu, Hongjing; Wang, Nan; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; Pérez-Estrada, Leonidas; Drzewicz, Przemysław; Martin, Jonathan W; Zubot, Warren; Smith, Daniel W

    2011-11-01

    The Athabasca Oil Sands industry produces large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) as a result of bitumen extraction and upgrading processes. Constituents of OSPW include chloride, naphthenic acids (NAs), aromatic hydrocarbons, and trace heavy metals, among other inorganic and organic compounds. To address the environmental issues associated with the recycling and/or safe return of OSPW into the environment, water treatment technologies are required. This study examined, for the first time, the impacts of pretreatment steps, including filtration and petroleum-coke adsorption, on ozonation requirements and performance. The effect of the initial OSPW pH on treatment performance, and the evolution of ozonation and its impact on OSPW toxicity and biodegradability were also examined. The degradation of more than 76% of total acid-extractable organics was achieved using a semi-batch ozonation system at a utilized ozone dose of 150 mg/L. With a utilized ozone dose of 100 mg/L, the treated OSPW became more biodegradable and showed no toxicity towards Vibrio fischeri. Changes in the NA profiles in terms of carbon number and number of rings were observed after ozonation. The filtration of the OSPW did not improve the ozonation performance. Petroleum-coke adsorption was found to be effective in reducing total acid-extractable organics by a 91%, NA content by an 84%, and OSPW toxicity from 4.3 to 1.1 toxicity units. The results of this study indicate that the combination of petroleum-coke adsorption and ozonation is a promising treatment approach to treat OSPW.

  2. Quantification of anthropogenic and natural changes in oil sands mining infrastructure land based on RapidEye and SPOT5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ying; Guindon, Bert; Lantz, Nicholas; Shipman, Todd; Chao, Dennis; Raymond, Don

    2014-06-01

    Natural resources development, spanning exploration, production and transportation activities, alters local land surface at various spatial scales. Quantification of these anthropogenic changes, both permanent and reversible, is needed for compliance assessment and for development of effective sustainable management strategies. Multi-spectral high resolution imagery data from SPOT5 and RapidEye were used for extraction and quantification of the anthropogenic and natural changes for a case study of Alberta bitumen (oil sands) mining located in the Western Boreal Plains near Fort McMurray, Canada. Two test sites representative of the major Alberta bitumen production extraction processes, open pit and in situ extraction, were selected. A hybrid change detection approach, combining pixel- and object-based target detection and extraction, is proposed based on Change Vector Analysis (CVA). The extraction results indicate that the changed infrastructure landscapes of these two sites have different footprints linked with their differing oil sands production processes. Pixel- and object-based accuracy assessments have been applied for validation of the change detection results. For manmade disturbances, except for those fine linear features such as the seismic lines, accuracies of about 80% have been achieved at the pixel level while, at the object level, these rise to 90-95%. Since many disturbance features are transient, a new landscape index, entitled the Re-growth Index, has been formulated at single object level specifically to monitor restoration of these features to their natural state. It is found that the temporal behaviour of the Re-growth Index in an individual patch varies depending on the type of natural land cover. In addition, the Re-growth Index is also useful for assessing the detectability of disturbed sites.

  3. 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.

  4. Reproductive and stress hormone levels in goldfish (Carassius auratus) exposed to oil sands process-affected water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lister, A; Nero, V; Farwell, A; Dixon, D G; Van Der Kraak, G

