Science.gov

Sample records for coal oil sands

  1. Processing of coal, oil sand and heavy oil in situ by electric and magnetic fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, S. T.

    1980-07-01

    Improvements to a previously proposed (Fisher, 1979) means for the underground processing of coal, oil sand and heavy oil using eddy currents induced by an alternating magnetic field are presented. Consideration is given to the injection into the fuel layer by pressure from the surface of a hot, saturated high-conductivity aqueous electrolyte solution, which would allow induction heating to depend entirely on low-frequency eddy currents, and to the use of an outer tube of copper welded to an inner tube of steel for the tunnel and shaft casings and electrical conductors of the underground eddy-current heating installation. The physical and operational parameters of the proposed modifications are given, and it is shown that these improvements would increase the performance margin of the eddy-current heating method over the proposed dielectric heating method for oil shale and oil sand deposits.

  2. Investigation of tar sand and heavy oil deposits of Wyoming for underground coal gasification applications

    SciTech Connect

    Trudell, L.G.

    1985-02-01

    A literature review was conducted to identify and evaluate tar sand and heavy oil deposits of Wyoming which are potentially suitable for in situ processing with process heat or combustible gas from underground coal gasification (UCG). The investigation was undertaken as part of a project to develop novel concepts for expanding the role of UCG in maximizing energy recovery from coal deposits. Preliminary evaluations indicate six surface deposits and three shallow heavy oil fields are within 5 miles of coal deposits, the maximum distance judged to be feasible for UCG applications. A tar sand or heavy oil deposit in the northeast Washakie Basin is less than 250 feet above a zone of four coal seams suitable for UCG, and another deposit near Riverton appears to be interbedded with coal. Three shallow light oil fields found to be within 5 miles of coal may be amenable to application of UCG technology for enhanced oil recovery. Sufficient data are not available for estimating the size of Wyoming's tar sand and heavy oil resource which is suitable for UCG development. Additional investigations are recommended to more fully characterize promising deposits and to assess the potential resource for UCG applications. 54 refs., 10 figs., 2 tabs.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    Accomplishments for the quarter are presented for the following areas of research: oil shale, tar sand, coal, advanced exploratory process technology, and jointly sponsored research. Oil shale research includes; oil shale process studies, environmental base studies for oil shale, and miscellaneous basic concept studies. Tar sand research covers process development. Coal research includes; underground coal gasification, 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; 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 Mesa Verde 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 recovery techniques; and menu driven access to the WDEQ Hydrologic Data Management Systems.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-12-01

    Accomplishments for the quarter are presented for the following areas of research: oil shale, tar sand, coal, advanced exploratory process technology, and jointly sponsored research. Oil shale research includes; oil shale process studies, environmental base studies for oil shale, and miscellaneous basic concept studies. Tar sand research covers process development. Coal research includes; underground coal gasification, 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; 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 Mesa Verde 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 recovery techniques; and menu driven access to the WDEQ Hydrologic Data Management Systems.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    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.

  9. Extracting Oil From Tar Sands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ford, L. B.; Daly, D.

    1984-01-01

    Recovery of oil from tar sands possible by batch process, using steam produced by solar heater. In extraction process, solar heater provides steam for heating solvent boiler. Boiling solvent removes oil from tar sands in Soxhlet extractor.

  10. Mine Drainage and Oil Sand Water.

    PubMed

    Wei, Xinchao; Wolfe, F Andrew; Li, Yanjun

    2015-10-01

    Mine drainage from the mining of mineral resources (coal, metals, oil sand, or industrial minerals) remains as a persistent environmental problem. This review summarizes the scientific literature published in 2014 on the technical issues related to mine drainage or mine water in active and abandoned coal/hard rock mining sites or waste spoil piles. Also included in this review is the water from oil sand operations. This review is divided into the four sections: 1) mine drainage characterization, 2) prediction and environmental impact, 3) treatment technologies, 4) oil sand water. Many papers presented in this review address more than one aspect and different sections should not be regarded as being mutuallyexclusive or all-inclusive. PMID:26420092

  11. New production techniques for alberta oil sands.

    PubMed

    Carrigy, M A

    1986-12-19

    Low world oil prices represent a serious threat to expanded commercial development of the Canadian oil sands in the near term, as they do to all of the higher cost alternatives to crude oil such as oil shales and coal liquefaction. Nonetheless, research and field testing of new technology for production of oil from oil sands are being pursued by industry and government in Alberta. New production technology is being developed in Canada to produce synthetic oil from the vast resources of bitumen trapped in the oil sands and bituminous carbonates of northern Alberta. This technology includes improved methods of mining, extraction, and upgrading of bitumen from near-surface deposits as well as new drilling and production techniques for thermal production of bitumen from the more deeply buried reservoirs. Of particular interest are the cluster drilling methods designed to reduce surface disturbance and the techniques for horizontal drilling of wells from underground tunnels to increase the contact of injection fluids with the reservoir. PMID:17816505

  12. Research investigations in oil shale, tar sand, coal research, advanced exploratory process technology, and advanced fuels research: Volume 1 -- Base program. Final report, October 1986--September 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, V.E.

    1994-05-01

    Numerous studies have been conducted in five principal areas: oil shale, tar sand, underground coal gasification, advanced process technology, and advanced fuels research. In subsequent years, underground coal gasification was broadened to be coal research, under which several research activities were conducted that related to coal processing. The most significant change occurred in 1989 when the agreement was redefined as a Base Program and a Jointly Sponsored Research Program (JSRP). Investigations were conducted under the Base Program to determine the physical and chemical properties of materials suitable for conversion to liquid and gaseous fuels, to test and evaluate processes and innovative concepts for such conversions, to monitor and determine environmental impacts related to development of commercial-sized operations, and to evaluate methods for mitigation of potential environmental impacts. This report is divided into two volumes: Volume 1 consists of 28 summaries that describe the principal research efforts conducted under the Base Program in five topic areas. Volume 2 describes tasks performed within the JSRP. Research conducted under this agreement has resulted in technology transfer of a variety of energy-related research information. A listing of related publications and presentations is given at the end of each research topic summary. More specific and detailed information is provided in the topical reports referenced in the related publications listings.

  13. Thermal Properties of oil sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  14. Process for production of oil from oil sand

    SciTech Connect

    Horikoshi, K.; Nakamura, N.; Shibanai, I.

    1981-03-10

    A process for the production of oil from oil sand includes adding cyclodextrin or a starch decomposition product containing cyclodextrin to oil sand to convert petroleum in the oil sand to an inclusion compound and separating and collecting petroleum alone from the inclusion compound.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  16. Petrophysical Analysis of Oil Sand in Athabasca

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  17. Research investigations in oil shale, tar sand, coal research, advanced exploratory process technology, and advanced fuels research: Volume 2 -- Jointly sponsored research program. Final report, October 1986--September 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, V.E.

    1994-09-01

    Numerous studies have been conducted in five principal areas: oil shale, tar sand, underground coal gasification, advanced process technology, and advanced fuels research. In subsequent years, underground coal gasification was broadened to be coal research, under which several research activities were conducted that related to coal processing. The most significant change occurred in 1989 when the agreement was redefined as a Base Program and a Jointly Sponsored Research Program (JSRP). Investigations were conducted under the Base Program to determine the physical and chemical properties of materials suitable for conversion to liquid and gaseous fuels, to test and evaluate processes and innovative concepts for such conversions, to monitor and determine environmental impacts related to development of commercial-sized operations, and to evaluate methods for mitigation of potential environmental impacts. This report is divided into two volumes: Volume 1 consists of 28 summaries that describe the principal research efforts conducted under the Base Program in five topic areas. Volume 2 describes tasks performed within the JSRP. Research conducted under this agreement has resulted in technology transfer of a variety of energy-related research information. A listing of related publications and presentations is given at the end of each research topic summary. More specific and detailed information is provided in the topical reports referenced in the related publications listings.

  18. Low-rank coal oil agglomeration

    DOEpatents

    Knudson, Curtis L.; Timpe, Ronald C.

    1991-01-01

    A low-rank coal oil agglomeration process. High mineral content, a high ash content subbituminous coals are effectively agglomerated with a bridging oil which is partially water soluble and capable of entering the pore structure, and usually coal derived.

  19. Gold, coal and oil.

    PubMed

    Dani, Sergio U

    2010-03-01

    Jared Diamond has hypothesized that guns, germs and steel account for the fate of human societies. Here I propose an extension of Diamond's hypothesis and put it in other terms and dimensions: gold, coal and oil account not only for the fate of human societies but also for the fate of mankind through the bodily accumulation of anthropogenic arsenic, an invisible weapon of mass extinction and evolutionary change. The background is clear; arsenic species fulfill seven criteria for a weapon of mass extinction and evolutionary change: (i) bioavailability to all living organisms; (ii) imperceptibility; (iii) acute toxicity; (iv) bioaccumulation and chronic toxicity; (v) adverse impact on reproductive fitness and reproductive outcomes and early-age development and growth in a wide range of microbial, plant and animal species including man; (vi) widespread geographical distribution, mobility and ecological persistence on a centennial to millennial basis and (vii) availability in necessary and sufficient amounts to exert evolutionarily meaningful effects. The proof is becoming increasingly feasible as human exploitation of gold, coal and oil deposits cause sustainable rises of arsenic concentrations in the biosphere. Paradoxically, humans are among the least arsenic-resistant organisms because humans are long-lived, encephalized and complex social metazoans. An arsenic accumulation model is presented here to describe how arsenic accumulates in the human body with increasing age and at different provisionally safe exposure levels. Arsenic accumulates in the human body even at daily exposure levels which are within the lowest possible WHO provisional tolerance limits, yielding bodily arsenic concentrations which are above WHO provisional limits. Ongoing consequences of global scale arsenic poisoning of mankind include age-specific rises in morbidity and mortality followed by adaptive changes. The potential rise of successful forms of inborn resistance to arsenic in humans will make it certain that a number of other hardly won, nicely balanced human-specific adaptednesses will decline. These include a decline of encephalization and life-span, and consequentially intelligence and longevity. These changes are likely to have far-reaching impacts on biological and cultural evolution of mankind. The only efficient way of reducing chronic global exposure to arsenic and avoiding further human losses is the inactivation of important sources of anthropogenic arsenic such as hard rock mining and burning of fossil fuels. PMID:19846256

  20. Coal-oil slurry preparation

    DOEpatents

    Tao, John C.

    1983-01-01

    A pumpable slurry of pulverized coal in a coal-derived hydrocarbon oil carrier which slurry is useful as a low-ash, low-sulfur clean fuel, is produced from a high sulfur-containing coal. The initial pulverized coal is separated by gravity differentiation into (1) a high density refuse fraction containing the major portion of non-coal mineral products and sulfur, (2) a lowest density fraction of low sulfur content and (3) a middlings fraction of intermediate sulfur and ash content. The refuse fraction (1) is gasified by partial combustion producing a crude gas product from which a hydrogen stream is separated for use in hydrogenative liquefaction of the middlings fraction (3). The lowest density fraction (2) is mixed with the liquefied coal product to provide the desired fuel slurry. Preferably there is also separately recovered from the coal liquefaction LPG and pipeline gas.

  1. Coal-sand attrition system and its importance in fine coal cleaning. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Mehta, R.K.; Zhu, Qinsheng

    1993-08-01

    It is known that ultra-fine coals are prerequisite for the deep cleaning of most US coal seams if environmental pollution arising from the use of such coals is to be minimized. Therefore, the production of finely liberated coal particles in conjunction with reduced heavy metal contaminants at low costs is desirable, if not mandatory. The liberation of intimately disseminated impurities from the coal matrix therefore, demands that the material be ground to a high degree of fineness. Similarily, some technologies for coal utilization require superfine particles (i.e., sizes less than ten microns). This implies additional costs for coal preparation plants due to the high energy and media costs associated with fine grinding operations. Besides, there are problems such as severe product contaminations due to media wear and impairment of the quality of coal. Hence, proper choice of grinding media type is important from the viewpoints of cost reduction and product quality. The use of natural quartz sand as grinding media in the comminution of industrial minerals in stirred ball mills has been indicated. The advantages of natural sand compared to steel media include low specific energy inputs, elimination of heavy metal contaminants and low media costs. In this work, the effect of rotor speed, solids concentration and feed-size are studied on four coals in conjunction with silica sand and steel shot. The results obtained are used to evaluate the suitability of silica sands as an alternative grinding media. for coal. Coal-sand and coal-steel systems are compared in terms of specific energy consumption, product fineness, media/wear contaminationanalysis and calorific values, liberation spectrum and particle shape characteristics. In general cleaner flotation concentrate was obtained from coals when they were ground with sand media. The zeta potential of coals was found to be different and lower when they ground with sand.

  2. Getty mines oil sands in California

    SciTech Connect

    Rintoul, B.

    1983-11-01

    A large deposit of oil-laden diatomaceous earth in the McKittrick oil field 40 miles west of Bakersfield, California, has resisted all efforts at production by standard means. Getty Oil Co. is in the pilot phase of a project to recover the Diatomite's oil by an open pit mining operation. It also could have significant implications for other California oil fields, possibly setting the stage for the mining of oil sands in shallow fields like Kern River, S. Belridge, and Lost Hills to maximize oil recovery. A report on the project is summarized. The Diatomite is estimated to have 500 million bbl of oil in reserves, of which 380 million bbl are recoverable. The estimated amount of recoverable oil exceeds the McKittrick field's cumulative production of 240 million bbl. A pilot plant was built to test solvent extraction method of recovering heavy oil. The multistep process involves a series of 6 extractors. The Lurgi retorting plant employs a 2-step heating process to separate hydrocarbons from crushed ore.

  3. Policy Analysis of the Canadian Oil Sands Experience

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  4. Geology of the athabasca oil sands.

    PubMed

    Mossop, G D

    1980-01-11

    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. PMID:17809090

  5. Geology of the Athabasca oil sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  6. Low-rank coal oil agglomeration

    DOEpatents

    Knudson, C.L.; Timpe, R.C.

    1991-07-16

    A low-rank coal oil agglomeration process is described. High mineral content, a high ash content subbituminous coals are effectively agglomerated with a bridging oil which is partially water soluble and capable of entering the pore structure, and is usually coal-derived.

  7. Oil sands tailings leachability and toxicity evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Gulley, J.R.; Hamilton, H.R.; Taylor, B.

    1995-12-31

    Fine tailings disposal and reclamation is a major issue facing the oil sands mining and extraction industry. Government regulations dictate that reclamation must return the site to a level of self-sustaining biological capability which approximates the natural condition. A two-phase laboratory program has been completed to investigate the suitability of alternative reclamation materials. For the first phase of the study, chemical and toxicological analyses were carried out on 13 different reclamation and reference materials (solid phase and extractions). Seedling emergence, nematode maturation, algal growth and bacterial luminescence for leachate samples showed a range of sensitivities in response to the tested materials, although phytotoxicity tests were generally the most sensitive. With the exception of one test material, high toxicity ratings were consistent with that expected from the chemical data. The second phase of the study focused on the evaluation of chemical and toxicological conditions in leachate water generated using bench-scale column percolation tests. Leachate water equivalent to 10 pore volume replacements was generated and temporal variations in toxicity and chemistry monitored. Similar to phase 1 findings, phytotoxicity tests were the most sensitive tests to leachate waters. For most materials tested, most toxicity was removed after 2--3 porewater replacements. More persistent toxicity was noted for samples containing bitumen (e.g., fine tails and oil sands). No clear correspondence was noted between chemical concentrations and toxicity in leachate waters.

  8. Supercritical-Fluid Extraction of Oil From Tar Sands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Compton, L. E.

    1982-01-01

    New supercritical solvent mixtures have been laboratory-tested for extraction of oil from tar sands. Mixture is circulated through sand at high pressure and at a temperature above critical point, dissolving organic matter into the compressed gas. Extract is recovered from sand residues. Low-temperature super-critical solvents reduce energy consumption and waste-disposal problems.

  9. Oil sands project will yield chemicals

    SciTech Connect

    1995-05-24

    Mining technology company Solv-Ex (Albuquerque, NM) is planning a $35-million project to extract by-product chemicals from Suncor`s oil sands mine near Fort McMurray, AB, Beginning next year, Solv-Ex plans to treat tailings from the mine with sulfuric acid to produce 240,000 m.t./year of silica, 80,000 m.t./year of alumina, 30,000 m.t./year of ferrous sulfate, and 20,000 m.t./year of potassium sulfate. Financing is contingent on the company`s securing contracts for its output, and negotiations are under way, says v.p. Steve Lane. Ferrous sulfate, usually obtained as a by-product of steel production, is used primarily in animal food.

  10. Combustion of Coal/Oil/Water Slurries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kushida, R. O.

    1982-01-01

    Proposed test setup would measure combustion performance of new fuels by rapidly heating a droplet of coal/oil/water mixture and recording resulting explosion. Such mixtures are being considered as petroleum substitutes in oil-fired furnaces.

  11. Process and apparatus for recovery of oil from tar sands

    SciTech Connect

    Brewer, J.C.

    1982-11-30

    A crude oil product is extracted from a tar sand by first crushing the tar sand as mined and then fine grinding the crushed material in a grinding mill in the presence of a cleansing liquid, such as an aqueous solution of a caustic. The resulting slurry is passed into suitable extractor-classifier equipment, such as that shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,814,336, in which a body of cleansing liquid is maintained. Agitation of the slurry in such maintained body of cleansing liquid substantially completes removal of the bituminous matter from the sand, and the resulting crude oil and cleansing liquid phase is discharged separately from the sand solid phase. The liquid phase is treated for the removal of residual sand particles and for the separation of residual cleansing liquid from the crude oil. The cleansing liquid so recovered is recycled and the crude oil is passed to further processing or for use as such.

  12. Hardfacing fights wear in oil sands operation

    SciTech Connect

    Llewellyn, R.; Tuite, C.

    1995-03-01

    Wear attack is responsible for high production losses and over $40 million per year in equipment repairs and replacement costs at Syncrude`s synthetic crude oil plant near Fort McMurray in Northern Alberta. Most of this damage is caused by the fine quartz particle constituents which predominate in oil sands. It occurs in a multiplicity of forms which can be classified into three primary mechanisms: Sliding abrasive wear and sporadic impact, which affects mainly mining equipment; Slurry abrasion and erosion, which occur in bitumen extraction, separation plants, and in tailings lines; and High-temperature erosion, which is often augmented by corrosion in bitumen upgrading operations. Process streams in this area also contain fine coke particles and catalyst debris. The paper gives an overview of Syncrude`s operations in mining, extraction, and upgrading, then describes the following: wear materials and protection systems, surface engineering systems, weld deposited hardfacing, benefits, surface modification system experience, thermal spray coating experience, disk centrifuge bowls, investigation of plasma arc spraying, and combating pump erosion.

