Development of a new method for the extraction of bitumen from tar sands using sonication and sodium silicate
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Tar sand recovery using sodium silicate and sonication represents a new extraction process.
The bitumen recovered is low in ash, virtually free of metal and asphaltenes.
The bitumen recovered is upgraded to 15° API (raw bitumen was 7.6° API) for a 95% cumulative recovery (based on carbon content).
The asphaltene and preasphaltene separate as solid agglomerates to the bottom.
The solid agglomerates are highly enriched with strategic metals (e.g., Ti, Fe, V, Ni, etc.).
Clean sand and intact clay can be easily and essentially recovered in full.
The process mechanism utilizes the principle of membrane-mimetic chemistry and ultrasonic irradiation.
Self-propagated surfactants are formed during the reaction.
Kinetic studies reveal the S-shape characteristic rate curve for 95% cumulative recovery of bitumen.
An economic analysis for a pilot plant with a capacity of 1000 barrels of bitumen per day indicates that the process is commercially attractive.
KeywordsClay Surfactant Bitumen Extraction Process Rate Curve
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