    2008-05-01

    Athabasca oil sands mining in northern Alberta produces process-affected waters that are characterized by the presence of naphthenic acids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and high salinity. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of these process-affected waters on reproductive and stress related endpoints in mature goldfish, Carassius auratus. In two separate studies, testosterone and 17beta-estradiol levels in the plasma were significantly reduced in both male and female goldfish caged for 19 days in process-affected waters relative to controls. This effect was most pronounced in goldfish caged at a site containing mature fine tailing and tailings pond water (P5). Ovarian and testicular tissues from fish in the caging studies were incubated in vitro to evaluate potential differences in basal steroid production levels and responsiveness to human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Basal levels of testosterone were reduced significantly in males and females from P5 compared with the control pond (P1) demonstrating that the gonads from exposed fish had a diminished steroidogenic capacity. Gonadal tissues of fish from all ponds responded similarly to hCG suggesting that the steroid biosynthetic pathway remained functionally intact. Plasma cortisol levels were significantly higher in male goldfish caged in a pond containing mature fine tailings and capped with uncontaminated water (P3) and in P5 compared with P1. Collectively, these studies suggest that waste products of oil sands mining have the potential to disrupt the normal endocrine functioning in exposed fish through alterations to both reproductive and glucocorticoid hormone biosynthesis. In additional laboratory studies, exposure of goldfish to a naphthenic acid extract for 7 days failed to replicate the effects of processes-affected waters on plasma steroid levels and the causative agent(s) responsible for the effects on steroid biosynthesis remains to be identified.

  5. Twelve-year trends in ambient concentrations of volatile organic compounds in a community of the Alberta Oil Sands Region, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bari, Md Aynul; Kindzierski, Warren B; Spink, David

    2016-05-01

    Environmental exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in ambient air is one of a number of concerns that the First Nation Community of Fort McKay, Alberta has related to development of Canada's oil sands. An in-depth investigation of trends in ambient air VOC levels in Fort McKay was undertaken to better understand the role and possible significance of emissions from Alberta's oil sands development. A non-parametric trend detection method was used to investigate trends in emissions and ambient VOC concentrations over a 12-year (2001-2012) period. Relationships between ambient VOC concentrations and production indicators of oil sands operations around Fort McKay were also examined. A weak upward trend (significant at 90% confidence level) was found for ambient concentrations of total VOCs based on sixteen detected species with an annual increase of 0.64μg/m(3) (7.2%) per year (7.7μg/m(3) increase per decade). Indicators of production (i.e., annual bitumen production and mined oil sands quantities) were correlated with ambient total VOC concentrations. Only one of 29 VOC species evaluated (1-butene) showed a statistically significant upward trend (p=0.05). Observed geometric (arithmetic) mean and maximum ambient concentrations of selected VOCs of public health concern for most recent three years of the study period (2010-2012) were below chronic and acute health risk screening criteria of the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Thirty-two VOCs are recommended for tracking in future air quality investigations in the community to better understand whether changes are occurring over time in relation to oil sands development activities and to inform policy makers about whether or not these changes warrant additional attention.

  6. Sustainability perspectives : head in the oil sands? Climate change risks in Canada's oil and gas sector

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coulson, J.; Walker, R.; Ballance, C.; Bonham, J.; Chiloflischi, C.; McCaffrey, J.

    2007-03-15

    This paper evaluated the extent to which Canada's oil and gas companies are now responding to the challenges of climate change. The analysis was published to assist companies and investors in reducing the risks associated with climate change. The study used a methodology that drew on leading sources in the field of corporate responses to climate change in order to build climate risk metrics for the oil and gas industry. The study assessed the management systems, action plans, performance and transparency of 48 Canadian oil and gas companies in order to determine the extent to which the companies are preparing for the future. The study found that the vast majority of Canadian oil and gas companies have failed to take action to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and only 7 companies factored the cost of carbon into capital allocation decisions. Many companies have failed to conduct inventories of GHG emissions. Only 13 of 48 companies disclosed GHG emissions to the public. The study also determined that only 4 of the 50 companies assessed in the study were responding appropriately to risks associated with climate change. Canadian companies included Shell Canada and Suncor. Both companies had established comprehensive management systems, strategies and renewable energy investments, and had high levels of transparency. 19 refs.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 (process may have also helped to drive oil migration from the 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

  9. The influence of solvent and demulsifier additions on nascent froth formation during flotation recovery of Bitumen from Athabasca oil sands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stasiuk, E.N. [Chemistry Department, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB (Canada); Schramm, L.L. [Petroleum Recovery Institute, Alberta Research Council, 250 Karl Clark Road , T6N 1E4 Edmonton, AB (Canada)