  13. Oil sand hydrotransport tests at Syncrude Canada Ltd.

    SciTech Connect

    Cymerman, G.; Leung, A.; Maciejewski, W.; Spence, J.; McDonell, B.

    1993-12-31

    In the Athabasca region of Northern Alberta there are major deposits of oil sands. Two large scale commercial plants are involved in mining oil sands and production of synthetic crude oil. Suncor (previously Great Canadian Oil Sands or GCOS) has been in operation since 1968 and currently produces over 25 M barrels of oil per year. Syncrude Canada Ltd. plant started operation in 1978 and currently produces over 65 M barrels (10.4 {times} 10{sup 3} m{sup 3}) of light sweet synthetic crude oil per year. Together the two operations provide 16 % of Canada`s oil output The plant located 50 km north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, is a joint venture of 9 participants. The oil sand typically contains 9 to 12 % bitumen, up to 30 % clay and 5 % water. The remainder is silica sand, finer than 150 {mu}m. Properties of oil sand are described in detail by Nonth, Ruhl and Tissot. The bulk of the plant feed is in the form of lumps ranging in size from several mm to 10 cm. It also includes lenses of soft clays and large rocks. The material is difficult to handle; sticky in summer and hard in winter. It requires special materials and design considerations for belt conveyors, transfer points, feeders etc..

  14. Shale oil low, tar sand high in diesel emissions

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-03-01

    A study is reported on the performance testing of diesel fuels derived from shale oil and from tar sands. The study compared combustion characteristics, gas-phase emissions, and particulate emissions and their mutagenic activity. Shale-oil-derived diesel fuel had lower nitrogen oxide emissions than either the tar sand fuel or the control diesel fuel and also the lowest mutagenic activity. 2 figures.

  15. Reconnaissance examination of selected oil-sand outcrops in Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Ver Ploeg, A.

    1986-08-01

    Numerous surface occurrences of oil sands and oil seeps have been reported in the geologic literature for Wyoming. Seventy-eight reported occurrences are listed in Wyoming Geological Survey Open-File Report 82-5. Most of the listed deposits are taken from old references with vague descriptions and locations. Field reconnaissance examinations of selected oil-sand occurrences were conducted to describe them better and to assess their potential economic importance. A reconnaissance geologic map of each examined deposit was constructed, and the deposits were sampled and described. Ten occurrences were described during the 1984 and 1985 field seasons. The oil-sand occurrences were all sandstone reservoirs ranging from Pennsylvanian to Tertiary. Based on these reconnaissance examinations, only three occurrences appeared to be potentially significant. The Rattlesnake Hills occurrence, west of Casper, is an asymmetrical anticline with oil-impregnated sands in the Mesaverde Formation, Frontier Formation, and, most extensively, the Muddy Sandstone. Other formations in the structure contain minor amounts of oil staining. The Muddy Creek occurrence, southwest of Rawlins, contains oil-impregnated sandstones in the lower Wasatch Formation. This stratigraphically controlled trap dips to the west into the Washakie basin. The Conant Creek occurrence, southeast of Riverton, includes stratigraphically controlled oil sands in the relatively flat Wagon Bed Formation.

  16. Demetallation of waste oil with coal

    SciTech Connect

    Orr, E.C.; Shao, Lian; Eyring, E.M.

    1996-12-31

    The breakdown of coal into liquid fuels has been researched extensively in order to improve upon the economics of the process. To produce liquid fuels from hydrogen deficient coal, hydrogen must be added. Weisz noted that for the most hydrogen deficient coals, it would be necessary to add 8 % by weight hydrogen to produce quality hydrocarbons. One way to decrease the cost of coal liquefaction would be to minimize the need for expensive hydrogen. By coprocessing coal with heavy petroleum resids, the resid may act as a hydrogen donor for the coal diminishing the need for additional costly hydrogen gas. In coprocessing resids with coal it has also been shown that some of the nickel and vanadium that are naturally abundant in the resid reside in the coal char and ash after coprocessing. This paper presents results of coprocessing of Illinois coal and demineralized Illinois coal with waste oils in order to determine the effect of the inorganic portion of the coal on the demetallization of automotive waste oil.

  17. Food web structure in oil sands reclaimed wetlands.

    PubMed

    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 most compartments, our data show that 20-year-old wetlands containing oil sands material have not yet reached the same level of function as their reference counterparts. PMID:23967574

  18. Plant response to aqueous effluents derived from in-situ fossil-fuel processing. Part II. Five grass plant species and their response to five produced retort waters: oil shale, tar sands, and underground coal gasification. [Wildrye; wheatgrass; alkali sacaton; alkaligrass

    SciTech Connect

    Skinner, Q.D.

    1981-11-01

    In situ produced waters collected from retorting oil shale and tar sands to produce oil and in-situ coal gasification to produce gas were tested for their effect on plant growth. Five native grass plant species were utilized for monitoring growth response. Root weight, shoot weight, total dry weight, leaf area, root/shoot ratio and shoot/leaf area ratio were parameters measured. All experiments were conducted under greenhouse conditions using hydroponic techniques and commercial grade perlite as support systems. Measurements were collected after a 10 week growth period. Hypotheses tested were: (a) there is a difference between in situ produced waters, and (b) plant species respond differently to various retort waters. Results indicated that the stated hypotheses were true.

  19. Plant response to aqueous effluents derived from in-situ fossil-fuel processing. Part III. Three grass species and their response to Omega 9 and to five produced retort waters: oil shale, tar sands and underground coal gasification. [Basin wildrye; western wheatgrass; alkali sacaton

    SciTech Connect

    Skinner, Q.D.

    1981-12-01

    In situ produced waters collected from retorting oil shale and tar sands to produce oil and in-situ coal gasification to produce gas were tested for their effect on plant growth. Three native grass plant species were utilized for monitoring growth response. Root weight, shoot weight, total dry weight, leaf area, root/shoot ratio and shoot/leaf area ratio were parameters measured. All experiments were conducted under greenhouse conditions using hydroponic techniques and commercial grade perlite as support systems. Measurements were collected after a 10-week growth period. The hypothesis tested was, there is a difference between produced waters diluted by ground water and those where dilution is non-existent and their effect on plant growth. Results indicated that retort water diluted by ground water has a less toxic effect on plant species tested.

  20. Heat transfer and oil displacement models for tar sands reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, C.E.; Ward, G.D.

    1984-09-01

    A convective heat transfer model and one dimensional displacement model applicable to tar sands and heavy oils for use with a microcomputer are presented. The convective heat transfer model describes the temperature profiles in a thermal operation. The displacement model offers insight into the effect of process variables on the steam/oil or air/oil ratio of thermal operations. A method is presented for predicting the fuel burn in a fireflood.

  1. Application of the HTGR in tar sands oil recovery

    SciTech Connect

    Rao, R.; McMain, A.; Quade, R.

    1981-05-01

    The study presented in this paper explored the potential application of a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) to supply both process steam and cogenerated electric power for tar sands oil recovery and upgrading. The raw product recovered from the tar sands is a heavy bitumen. No attempt has been made to describe the details of the bitumen recovery technology or the upgrading process in this paper. Only their energy requirements by form are considered. The results of this study indicate that an HTGR plant could be the most economical source of steam and electric power. This paper includes a description of the HTGR plant, a heat cycle and energy balance developed for a typical commercial tar sands oil recovery operation, and a schematic field arrangement showing the coupling of the HTGR to the process. Data developed during this study include expected bitumen recovery, economic data, and a comparative assessment of the HTGR application for tar sands recovery.

  2. Process for heating coal-oil slurries

    DOEpatents

    Braunlin, Walter A.; Gorski, Alan; Jaehnig, Leo J.; Moskal, Clifford J.; Naylor, Joseph D.; Parimi, Krishnia; Ward, John V.

    1984-01-03

    Controlling gas to slurry volume ratio to achieve a gas holdup of about 0.4 when heating a flowing coal-oil slurry and a hydrogen containing gas stream allows operation with virtually any coal to solvent ratio and permits operation with efficient heat transfer and satisfactory pressure drops. The critical minimum gas flow rate for any given coal-oil slurry will depend on numerous factors such as coal concentration, coal particle size distribution, composition of the solvent (including recycle slurries), and type of coal. Further system efficiency can be achieved by operating with multiple heating zones to provide a high heat flux when the apparent viscosity of the gas saturated slurry is highest. Operation with gas flow rates below the critical minimum results in system instability indicated by temperature excursions in the fluid and at the tube wall, by a rapid increase and then decrease in overall pressure drop with decreasing gas flow rate, and by increased temperature differences between the temperature of the bulk fluid and the tube wall. At the temperatures and pressures used in coal liquefaction preheaters the coal-oil slurry and hydrogen containing gas stream behaves essentially as a Newtonian fluid at shear rates in excess of 150 sec.sup. -1. The gas to slurry volume ratio should also be controlled to assure that the flow regime does not shift from homogeneous flow to non-homogeneous flow. Stable operations have been observed with a maximum gas holdup as high as 0.72.

  3. Process for heating coal-oil slurries

    DOEpatents

    Braunlin, W.A.; Gorski, A.; Jaehnig, L.J.; Moskal, C.J.; Naylor, J.D.; Parimi, K.; Ward, J.V.

    1984-01-03

    Controlling gas to slurry volume ratio to achieve a gas holdup of about 0.4 when heating a flowing coal-oil slurry and a hydrogen containing gas stream allows operation with virtually any coal to solvent ratio and permits operation with efficient heat transfer and satisfactory pressure drops. The critical minimum gas flow rate for any given coal-oil slurry will depend on numerous factors such as coal concentration, coal particle size distribution, composition of the solvent (including recycle slurries), and type of coal. Further system efficiency can be achieved by operating with multiple heating zones to provide a high heat flux when the apparent viscosity of the gas saturated slurry is highest. Operation with gas flow rates below the critical minimum results in system instability indicated by temperature excursions in the fluid and at the tube wall, by a rapid increase and then decrease in overall pressure drop with decreasing gas flow rate, and by increased temperature differences between the temperature of the bulk fluid and the tube wall. At the temperatures and pressures used in coal liquefaction preheaters the coal-oil slurry and hydrogen containing gas stream behaves essentially as a Newtonian fluid at shear rates in excess of 150 sec[sup [minus]1]. The gas to slurry volume ratio should also be controlled to assure that the flow regime does not shift from homogeneous flow to non-homogeneous flow. Stable operations have been observed with a maximum gas holdup as high as 0.72. 29 figs.

  4. Ammonia removal in constructed wetlands receiving oil sands wastewater

    SciTech Connect

    Bishay, F.S.; Bayley, S.E.; Nix, P.G.

    1995-12-31

    Constructed wetlands are a component of the mine decommissioning and reclamation plan for Suncor Inc., Oil Sands Group, a large oil sands mining and extraction operation in northeastern Alberta, A field, pilot-scale wetlands facility was built in 1991. Over a three year period (1992--1994) the feasibility of constructed wetlands as treatment systems for various oil sands wastewater streams was assessed. Ammonia and hydrocarbons are the primary contaminants. Ammonia removal rates were estimated by measuring inputs and outputs of ammonia, changes in storage, and removal processes. These removal rates were comparable to rates in other studies indicating that the presence of hydrocarbons was not limiting ammonia removal. Nitrogen in sediments and vegetation was elevated; however, removal to sediments or vegetation did not contribute significantly to overall ammonia removal. Volatilization and denitrification were measured in situ. Although neither of these measured processes accounted for all of the ammonia removal, nitrification/denitrification was thought to be the primary removal mechanism.

  5. Creating new landscapes and ecosystems: the Alberta Oil Sands.

    PubMed

    Johnson, E A; Miyanishi, K

    2008-01-01

    Extraction of oil from the Alberta Oil Sands through surface mining involves the removal of the overburden and oil sand to a depth of up to 100 m and over extremely large areas. While the operation of the bitumen processing plants has serious environmental impacts on downstream habitats, this article focuses on the reclamation of areas from which the oil sands have been removed, processed, and returned. This reclamation following closure of the mines will entail the complete re-creation of landforms and ecosystems at a landscape scale, with the goal of producing suitable habitats for plants, animals, and people. Such projects will require a reasonable understanding of the geophysical and ecological processes that operate at a wide range of scales. Some information is provided on the climate, hydrology, vegetation, and land use (past and current) of the Oil Sands area, situated within the Boreal Plain ecozone, to provide a framework for discussion of issues to be addressed in, and proposed guidelines for, such large-scale reclamation. Although none of the mines has yet closed, numerous consultant reports have been produced with recommendations for various aspects of such reclamation projects (e.g., wetland hydrology, vegetation, wildlife habitat). The scientific basis of such reports is found to vary with respect to depth of understanding of the relevant processes. PMID:18566092

  6. Mice housed on coal dust-contaminated sand: A model to evaluate the impacts of coal mining on health.

    PubMed

    Caballero-Gallardo, Karina; Olivero-Verbel, Jesus

    2016-03-01

    Coal dust is the most important air pollutant in coal mining in regards to producing deleterious health effects. It permeates the surrounding environment threatening public health. The aim of this study was to evaluate the toxic effects associated with exposure to sand contaminated with coal dust particles below 38μm in diameter, obtained from a mineral sample collected in the largest coal mine in South America, La Loma, Cesar, Colombia. Sterilized sand was spiked with coal dust to obtain concentrations ranging from zero to 4% coal dust. To model natural exposure, mice were housed for eight weeks in boxes containing this mixture as bedding after which, they were euthanized and blood and tissue samples were collected. Real time PCR analysis revealed an increase in Cyp1A1 mRNA for living on sand with coal dust concentrations greater than 2% compared to mice living on sand without coal dust. Unexpectedly, for mice on coal dust-polluted sand, Sod1, Scd1 and Nqo1 hepatic mRNA were downregulated. The Comet assay in peripheral blood cells and the micronucleus test in blood smears, showed a significant potential genotoxic effect only at the highest coal dust concentration. Histopathological analysis revealed vascular congestion and peribronchial inflammation in the lungs. A dose-response relationship for the presence of hepatic steatosis, vacuolization and nuclei enlargements was observed in the exposed animals. The data suggest living on a soil polluted with coal dust induces molecular, cellular and histopathological changes in mice. Accordingly, the proposed model can be used to identify deleterious effects of exposure to coal dust deposited in soils that may pose health risks for surrounding wildlife populations. PMID:26774687

  7. Use of coal liquefaction catalysts for coal/oil coprocessing and heavy oil upgrading

    SciTech Connect

    Cugini, A.V.; Krastman, D.; Thompson, R.L.; Gardner, T.J.; Ciocco, M.V.

    1997-04-01

    The catalytic hydrogenation of coal and model solvents using dispersed or supported catalysts at different pressures has been the focus of several recent studies at PETC. The effectiveness of these catalysts has been studied in coal liquefaction and coal-oil coprocessing. Coal-oil coprocessing involves the co-reaction of coal and petroleum-derived oil or resid. The results of these studies have indicated that both dispersed and supported catalysts are effective in these systems at elevated H{sub 2} pressures ({approximately}2,500 psig). Attempts to reduce pressure indicated that a combination of catalyst concentration and solvent quality could be used to compensate for reductions in H{sub 2} pressure. Comparison of the coal and coprocessing systems reveals many similarities in the catalytic requirements for both systems. Both hydrogenation and hydrogenolysis activities are required and the reactive environments are similar. Also, the use of catalysts in the two systems shares problems with similar types of inhibitors and poisons. The logical extension of this is that it may be reasonable to expect similar trends in catalyst activity for both systems. In fact, many of the catalysts selected for coal liquefaction were selected based on their effectiveness in petroleum systems. This study investigates the use of supported and dispersed coal liquefaction catalysts in coal-oil coprocessing and petroleum-only systems. The focus of the study was delineating the effects of coal concentration, pressure, and catalyst type.

  8. Problem of regenerating coal wash oil

    SciTech Connect

    Volkov, E.L.

    1984-01-01

    The main problems associated with the recovery of benzene hydrocarbons from coking gas using coal wash oil are seen as oil polymerization and the effects of placement of coolers on the quality of oil. The worsening condition of the oil is a result of insufficient effectiveness of its regeneration, and no immediate solution to this problem is suggested. The immediate concern is seen as bringing losses of ammonia gas into line with standards of technical operation. The use of a separate tubular furnace with flame-heater is deemed much more satisfactory than regeneration coil pipes in the oven.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Spinti, Jennifer; Birgenheier, Lauren; Deo, Milind; Facelli, Julio; Hradisky, Michal; Kelly, Kerry; Miller, Jan; McLennan, John; Ring, Terry; Ruple, John; Uchitel, Kirsten

    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 (March, 2012); Conjunctive Surface and Groundwater Management in Utah: Implications for Oil Shale and Oil Sands Development (May, 2012); Development of CFD-Based Simulation Tools for In Situ Thermal Processing of Oil Shale/Sands (February, 2012); Core-Based Integrated Sedimentologic, Stratigraphic, and Geochemical Analysis of the Oil Shale Bearing Green River Formation, Uinta Basin, Utah (April, 2011); Atomistic Modeling of Oil Shale Kerogens and Asphaltenes Along with their Interactions with the Inorganic Mineral Matrix (April, 2011); Pore Scale Analysis of Oil Shale/Sands Pyrolysis (March, 2011); Land and Resource Management Issues Relevant to Deploying In-Situ Thermal Technologies (January, 2011); Policy Analysis of Produced Water Issues Associated with In-Situ Thermal Technologies (January, 2011); and Policy Analysis of Water Availability and Use Issues for Domestic Oil Shale and Oil Sands Development (March, 2010)

  10. Methanogenic potential of tailings samples from oil sands extraction plants.

    PubMed

    Fedorak, Phillip M; Coy, Debora L; Salloum, Myrna J; Dudas, Marvin J

    2002-01-01

    Approximately 20% of Canada's oil supply now comes from the extraction of bitumen from the oil sands deposits in northeastern Alberta. The oil sands are strip-mined, and the bitumen is typically separated from sand and clays by an alkaline hot water extraction process. The rapidly expanding oil sands industry has millions of cubic metres of tailings for disposal and large areas of land to reclaim. There are estimates that the consolidation of the mature fine tails (MFT) in the settling ponds will take about 150 years. Some of the settling ponds are now evolving microbially produced methane, a greenhouse gas. To hasten consolidation, gypsum (CaSO4 x 2H2O) is added to MFT, yielding materials called consolidated or composite tailings (CT). Sulfate from the gypsum has the potential to stimulate sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) to out-compete methanogens, thereby stopping methanogenesis. This investigation examined three MFT and four CT samples from three oil sands extractions companies. Each was found to contain methanogens and SRB. Serum bottle microcosm studies showed sulfate in the CT samples stopped methane production. However, if the microcosms were amended with readily utilizable electron donors, the sulfate was consumed, and when it reached approximately 20 mg/L, methane production began. Some unamended microcosms were incubated for 372 days, with no methane production detected. This work showed that each MFT and CT sample has the potential to become methanogenic, but in the absence of exogenous electron donors, the added sulfate can inhibit methanogenesis for a long time. PMID:11888160

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:21853326

  12. International perspectives on coal preparation

    SciTech Connect

    1997-12-31

    The report consists of the vugraphs from the presentations which covered the following topics: Summaries of the US Department of Energy`s coal preparation research programs; Preparation trends in Russia; South African coal preparation developments; Trends in hard coal preparation in Germany; Application of coal preparation technology to oil sands extraction; Developments in coal preparation in China; and Coal preparation in Australia.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  14. Field observations of artificial sand and oil agglomerates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  15. Timing and petroleum sources for the Lower Cretaceous Mannville Group oil sands of northern Alberta based on 4-D modeling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Higley, D.K.; Lewan, M.D.; Roberts, L.N.R.; Henry, M.

