Daniel Lim and Brandon Johnson placed 1st and 2nd respectively in the National Society of Petroleum Engineers report competition held at UBC on March 25. Daniel Lim’s report shows how deploying sensor technology in oil sands operations can increase grade and reduce throughput of ore through the mill by streaming out waste rock, which reduces chemical use, energy costs, tailings, and green house gas emissions. Brandon Johnson’s report is based on an experiment that measures void ratios in flocculated and sedimented samples of Fluid fines tailings provided by an oil sands operator. Results show that when the flocculated sample is over-sheared and rested for 120 hours, the water trapped inside the floc is released. The polymer chain relaxes its coil and releases the water held within the floc. What this indicates is the possibility that sedimentation of fluid fines tailiings can be hastened in a 2-step process in which tailings are flocculated to immediately release process water and then over-sheared to release the process water held within the floc. Tailings can be flocculated a 2nd time after this water is released to hasten the overall sedimentation time for the tailings. Models show that fluid fine tailings can take as long as 200 years to settle and form sediments without intervention to hasten the sedimentation process. The results of this experiment have significant implications for tailings reclamation in oil sands.
Daniel Lim and Brandon Johnson recognized for placing 1st and 2nd in the National Society of Petroleum Engineers report competition in APSC
April 5, 2017