    2001-10-25

    In the commercial slurry conditioning and flotation process applied to Athabasca oil sands the primary bituminous froth can contain significant amounts of emulsified water and suspended solids. Previous work [Fuel Process. Technol. 56 (1998) 243] has shown that a small chemical addition during the nascent froth process can yield froth of higher quality, without sacrificing bitumen recovery or increasing tight emulsion-forming tendency. In the present work we have investigated the addition of demulsifiers, mostly water-in-oil (W/O) emulsion breaking agents, in an attempt to encourage water droplet coalescence and separation from nascent froth. It was found that certain combinations of high HLB surfactants and solvents can be added in small amounts during the nascent froth process to cause significant reductions in froth water content without sacrificing bitumen recovery. The existence of an optimum surfactant concentration for such beneficial additives correlates with a minimum in interfacial tension and is consistent with conventional oilfield demulsifier experience. The application of our results could lead to a substantial increase in the throughput capacity of froth handling and treatment plants.

  10. Oil shale, tar sand, coal research, advanced exploratory process technology, jointly sponsored research. Quarterly technical progress report, April--June 1993

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-09-01

    Progress made in five areas of research is described briefly. The subtask in oil shale research is on oil shale process studies. For tar sand the subtask reported is on process development. Coal research includes the following subtasks: Coal combustion; integrated coal processing concepts; and solid waste management. Advanced exploratory process technology includes the following: Advanced process concepts; advanced mitigation concepts; oil and gas technology. Jointly sponsored research includes: Organic and inorganic hazardous waste stabilization; CROW{sup TM} field demonstration with Bell Lumber and Pole; development and validation of a standard test method for sequential batch extraction fluid; operation and evaluation of the CO{sup 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; characterization of petroleum residua; 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; oil field waste cleanup using tank bottom recovery process; remote chemical sensor development; in situ treatment of manufactured gas plant contaminated soils demonstration program; solid-state NMR analysis of Mowry formation shale from different sedimentary basins; solid-state NMR analysis of naturally and artificially matured kerogens; and development of effective method for the clean-up of natural gas.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Next-generation sequencing of microbial communities in the Athabasca River and its tributaries in relation to oil sands mining activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yergeau, Etienne; Lawrence, John R; Sanschagrin, Sylvie; Waiser, Marley J; Korber, Darren R; Greer, Charles W

    2012-11-01

    The Athabasca oil sands deposit is the largest reservoir of crude bitumen in the world. Recently, the soaring demand for oil and the availability of modern bitumen extraction technology have heightened exploitation of this reservoir and the potential unintended consequences of pollution in the Athabasca River. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate the potential impacts of oil sands mining on neighboring aquatic microbial community structure. Microbial communities were sampled from sediments in the Athabasca River and its tributaries as well as in oil sands tailings ponds. Bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA genes were amplified and sequenced using next-generation sequencing technology (454 and Ion Torrent). Sediments were also analyzed for a variety of chemical and physical characteristics. Microbial communities in the fine tailings of the tailings ponds were strikingly distinct from those in the Athabasca River and tributary sediments. Microbial communities in sediments taken close to tailings ponds were more similar to those in the fine tailings of the tailings ponds than to the ones from sediments further away. Additionally, bacterial diversity was significantly lower in tailings pond sediments. Several taxonomic groups of Bacteria and Archaea showed significant correlations with the concentrations of different contaminants, highlighting their potential as bioindicators. We also extensively validated Ion Torrent sequencing in the context of environmental studies by comparing Ion Torrent and 454 data sets and by analyzing control samples.

  14. 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 km(2), 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

  15. 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)

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Lateral seismic prediction of 3rd member sand reservoir in Shahejie formation in Southern Bohai oil field and the prediction result

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wengong, H.; Hongming, C.; Jinlian, L. (Geophysical Exploration Corporation, Hengli Oil Management Bureau, Niuzhuang, (Dongying City))

    1992-01-01

    Major reservoir in Southern Bohar Oil Field is the 3rd member turbidite sand in the Shahejie formation. The lateral seismic prediction involves the following interpretation jobs: comprehensive analysis of average velocity, synthetic seismogram and VSP data in the area; recognition of reservoir reflection characters in high-resolution seismic section which goes through well; lateral reservoir prediction using the reflection characters; plotting the structural map and isopach map of the reservoir; and offering favourable exploratory well site after reasonable reservoir evaluation that uses relevant materials, such as dynamic and static data of hydrocarbon. In this paper, using the technique, the authors have interpreted 17 sand bodies covering 38 km[sup 2] totally, and offered 25 exploration and development well sites. 8 wells have been completed, of which 7 wells produce industrial oil flow. The predicted horizons coincide with the drilled ones very well. Very good exploration effect has been received satisfactorily.