    2009-01-01

    The Lower Cretaceous Mannville Group oil sands of northern Alberta have an estimated 270.3 billion m3 (BCM) (1700 billion bbl) of in-place heavy oil and tar. Our study area includes oil sand accumulations and downdip areas that partially extend into the deformation zone in western Alberta. The oil sands are composed of highly biodegraded oil and tar, collectively referred to as bitumen, whose source remains controversial. This is addressed in our study with a four-dimensional (4-D) petroleum system model. The modeled primary trap for generated and migrated oil is subtle structures. A probable seal for the oil sands was a gradual updip removal of the lighter hydrocarbon fractions as migrated oil was progressively biodegraded. This is hypothetical because the modeling software did not include seals resulting from the biodegradation of oil. Although the 4-D model shows that source rocks ranging from the Devonian-Mississippian Exshaw Formation to the Lower Cretaceous Mannville Group coals and Ostracode-zone-contributed oil to Mannville Group reservoirs, source rocks in the Jurassic Fernie Group (Gordondale Member and Poker Chip A shale) were the initial and major contributors. Kinetics associated with the type IIS kerogen in Fernie Group source rocks resulted in the early generation and expulsion of oil, as early as 85 Ma and prior to the generation from the type II kerogen of deeper and older source rocks. The modeled 50% peak transformation to oil was reached about 75 Ma for the Gordondale Member and Poker Chip A shale near the west margin of the study area, and prior to onset about 65 Ma from other source rocks. This early petroleum generation from the Fernie Group source rocks resulted in large volumes of generated oil, and prior to the Laramide uplift and onset of erosion (???58 Ma), which curtailed oil generation from all source rocks. Oil generation from all source rocks ended by 40 Ma. Although the modeled study area did not include possible western contributions of generated oil to the oil sands, the amount generated by the Jurassic source rocks within the study area was 475 BCM (2990 billion bbl). Copyright ?? 2009. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  17. Magnetic pipeline for coal and oil

    SciTech Connect

    Knolle, E.

    1998-07-01

    A 1994 analysis of the recorded costs of the Alaska oil pipeline, in a paper entitled Maglev Crude Oil Pipeline, (NASA CP-3247 pp. 671--684) concluded that, had the Knolle Magnetrans pipeline technology been available and used, some $10 million per day in transportation costs could have been saved over the 20 years of the Alaska oil pipeline's existence. This over 800 mile long pipeline requires about 500 horsepower per mile in pumping power, which together with the cost of the pipeline's capital investment consumes about one-third of the energy value of the pumped oil. This does not include the cost of getting the oil out of the ground. The reason maglev technology performs superior to conventional pipelines is because by magnetically levitating the oil into contact-free suspense, there is no drag-causing adhesion. In addition, by using permanent magnets in repulsion, suspension is achieved without using energy. Also, the pumped oil's adhesion to the inside of pipes limits its speed. In the case of the Alaska pipeline the speed is limited to about 7 miles per hour, which, with its 48-inch pipe diameter and 1200 psi pressure, pumps about 2 million barrels per day. The maglev system, as developed by Knolle Magnetrans, would transport oil in magnetically suspended sealed containers and, thus free of adhesion, at speeds 10 to 20 times faster. Furthermore, the diameter of the levitated containers can be made smaller with the same capacity, which makes the construction of the maglev system light and inexpensive. There are similar advantages when using maglev technology to transport coal. Also, a maglev system has advantages over railroads in mountainous regions where coal is primarily mined. A maglev pipeline can travel, all-year and all weather, in a straight line to the end-user, whereas railroads have difficult circuitous routes. In contrast, a maglev pipeline can climb over steep hills without much difficulty.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 innovations to achieve economic oil sands productivity, the oil companies have responded successfully to declining rates of American conventional oil production. With respect to North American hinterlands, implications for development theory center on connections among established and changing political coalitions, capacities for technological innovations, and responses to dynamic world conditions.

  19. Combined oil gun and coal guide for power plant boilers

    SciTech Connect

    Wiest, M.R.

    1990-08-28

    This paper discusses apparatus for introducing fuel into the combustion chamber of a power plant boiler. It comprises a coal guide; a coal disperser; tubular disperser support means; an oil gun; first actuator means; and second actuator means.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  2. Methods of enhancing fluid communication in oil sands

    SciTech Connect

    Tam, E.S.; Edmunds, N.R.; Redford, D.A.

    1984-04-01

    Effective steamflooding of oil sands requires fluid communication between injectors and producers. Such a communication path can be developed through a naturally occurring zone of low bitumen saturation. If a water sand with little or no bitumen saturation is encountered, high injectivity can be achieved and a steamflood can be carried out immediately. With zones having mobile water and some bitumen as well, special enhancement processes are required to prevent tar banking when steam is injected which is common in steam drive processes where cold bitumen is displaced ahead of a steam front. One way to prevent tar banking is to heat the mobility zones slowly with hot water so that hot bitumen will be displaced when steam drive is initiated. Depending upon the nature of the mobility zones, the efficiency of the enhancement process might be improved by the use of solvents such as naphtha or synthetic crudes.

  3. Biological CO2 conversion to acetate in subsurface coal-sand formation using a high-pressure reactor system

    PubMed Central

    Ohtomo, Yoko; Ijiri, Akira; Ikegawa, Yojiro; Tsutsumi, Masazumi; Imachi, Hiroyuki; Uramoto, Go-Ichiro; Hoshino, Tatsuhiko; Morono, Yuki; Sakai, Sanae; Saito, Yumi; Tanikawa, Wataru; Hirose, Takehiro; Inagaki, Fumio

    2013-01-01

    Geological CO2 sequestration in unmineable subsurface oil/gas fields and coal formations has been proposed as a means of reducing anthropogenic greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. However, the feasibility of injecting CO2 into subsurface depends upon a variety of geological and economic conditions, and the ecological consequences are largely unpredictable. In this study, we developed a new flow-through-type reactor system to examine potential geophysical, geochemical and microbiological impacts associated with CO2 injection by simulating in-situ pressure (0–100 MPa) and temperature (0–70°C) conditions. Using the reactor system, anaerobic artificial fluid and CO2 (flow rate: 0.002 and 0.00001 ml/min, respectively) were continuously supplemented into a column comprised of bituminous coal and sand under a pore pressure of 40 MPa (confined pressure: 41 MPa) at 40°C for 56 days. 16S rRNA gene analysis of the bacterial components showed distinct spatial separation of the predominant taxa in the coal and sand over the course of the experiment. Cultivation experiments using sub-sampled fluids revealed that some microbes survived, or were metabolically active, under CO2-rich conditions. However, no methanogens were activated during the experiment, even though hydrogenotrophic and methylotrophic methanogens were obtained from conventional batch-type cultivation at 20°C. During the reactor experiment, the acetate and methanol concentration in the fluids increased while the δ13Cacetate, H2 and CO2 concentrations decreased, indicating the occurrence of homo-acetogenesis. 16S rRNA genes of homo-acetogenic spore-forming bacteria related to the genus Sporomusa were consistently detected from the sandstone after the reactor experiment. Our results suggest that the injection of CO2 into a natural coal-sand formation preferentially stimulates homo-acetogenesis rather than methanogenesis, and that this process is accompanied by biogenic CO2 conversion to acetate. PMID:24348470

  4. Evaluation of Oil Sands Projects and Their Expansion Rate Using Real Options

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kobari, Laleh

    The rapidly expanding oil sands of western Canada, the third largest reserves in the world, are creating serious challenges, such as ecological harm, labour shortages, and extensive natural gas consumption. This thesis develops three practical real options models to evaluate the feasibility of oil sands projects and to estimate the optimal rate of oil sands expansion, while accounting for the stated concerns. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).

  5. Preparation of coal-oil agglomerates using a static mixer

    SciTech Connect

    Ding, F.; Yu, S.; Chiang, S.H.

    1994-12-31

    An experimental study was carried out to investigate the preparation of coal-oil agglomerates using an in-line static mixer. In the experiments, a coal slurry and kerosene (introduced through a metering pump) were pumped to pass through the static mixer. The high shear mixing of the static mixer is capable of producing stable and rigid coal-oil agglomerates. The parameters investigated in this study included the average residence time for the slurry to pass through the static mixer, oil dosage, and solid content. The results have demonstrated that the static mixer can be used as an effective device for coal-oil agglomeration.

  6. Bench-scale development of coal/oil co-processing technology

    SciTech Connect

    Duddy, J.E.; Panvelker, S.V.; Pramanik, M.S.; Popper, G.A. ); Parker, R.J. )

    1991-12-01

    Co-Processing of coal with petroleum derived residual oil was first demonstrated at the bench-scale in 1974, and HRI has been working on bench-scale development continuously since 1985. Scale-up of the co-processing technology from the 50 lb/day bench-scale to the 3 TPD PDU-scale was successfully demonstrated in 1989. In coal/oil co-processing, coal is slurried with petroleum derived oil. Petroleum derived oils which can be used include atmospheric and vacuum residue, FCC slurry oils, heavy crudes, tar sands bitumen or shale oil. HRI has evaluated both single and two-stage (in series) reactor configurations. A two-stage configuration is preferred to obtain high conversions, high distillate yields and good product quality. The effluent from the first-stage reactor flows directly to the second-stage reactor, without interstage separation. Both reactors use commercially available NiMo or CoMo extrudate hydroprocessing catalysts. The unconverted residual oil, unconverted coal and ash is rejected via simple vacuum distillation. The resulting vacuum bottoms slurry is limited to a maximum solids content of about 50 W%, to maintain a pumpable slurry. Typically, co-processing operations are performed on a once-through basis, with a maximum dry coal concentration in the feed slurry of about 40 W%. Higher coal concentrations (up to 67 W% dry coal) have been demonstrated with the addition of a small amount of process-derived atmospheric bottoms recycle to the feed slurry.

  7. Bench-scale development of coal/oil co-processing technology. Final summary report

    SciTech Connect

    Duddy, J.E.; Panvelker, S.V.; Pramanik, M.S.; Popper, G.A.; Parker, R.J.

    1991-12-01

    Co-Processing of coal with petroleum derived residual oil was first demonstrated at the bench-scale in 1974, and HRI has been working on bench-scale development continuously since 1985. Scale-up of the co-processing technology from the 50 lb/day bench-scale to the 3 TPD PDU-scale was successfully demonstrated in 1989. In coal/oil co-processing, coal is slurried with petroleum derived oil. Petroleum derived oils which can be used include atmospheric and vacuum residue, FCC slurry oils, heavy crudes, tar sands bitumen or shale oil. HRI has evaluated both single and two-stage (in series) reactor configurations. A two-stage configuration is preferred to obtain high conversions, high distillate yields and good product quality. The effluent from the first-stage reactor flows directly to the second-stage reactor, without interstage separation. Both reactors use commercially available NiMo or CoMo extrudate hydroprocessing catalysts. The unconverted residual oil, unconverted coal and ash is rejected via simple vacuum distillation. The resulting vacuum bottoms slurry is limited to a maximum solids content of about 50 W%, to maintain a pumpable slurry. Typically, co-processing operations are performed on a once-through basis, with a maximum dry coal concentration in the feed slurry of about 40 W%. Higher coal concentrations (up to 67 W% dry coal) have been demonstrated with the addition of a small amount of process-derived atmospheric bottoms recycle to the feed slurry.

  8. Land use greenhouse gas emissions from conventional oil production and oil sands.

    PubMed

    Yeh, Sonia; Jordaan, Sarah M; Brandt, Adam R; Turetsky, Merritt R; Spatari, Sabrina; Keith, David W

    2010-11-15

    Debates surrounding the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from land use of biofuels production have created a need to quantify the relative land use GHG intensity of fossil fuels. When contrasting land use GHG intensity of fossil fuel and biofuel production, it is the energy yield that greatly distinguishes the two. Although emissions released from land disturbed by fossil fuels can be comparable or higher than biofuels, the energy yield of oil production is typically 2-3 orders of magnitude higher, (0.33-2.6, 0.61-1.2, and 2.2 5.1 PJ/ha) for conventional oil production, oil sands surface mining, and in situ production, respectively). We found that land use contributes small portions of GHGs to life cycle emissions of California crude and in situ oil sands production ( <0.4% or < 0.4 gCO₂e/MJ crude refinery feedstock) and small to modest portions for Alberta conventional oil (0.1-4% or 0.1-3.4 gCO₂e/MJ) and surface mining of oil sands (0.9-11% or 0.8-10.2 gCO₂e/MJ).Our estimates are based on assumptions aggregated over large spatial and temporal scales and assuming 100% reclamation. Values on finer spatial and temporal scales that are relevant to policy targets need to account for site-specific information, the baseline natural and anthropogenic disturbance. PMID:20949948

  9. Sulfur Biogeochemistry of an Oil Sands Composite Tailings Deposit

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Composite tailings (CT), an engineered, alkaline, saline mixture of oil sands tailings (FFT), processed sand and gypsum (CaSO4; 1 kg CaSO4 per m3 FFT) are used as a dry reclamation strategy in the Alberta Oil Sands Region (AOSR). It is estimated that 9.6 × 108 m3 of CT are either in, or awaiting emplacement in surface pits within the AOSR, highlighting their potential global importance in sulfur cycling. Here, in the first CT sulfur biogeochemistry investigation, integrated geochemical, pyrosequencing and lipid analyses identified high aqueous concentrations of ∑H2S (>300 μM) and highly altered sulfur compounds composition; low cell biomass (3.3 × 106– 6.0 × 106 cells g−1) and modest bacterial diversity (H' range between 1.4 and 1.9) across 5 depths spanning 34 m of an in situ CT deposit. Pyrosequence results identified a total of 29,719 bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences, representing 131 OTUs spanning19 phyla including 7 candidate divisions, not reported in oil sands tailings pond studies to date. Legacy FFT common phyla, notably, gamma and beta Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi were represented. However, overall CT microbial diversity and PLFA values were low relative to other contexts. The identified known sulfate/sulfur reducing bacteria constituted at most 2% of the abundance; however, over 90% of the 131 OTUs identified are capable of sulfur metabolism. While PCR biases caution against overinterpretation of pyrosequence surveys, bacterial sequence results identified here, align with phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) and geochemical results. The highest bacterial diversities were associated with the depth of highest porewater [∑H2S] (22–24 m) and joint porewater co-occurrence of Fe2+ and ∑H2S (6–8 m). Three distinct bacterial community structure depths corresponded to CT porewater regions of (1) shallow evident Fe(II) (<6 m), (2) co-occurring Fe(II) and ∑H2S (6–8 m) and (3) extensive ∑H2S (6–34 m) (UniFrac). Candidate divisions GNO2, NKB19 and Spam were present only at 6–8 m associated with co-occurring [Fe(II)] and [∑H2S]. Collectively, results indicate that CT materials are differentiated from other sulfur rich environments by modestly diverse, low abundance, but highly sulfur active and more enigmatic communities (7 candidate divisions present within the 19 phyla identified). PMID:26869997

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Composite tailings (CT), an engineered, alkaline, saline mixture of oil sands tailings (FFT), processed sand and gypsum (CaSO4; 1 kg CaSO4 per m(3) FFT) are used as a dry reclamation strategy in the Alberta Oil Sands Region (AOSR). It is estimated that 9.6 × 10(8) m(3) of CT are either in, or awaiting emplacement in surface pits within the AOSR, highlighting their potential global importance in sulfur cycling. Here, in the first CT sulfur biogeochemistry investigation, integrated geochemical, pyrosequencing and lipid analyses identified high aqueous concentrations of ∑H2S (>300 μM) and highly altered sulfur compounds composition; low cell biomass (3.3 × 10(6)- 6.0 × 10(6) cells g(-1)) and modest bacterial diversity (H' range between 1.4 and 1.9) across 5 depths spanning 34 m of an in situ CT deposit. Pyrosequence results identified a total of 29,719 bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences, representing 131 OTUs spanning19 phyla including 7 candidate divisions, not reported in oil sands tailings pond studies to date. Legacy FFT common phyla, notably, gamma and beta Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi were represented. However, overall CT microbial diversity and PLFA values were low relative to other contexts. The identified known sulfate/sulfur reducing bacteria constituted at most 2% of the abundance; however, over 90% of the 131 OTUs identified are capable of sulfur metabolism. While PCR biases caution against overinterpretation of pyrosequence surveys, bacterial sequence results identified here, align with phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) and geochemical results. The highest bacterial diversities were associated with the depth of highest porewater [∑H2S] (22-24 m) and joint porewater co-occurrence of Fe(2+) and ∑H2S (6-8 m). Three distinct bacterial community structure depths corresponded to CT porewater regions of (1) shallow evident Fe((II)) (<6 m), (2) co-occurring Fe((II)) and ∑H2S (6-8 m) and (3) extensive ∑H2S (6-34 m) (UniFrac). Candidate divisions GNO2, NKB19 and Spam were present only at 6-8 m associated with co-occurring [Fe((II))] and [∑H2S]. Collectively, results indicate that CT materials are differentiated from other sulfur rich environments by modestly diverse, low abundance, but highly sulfur active and more enigmatic communities (7 candidate divisions present within the 19 phyla identified). PMID:26869997

  11. Coal-sand attrition system and its` importance in fine coal cleaning. Eighth quarterly report, June 1, 1992--August 31, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Mehta, R.K.; Schultz, C.W.

    1993-08-26

    The research efforts on the importance of a coal-sand attrition continued with work in four categories: Continuous grinding tests using steel media; fracture tests on coal samples compacted at different pressure; SEM-Image analysis of feed and ground product coal samples; zeta potential measurements of coal samples ground by different media, and flotation test of coal samples ground by different media. Results are described.

