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铁道科学与工程学报

JOURNAL OF RAILWAY SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

Vol. 12    No. 3    June 2002

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Processing of tailings in
Canadian oil sands industry
J.Masliyah

Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering,
University of Alberta, Edmonton Alberta, Canada, T6G 2G6

Abstract: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 solid s 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.

 

Key words: oil sands; tailing; bitumen extraction

ISSN 1672-7029
CN 43-1423/U

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