  20. First deep azimuthal electromagnetic resistivity and rotary steerable system geonavigation project result in complex sands for Bare field in Orinoco oil belt, Venezuela.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Machado, P.; Guzman, R.; Rojas, C.; Ache, A. [PDVSA Petroleos de Venezuela SA, Caracas (Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of); Hazboun, N.K.; Gonzalez, K. [Schlumberger, Piso (Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of)

    2009-07-01

    Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) in the Mucura District has been evaluating the use of new technologies that facilitate reaching reservoirs with complex geologies, such as thin sands, uncertain dip changes, and unconsolidated sands. The objective was to improve overall operational efficiency. PDVSA carried out a pilot project in a thin and unconsolidated package where a very high drilling rate was expected. The selected sand, known as TL sand in the Oficina formation of the Bare field, was initially planned for cold production, with expected implementation of thermal enhanced oil recovery processes in the future. This paper discussed the pilot project, with particular reference to geology; well placement for thermal processes; planning; and objectives and challenges of the high viscosity of the oil contained in the Bare field. Details of the pre-job modelling were presented along with updates of the geological model. Achievements were also presented. It was concluded that the greatest value that this technology brings resides in the ability to measure the boundary distance in real time, allowing for appropriate action to be taken. 3 refs., 19 figs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane ALEXANDER

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available 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 concentrations occurred in the vicinity of the major mining and oil extraction activities of Fort Murray and Fort McKay. Maximum monthly average concentrations of HNO3 decreased from >6 μg m–3 2005 and 2006 to <4 μg m–3 in 2007 and 2008. While the HNO3 summer seasonal averages in 2005 and 2006 approached ~2 μg m–3 at some sites, in the subsequent summers and during winter seasons it rarely exceeded 1 μg m–3 and no clear differences between summer and winter occurred. Concentrations of NH3 were elevated during the entire study and frequently reached 6 μg m–3. Generally, NH3 stayed higher in summer than in winter; the summer seasonal averages often exceeded 4 μg m–3 while those for winter only on two occasions were above 3 μg m–3. In summer 2008, an expansion of the area with elevated NH3 levels was observed extending to remote locations. Ammonia is of a much higher concern from a perspective of possible biological effects, because of its potential for direct toxic effect on lichens and its contribution to the elevated N dry deposition with possible negative consequences for forests and other ecosystems.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. Pseudomonas aestusnigri sp. nov., isolated from crude oil-contaminated intertidal sand samples after the Prestige oil spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, David; Mulet, Magdalena; Rodríguez, Ana C; David, Zoyla; Lalucat, Jorge; García-Valdés, Elena

    2014-03-01

    Strains VGXO14(T) and Vi1 were isolated from the Atlantic intertidal shore from Galicia, Spain, after the Prestige oil spill. Both strains were Gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria with one polar inserted flagellum, strictly aerobic, and able to grow at 18-37°C, pH 6-10 and 2-10% NaCl. A preliminary analysis of the 16S rRNA and the partial rpoD gene sequences indicated that these strains belonged to the Pseudomonas genus but were distinct from any known Pseudomonas species. A polyphasic taxonomic approach including phylogenetic, chemotaxonomic, phenotypic and genotypic data confirmed that the strains belonged to the Pseudomonas pertucinogena group. In a multilocus sequence analysis, the similarity of VGXO14(T) and Vi1 to the closest type strain of the group, Pseudomonas pachastrellae, was 90.4%, which was lower than the threshold of 97% established to discriminate species in the Pseudomonas genus. The DNA-DNA hybridisation similarity between strains VGXO14(T) and Vi1 was 79.6%, but below 70% with the type strains in the P. pertucinogena group. Therefore, the strains should be classified within the genus Pseudomonas as a novel species, for which the name Pseudomonas aestusnigri is proposed. The type strain is VGXO14(T) (=CCUG 64165(T)=CECT 8317(T)).