  12. Peak Oil, Peak Coal and Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, J. W.

    2009-05-01

    Research on future climate change is driven by the family of scenarios developed for the IPCC assessment reports. These scenarios create projections of future energy demand using different story lines consisting of government policies, population projections, and economic models. None of these scenarios consider resources to be limiting. In many of these scenarios oil production is still increasing to 2100. Resource limitation (in a geological sense) is a real possibility that needs more serious consideration. The concept of 'Peak Oil' has been discussed since M. King Hubbert proposed in 1956 that US oil production would peak in 1970. His prediction was accurate. This concept is about production rate not reserves. For many oil producing countries (and all OPEC countries) reserves are closely guarded state secrets and appear to be overstated. Claims that the reserves are 'proven' cannot be independently verified. Hubbert's Linearization Model can be used to predict when half the ultimate oil will be produced and what the ultimate total cumulative production (Qt) will be. US oil production can be used as an example. This conceptual model shows that 90% of the ultimate US oil production (Qt = 225 billion barrels) will have occurred by 2011. This approach can then be used to suggest that total global production will be about 2200 billion barrels and that the half way point will be reached by about 2010. This amount is about 5 to 7 times less than assumed by the IPCC scenarios. The decline of Non-OPEC oil production appears to have started in 2004. Of the OPEC countries, only Saudi Arabia may have spare capacity, but even that is uncertain, because of lack of data transparency. The concept of 'Peak Coal' is more controversial, but even the US National Academy Report in 2007 concluded only a small fraction of previously estimated reserves in the US are actually minable reserves and that US reserves should be reassessed using modern methods. British coal production can be used as a case study for testing the applicability the Linearization Model approach. This model has been applied to the various world regions by D. Rutledge (Cal Tech). The regions are summed to estimate global production. The conclusion is that the world's coal resources may be much less (maybe by 10 times) than assumed by the IPCC scenarios. Several research groups, including K. Aleklett (Uppsala), the Energy Watch Group and the Institute of Energy (IFE) and have independently reached the same conclusion. Simulations by D. Rutledge of atmospheric CO2 levels, using these values of ultimate oil and coal production as an input, suggest that atmospheric CO2 could reach maximum concentrations as low as 450 ppm. While some of these conclusions are controversial, available data clearly suggest that resource limitation should be given serious consideration in future climate change scenarios. There are also serious implications for economic recovery and energy security as well.

  13. Influence of Oil Saturation Upon Spectral Induced Polarization of Oil Bearing Sands

    EPA Science Inventory

    The presence of oil in an unconsolidated granular porous material such as sand changes both the resistivity of the material and the value of the phase shift between the low-frequency current and the voltage. The resistivity and the phase angle can be written as a complex-valued r...

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  15. Testing for market integration crude oil, coal, and natural gas

    SciTech Connect

    Bachmeier, L.J.; Griffin, J.M.

    2006-07-01

    Prompted by the contemporaneous spike in coal, oil, and natural gas prices, this paper evaluates the degree of market integration both within and between crude oil, coal, and natural gas markets. Our approach yields parameters that can be readily tested against a priori conjectures. Using daily price data for five very different crude oils, we conclude that the world oil market is a single, highly integrated economic market. On the other hand, coal prices at five trading locations across the United States are cointegrated, but the degree of market integration is much weaker, particularly between Western and Eastern coals. Finally, we show that crude oil, coal, and natural gas markets are only very weakly integrated. Our results indicate that there is not a primary energy market. Despite current price peaks, it is not useful to think of a primary energy market, except in a very long run context.

  16. Heterotrophic Potentials and Hydrocarbon Biodegradation Potentials of Sediment Microorganisms Within the Athabasca Oil Sands Deposit

    PubMed Central

    Wyndham, R. C.; Costerton, J. W.

    1981-01-01

    Techniques for the enumeration and the determination of the potential activity of disturbed sediment mixed populations at control sites and sites within the Athabasca oil sands formation were applied to August and December samples. These techniques included the determination of general heterotrophic potential for the assimilation and respiration of glutamate, which indicated no oil sand-related changes in the sediments but which indicated a significant seasonal change. Enumeration by epifluorescence direct counts, oil sand hydrocarbon plate counts, and most-probable-number determinations of [14C]hexadecane and [14C]-naphthalene degraders indicated that only the plate count was sensitive to increased numbers of oil sand-related hydrocarbon-oxidizing microorganisms within the oil sands deposit. Unlike the most probable number determinations of [14C]hexadecane and [14C]naphthalene degraders, however, the biodegradation potential results of these substrates indicated a significant increase in activity at oil sands sites. These biodegradation potentials also showed a marked seasonal fluctuation. Although the biodegradation potentials and the endogenous hydrocarbon plate counts indicated an oil sand-adapted mixed sediment population, the results of these techniques did not correlate well with the concentrations of bituminous hydrocarbons in the sediments. The results suggest that a general capability for hydrocarbon oxidation exists in the Athabasca River system and that this capability is enhanced within the natural bounds of the Athabasca oil sands. Images PMID:16345737

  17. Processing of Arroyo Grande tar sand using the Recycle Oil Pyrolysis and Extraction (ROPE copyright ) process

    SciTech Connect

    King, S.B.

    1989-12-01

    The objectives of this study are to (1) evaluate the applications of the ROPE{copyright} process to a California tar sand using the screw pyrolysis reactor-process development unit (SPR-PDU) reactor, (2) produce kinetics data for the recycle product oil-spent sand interaction, and (3) produce oil for end-use evaluation. 6 refs., 1 fig., 23 tabs.

  18. Nearshore dynamics of artificial sand and oil agglomerates.

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-15

    Weathered oil can mix with sediment to form heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates (SOAs) that can cause beach re-oiling for years after a spill. Few studies have focused on the physical dynamics of SOAs. In this study, artificial SOAs (aSOAs) were created and deployed in the nearshore, and shear stress-based mobility formulations were assessed to predict SOA response. Prediction sensitivity to uncertainty in hydrodynamic conditions and shear stress parameterizations were explored. Critical stress estimates accounting for large particle exposure in a mixed bed gave the best predictions of mobility under shoaling and breaking waves. In the surf zone, the 10-cm aSOA was immobile and began to bury in the seafloor while smaller size classes dispersed alongshore. aSOAs up to 5 cm in diameter were frequently mobilized in the swash zone. The uncertainty in predicting aSOA dynamics reflects a broader uncertainty in applying mobility and transport formulations to cm-sized particles. PMID:25956438

  19. Nearshore dynamics of artificial sand and oil agglomerates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  1. Nuclear Technology and Canadian Oil Sands: Integration of Nuclear Power with In-Situ Oil Extraction

    SciTech Connect

    FINAN, A.E.; MIU, K.; KADAK, A.C.

    2006-07-01

    This report analyzes the technical aspects and the economics of utilizing nuclear reactors to provide the energy needed for a Canadian oil sands extraction facility using Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) technology. The energy from the nuclear reactor would replace the energy supplied by natural gas, which is currently burned at these facilities. There are a number of concerns surrounding the continued use of natural gas, including carbon dioxide emissions and increasing gas prices. Three scenarios for the use of the reactor are analyzed:(1) using the reactor to produce only the steam needed for the SAGD process; (2) using the reactor to produce steam as well as electricity for the oil sands facility; and (3) using the reactor to produce steam, electricity, and hydrogen for upgrading the bitumen from the oil sands to syncrude, a material similar to conventional crude oil. Three reactor designs were down-selected from available options to meet the expected mission demands and siting requirements. These include the Canadian ACR- 700, Westinghouse's AP 600 and the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR). The report shows that nuclear energy would be feasible, practical, and economical for use at an oil sands facility. Nuclear energy is two to three times cheaper than natural gas for each of the three scenarios analyzed. Also, by using nuclear energy instead of natural gas, a plant producing 100,000 barrels of bitumen per day would prevent up to 100 mega-tonnes of CO{sub 2} per year from being released into the atmosphere. (authors)

  2. Process for converting heavy oil deposited on coal to distillable oil in a low severity process

    DOEpatents

    Ignasiak, Teresa; Strausz, Otto; Ignasiak, Boleslaw; Janiak, Jerzy; Pawlak, Wanda; Szymocha, Kazimierz; Turak, Ali A.

    1994-01-01

    A process for removing oil from coal fines that have been agglomerated or blended with heavy oil comprises the steps of heating the coal fines to temperatures over 350.degree. C. up to 450.degree. C. in an inert atmosphere, such as steam or nitrogen, to convert some of the heavy oil to lighter, and distilling and collecting the lighter oils. The pressure at which the process is carried out can be from atmospheric to 100 atmospheres. A hydrogen donor can be added to the oil prior to deposition on the coal surface to increase the yield of distillable oil.

  3. Use of coal ash for enhancing biocrust development in stabilizing sand dunes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaady, Eli; Katra, Itzhak; Sarig, Shlomo

    2015-04-01

    In dryland environments, biocrusts are considered ecosystem engineers since they play significant roles in ecosystem processes. In the successional pathway of crust communities, the new areas are colonized after disturbance by pioneers such as filamentous cyanobacteria - Microcoleus spp. This stage is followed by colonization of green algae, mosses, and lichens. Aggregation of soil granules is caused by metabolic polysaccharides secreted by cyanobacteria and green algae, gluing the soil particles to form the crust layer. It was suggested that incorporating dust into the biocrusts encourages the growth of cyanobacteria, leading to a strengthening of the biocrusts' cohesion. Moreover, biocrusts cover a larger portion of the surface when the soil contains finer particles, and it was observed that at least 4-5% of clay and silt is required to support a measurable biocrust. While natural and undisturbed sand dunes are generally stabilized by biocrusts in the north-western Negev desert, stabilization of disturbed and movable sand dunes is one of the main problems in this desertified land, as in vast areas in the world. Daily breezes and seasonal wind storms transport sand particles to populated and agricultural areas causing damages to field crops and livelihood. Moving sand dunes consist of relatively coarse grains (250-2000 μm) with a low percent of clay and silt. This phenomenon negatively affects cyanobacterial colonization rate, even in relatively wet desert areas (100-250 mm rainfalls). In order to face the problem it was suggested to enrich the dune surface by using coal fly-ash. The research was conducted in two stages: first, examining the feasibility in Petri-dishes in laboratory conditions and in Experimental Aeolian Greenhouse conditions. The results showed that adding coal fly-ash and biocrust inoculum increased aggregate stability, penetration resistance and shear strength, as opposed to the control-sand plot. Using mobile wind-tunnel simulations, sand fluxes in the experimental plots under different wind speeds (5 to 9 m s-2) showed significant differences in favor of the treatment of coal fly-ash + biocrusts inoculum, compared to the controls (sand, sand + biocrusts and sand + coal fly-ash).

  4. Cheap oil cools interest in coal-water fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Smock, R.

    1986-02-01

    Plummeting oil prices have put coal-water fuels on the utility industry's shelf. East coast utilities that have evaluated coal-water fuel (CWF) as a replacement for oil say it looks great on all counts except cost. SWF technology has been under development for the last decade as a method for switching to coal in older power plants unable to convert to direct coal burning because they have small boilers designed to burn oil. It finally appears to be ready for commercial application, but the market has lost interest. The few utilities still burning any appreciable amounts of oil see no economic incentive over the near term to incur the costs of switching to a coal-water mixture.

  5. Development and evaluation of highly-loaded coal slurries. [Coal-fuel oils, coal-fuel oils-water and coal-water

    SciTech Connect

    McHale, E.T.

    1980-05-01

    For the past two and one-half years Atlantic Research has been conducting a research program which involved development and combustion of slurries of coal in oil and in water. In Phase II good candidate slurries chosen from Phase I were burned in an experimental furnace and their combustion performance evaluated. Two slurry fuels were chosen for the combustion study. One consisted of a 50/40/10 (weight) coal/oil/water mixture, and the other was a 65/35 coal/water slurry stabilized with modified corn starch. The emphasis was placed on the coal/water slurry. Firings were conducted in a one MMBTUH experimental furnace constructed and instrumented for the purpose. A specially designed swirl burner/atomizer was developed for use with the coal/water slurry. Both slurries were burned successfully. Numerous firings were performed of up to one-half duration each. In the case of the coal/water slurry a small amount of gas assist was usually used, although this was eliminated in several shorter duration tests. Thermochemical calculations for coal/water slurries are presented. The presence of water in the slurry represents a relatively small energy penalty. A slurry made from a good coal will have a calorific value in the range of 10,000 Btu/lb. The heat required to vaporize the water of a 70/30 mixture is only about 300 Btu/lb slurry, or about 3 percent. Analysis of the results led to the conclusion that significant improvement in the burning maybe achievable, possibly to the point where combustion rates would be comparable to those of heavy oil. Because of the availability of coal, its cost advantage relative to oil, and especially because of the ease of handling of a liquid fuel, coal/water slurry appears to have considerable potential as a future fuel.

  6. [Research on Oil Sands Spectral Characteristics and Oil Content by Remote Sensing Estimation].

    PubMed

    You, Jin-feng; Xing, Li-xin; Pan, Jun; Shan, Xuan-long; Liang, Li-heng; Fan, Rui-xue

    2015-04-01

    Visible and near infrared spectroscopy is a proven technology to be widely used in identification and exploration of hydrocarbon energy sources with high spectral resolution for detail diagnostic absorption characteristics of hydrocarbon groups. The most prominent regions for hydrocarbon absorption bands are 1,740-1,780, 2,300-2,340 and 2,340-2,360 nm by the reflectance of oil sands samples. These spectral ranges are dominated by various C-H overlapping overtones and combination bands. Meanwhile, there is relatively weak even or no absorption characteristics in the region from 1,700 to 1,730 nm in the spectra of oil sands samples with low bitumen content. With the increase in oil content, in the spectral range of 1,700-1,730 nm the obvious hydrocarbon absorption begins to appear. The bitumen content is the critical parameter for oil sands reserves estimation. The absorption depth was used to depict the response intensity of the absorption bands controlled by first-order overtones and combinations of the various C-H stretching and bending fundamentals. According to the Pearson and partial correlation relationships of oil content and absorption depth dominated by hydrocarbon groups in 1,740-1,780, 2,300-2,340 and 2,340-2,360 nm wavelength range, the scheme of association mode was established between the intensity of spectral response and bitumen content, and then unary linear regression(ULR) and partial least squares regression (PLSR) methods were employed to model the equation between absorption depth attributed to various C-H bond and bitumen content. There were two calibration equations in which ULR method was employed to model the relationship between absorption depth near 2,350 nm region and bitumen content and PLSR method was developed to model the relationship between absorption depth of 1,758, 2,310, 2,350 nm regions and oil content. It turned out that the calibration models had good predictive ability and high robustness and they could provide the scientific basis for rapid estimation of oil content in oil sands in future. PMID:26197595

  7. Waste oils utilized as coal liquefaction solvents on different ranks of coal

    SciTech Connect

    Orr, E.C.; Yanlong Shi; Jing Liang; Weibing Ding; Anderson, L.L.; Eyring, E.M.

    1995-12-31

    Solvent plays an important role in direct coal liquefaction. The solvent acts as a medium to transport hydrogen, as a heat transfer medium, as an additional reactant along with the coal, as a coal dissolution medium, and as the medium to transport coal liquefaction products away from the coal matrix. Recent investigations of coprocessing coal with solid waste materials (plastics, rubbers, cellulose) to raise the hydrogen content of the coal products with a concomitant decreased need for the addition of hydrogen gas have involved reacting solid waste plastics and solid waste rubbers directly with coal with little preparation other than grinding or shredding the waste material. (An indirect benefit to coprocessing waste with coal is that less waste must be disposed of in landfills or by incineration.) Dry mixing of coal and waste materials may be the most cost effective method for coprocessing waste with coal because there is less preparation of the waste material. However, the metals, anti oxidants, carbon black, and plasticers present in the waste materials make some preparation of the reactants necessary. A possible pretreatment of the waste materials would be a vacuum pyrolysis of the waste materials that would produce cleaner oils. To examine this issue, we have recently carried out coal liquefaction experiments in which coals of different ranks were reacted with oils obtained by the vacuum pyrolysis of waste materials, specifically plastics and rubber tires. We have also used waste automotive oils to determine whether the automotive oil is effective, and whether trace heavy metals found in the waste automotive oil can be scavenged by the coal.

  8. Influence of oil saturation upon spectral induced polarization of oil-bearing sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmutz, M.; Revil, A.; Vaudelet, P.; Batzle, M.; Viñao, P. Femenía; Werkema, D. D.

    2010-10-01

    The induced polarization model developed recently by Revil and Florsch to understand the complex conductivity of fully saturated granular materials has been extended to partial saturation conditions. It is an improvement over previous models like the Vinegar and Waxman model, which do not account explicitly for the effect of frequency. The Vinegar and Waxman model can be considered as a limiting case of the Revil and Florsch model in the limit where the distribution of relaxation times is very broad. The extended model is applied to the case of unconsolidated sands partially saturated with oil and water. Laboratory experiments were performed to investigate the influence of oil saturation, frequency, grain size, and conductivity of the pore water upon the complex resistivity response of oil-bearing sands. The low-frequency polarization (below 100 Hz) is dominated by the polarization of the Stern layer (the inner part of the electrical double layer coating the surface of the grains in contact with water). The phase exhibits a well-defined relaxation peak with a peak frequency that is dependent on the mean grain diameter as predicted by the model. Both the resistivity and the magnitude of the phase increase with the relative saturation of the oil. The imaginary (quadrature) component of the complex conductivity is observed to decrease with the oil saturation. All these observations are reproduced by the new model.

  9. Vacuum pyrolyzed tire oil as a coal solvent

    SciTech Connect

    Orr, E.C.; Shi, Yanlong; Ji, Qin; Anderson, L.L.; Eyring, E.M.

    1995-12-31

    Recent interest in coprocessing coal with hydrogen rich waste materials in order to produce liquid transportation fuels has given rise to interesting twists on standard coal liquefaction. In general, coprocessing coal with a waste material has been approached with the idea that the waste material would be mixed with the coal under liquefaction conditions with little or no preliminary processing of the waste material other than shredding into smaller size particles. Mixing the waste material with the coal would occur in the primary stage of liquefaction. The primary stage would accomplish the dissolution of the coal and breakdown of the waste material. The products would then be introduced into the secondary stage where upgrading of product would occur. This paper describes the usefulness of oil derived from pyrolysis of waste rubber tires as a reactant in coal coprocessing or coal liquefaction.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  11. Proceedings of the oil shale and tar sand contractors review meeting

    SciTech Connect

    Bartke, T.C.

    1990-04-01

    Over the past two years the Oil Shale and Tar Sand Programs of the US DOE (Department of Energy) have shifted emphasis from a basic research approach to an applied research and development approach. The 38 papers and poster sessions presented here cover the following topics: oil shale processing (hydroretorting, pyrolysis, coking, cracking, and the ROPE process); tar sand processing (solvent extraction, pyrolysis, hydropyrolysis, ROPE process, and hot water processing); design of oil shale and tar sand processing plants; reaction kinetics and mathematical modeling of processes; spent shale utilization; economics; and chemical composition and analysis. Papers have been indexed separately for inclusion on the data base. (CK)

  12. 1170-MW(t) HTGR-PS/C plant application study report: tar sands oil recovery application

    SciTech Connect

    Rao, R.; McMain, Jr., A. T.