  8. Development of water quality objectives and management systems for the lower Athabasca River in the oil sands area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noton, L. [Alberta Environment, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Water Quality; McEachern, P. [Alberta Environment, Edmonton, AB (Canada). Regional Environmental Management

    2004-07-01

    This paper addressed environmental concerns related to the increased oil sands activity along the lower Athabasca River in northeastern Alberta. The concerns include potential effects on water quality of the river even though wastewaters do not currently reach the Athabasca River, nor do they have any significant effects. However, as the industry expands, there is concern that releases of wastewater may increase significantly. A multi-stakeholder group called the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA) has addressed some of these environmental management issues in the Athabasca area by establishing a water quality task group that examines water quality protection and management activities. The task group intends to develop and recommend water quality objectives and management options on the lower Athabasca River. Their 4 part process includes: (1) defining the problem, (2) setting goals, (3) measuring performance, and (4) managing and adapting to potential impacts. The group has identified and defined about 35 water quality variables of potential concern. It has also identified the uses of water it wants to protect and intends to prevent the degradation of water quality. A plan for developing site specific water quality objectives has been established following a review of water quality guidelines. Performance will be measured using water quality models that simulate full development scenarios. The modelling work will be instrumental in designing management schemes for any potential impacts.

  9. Treatment of oil sands process-affected water using moving bed biofilm reactors: With and without ozone pretreatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yijing; Huang, Chunkai; Rocha, Ketley Costa; El-Din, Mohamed Gamal; Liu, Yang

    2015-09-01

    Two moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs) were operated to treat raw (untreated) and 30 mg/L ozone-treated oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). After 210 days, the MBBR process showed 18.3% of acid-extractable fraction (AEF) and 34.8% of naphthenic acids (NAs) removal, while the ozonation combined MBBR process showed higher removal of AEF (41.0%) and NAs (78.8%). Biodegradation of raw and ozone treated OSPW showed similar performance. UPLC/HRMS analysis showed a highest NAs removal efficiency with a carbon number of 14 and a -Z number of 4. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) showed thicker biofilms in the raw OSPW MBBR (97 ± 5 μm) than in the ozonated OSPW MBBR (71 ± 12 μm). Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR) results showed higher abundance of gene copies of total bacteria and nitrogen removal relevant bacteria in the ozonated OSPW MBBR, but no significant difference was found. MiSeq sequencing showed Proteobacteria, Nitrospirae, and Acidobacteria were dominant.

  10. The importance of atmospheric base cation deposition for preventing soil acidification in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region of Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watmough, Shaun A; Whitfield, Colin J; Fenn, Mark E

    2014-09-15

    Industrial activities in the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada have resulted in greatly elevated emissions of SO2 and N (NO(x) and NH3) and there are concerns over possible widespread ecosystem acidification. Acid sensitive soils in the region are common and have very low base cation weathering rates: the median base cation weathering rate estimated for 63 sites using PROFILE was just 17 mmol cm(-2) yr(-1). Deposition of S and N in throughfall was approximately twice as high as deposition measured with open collectors and could be as high as 360 mmol cm(-2) yr(-1) within 20 km of the main industrial center, although deposition declined logarithmically with distance from the industrial activities. Base cation deposition however, mostly exceeded the combined inputs of S and N in bulk deposition and throughfall, particularly during the summer months. The potential for soil acidification at a site close (deposition at the site, soil base saturation and soil solution pH and molar Ca:Al ratio were predicted to increase in the future assuming acid and base cation deposition constant at current rates. This work shows that despite extremely low soil base cation weathering rates in the region, the risk of soil acidification is mitigated to a large extent by high base cation deposition, which in contrast to S emissions is derived from fugitive dust sources in the mines, and is poorly quantified for regional modeling studies.

  11. Use of calcium sulfate to accelerate densification while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from oil sands tailings ponds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bordenave, S.; Ramos, E.; Lin, S.; Voordouw, G.; Gieg, L. [Calgary Univ., AB (Canada). Petroleum Microbiology Research Group; Guo, C.; Wells, S. [Suncor Energy, Calgary, AB (Canada)

    2009-07-01

    Oil sands tailings ponds contain high volumes of fine tailings. Accelerated densification of the tailings can be achieved by adding calcium sulfate, and microbial activity has also been known to increase the tailings densification process. The presence of calcium sulfate can divert microbial activity from the production of methane. This study characterized the microbial processes in a tailings pond in order to estimate their contribution to tailings densification and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions. Sulfate and sulfide concentrations were measured. Rates of microbial sulfate reduction and methanogenesis were measured as a function of depth in a pond treated with calcium sulfate. Samples were collected at various depths from a tailings pond in northern Alberta. The study showed that the highest rates of methanogenesis occurred in areas where sulfate reduction rates were low. Fluctuating rates of sulfate reduction demonstrated that different microbial activities occurred at discrete levels in the pond. The study suggested that sulfide formed by the reduction of sulfate at depth is carried upwards in gas bubbles and then oxidized back into sulfate in the upper oxygenated layers of the pond. It was concluded that when used as a consolidation agent, calcium sulfate reduces GHG emissions from tailings ponds. 13 refs., 3 figs.

  12. Biostimulation of Oil Sands Process-Affected Water with Phosphate Yields Removal of Sulfur-Containing Organics and Detoxification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quesnel, Dean M; Oldenburg, Thomas B P; Larter, Stephen R; Gieg, Lisa M; Chua, Gordon

    2015-11-01

    The ability to mitigate toxicity of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) for return into the environment is an important issue for effective tailings management in Alberta, Canada. OSPW toxicity has been linked to classical naphthenic acids (NAs), but the toxic contribution of other acid-extractable organics (AEOs) remains unknown. Here, we examine the potential for in situ bioremediation of OSPW AEOs by indigenous algae. Phosphate biostimulation was performed in OSPW to promote the growth of indigenous photosynthetic microorganisms and subsequent toxicity and chemical changes were determined. After 12 weeks, the AEO fraction of phosphate-biostimulated OSPW was significantly less toxic to the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe than unstimulated OSPW. Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR-MS) analysis of the AEO fraction in phosphate-biostimulated OSPW showed decreased levels of SO3 class compounds, including a subset that may represent linear arylsulfonates. A screen with S. pombe transcription factor mutant strains for growth sensitivity to the AEO fraction or sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate revealed a mode of toxic action consistent with oxidative stress and detrimental effects on cellular membranes. These findings demonstrate a potential algal-based in situ bioremediation strategy for OSPW AEOs and uncover a link between toxicity and AEOs other than classical NAs.

  13. Assessing spatial and temporal variability of acid-extractable organics in oil sands process-affected waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Richard A; Milestone, Craig B; Rowland, Steve J; Headley, John V; Kavanagh, Richard J; Lengger, Sabine K; Scarlett, Alan G; West, Charles E; Peru, Kerry M; Hewitt, L Mark

    2016-10-01

    The acid-extractable organic compounds (AEOs), including naphthenic acids (NAs), present within oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) receive great attention due to their known toxicity. While recent progress in advanced separation and analytical methodologies for AEOs has improved our understanding of the composition of these mixtures, little is known regarding any variability (i.e., spatial, temporal) inherent within, or between, tailings ponds. In this study, 5 samples were collected from the same location of one tailings pond over a 2-week period. In addition, 5 samples were collected simultaneously from different locations within a tailings pond from a different mine site, as well as its associated recycling pond. In both cases, the AEOs were analyzed using SFS, ESI-MS, HRMS, GC×GC-ToF/MS, and GC- & LC-QToF/MS (GC analyses following conversion to methyl esters). Principal component analysis of HRMS data was able to distinguish the ponds from each other, while data from GC×GC-ToF/MS, and LC- and GC-QToF/MS were used to differentiate samples from within the temporal and spatial sample sets, with the greater variability associated with the latter. Spatial differences could be attributed to pond dynamics, including differences in inputs of tailings and surface run-off. Application of novel chemometric data analyses of unknown compounds detected by LC- and GC-QToF/MS allowed further differentiation of samples both within and between data sets, providing an innovative approach for future fingerprinting studies.