    1981-05-01

    This report summarizes a study to apply an 1170-MW(t) high-temperature gas-cooled reactor - process steam/cogeneration (HTGR-PS/C) to tar sands oil recovery and upgrading. The raw product recovered from the sands is a heavy, sour bitumen; upgrading, which involves coking and hydrodesulfurization, produces a synthetic crude (refinable by current technology) and petroleum coke. Steam and electric power are required for the recovery and upgrading process. Proposed and commercial plants would purchase electric power from local utilities and obtain from boilers fired with coal and with by-product fuels produced by the upgrading. This study shows that an HTGR-PS/C represents a more economical source of steam and electric power.

  13. Research of Coal Substituting Oil (Natural Gas) in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Lifeng

    The complexion that coal gives priority to others resource is decided by the energy production and consume structure. It is difficult to change in the future. With the economy growth, the energy demand is increasing, especially the oil and natural gas. But the resource condition of oil and natural gas are not optimism, domestic production is satisfy to the energy demand difficultly, the direct way is by the import. However the import is affected by the international energy subsituation, and it can affect the energy safety. Whereas the abundant coal resource, the coal can substitute the oil(natural gas).It not only cuts down the dependence on the overseas energy, but also builds up the safety. So, applying the trans-log production function, the text analyses the substitution among capital, coal, oil and natural gas in China.

  14. Integration of waste pyrolysis with coal/oil coprocessing

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, J.; Zhou, P.; Lee, T.L.K.; Comolli, A.

    1998-04-01

    HTI has developed a novel process, HTI CoPro Plus{trademark}, to produce alternative fuels and chemicals from the combined liquefaction of waste materials, coal, and heavy petroleum residues. Promising results have been obtained from a series of bench tests (PB-01 through PB-06) under the DOE Proof of Concept Program. Recently, HTI acquired a proven technology for the mild co-pyrolysis of used rubber tires and waste refinery or lube oils, developed by the University of Wyoming and Amoco. The feasibility of integration of pyrolysis with coal-oil coprocessing was studied in the eighth bench run (PB-08) of the program. The objective of Run PB-08 was to study the coprocessing of coal with oils derived from mild pyrolysis of scrap tires, waste plastics, and waste lube oils to obtain data required for economic comparisons with the DOE data base. A specific objective was also to study the performance of HTI`s newly improved GelCat{trademark} catalyst in coal-waste coprocessing under low-high (Reactor 1-Reactor 2 temperatures) operating mode. This paper presents the results obtained from Run PB-08, a 17-day continuous operation conducted in August 1997. A total of 5 conditions were tested, including a baseline coal-only condition. During the coprocessing conditions, 343{degrees}C+ pyrolysis oils derived from co-pyrolysis of rubber tires or a mixture of rubber tires and plastics with waste lube oil, were coprocessed with Black Thunder coal using HTI GelCat{trademark} catalyst. In the last condition, rubber tires were pyrolyzed with 524{degrees}C- coal liquid to study the possible elimination of lube oil used as pyrolysis processing oil. Overall coal conversion above 90 W% was achieved.

  15. H-Coal-pilot-plant startup-oil study

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-05-01

    This bench-unit program simulated the Catlettsburg H-Coal Pilot Plant start-up procedure in Run 6, which used catalytic cracker slurry oil, an aromatic petroleum oil. The program was designed to explore the reasons for Pilot Plant operational difficulties which included reactor product instability, vacuum pumping difficulties and unexpected product yields. Startup oil, hydroclone overflow and withdrawn catalyst were obtained from the Pilot Plant for use in this run with Illinois No. 6 coal. In this run the ratio of startup oil/coal was varied in Periods 1-10, from 2 to 0.2, while the ratio of recycle oil to coal was increased from 0 to 1.8. Recycle oils generated during this run were used as slurry oils in Periods 11 and 12. Initially, the C/sub 4/-975/sup 0/F total distillate yield was 57.4 W %. As the startup oil feed was eliminated later in the run, the C/sub 4/-974/sup 0/F yield fell to 45.4 W %. Ancillary studies were performed on separator bottoms in order to establish their viscosity and settling characteristics as a function of time. Viscosity measurements were also made on bottoms containing 1 to 30 W % 975/sup 0/F/sup -/ distillate. For comparison, viscosities were measured as a function of temperature using PDU Run 5 hydroclone overflow samples which were vacuum distilled to contain < 33 W % 975/sup 0/F distillate. The propensity toward carbon formation was investigated by a series of Ramsbottom carbon residue (RCR) measurements on separator bottoms which covered the range of startup oil/coal ratios from 2 to 0. Finally, microautoclave tests were performed on startup oil and hydroclone overflow oils in order to assess their ability to dissolve coal.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-15

    Recultivation of disturbed oil sand mining areas is an issue of increasing importance. Nevertheless only little is known about the fate of organic matter, cell abundances and microbial community structures during oil sand processing, tailings management and initial soil development on reclamation sites. Thus the focus of this work is on biogeochemical changes of mined oil sands through the entire process chain until its use as substratum for newly developing soils on reclamation sites. Therefore, oil sand, mature fine tailings (MFTs) from tailings ponds and drying cells and tailings sand covered with peat-mineral mix (PMM) as part of land reclamation were analyzed. The sample set was selected to address the question whether changes in the above-mentioned biogeochemical parameters can be related to oil sand processing or biological processes and how these changes influence microbial activities and soil development. GC-MS analyses of oil-derived biomarkers reveal that these compounds remain unaffected by oil sand processing and biological activity. In contrast, changes in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) abundance and pattern can be observed along the process chain. Especially naphthalenes, phenanthrenes and chrysenes are altered or absent on reclamation sites. Furthermore, root-bearing horizons on reclamation sites exhibit cell abundances at least ten times higher (10(8) to 10(9) cells g(-1)) than in oil sand and MFT samples (10(7) cells g(-1)) and show a higher diversity in their microbial community structure. Nitrate in the pore water and roots derived from the PMM seem to be the most important stimulants for microbial growth. The combined data show that the observed compositional changes are mostly related to biological activity and the addition of exogenous organic components (PMM), whereas oil extraction, tailings dewatering and compaction do not have significant influences on the evaluated compounds. Microbial community composition remains relatively stable through the entire process chain. PMID:25201817

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendoza, Carl; Devito, Kevin

    2014-05-01

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

  18. Using infrastructure optimization to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands extraction and processing.

    PubMed

    Middleton, Richard S; Brandt, Adam R

    2013-02-01

    The Alberta oil sands are a significant source of oil production and greenhouse gas emissions, and their importance will grow as the region is poised for decades of growth. We present an integrated framework that simultaneously considers economic and engineering decisions for the capture, transport, and storage of oil sands CO(2) emissions. The model optimizes CO(2) management infrastructure at a variety of carbon prices for the oil sands industry. Our study reveals several key findings. We find that the oil sands industry lends itself well to development of CO(2) trunk lines due to geographic coincidence of sources and sinks. This reduces the relative importance of transport costs compared to nonintegrated transport systems. Also, the amount of managed oil sands CO(2) emissions, and therefore the CCS infrastructure, is very sensitive to the carbon price; significant capture and storage occurs only above 110$/tonne CO(2) in our simulations. Deployment of infrastructure is also sensitive to CO(2) capture decisions and technology, particularly the fraction of capturable CO(2) from oil sands upgrading and steam generation facilities. The framework will help stakeholders and policy makers understand how CCS infrastructure, including an extensive pipeline system, can be safely and cost-effectively deployed. PMID:23276202

  19. Pretreatment of coal and recycle oil for direct liquefaction

    SciTech Connect

    Winschel, R.A.; Lancet, M.S.; Robbins, G.A.; Burke, F.P.; Kottenstette, R.J.; Stephens, H.P.

    1993-07-01

    A research and development program is being conducted by the University of Kentucky/Center for Applied Energy Research, Sandia National Laboratories, LDP Associates and CONSOL Inc. to improve current coal liquefaction technology by physical and chemical pretreatments of the coal and recycle oil. These pretreatment steps include: (1) agglomeration of the coal with ash-containing recycle oil to simultaneously reject coal ash and recycle-oil ash, (2) fluid coking of the distillation bottoms (ash-purge) stream and recycle of the coker overhead, (3) dewaxing of the distillate portion of the recycle oil, and (4) low-severity hydrotreatment of the coker overhead and dewaxed oil using hydrogen from an in-situ water-gas shift reaction. These pretreatment steps will remove the ash and unconverted coal, reducing the ash load in the system and simultaneously recovering the maximum amount of organics. Dewaxing and hydrotreatment will yield a high-quality recycle oil distillate. These pretreatment steps are being evaluated technically and economically to develop an improved conceptual liquefaction process. The baseline process to which the improved process will be compared is the Two-Stage Liquefaction Process as it was practiced at the Wilsonville, AL, USA Advanced Coal Liquefaction Test Facility.

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

    PubMed Central

    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 <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 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 composition) due, in part, to their location on the landscape. PMID:24782849

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

    PubMed

    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 <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 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 composition) due, in part, to their location on the landscape. PMID:24782849

  2. The Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority: Ten years of progress

    SciTech Connect

    Turner, L.R.

    1985-01-01

    The Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority (AOSTRA) was established by the Government of Alberta in 1974 to promote research into the technological methods for the efficient and economic recovery and processing of bitumen and other products derived from oil sands and conventional heavy oils and for the recovery of crude oil through enhanced recovery methods. In its first 10 years of operation. AOSTRA, in cooperation with industry, has made a significant contribution to the technological base that now exists in Alberta. AOSTRA's involvement spans the complete range of oil sands and heavy oil research and development. AOSTRA's financial commitment to this work now exceeds $450 million. This paper highlights some of the more significant achievements of AOSTRA's first decade.

  3. PAH Measurements in Air in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Yu-Mei; Harner, Tom; Li, Henrik; Fellin, Phil

    2015-05-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) measurements were conducted by Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) at four community ambient Air quality Monitoring Stations (AMS) in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) in Northeastern Alberta, Canada. The 2012 and 2013 mean concentrations of a subset of the 22 PAH species were 9.5, 8.4, 8.8, and 32 ng m(-3) at AMS 1 (Fort McKay), AMS 6 (residential Fort McMurray), AMS 7 (downtown Fort McMurray), and AMS 14 (Anzac), respectively. The average PAH concentrations in Fort McKay and Fort McMurray were in the range of rural and semirural areas, but peak values reflect an industrial emission influence. At these stations, PAHs were generally associated with NO, NO2, PM2.5, and SO2, indicating the emissions were from the combustion sources such as industrial stacks, vehicles, residential heating, and forest fires, whereas the PAH concentrations at AMS 14 (∼35 km south of Fort McMurray) were more characteristic of urban areas with a unique pattern: eight of the lower molecular weight PAHs exhibited strong seasonality with higher levels during the warmer months. Enthalpies calculated from Clausius-Clapeyron plots for these eight PAHs suggest that atmospheric emissions were dominated by temperature-dependent processes such as volatilization at warm temperatures. These findings point to the potential importance of localized water-air and/or surface-air transfer on observed PAH concentrations in air. PMID:25844542

  4. Experimental and modeling study of residual liquid recovery from spent sand in bitumen extraction processes from oil sands.

    PubMed

    Faradonbeh, Moosa Rabiei; Dong, Mingzhe; Harding, Thomas G; Abedi, Jalal

    2013-02-19

    Disposing solid residue with high liquid content into the environment may impact the immediate ecosystem and its surroundings. In bitumen recovery process from oil sands, it is environmentally and economically desirable to effectively recover as much of the liquid trapped in the spent solids as possible, prior to releasing it into the environment. An experiment was designed to investigate the effect of capillary force to enhance liquid recovery by using a thin, semipermeable layer as the membrane. The results indicate that by employing a membrane at the outlet, and pressurizing the air above the sand bed, the average liquid saturation can be decreased by 50%; however, the maximum pressure applied is restricted by the physical characteristics of the membrane. A mathematical model is developed to predict the liquid saturation profile along the sand pack during transient and steady-state conditions, and results are validated against measured average saturation using two different sand types. Results suggest that more liquid can be recovered from the spent sand bed by increasing the height of the bed; however, the required time to achieve the maximum recovery is increased as well. This method can be applied to reduce the liquid content of spent sand from any process before it is disposed of, thereby reducing possible hazards which may affect the environment. PMID:23293943

  5. Biological CO2 conversion to acetate in subsurface coal-sand formation using a high-pressure reactor system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohtomo, Y.; Ijiri, A.; Ikegawa, Y.; Tsutsumi, M.; Imachi, H.; Uramoto, G.; Hoshino, T.; Morono, Y.; Tanikawa, W.; Hirose, T.; Inagaki, F.

    2013-12-01

    The geological CO2 sequestration into subsurface unmineable oil/gas fields and coal formations has been considered as one of the possible ways to reduce dispersal of anthropogenic greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. However, feasibility of CO2 injection largely depends on a variety of geological and economical settings, and its ecological consequences have remained largely unpredictable. To address these issues, we developed a new flow-through-type CO2 injection system designated as the 'geobio-reactor system' to examine possible geophysical, geochemical and microbiological impact caused by CO2 injection under in-situ pressure (0-100 MPa) and temperature (0-70°C) conditions. In this study, we investigated Eocene bituminous coal-sandstones in the northwestern Pacific coast, Hokkaido, Japan, using the geobio-reactor system. Anaerobic artificial fluid and CO2 (flow rate: 0.002 and 0.00001 mL/min, respectively) were continuously supplemented into the coal-sand column under the pore pressure of 40 MPa (confined pressure: 41 MPa) at 40°C for 56 days. Molecular analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA genes showed that predominant bacterial components were physically dispersed from coal to sand as the intact form during experiment. Cultivation experiments from sub-sampling fluids indicated that some terrestrial microbes could preserve their survival in subsurface condition. Molecular analysis of archaeal 16S rRNA genes also showed that no methanogens were activated during experiment. We also anaerobically incubated the coal sample using conventional batch-type cultivation technique with a medium for methanogens. After one year of the batch incubation at 20°C, methane could be detected from the cultures except for the acetate-fed culture. The sequence of archaeal 16S rRNA genes via PCR amplification obtained from the H2 plus formate-fed culture was affiliated with a hydrogenotrophic methanogen within the genus Methanobacterium, whereas the methanol plus trimethylamine culture belonged to a methylotrophic methanogen within the genus Methanosarcina. For the acetate-fed culture, no cell proliferation and methane-production were observed after two-years incubation. During the injection of CO2 and fluid, increase of dissolved CH4 concentration was observed, of which δ13CCH4 were constantly similar to those of the absorbed coal-bed methane (δ13CCBM, ~70‰), suggesting the enhanced gas recovery with fluid flow. The output volume of CO2 (ΣCO2out, 22.1 to 125.6 mM) was smaller than initial concentration (ΣCO2in, 138.38 mM), which can be explained by either adsorption on coal, formation of carbonate minerals, or microbial consumption. Increase of acetate concentration in the fluids was also observed, whereas δ13Cacetate depleted during experiment. Considering with the decrease of additive H2, it is most likely that homo-acetogenesis would occur during experiments, which is consistent with detection of Sporomusa-related 16S rRNA genes, homo-acetogenic bacterium, in cloning analysis of sandstone after experiment. Decrease of formate concentrations and increase of δ13Cformate indicate bacterial consumption of formate and isotopic fractionation. Our results suggest that CO2 injection to natural coal-sand formation stimulates homo-acetogenesis rather than methanogenesis, accompanied by biogenic CO2 conversion to acetate.

  6. The extraction of bitumen from western oil sands. Quarterly report, July--September, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:20544122

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

    Differences in dissipation and phytotoxicity were measured for two naphthenic acid mixtures in hydroponically grown emergent macrophytes (Typha latifolia, Phragmites australis, and Scirpus acutus). One of the naphthenic acid (NA) mixtures was extracted from tailings pond water of an oil sands operation in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. The other mixture was a commercially available NA mixture. While the oil sands NA mixture was less phytotoxic to wetland plants compared to the commercially available NA mixture, they were not sequestered by wetland plants like their commercial NA counterparts. The small loss of commercial NAs from the spiked hydroponic system appeared to be selective and dependant on the specific NA compound. The results of this study indicate that plants alone may not mitigate NAs from oil sands tailings pond water. In addition, caution should be taken when making predictions on the environmental fate of oil sands naphthenic acids when using commercial NAs as surrogates. PMID:18161556

  9. Integration of waste pyrolysis with coal/oil coprocessing

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, J.; Zhou, P.; Lee, T.L.K.; Comolli, A.

    1998-07-01

    HTI has developed a novel process, HTI CoPro Plus{trademark}, to produce alternative fuels and chemicals from the combined liquefaction of waste materials, coal, and heavy petroleum residues. Promising results have been obtained from a series of bench tests (PB-01 through PB-06) under the DOE Proof of Concept Program. Recently, HTI acquired a proven technology for the mild co-pyrolysis of used rubber tires and waste refinery or lube oils, developed by the University of Wyoming and Amoco. The feasibility of integration of pyrolysis with coal-oil coprocessing was studied in the eighth bench run (PB-08) of the program. The objective of Run PM-08 was to study the coprocessing of coal with oils derived from mild pyrolysis of scrap tires, waste plastics, and waste lube oils to obtain data required for economic comparisons with the DOE data base. A specific objective was also to study the performance of HTI's newly improved GelCat{trademark} catalyst in coal-waste coprocessing under low-high (Reactor 1-Reactor 2 temperatures) operating mode. This paper presents the results obtained from Run PB-08, a 17-day continuous operation conducted in August 1997. A total of 5 conditions, 343 C + pyrolysis oils derived from co-pyrolysis of rubber tires or a mixture of rubber tires and plastics with waste lube oil, were coprocessed with Black Thunder coal using HTI GelCat{trademark} catalyst. In the last condition, rubber tires were pyrolyzed with 524 C coal liquid to study the possible elimination of lube oil used as pyrolysis processing oil. Overall coal conversion above 90 W% was achieved. Distillate yield as high as 69.2 W% was obtained while hydrogen consumption was only 4.4 W%. The distinct advantage of this process is the increase in hydrogen efficiency as both hydrogen consumption and C{sub 1}{minus}C{sub 3} gas yield decrease. Economic evaluation shows that co-processing of plastics with oil, coal, or mixed oil and coal reduces the equivalent crude oil price to a competitive level. This demonstrates that a combined process of coal liquefaction and waste pyrolysis is economically viable.

  10. A Wintertime Investigation of Atmospheric Pollutants Deposition in the Alberta Oil Sands Region, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bari, M.; Kindzierski, W.

    2012-12-01

    Atmospheric deposition is a potentially important pathway of trace metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) input to the landscape in the oil sands region of Alberta. With planned expansion of oil sands facilities, there is interest in being able to characterize the magnitude and extent of trace metal and PAH deposition in the oil sands region. A pilot study was undertaken to assess the feasibility of a bulk collection system to characterize atmospheric deposition of selected organic and inorganic contaminants in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region. The study was carried out in four sampling sites near and distant to oil sands facilities from late December 2011 to the end of March 2012 (3-month period). To check the precision of the bulk deposition method, triplicate bulk samplers were used, which were placed next to each other and as close as possible considering similar microenvironment. Monthly deposition samples were analyzed for 36 trace metals (including 13 U.S. EPA priority pollutants), ultra-low mercury, and 25 PAH (including alkylated-, parent-, and carcinogenic-PAH). At two sampling sites located within 20 km of major oil sands facilities, 3-month integrated deposition rates for some priority metals were up to 20-fold higher compared to two background sites located >45 km away from the oil sands facilities. Winter deposition rates of alkylated-PAH and parent-PAH were up to 70-fold lower at the background sampling sites than at sites near oil sands facilities. Deposition fluxes of total carcinogenic PAH were found to be 6- to 75-fold higher at the two sampling sites near oil sands development facilities compared to the north and south background sites. Another notable finding is the apparent precision of the sampling method. Median coefficient of variation for 13 priority metals were ±21% and within ±15% for both alkylated- and parent-PAH. The Athabasca oil sands region is considered a large area of current interest with respect to potential deposition of trace metals and PAH. However, access to power for any type of air pollution monitoring is, for the most part, lacking in locations at distances excess of 30 km from oil sands facilities. The bulk collection systems investigated here offer the ability to obtain direct measures of trace metal and PAH deposition in these remote areas.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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 projectspecific analyses. Additional information about the PEIS can be found at http://ostseis.anl.gov.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. In an effort to discern the overall status of reclamation in the oil sands this study explores several factors essential to policy capacity: work environment, training, employee attitudes, perceived capacity, policy tools, evidence based work, and networking. Data was collected through key informant interviews with senior policy professionals in government and non-government agencies in Alberta. The following are agencies of interest in this research: Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP); Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD); Alberta Energy Regulator (AER); Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA); Alberta Environment Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting Agency (AEMERA); Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA). The aim of this research is to explain how and why reclamation policy is conducted in Alberta's oil sands. This will illuminate government capacity, NGO capacity, and the interaction of these two agency typologies. In addition to answering research questions, another goal of this project is to show interpretive analysis of policy capacity can be used to measure and predict policy effectiveness. The oil sands of Alberta will be the focus of this project, however, future projects could focus on any government policy scenario utilizing evidence-based approaches.

  15. Physical and biological studies of coal and oil fly ash.

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, G L; McNeill, K L; Prentice, B A; McFarland, A R

    1983-01-01

    Studies were performed to compare the physical and chemical characteristics and the in vitro macrophage cytotoxicity of oil and coal fly ash. Sampling methodology was developed to collect size-fractionated particulate matter from the smokestack of either a coal-fired or an oil-fired power plant. Morphological studies demonstrated particle heterogeneity, although most coal fly ash particles appeared to be spherical. Oil fly ash contained two major morphologies; nonopaque amorphous particles and opaque amorphous particles. Elemental analysis indicates that the coal ash is predominantly composed of aluminosilicate particles, while the oil ash is predominantly inorganic sulfates and carbonaceous particles. In vitro macrophage assays demonstrate that the finest coal fly ash particles are the most cytotoxic; the cytotoxicity is significantly less than that of alpha-quartz, the positive control particle. In contrast, the oil fly ash particles are more cytotoxic than quartz. The cytotoxicity of oil fly ash is due to soluble components, possibly vanadium salts. Images FIGURE 2. A FIGURE 2. B FIGURE 2. C FIGURE 2. D PMID:6641653

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-05-01

    In general, three-dimensional inversion of airborne electromagnetic data for models of the conductivity variation in the Earth is currently impractical because of the large amount of computation time that it requires. At the other extreme, one-dimensional imaging techniques based on transforming the observed data as a function of measurement time or frequency at each location to values of conductivity as a function of depth are very fast. Such techniques can provide an image that, in many circumstances, is a fair, qualitative representation of the subsurface. However, this is not the same as a model that is known to reproduce the observations to a level considered appropriate for the noise in the data. This makes it hard to assess the quality and reliability of the images produced by the transform techniques until other information such as bore-hole logs is obtained. A compromise between these two interpretation strategies is to retain the approximation of a one-dimensional variation of conductivity beneath each observation location, but to invert the corresponding data as functions of time or frequency, taking advantage of all available aspects of inversion methodology. For example, using an automatic method such as the GCV or L-curve criteria for determining how well to fit a set of data when the actual amount of noise is not known, even when there are clear multi-dimensional effects in the data; using something other than a sum-of-squares measure for the misfit, for example the Huber M-measure, which affords a robust fit to data that contain non-Gaussian noise; and using an l1-norm or similar measure of model structure that enables piecewise constant, blocky models to be constructed. These features, as well as the basic concepts of minimum-structure inversion, result in a flexible and powerful interpretation procedure that, because of the one-dimensional approximation, is sufficiently rapid to be a viable alternative to the imaging techniques presently in use. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  18. Process for refining coal-based heavy oils

    SciTech Connect

    Sunami, Y.; Iwahashi, T.; Sasaki, K.

    1983-09-06

    A coal-based heavy oil is refined so as to remove quinoline insolubles and provide a hydrocarbon product suitable for making carbon stocks by heating to remove the volatile components which have boiling points ranging from the initial boiling point of the heavy oil to up to at least 200/sup 0/C and at most 270/sup 0/C, thereby leaving a residual coal-based heavy oil. The residual coal-based heavy oil is mixed with a ketone-type solvent having a boiling point less than 200/sup 0/C to form an insoluble precipitate (including quinoline insolubles) and a supernatent. The supernatent is treated to recover the ketone-type solvent, and the remaining hydrocarbon mixture is easily processed by vacuum distillation to produce a hydrocarbon product suitable for making carbon stocks.

  19. Draft Genome Sequences for Oil-Degrading Bacterial Strains from Beach Sands Impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

    PubMed Central

    Overholt, Will A.; Green, Stefan J.; Marks, Kala P.; Venkatraman, Raghavee; Prakash, Om

    2013-01-01

    We report the draft genome sequences of 10 proteobacterial strains isolated from beach sands contaminated with crude oil discharged from the Deepwater Horizon spill, which were cultivated under aerobic and anaerobic conditions with crude oil as the sole carbon source. All strains contain multiple putative genes belonging to hydrocarbon degradation pathways. PMID:24356826

  20. Draft genome sequences for oil-degrading bacterial strains from beach sands impacted by the deepwater horizon oil spill.

    PubMed

    Overholt, Will A; Green, Stefan J; Marks, Kala P; Venkatraman, Raghavee; Prakash, Om; Kostka, Joel E

    2013-01-01

    We report the draft genome sequences of 10 proteobacterial strains isolated from beach sands contaminated with crude oil discharged from the Deepwater Horizon spill, which were cultivated under aerobic and anaerobic conditions with crude oil as the sole carbon source. All strains contain multiple putative genes belonging to hydrocarbon degradation pathways. PMID:24356826

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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). PMID:24632369

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  4. Isotopic Evidence for Oil Sands Petroleum Coke in the Peace-Athabasca Delta.

    PubMed

    Jautzy, Josué J; Ahad, Jason M E; Gobeil, Charles; Smirnoff, Anna; Barst, Benjamin D; Savard, Martine M

    2015-10-20

    The continued growth of mining and upgrading activities in Canada's Athabasca oil sands (AOS) region has led to concerns about emissions of contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Whereas a recent increase in PAH emissions has been demonstrated within around 50 km of the main center of surface mining and upgrading operations, the exact nature of the predominant source(s) and the geographical extent of the deposition are still under debate. Here, we report a century-long source apportionment of PAHs using dual (δ(2)H, δ(13)C) compound-specific isotope analysis on phenanthrene deposited in a lake from the Athabasca sector of the Peace-Athabasca Delta situated ∼150 km downstream (north) of the main center of mining operations. The isotopic signatures in the core were compared to those of the main potential sources in this region (i.e., unprocessed AOS bitumen, upgrader residual coke, forest fires, coal, gasoline and diesel soot). A significant concurrent increase (∼55.0‰) in δ(2)H and decrease (∼1.5‰) in δ(13)C of phenanthrene over the last three decades pointed to an increasingly greater component of petcoke-derived PAHs. This study is the first to quantify long-range (i.e., >100 km) transport of a previously under-considered anthropogenic PAH source in the AOS region. PMID:26404505

  5. Low-rank coal oil agglomeration product and process

    DOEpatents

    Knudson, Curtis L.; Timpe, Ronald C.; Potas, Todd A.; DeWall, Raymond A.; Musich, Mark A.

    1992-01-01

    A selectively-sized, raw, low-rank coal is processed to produce a low ash and relative water-free agglomerate with an enhanced heating value and a hardness sufficient to produce a non-decrepitating, shippable fuel. The low-rank coal is treated, under high shear conditions, in the first stage to cause ash reduction and subsequent surface modification which is necessary to facilitate agglomerate formation. In the second stage the treated low-rank coal is contacted with bridging and binding oils under low shear conditions to produce agglomerates of selected size. The bridging and binding oils may be coal or petroleum derived. The process incorporates a thermal deoiling step whereby the bridging oil may be completely or partially recovered from the agglomerate; whereas, partial recovery of the bridging oil functions to leave as an agglomerate binder, the heavy constituents of the bridging oil. The recovered oil is suitable for recycling to the agglomeration step or can serve as a value-added product.

  6. Low-rank coal oil agglomeration product and process

    DOEpatents

    Knudson, C.L.; Timpe, R.C.; Potas, T.A.; DeWall, R.A.; Musich, M.A.

    1992-11-10

    A selectively-sized, raw, low-rank coal is processed to produce a low ash and relative water-free agglomerate with an enhanced heating value and a hardness sufficient to produce a non-degradable, shippable fuel. The low-rank coal is treated, under high shear conditions, in the first stage to cause ash reduction and subsequent surface modification which is necessary to facilitate agglomerate formation. In the second stage the treated low-rank coal is contacted with bridging and binding oils under low shear conditions to produce agglomerates of selected size. The bridging and binding oils may be coal or petroleum derived. The process incorporates a thermal deoiling step whereby the bridging oil may be completely or partially recovered from the agglomerate; whereas, partial recovery of the bridging oil functions to leave as an agglomerate binder, the heavy constituents of the bridging oil. The recovered oil is suitable for recycling to the agglomeration step or can serve as a value-added product.

  7. The pyrolysis of oil sands in a fluidized bed at reduced pressure

    SciTech Connect

    Fletcher, J.V.

    1992-01-01

    A fluidized bed pyrolysis reactor system was designed, constructed, and tested at reactor pressures less than atmospheric using mined and crushed oil sands from the Whiterocks deposit of Utah. A 6.0 inch ID fluidized bed reactor was fed oil sand of 7% bitumen saturation on a continuous basis while maintaining a bed height of approximately 12 inches. Spent sand was withdrawn using a modified nonmechanical L valve. The characteristics of bed pressure drop, [Delta]P[sub B], versus superficial gas velocity, U, were determined during fluidization and defluidization of spent sand using laboratory air. A proposed method for interpreting the minimum fluidization gas velocity, U[sub mf], from [Delta]P[sub B] versus U curves for multisized particles at reduced pressure was tested. U[sub mf] values were consistent with predictive correlations in the literature. The relationship, U[sub mf] T[sup 0.27] = a constant, was tested and found to be valid from 295 K to 559 K for spent sand fluidized by air. The reactor used propane for heating and the hot propane combustion product gases for fluidization during pyrolysis. Liquid products were condensed and filtered using commercial basket strainers modified with water cooling coils. Material balances of 90% or more were obtained for pyrolysis experiments at 450[degrees]C, 475[degrees]C, and 500[degrees]C. The optimum pyrolysis temperature for liquid yields was found to be 475[degrees]C at average retention times of thirty minutes or more. For pyrolysis temperatures of 475[degrees]C or lower, recovered oil sand pyrolysis products were 88 wt% liquid, 9 wt% coke, and 3 wt% gas. Liquid yields from the fluidized bed pyrolysis of Whiterocks oil sands at reduced pressure were greater than reported yields from a rotary kiln or an atmospheric pressure fluidized bed. Coke on the spent sand was about 0.6 wt% of the spent sand and represented about 8 wt% of the bitumen pyrolyzed.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-30

    Experimental extraction tests are conducted to investigate feasibility of saturated palm kernel oil (PKO) and unsaturated soybean oil (SO) to extract polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from contaminated sand. The extraction rates and efficiencies for lowly contaminated (LC) and highly contaminated (HC) sands at temperatures of 30 °C and 70 °C are evaluated using empirical first order kinetic dissolution models. In LC sand, the extraction is dominated by the diffusion of PAHs adsorbed onto particle surfaces and the direct dissolution of PAH phase. In HC sand, a rapid diffusion of PAHs adsorbed onto particle surfaces and a direct dissolution of PAH phase occur followed by a slower diffusion of PAHs entrapped within the pores and micropores. Larger diffusion resistance during HC sand extractions results in an average 10.8% reduction in extraction efficiencies compared to LC sand. Increased temperature generally increases the mass transfer rates and extraction efficiencies. Additionally, the physicochemical properties of both oils and PAHs also determine the extent of PAH extraction into oil. PMID:22595079

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  10. Coal-sand attrition system and its' importance in fine coal cleaning

    SciTech Connect

    Mehta, R.K.; Schultz, C.W.

    1993-01-07

    The optimal conditions found for both the median size and specific energy for a particular system differ from one another. The fact that the surfaces from which these conditions are estimated are saddle or minimax further complicate the issue as these are characterized by a range of optimum conditions. However, there is no doubt that the conditions which are suitable for optimizing the product particle size may not necessarily be good for the specific energy. Depending on the objective, either the product size or the specific energy may be optimized. Besides, it seems that when the product particle size is optimized, the specific energy is simultaneously constrained. In this manner, a better estimate of the required energy consumption can be obtained for scale-up purposes. When the results in Table 3 are compared with those of the other three coals given in quarterly report numbers 3 and 4, a trend/pattern is observed. For the four coals involved in this work, the degree of fineness of the product particle size depicted by either the median size or d[sub 90] after wet stirred milling, correlates with the hardness or HGI. In other words, the higher the Hardgrove Index, the finer the product particle size. The specific energy in contrast, does not tend to correlate with the hardness or HGI of the coal. Rather, the softer coal, depending on the properties of the associated impurities appears to consume more power. While this may initially appear to be a great surprise, the reasons for it are rather easy to grasp. In order to do this, one needs to look into such things as the properties/characteristics of the respective coal/impurities, the grinding environment, the mechanism of particle breakage in the mill, and how the grinding force is transmitted to the media.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24694323

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  14. Effect of bioremediation agents on oil biodegradation in medium-fine sand

    SciTech Connect

    Croft, B.C.; Swannell, R.P.J.; Grant, A.L.; Lee, K.

    1995-12-31

    A spill of weathered Arabian light crude oil on an intertidal sand zone was simulated in the laboratory. Respirometry, chemical, and microbiological methods were employed to assess the effectiveness of two bioremediation agents: a slow-release inorganic (Max Bac) and an oleophilic organic fertilizer (Inipol EAP22). Inipol EAP22 stimulated additional CO{sub 2} evolution, and significantly increased both the total chemoheterotrophic population and the number of hydrocarbon-degrading microorganisms. At the end of the experiment, the residual oil extracted from the Inipol-treated sand was significantly more biodegraded, based on the application of the conserved biomarkers (phytane and 17{alpha}, 21{beta} hopane), than that removed from the other sand columns, albeit by a relatively small amount. The results suggested that Inipol EAP22 stimulated the chemoheterotrophic and hydrocarbon-degrading microbial population and, after a lag phase, encouraged oil biodegradation in fine sandy sediments subjected to a vertical tidal cycle.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-27

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  18. Coal combustor retrofits to gas- and oil-fired boilers

    SciTech Connect

    Kaplan, L.

    1982-02-22

    The Wormser Grate is an atmospheric pressure fluidized bed coal combustor designed to fire new or existing gas or oil-fired boilers of capacities from 10,000-100,000 lb/h of steam. The fluidized bed boiler produces 60% of the steam output, and the rest is produced by gas or oil firing. The Wormer Grate uses two separate, shallow fluidised beds: one for combustion and the other for desulphurization.

  19. In situ recovery of oil from Utah tar sand: a summary of tar sand research at the Laramie Energy Technology Center

    SciTech Connect

    Marchant, L.C.; Westhoff, J.D.

    1985-10-01

    This report describes work done by the United States Department of Energy's Laramie Energy Technology Center from 1971 through 1982 to develop technology for future recovery of oil from US tar sands. Work was concentrated on major US tar sand deposits that are found in Utah. Major objectives of the program were as follows: determine the feasibility of in situ recovery methods applied to tar sand deposits; and establish a system for classifying tar sand deposits relative to those characteristics that would affect the design and operation of various in situ recovery processes. Contents of this report include: (1) characterization of Utah tar sand; (2) laboratory extraction studies relative to Utah tar sand in situ methods; (3) geological site evaluation; (4) environmental assessments and water availability; (5) reverse combustion field experiment, TS-1C; (6) a reverse combustion followed by forward combustion field experiment, TS-2C; (7) tar sand permeability enhancement studies; (8) two-well steam injection experiment; (9) in situ steam-flood experiment, TS-1S; (10) design of a tar sand field experiment for air-stream co-injection, TS-4; (11) wastewater treatment and oil analyses; (12) economic evaluation of an in situ tar sand recovery process; and (13) appendix I (extraction studies involving Utah tar sands, surface methods). 70 figs., 68 tabs.

  20. Desulfurization of coal with hydroperoxides of vegetable oils. [Quarterly] report, September 1--November 30, 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, G.V.; Gaston, R.D.; Song, Ruozhi; Cheng, Jianjun

    1994-12-31

    This project proposes a new method for removing organic sulfur from Illinois coals using readily available farm products. It proposes to use air and vegetable oils to disrupt the coal matrix, oxidize sulfur forms, increase volatiles, and desulfurize coal. This will be accomplished by impregnating coals with polyunsaturated oils, converting the oils to their hydroperoxides, and heating. Since these oils are relatively inexpensive and easily applied, this project could lead to a cost effective method for removing organic sulfur from coals. Moreover, the oils are environmentally safe; they will produce no noxious products and will improve burning qualities of the solid products. Preliminary experiments showed that EBC 104 coal catalyzes the formation of hydroperoxides in safflower oil and that more sulfur is extracted from the treated than untreated coal. During this first quarter the requirement of an added photosensitizer has been eliminated, the catalytic effect of coal has been confirmed, and the existence of a complex set of reactions revealed. These reactions between the oxygen, oil, hydroperoxides, and coal are hydroperoxide formation, which is catalyzed by the coal surface and by heat, an unknown coal-hydroperoxide reaction, and oil polymerization. Additionally, diffusion phenomena must be playing a role because oil polymerization occurs, but the importance of diffusion is difficult to assess because less polymerization occurs when coal is present. The first task has been completed and we are now ready to determine the ability of linseed oil hydroperoxides to oxidize organic sulfur in EBC 108 coal.