  14. Constitutive models for the Etchegoin Sands, Belridge Diatomite, and overburden formations at the Lost Hills oil field, California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    FOSSUM,ARLO F.; FREDRICH,JOANNE T.

    2000-04-01

    This report documents the development of constitutive material models for the overburden formations, reservoir formations, and underlying strata at the Lost Hills oil field located about 45 miles northwest of Bakersfield in Kern County, California. Triaxial rock mechanics tests were performed on specimens prepared from cores recovered from the Lost Hills field, and included measurements of axial and radial stresses and strains under different load paths. The tested intervals comprise diatomaceous sands of the Etchegoin Formation and several diatomite types of the Belridge Diatomite Member of the Monterey Formation, including cycles both above and below the diagenetic phase boundary between opal-A and opal-CT. The laboratory data are used to drive constitutive parameters for the Extended Sandler-Rubin (ESR) cap model that is implemented in Sandia's structural mechanics finite element code JAS3D. Available data in the literature are also used to derive ESR shear failure parameters for overburden formations. The material models are being used in large-scale three-dimensional geomechanical simulations of the reservoir behavior during primary and secondary recovery.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Native bitumens in surficial soils of the Athabasca oil sands region : preliminary characterization and assessment of contaminant mobility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fleming, M.; Fleming, I. [Saskatchewan Univ., Saskatoon, SK (Canada). Dept. of Civil and Geological Engineering; Headley, J. [Environment Canada, Saskatoon, SK (Canada). National Hydrology Research Centre

    2009-07-01

    A study was conducted on bitumen tarballs located in surficial soils in Alberta's Athabasca region. The tarballs occur in every soil type in the region, and pose a challenge to oil sands operators who hope to use the soils for reclamation activities. Chromatographic analyses have shown that the tarballs contain variable petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations and possess a characteristic chromatographic footprint. The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment has characterized the hydrocarbons according to various fractions. A soil-column leaching study is also being conducted by the University of Saskatchewan on heavily-impacted tarball soil under unsaturated conditions. Results of the study have indicated that the soil has low levels of contaminant mobility and degradation. Hydrocarbon concentrations in leachate water are less than 20 per cent of ground water guidelines for Alberta. It was concluded that after respiration over 9 months, the most active soil column in the study degraded only 2.7 g of an estimated 650 g.

  18. Determination of the configuration of optimal slot liner (straight vs. keystone) for sand control in horizontal wells, pertaining to the unit of extra-heavy oil, district San Tome, eastern river basin of Venezuela

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quijada, W. [PDVSA Petroleos de Venezuela SA, Caracas (Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of). Exploration and Production; Oliveira, D. [PDVSA Petroleos de Venezuela SA, Caracas (Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of). INTEVEP

    2009-07-01

    This paper reviewed slotted liner designs and problems associated with the production of sand in horizontal wells. Laboratory tests were also conducted in order to investigate sand plugging mechanisms with different configurations of slotted liners. The tests involved passing oil through sand samples in order to determine the quantity of sand passing across the slot liner. The study showed that fewer pressure losses were produced when keystone-shaped slots were used. Anti-plugging properties in keystone slots were also observed. The study also demonstrated that changes in sand grain arrangements occur each time wells are stopped. It was concluded that reductions in horizontal well production may be caused by sand plugging. Slot sizes that maximize slot size ratio between the mouth and throat of the slot provide the best mechanism for preventing sand plugging. 3 refs., 1 tab., 9 figs.

  19. Influence of shaly sands on continuous steam injection oil recovering method; Influencia de areias argilosas na recuperacao de petroleo por injecao de vapor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barbosa, J.M.D.; Rodrigues, M.A.F.; Galvao, E.R.V.P.; Barillas, J.L.M.; Mata, W.; Dutra Junior, T.V. [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Natal, RN (Brazil)

    2008-07-01

    Steam flooding is one of the most used thermal recovery methods in Northeast Brazil, because of high occurrence of heavy oil reservoir. In this process, the oil into the reservoir is heated while reduces, substantially, its viscosity and improves the production. This process can be affected by various parameters, including reservoir heterogeneity and the presence of clay. This work studied the influence of the presence of shaly sand layers in the reservoir for this type of recovery. The studied models were synthetics, but the used reservoir data can be extrapolated to real situations of Potiguar Basin. The influence of reservoir parameters in this process is quite important to the oil industry, and some of them were tested, such as the horizontal permeability of the reservoir and clay, the vertical/horizontal permeability ratio, the influence of capillary pressure of shaly sand and how all heterogeneities are allowed to affect in the oil productivity. In this study the parameter of greater influence in the oil recovery was the horizontal permeability, and the configuration of the layer of clay and other parameters affected least the process. (author)

  20. 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.