  1. Instantaneous stabilization of floating oils by surface application of natural granular materials (beach sand and limestone).

    PubMed

    Boglaienko, Daria; Tansel, Berrin

    2015-02-15

    When granular materials are applied to hydrophobic liquids floating over another liquid (i.e., water), particles form aggregates which can be separated from the floating phase. This concept can be used for controlling mobility of floating oils, especially after oil spills near coastal areas. The objectives of this research were to characterize oil capture efficiency and determine effectiveness of particles for converting the floating phase to a heavier phase for effective separation. Experiments were conducted with South Louisiana crude oil contaminated salt water, limestone and quartz sand. Although the oil removal efficiency increased with the increasing amount of granular material applied, it did not increase linearly. About 50% of the floating oil was removed by aggregates, regardless of the material used, when granular material to floating oil ratio was about 1 g/g. The aggregates separated had higher amounts of oil content when smaller amounts of granular materials were added. PMID:25555617

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-15

    There is concern surrounding the immunotoxic potential of naphthenic acids (NAs), a major organic constituent in waters influenced by oil sands contamination. To assess the immunological response to NAs, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) waterborne exposures were conducted with oil sands-influenced waters, NAs extracted and purified from oil sands tailings waters, and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) as a positive control. After a 7d exposure, blood, spleen, head kidney, and gill samples were removed from a subset of fish in order to evaluate the distribution of thrombocytes, B-lymphocytes, myeloid cells, and T-lymphocytes using fluorescent antibodies specific for those cell types coupled with flow cytometry. The remaining trout in each experimental tank were injected with inactivated Aeromonas salmonicida and held in laboratory water for 21 d and subjected to similar lymphatic cell evaluation in addition to evaluation of antibody production. Fluorescent metabolites in bile as well as liver CYP1A induction were also determined after the 7 and 21 d exposure. Oil sands waters and extracted NAs exposures resulted in an increase in bile fluorescence at phenanthrene wavelengths, though liver CYP1A was not induced in those treatments as it was with the BaP positive control. Trout in the oil sands-influenced water exposure showed a decrease in B- and T-lymphocytes in blood as well as B-lymphocytes and myeloid cells in spleen and an increase in B-lymphocytes in head kidney. The extracted NAs exposure showed a decrease in thrombocytes in spleen at 8 mg/L and an increase in T-lymphocytes at 1mg/L in head kidney after 7d. There was a significant decrease in antibody production against A. salmonicida in both oil sands-influenced water exposures. Because oil sands-influenced waters affected multiple immune parameters, while extracted NAs impacts were limited, the NAs tested here are likely not the cause of immunotoxicity found in the oil sands-influenced water. PMID:24036435

  3. Fuel properties of bituminous coal and pyrolytic oil mixture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamdan, Hazlin; Sharuddin, Munawar Zaman; Daud, Ahmad Rafizan Mohamad; Syed-Hassan, Syed Shatir A.

    2014-10-01

    Investigation on the thermal decomposition kinetics of coal-biooil slurry (CBS) fuel prepared at different ratios (100:0,70:30,60:40,0:100) was conducted using a Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA). The materials consisted of Clermont bituminous coal (Australia) and bio-oil (also known as pyrolytic oil) from the source of Empty Fruit Bunch (EFB) that was thermally converted by means of pyrolysis. Thermal decomposition of CBS fuel was performed in an inert atmosphere (50mL/min nitrogen) under non-isothermal conditions from room temperature to 1000°C at heating rate of 10°C/min. The apparent activation energy (Ea.) and pre-exponential factor (A) were calculated from the experimental results by using an Arrhenius-type kinetic model which first-order decomposition reaction was assumed. All kinetic parameters were tabulated based on the TG data obtained from the experiment. It was found that, the CBS fuel has higher reactivity than Clermont coal fuel during pyrolysis process, as the addition of pyrolytic oil will reduce the Ea values of the fuel. The thermal profiles of the mixtures showed potential trends that followed the characteristics of an ideal slurry fuel where high degradation rate is desirable. Among the mixture, the optimum fuel was found at the ratio of 60:40 of pyrolytic oil/coal mixtures with highest degradation rate. These findings may contribute to the development of a slurry fuel to be used in the vast existing conventional power plants.

  4. Gas, oil, coal, and environmental biotechnology research. Technology spotlight report

    SciTech Connect

    1995-08-01

    The missions of Biotechnology Research at Institute of Gas Technology (IGT) are to apply biological processes to the production and utilization of fossil energy and related products and to determine ways of accelerating the natural processes by which biological entities can help reduce contaminants in gas, oil, coal, and water. Biotechnology research at IGT resulted in the development of several processes and the accumulation ofextensive experience and expertise. The following are some of the ongoing and recently completed biotechnology research programs at IGT: Molecular biological enhancement of coal biodesulfurization; Removal of organic sulfur from coal; Microbial desulfurization and denitrification of oil shales; Biological removal of heavy metals from wastewater; Methane production from community wastes; Methane enrichment from anaerobic digestion of biomass.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  6. The effect of sand composition on the degradation of buried oil.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Fernández, Sandra; Bernabeu, Ana M; Rey, Daniel; Mucha, Ana P; Almeida, C Marisa R; Bouchette, Frédéric

    2014-09-15

    The potential effects of the mineralogical composition of sediment on the degradation of oil buried on sandy beaches were investigated. Toward that purpose, a laboratory experiment was carried out with sandy sediment collected along NW Iberian Peninsula beaches, tar-balls from the Prestige oil spill (NW Spain) and seawater. The results indicate that the mineralogical composition is important for the physical appearance of the oil (tar-balls or oil coatings). This finding prompted a reassessment of the current sequence of degradation for buried oil based on compositional factors. Moreover, the halo development of the oil coatings might be enhanced by the carbonate concentration of the sand. These findings open new prospects for future monitoring and management programs for oiled sandy beaches. PMID:25044040

  7. Method for Extraction and Multielement Analysis of Hypogymnia Physodes Samples from the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    EPA Science Inventory

    A microwave-assisted digestion technique followed by ICPMS (inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry) analysis was used to measure concentrations of 43 elements in Hypogymnia physodes samples collected in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) of northern Alberta, Canad...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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,…

  9. Oil based side release agents for coal cars

    SciTech Connect

    Kekish, G.T.; Kugel, R.W.

    1982-01-26

    A method is disclosed for reducing the tendency of coal to freeze and thus adhere to the sides of metal storage and shipping containers used to store and/or transport said coal at temperatures below the freezing point of water. The process consists of applying to the sides of the container a coating composition comprising: (A.) 55-97% by weight of a hydrocarbon liquid; (B.) 3-45% by weight of a hydrocarbon oil-soluble surfactant having an HLB value of 1-8.

  10. Saturation dependence of the quadrature conductivity of oil-bearing sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmutz, M.; Blondel, A.; Revil, A.

    2012-02-01

    We have investigated the complex conductivity of oil-bearing sands with six distinct oil types including sunflower oil, silicone oil, gum rosin, paraffin, engine oil, and an industrial oil of complex composition. In all these experiments, the oil was the non-wetting phase. The in-phase (real) conductivity follows a power law relationship with the saturation (also known as the second Archie's law) but with a saturation exponent n raging from 1.1 to 3.1. In most experiments, the quadrature conductivity follows also a power law relationship with the water saturation but with a power law exponent p can be either positive or negative. For some samples, the quadrature conductivity first increases with saturation and then decreases indicating that two processes compete in controlling the quadrature conductivity. One is related to the insulating nature of the oil phase and a second could be associated with the surface area of the oil / water interface. The quadrature conductivity seems to be influenced not only by the value of the saturation exponent n (according to the Vinegar and Waxman model, p = n - 1), but also by the surface area between the oil phase and the water phase especially for very water-repellent oil having a fractal oil-water interface.

  11. Stable nitrogen isotopes of nestling tree swallows indicate exposure to different types of oil sands reclamation.

    PubMed

    Farwell, A J; Harms, N J; Smits, J E G; Dixon, D G

    2014-01-01

    Tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) inhabiting reclaimed wetlands on the oil sands in northern Alberta are potentially exposed to elevated levels of oil sands constituents such as polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAC) through diet. While increased detoxification enzyme activity as measured using 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase in nestlings is a generally accepted indicator of exposure to oil sands constituents, there is no apparent method to detect dietary exposure specific to oil sands processed material (OSPM). In this study, stable C and N isotopes were analyzed from muscle and feathers of nestling tree swallows (15 d old) to distinguish dietary exposure of birds near reference and OSPM wetlands. High δ¹⁵N and low δ¹³C values in the nestling tissues differentiated those from the OSPM wetlands and reference sites. Lower δ¹⁵N values of nestlings compared to the δ¹⁵N values of larval chironomids from an earlier study suggested that the majority of the diet of the nestlings was derived from non-OSPM sources, despite residence near and on the OSPM wetlands. Our finding of limited utilization of OSPM resources by tree swallows indicates either low abundance or diversity of dietary items emerging from OSPM wetlands, or sensory avoidance of prey from those wetlands. Minimal consumption of OSPM-derived dietary sources may be attributed to published findings of limited adverse effects on tree swallow reproduction, or growth and development for these same nestlings. This study demonstrated that stable isotope analysis, particularly for N isotopes, may serve as a useful tool to trace dietary exposure to OSPM constituents as part of avian ecotoxicology assessments of reclaimed wetlands on the oil sands. PMID:24627996

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, S. G.; Clarke, A. D.; Freitag, S.; McNaughton, C. S.; Kapustin, V.; Brekovskikh, V.; Jimenez, J.-L.; Cubison, M. J.

    2014-05-01

    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, soot and possibly fly ash 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 2 uncertainty that spanned values consistent with 2008 estimates from reported SO2 and NO2 emissions, though there is no reason to expect one flyby to represent average conditions. 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 annual forest fire emissions in Canada. The oil sands do contribute significant sulfate and exceed fire production of SO2 by an order of magnitude.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-19

    The Athabasca oil sands industry, an alternative source of petroleum, uses large quantities of water during processing of the oil sands. In keeping with Canadian environmental policy, the processed water cannot be released to natural waters and is thus retained on-site in large tailings ponds. There is an increasing need for further development of analytical methods for environmental monitoring. The following details the first example of the application of gas chromatography atmospheric pressure chemical ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (GC-APCI-FTICR MS) for the study of environmental samples from the Athabasca region of Canada. APCI offers the advantages of reduced fragmentation compared to other ionization methods and is also more amenable to compounds that are inaccessible by electrospray ionization. The combination of GC with ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry can improve the characterization of complex mixtures where components cannot be resolved by GC alone. This, in turn, affords the ability to monitor extracted ion chromatograms for components of the same nominal mass and isomers in the complex mixtures. The proof of concept work described here is based upon the characterization of one oil sands process water sample and two groundwater samples in the area of oil sands activity. Using the new method, the Ox and OxS compound classes predominated, with OxS classes being particularly relevant to the oil sands industry. The potential to resolve retention times for individual components within the complex mixture, highlighting contributions from isomers, and to characterize retention time profiles for homologous series is shown, in addition to the ability to follow profiles of double bond equivalents and carbon number for a compound class as a function of retention time. The method is shown to be well-suited for environmental forensics. PMID:25036898

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 (~0.37 mmol/L), whereas in the MFTs nitrate concentrations are much lower (~0.04 mmol/L). In some MFT samples sulphate appears to be the most abundant electron acceptor (up to 94 mmol/L) but no hydrogen sulphide could be detected. High cell counts in root-bearing layers might be related to a supply with otherwise unavailable nutrients, especially phosphorus. Another plausible explanation is that the cells are brought in the sand with the peat-mineral mix, because it seems that the mix contains a significant amount of roots. Samples with low amounts or no roots showed lower cell abundances. Sand and MFTs also differ in the microbial community composition. Molecular analysis of bacterial isolates of samples with different oil content show that β-Proteobacteria dominate the cultivable bacterial population in substrates with a high residual content of oil, whereas in the low oil content sand they play a minor role. The data of corresponding metagenomic analyses confirm these results. In MFTs β-Proteobacteria make up about 80% of the total bacterial population. The surprisingly stable cell abundance indicates that microbial processes take place throughout the entire production process. Rising cell numbers in root-bearing horizons show that a plant cover fosters microbial abundance and diversity, helping to restore full ecosystem functionality.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-03-15

    Heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates that formed in the surf zone following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill continued to cause beach re-oiling 3years after initial stranding. To understand this phenomena and inform operational response now and for future spills, a numerical method to assess the mobility and alongshore movement of these "surface residual balls" (SRBs) was developed and applied to the Alabama and western Florida coasts. Alongshore flow and SRB mobility and potential flux were used to identify likely patterns of transport and deposition. Results indicate that under typical calm conditions, cm-size SRBs are unlikely to move alongshore, whereas mobility and transport is likely during storms. The greater mobility of sand compared to SRBs makes burial and exhumation of SRBs likely, and inlets were identified as probable SRB traps. Analysis of field data supports these model results. PMID:24503377

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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 indigenous microorganisms, as well as the removal of total recoverable petroleum hydrocarbons (TRPH) over a 45-day study period. PMID:24229785

  19. Heavy and tar sand oil deposits of Europe

    SciTech Connect

    Cornelius, C.D.

    1984-09-01

    Several hundred heavy and extra-heavy oil and natural bitumen occurrences from 26 European countries (including European Turkey and the western borderlands of the USSR) were compiled. The definitions used for heavy crude oils and natural bitumens, as proposed by or prepared with the UNITAR/UNDP information center, were applied. Information on stratigraphy, lithology, and depth as well as on gravity, viscosity, and gas and water content, is given. Deposits are characteristically distributed along the flanks of the basins or within the separating uplifts. Nevertheless, they are found from the surface down to depths of 3000 m (9800 ft). Up to now, big accumulations have been exploited in Albania and Sicily, but they have been discovered also in the British North Sea, France, Spain, and West Germany. In carbonates, they were mostly encountered in fractures of synsedimentary or tectonic origin. The accumulations are the result of either intrusion of immature heavy oil from a source rock or of the immigration of mature oil, which was biodegraded afterward. In many cases, there have been at least two separate migration/accumulation events. In some cases paleoseepages did supply a source rock with asphaltic material or became an effective seal of a later hydrocarbon accumulation.

  20. Use of coals for cocombustion with Estonian shale oil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roslyakov, P. V.; Zaichenko, M. N.; Melnikov, D. A.; Vereshetin, V. A.; Attikas, Raivo

    2016-03-01

    The article reports the results of investigation into the possibility of using off-design coals as an additional fuel in connection with predicted reduction in the heat of combustion of shale oil and more stringent environmental regulations on harmful emissions. For this purpose, a mathematical model of a TP-101 boiler at the Estonian Power Plant has been constructed and verified; the model describes the boiler's current state. On the basis of the process flow chart, the experience of operating the boiler, the relevant regulations, and the environmental requirement criteria for evaluation of the equipment operation in terms of reliability, efficiency, and environmental safety have been developed. These criteria underlie the analysis of the calculated operating parameters of the boiler and the boiler plant as a whole upon combustion with various shale-oil-to-coal ratios. The computational study shows that, at the minimal load, the normal operation of the boiler is ensured almost within the entire range of the parts by the heat rate of coal. With the decreasing load on the boiler, the normal equipment operation region narrows. The basic limitation factors are the temperature of the steam in the superheater, the temperature of the combustion products at the furnace outlet and the flow rate of the combustion air and flue gases. As a result, the parts by heat rate of lignite and bituminous coal have been determined that ensure reliable and efficient operation of the equipment. The efficiency of the boiler with the recommended lignite-to-coal ratio is higher than that achieved when burning the design shale oil. Based on the evaluation of the environmental performance of the boiler, the necessary additional measures to reduce emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere have been determined.

  1. Assessing accumulation and biliary excretion of naphthenic acids in yellow perch exposed to oil sands-affected waters.

    PubMed

    van den Heuvel, Michael R; Hogan, Natacha S; MacDonald, Gillian Z; Berrue, Fabrice; Young, Rozlyn F; Arens, Collin J; Kerr, Russell G; Fedorak, Phillip M

    2014-01-01

    Naphthenic acids are known to be the most prevalent group of organic compounds in oil sands tailings-associated waters. Yellow perch (Perca flavescens) were exposed for four months to oil sands-influenced waters in two experimental systems located on an oil sands lease 30 km north of Fort McMurray Alberta: the Demonstration Pond, containing oil sands tailings capped with natural surface water, and the South Bison Pond, integrating lean oil sands. Yellow perch were also sampled from three lakes: Mildred Lake that receives water from the Athabasca River, Sucker Lake, at the edge of oil sands extraction activity, and Kimowin Lake, a distant reference site. Naphthenic acids were measured in perch muscle tissue using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Bile metabolites were measured by GC-MS techniques and by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detection at phenanthrene wavelengths. A method was developed using liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) to evaluate naphthenic acids in bile. Tissue analysis did not show a pattern of naphthenic acids accumulation in muscle tissue consistent with known concentrations in exposed waters. Bile fluorescence and LC-HRMS methods were capable of statistically distinguishing samples originating from oil sands-influenced waters versus reference lakes. Although the GC-MS and HPLC fluorescence methods were correlated, there were no significant correlations of these methods and the LC-HRMS method. In yellow perch, naphthenic acids from oil sands sources do not concentrate in tissue at a measurable amount and are excreted through a biliary route. LC-HRMS was shown to be a highly sensitive, selective and promising technique as an indicator of exposure of biota to oil sands-derived naphthenic acids. PMID:24182406

  2. ECONOMIC EVALUATION OF OIL AGGLOMERATION FOR RECOVERY OF FINE COAL REFUSE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report gives results of an evaluation of the economics of an oil-agglomeration process (with and without an oil recovery system) for recovering coal fines from a fine refuse stream of 105 ton/hr from a coal preparation plant. The two base case processes studied are oil-agglom...

  3. Plant burns wide range of coals but uses oil when typhoons rage. [Hong Kong

    SciTech Connect

    Jesson, J.E.; Brooks, R.W.

    1983-01-01

    The Castle Peak power plant, Hong Kong, was designed to accommodate a variety of overseas coals. In the case of typhoons, however, shipping and handling of coal becomes treacherous, so oil is burned. Gas recirculation is provided to equalize performance.

  4. Pore Scale Analysis of Oil Shale/Sands Pyrolysis

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Chen-Luh; Miller, Jan

    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 (❍m) 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.