  1. Enhanced characterization of oil sands acid-extractable organics fractions using electrospray ionization-high-resolution mass spectrometry and synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, Anthony E; Frank, Richard A; Headley, John V; Peru, Kerry M; Hewitt, L Mark; Dixon, D George

    2015-05-01

    The open pit oil sands mining operations north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, are accumulating tailings waste at a rate approximately equal to 4.9 million m(3) /d. Naphthenic acids are among the most toxic components within tailings to aquatic life, but structural components have largely remained unidentified. In the present study, electrospray ionization high-resolution mass spectrometry (ESI-HRMS) and synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy (SFS) were used to characterize fractions derived from the distillation of an acid-extractable organics (AEO) mixture isolated from oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). Mean molecular weights of each fraction, and their relative proportions to the whole AEO extract, were as follows: fraction 1: 237 Da, 8.3%; fraction 2: 240 Da, 23.8%; fraction 3: 257 Da, 26.7%; fraction 4: 308 Da, 18.9%; fraction 5: 355 Da, 10.0%. With increasing mean molecular weight of the AEO fractions, a concurrent increase occurred in the relative abundance of nitrogen-, sulfur-, and oxygen-containing ions, double-bond equivalents, and degree of aromaticity. Structures present in the higher-molecular-weight fractions (fraction 4 and fraction 5) suggested the presence of heteroatoms, dicarboxyl and dihydroxy groups, and organic acid compounds with the potential to function as estrogens. Because organic acid compositions become dominated by more recalcitrant, higher-molecular-weight acids during natural degradation, these findings are important in the context of oil sands tailings pond water remediation.

  2. Biogeochemical Controls on Biodegradation of MC252 Oil:Sand Aggregates on a Rapidly Eroding Coastal Headland Beach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardue, J.; Elango, V.; Urbano, M.; Lemelle, K.

    2012-12-01

    The research described below was conducted on Fourchon Beach, a coastal headland consisting of nine miles of fairly pristine sandy beaches and dunes, backed by wetlands and tidal channels, located between Belle Pass tidal inlet on the west and Elmer's Island on the east in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. MC252 oil first arrived in large quantities on Fourchon Beach on or around May 20, 2010. A unique oil form created under these conditions was an aggregate of sand and emulsified oil, typically 0.1-10 cm in diameter, termed small surface residue balls (SSRBs). The work from this project made critical measurements on the factors controlling biodegradability of these SSRB aggregates. SSRB aggregates were sampled across transects perpendicular to the beach from the intertidal to the supratidal. Areas in the supratidal that were sampled initially were set aside for research purposes and not altered by any clean-up activities. Chemical composition of SSRBs was measured including concentrations of n-alkanes, PAHs, hopanes, nutrients (nitrate, nitrite, ammonium and orthophosphate measured on water extracts of SSRBs), and electron acceptor concentrations (O2 microprofiles measured on intact SSRBs and sulfate). Physical characterization of the SSRBs including length and area dimensions, mass, density, porosity, moisture content, and salinity using standard methods. Microbial characterization of SSRBs was also conducted using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and sequencing of dominant bands. SSRBs were sampled from various locations across the beach profile deposited by 2 significant tropical events in 2010; Hurricane Alex and TS Bonnie, and one event in 2011, TS Lee. Sampling focused on comparing and contrasting impacts of biogeochemistry on weathering of oil stranded in three beach microenvironments; supratidal surface; subtidal subsurface which is permanently inundated and intertidal subsurface samples which are intermittently inundated. The three types of oil are

  3. 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 + C4H<