  5. Microbial community successional patterns in beach sands impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-R, Luis M; Overholt, Will A; Hagan, Christopher; Huettel, Markus; Kostka, Joel E; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T

    2015-09-01

    Although petroleum hydrocarbons discharged from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) blowout were shown to have a pronounced impact on indigenous microbial communities in the Gulf of Mexico, effects on nearshore or coastal ecosystems remain understudied. This study investigated the successional patterns of functional and taxonomic diversity for over 1 year after the DWH oil was deposited on Pensacola Beach sands (FL, USA), using metagenomic and 16S rRNA gene amplicon techniques. Gamma- and Alphaproteobacteria were enriched in oiled sediments, in corroboration of previous studies. In contrast to previous studies, we observed an increase in the functional diversity of the community in response to oil contamination and a functional transition from generalist populations within 4 months after oil came ashore to specialists a year later, when oil was undetectable. At the latter time point, a typical beach community had reestablished that showed little to no evidence of oil hydrocarbon degradation potential, was enriched in archaeal taxa known to be sensitive to xenobiotics, but differed significantly from the community before the oil spill. Further, a clear succession pattern was observed, where early responders to oil contamination, likely degrading aliphatic hydrocarbons, were replaced after 3 months by populations capable of aromatic hydrocarbon decomposition. Collectively, our results advance the understanding of how natural benthic microbial communities respond to crude oil perturbation, supporting the specialization-disturbance hypothesis; that is, the expectation that disturbance favors generalists, while providing (microbial) indicator species and genes for the chemical evolution of oil hydrocarbons during degradation and weathering. PMID:25689026

  6. Oil sands naphthenic acids: a review of properties, measurement, and treatment.

    PubMed

    Brown, Lisa D; Ulrich, Ania C

    2015-05-01

    The Alberta oil sands contain one of the world's largest reserves of oil - over 169 billion barrels of bitumen are economically recoverable with current extraction technologies. Surface mining and subsequent hot water extraction of bitumen from the ore generates about nine cubic meters of raw tailings per cubic meter of oil. Oil sands facilities are required to operate under a policy of zero water discharge, resulting in ponds containing more than one billion cubic meters of tailings, a mixture of sand, fines and process-affected water. Process-affected water contains numerous organic compounds, including naphthenic acids (NAs), which have been identified as the primary source of acute toxicity of process-affected water. Developments in analytical techniques, aerobic biodegradability, and treatment via chemical oxidation (ozone) of NAs are reviewed. The field continues to be challenged by the lack of a cost-effective, accurate analytical technique for NAs or an understanding of all the organic constituents in process-affected water that may be contributing to observed toxicity and thus requiring treatment. PMID:25753852

  7. Diamonds in the rough: identification of individual naphthenic acids in oil sands process water.

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

    Expansion of the oil sands industry of Canada has seen a concomitant increase in the amount of process water produced and stored in large lagoons known as tailings ponds. Concerns have been raised, particularly about the toxic complex mixtures of water-soluble naphthenic acids (NA) in the process water. To date, no individual NA have been identified, despite numerous attempts, and while the toxicity of broad classes of acids is of interest, toxicity is often structure-specific, so identification of individual acids may also be very important. Here we describe the chromatographic resolution and mass spectral identification of some individual NA from oil sands process water. We conclude that the presence of tricyclic diamondoid acids, never before even considered as NA, suggests an unprecedented degree of biodegradation of some of the oil in the oil sands. The identifications reported should now be followed by quantitative studies, and these used to direct toxicity assays of relevant NA and the method used to identify further NA to establish which, or whether all NA, are toxic. The two-dimensional comprehensive gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method described may also be important for helping to better focus reclamation/remediation strategies for NA as well as in facilitating the identification of the sources of NA in contaminated surface waters. PMID:21391632

  8. Diamonds in the rough: identification of individual napthenic acids in oil sands process water

    SciTech Connect

    Rowland, Steven J.; Scarlett, Alan G.; Jones, David; West, Charles E. ); Frank, Richard A.

    2011-03-10

    Expansion of the oil sands industry of Canada has seen a concomitant increase in the amount of process water produced and stored in large lagoons known as tailings ponds. Concerns have been raised, particularly about the toxic complex mixtures of water-soluble naphthenic acids (NA) in the process water. To date, no individual NA have been identified, despite numerous attempts, and while the toxicity of broad classes of acids is of interest, toxicity is often structure-specific, so identification of individual acids may also be very important. The chromatographic resolution and mass spectral identification of some individual NA from oil sands process water is described. The authors concluded that the presence of tricyclic diamondoid acids, never before even considered as NA, suggests an unprecedented degree of biodegradation of some of the oil in the oil sands. The identifications reported should now be followed by quantitative studies, and these used to direct toxicity assays of relevant NA and the method used to identify further NA to establish which, or whether all NA, are toxic. The two-dimensional comprehensive gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method described may also be important for helping to better focus reclamation/remediation strategies for NA as well as in facilitating the identification of the sources of NA in contaminated surface waters (auth)

  9. Removal of oil and oil sheen from produced water by pressure-assisted ozonation and sand filtration.

    PubMed

    Cha, Zhixiong; Lin, Cheng-Fang; Cheng, Chia-Jung; Andy Hong, P K

    2010-01-01

    Ever increasing energy demand worldwide necessitates energy supply, inevitably leading to an increasing volume of process waters containing hydrocarbon contaminants. Among them, dispersed and dissolved oils in produced water need to be removed adequately in order to reuse or avoid surface sheen from coastal discharge. We have recently developed a new ozonation technique coupled with sand filtration to quickly remove oil from process water and prevent oil sheen. The technique incorporates rapid, successive cycles of compression and decompression during ozonation. Gas bubbles expanding from small to large sizes occur that provide ample reactive zones at the gas-liquid interface, resulting in heightened chemical conversions-notably the conversion of hydrophobic hydrocarbon molecules into hydrophilic ones. This study examined the removal of hydrocarbons and sheen according to treatment parameters and configurations, as assessed by changes in turbidity, COD, BOD, and sheen presence following treatment. When a synthetic produced water containing 120ppm of oil (about 100ppm of dispersed and 20ppm of soluble oil at a total COD of 320mgL(-1)) was subjected to 10 pressure cycles (reaching 1.0MPa; 20s each) of ozonation and sand filtration at 6cmmin(-1) and then repeated by 20 cycles of ozonation and sand filtration, it resulted in removal of oil to 20ppm as water-soluble organic acids, decrease of turbidity from 200 to 2NTU, and complete sequestration of surface sheen. The new technique offers a treatment alternative for produced water and likely other tailings waters, promoting safe discharge to the environment and beneficial uses of the water. PMID:19931115

  10. Sedimentological sand grain orientation in oil-producing U1 layer Kazan oil-gas-condensate field (Tomsk Oblast)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasnoshchekova, L.; Cherdansteva, D.; Vologdina, I.

    2016-03-01

    The paper describes the results in identifying the prevalent directions of elongated quartz grains being the major oil-producing layer component in sand reservoirs. Studying the orientation of quartz to its grain shapes in paleogeographical oriented core samples made it possible to identify the hydrodynamic reservoir regimes and facies type. The spatial confinement of pore spaces and cataclasis fractures in grain material to the prevalent elongated quartz grain directions was defined.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    The oil sands of Alberta are the world's third-largest proven oil reserve. Even though the expansion of the oil sands industry has led to concerns about its impact on air quality, water quality and human health, emissions from the oil sands industry are very poorly characterized in the literature. During 2008-2012 our group collected 398 whole air samples downwind of (1) oil sands surface mining and upgrading facilities north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, and (2) chemical, petrochemical, and oil and gas facilities in the "Industrial Heartland" region of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. These high-precision measurements were made primarily in July 2008, August 2010, and July 2012 using canister sampling followed by multi-column gas chromatography analysis for 80 speciated volatile organic compounds (VOCs), with ppt-level detection limits. Strong VOC enhancements were measured downwind of upgrading operations near Fort McMurray, especially alkanes, aromatics and solvents. For example, maximum concentrations of 2,3-dimethylbutane, p-xylene and n-octane were 800-2400× the local background value (LBV), and the industrial solvent trichloroethene was up to 260× the LBV. We measured only small VOC enhancements at sites of naturally exposed oil sands, confirming that degraded air quality results from industrial activity rather than emission from natural sources. Remarkably strong VOC enhancements were detected in the Industrial Heartland, which is the largest hydrocarbon processing region in Canada. Some of the largest VOC excesses were measured in samples designated as "no smell", showing that absence of odor is not necessarily an indicator of good air quality. The maximum concentrations of methyl tert-butyl ether and ethylbenzene were 6200× the LBV, and concentrations of 1,3-butadiene, a known carcinogen, were 2400× the LBV. Thirty VOCs were present at levels above 1 ppbv, and maximum propene and i-pentane levels exceeded 100 ppbv. Remarkably, the maximum propene concentration was almost double that measured in the Houston area, even though Houston is the largest petrochemical manufacturing center in the United States. Together, propene and acetaldehyde contributed 40% of the OH reactivity in the most strongly polluted plumes, based on the VOCs that we measured. We recommend systematic, independent monitoring in this region because of the strong impact of industrial emissions on local air quality and potentially on human health.

  12. Coal tar phototherapy for psoriasis reevaluated: erythemogenic versus suberythemogenic ultraviolet with a tar extract in oil and crude coal tar

    SciTech Connect

    Lowe, N.J.; Wortzman, M.S.; Breeding, J.; Koudsi, H.; Taylor, L.

    1983-06-01

    Recent studies have questioned the therapeutic value of coal tar versus ultraviolet (UV) radiation and their relative necessity in phototherapy for psoriasis. In this investigation, different aspects of tar phototherapy have been studied in single-blind bilateral paired comparison studies. The effects of 1% crude coal tar were compared with those of petrolatum in conjunction with erythemogenic and suberythemogenic doses of ultraviolet light (UVB) using a FS72 sunlamp tubed cabinet. Crude coal tar was clinically superior to petrolatum with suberythemogenic ultraviolet. With the erythemogenic UVB, petrolatum was equal in efficacy to crude coal tar. Suberythemogenic UVB was also used adjunctively to compare the effects of a 5% concentration of a tar extract in an oil base to 5% crude coal tar in petrolatum or the oil base without tar. The tar extract in oil plus suberythemogenic UVB produced significantly more rapid improvement than the oil base plus UVB. The direct bilateral comparison of equal concentrations of tar extract in oil base versus crude coal tar in petrolatum in a suberythemogenic UV photo regimen revealed no statistical differences between treatments. In a study comparing tar extract in oil and the oil base without ultraviolet radiation, the tar extract in oil side responded more rapidly.

  13. Study on reaction property of China Yangcun coal with heavy oils

    SciTech Connect

    Ling Kaicheng; Shen Jun; Zhou Gangming; Wang Zhizhong

    1997-12-31

    The reaction properties in coprocessing of China Yangcun coal with three heavy oils (coal tar, petroleum residua and mixed heavy oil) were investigated at different temperatures and 7.0 MPa cold-initial pressure (H{sub 2}) by using a GJ-02 resonance agitation tube reactor. The analyses of feedstock and reaction residua were conducted with GC-MS and FTIR. Experimental results showed: (1) A quantity of low molecular compounds were dissolved in Yangcun coal and these compounds mostly were preasphaltene. (2) The temperature of the highest conversion of Yangcun coal was 390 C. The highest conversion temperature mainly depended upon the coal property and not upon the categories of heavy oils. (3) Conversion order of coprocessing of Yangcun coal with three heavy oils: coal tar > mixed heavy oils > petroleum residua. Aromatic components in heavy oils were media which produced and transferred active hydrogen during reactions. (4) Ash in the coal had a self-catalytic effect. FeS in the coal was catalyst species during coprocessing of coal with heavy oils. (5) Conversion-time curves of coprocessing of Yangcun coal with petroleum residua at 390 C and 430 C were studied. It was discussed that the coprocessing process could be divided into three stages: beginning high reactivity stage, slower-rate hydrogenation stage and condensation polymerization stage. Reaction rate constant of each stage was also calculated. (6) The reaction mechanism of coprocessing was discussed.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26277649

  15. Kentucky tar sand project

    SciTech Connect

    Kelley, M.N.; Jones, H.D. II; Lewis, F.W.

    1985-03-01

    Engineering details and pilot-plant results from a pioneering investigation based on a Kentucky tar-sand reserve are presented. The tar sand deposits of Kentucky are generally situated in the southeastern rim of the Illinois Basin along the southern boundary of the Western Coal Field region. In a recent study of US tar sand reserves, it was reported that over 3.4 billion barrels of oil are in Kentucky tar sand deposits alone. In the 22,000 acres, estimated reserves are over 100 million barrels of recoverable heavy oil. The oil-impregnated section of the deposit ranges in heavy oil content from five gallons per ton to over fifteen gallons per ton. The ore body is up to thirty-five feet thick and the overall stripping ratio for a commercial plant is estimated to be one cubic yard of undisturbed overburden material per ton of tar sand ore. A shovel and truck-type strip mining operation would be used to provide feedstock to the plant.

  16. Oil Sands Characteristics and Time-Lapse and P-SV Seismic Steam Monitoring, Athabasca, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, A.; Nakayama, T.; Kashihara, K.; Skinner, L.; Kato, A.

    2008-12-01

    A vast amount of oil sands exists in the Athabasca area, Alberta, Canada. These oil sands consist of bitumen (extra-heavy oil) and unconsolidated sand distributed from surface to a depth of 750 meters. Including conventional crude oil, the total number of proved remaining oil reserves in Canada ranks second place in the world after Saudi Arabia. For the production of bitumen from the reservoir 200 to 500 meters in depth, the Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) method (Steam Injection EOR) has been adopted as bitumen is not movable at original temperatures. It is essential to understand the detailed reservoir distribution and steam chamber development extent for optimizing the field development. Oil sands reservoir characterization is conducted using 3D seismic data acquired in February 2002. Conducting acoustic impedance inversion to improve resolution and subsequent multi-attribute analysis integrating seismic data with well data facilitates an understanding of the detailed reservoir distribution. These analyses enable the basement shale to be imaged, and enables identification to a certain degree of thin shale within the reservoir. Top and bottom depths of the reservoir are estimated in the range of 2.0 meters near the existing wells even in such a complex channel sands environment characterized by abrupt lateral sedimentary facies changes. In March 2006, monitoring 3D seismic data was acquired to delineate steam-affected areas. The 2002 baseline data is used as a reference data and the 2006 monitoring data is calibrated to the 2002 seismic data. Apparent differences in the two 3D seismic data sets with the exception of production related response changes are removed during the calibration process. P-wave and S-wave velocities of oil sands core samples are also measured with various pressures and temperatures, and the laboratory measurement results are then combined to construct a rock physics model used to predict velocity changes induced by steam-injection. The differences of the seismic responses between the time-lapse seismic volumes can be quantitatively explained by P-wave velocity decrease of the oil sands layers due to steam-injection. In addition, the data suggests that a larger area would be influenced by pressure than temperature. We calculate several seismic attributes such as RMS values of amplitude difference, maximum cross correlations, and interval velocity differences. These attributes are integrated by using self-organization maps (SOM) and K-means methods. By this analysis, we are able to distinguish areas of steam chamber growth from transitional and non-affected areas. In addition, 3D P-SV converted-wave processing and analysis are applied on the second 3D data set (recorded with three-component digital sensor). Low Vp/Vs values in the P-SV volume show areas of steam chamber development, and high Vp/Vs values indicate transitional zones. Our analysis of both time-lapse 3D seismic and 3D P-SV data along with the rock physics model can be used to monitor qualitatively and quantitatively the rock property changes of the inter-well reservoir sands in the field.

  17. Airborne LIDAR Measurements of Aerosol and Ozone Above the Alberta Oil Sands Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aggarwal, M.; Whiteway, J. A.; Seabrook, J.; Gray, L. H.

    2014-12-01

    Lidar measurements of ozone and aerosol were conducted from a Twin Otter aircraft above the oil sands region of northern Alberta. The field campaign was carried out with a total of five flights out of Fort McMurray, Alberta during the period between August 22 and August 26, 2013. Significant amounts of aerosol were observed within the boundary layer, up to a height of 1.6 km, but the ozone concentration remained at or below background levels. On August 24th the lidar observed a separated layer of aerosol above the boundary layer, at a height of 1.8 km, in which the ozone mixing ratio increased to 70 ppbv. 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, in the pollution from the oil sands industry, the measured ozone mixing ratio was lower than the background levels (≤35 ppbv).

  18. The Bitumount Co-Production Project (The next generation in oil sands technology)

    SciTech Connect

    Lane, S.J.; Logwinuk, A.; Ahghar, M.

    1995-12-31

    Solv-Ex Corporation, which owns Lease No. 5 in the Athabasca oil sands area, is planning to build a facility that will produce 10,000 BPCD (1,587 m{sup 3}/d) of crude oil with co-production of 64,000 metric tons per year of alumina. As the Co-production name implies, the operations result in more than just a crude oil product. The facility coproduces alumina and additional inorganic chemicals and could recover several precious metal values. However, crude oil markets are still the major factor in the Solv-Ex approach to the project. The strategy of producing a minimally upgraded (23{degrees}API) tar sands bitumen is primarily a response to a growing demand, especially in U.S. PADD II, for the minimum product improvement/cost to achieve a {open_quotes}Pipelineable Crude Oil{close_quotes} (PCO{reg_sign}). PCO{reg_sign} is of keen interest to refiners not only as a straight run feedstock (with no resid fraction), but as a pipeline diluent for Canadian bitumen and heavy crude oils. Solv-Ex intends to use this product characteristic to advantage in future expansion plans. The proposed technology features: (1) no H{sub 2} addition, (2) higher liquid yields than visbreaking or coking, (3) pitch product suitable for pelletizing, (4) continuous operation, (5) bottomless PCO{reg_sign}. The ramifications of the two latest process developments (patents pending) in tar sands bitumen extraction and aluminum production will also be discussed briefly.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24873895

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

    SciTech Connect

    Castle, J.W.; Bridges, R.A.; Lorinovich, C.J.; Molz, Fred J.; Dinwiddie, C.L.; Lu, S.

    2003-02-07

    Improved prediction of interwell reservoir heterogeneity was needed 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 involved application of advanced analytical property-distribution methods conditioned to continuous outcrop control for improved reservoir characterization and simulation.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Castle, James W.; Molz, Fred J.

    2003-02-07

    Improved prediction of interwell reservoir heterogeneity is needed 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 involved application of advanced analytical property-distribution methods conditioned to continuous outcrop control for improved reservoir characterization and simulation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    The absence of well-executed environmental monitoring in the Athabasca oil sands (Alberta, Canada) has necessitated the use of indirect approaches to determine background conditions of freshwater ecosystems before development of one of the Earth’s largest energy deposits. Here, we use highly resolved lake sediment records to provide ecological context to ∼50 y of oil sands development and other environmental changes affecting lake ecosystems in the region. We show that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) within lake sediments, particularly C1-C4–alkylated PAHs, increased significantly after development of the bitumen resource began, followed by significant increases in dibenzothiophenes. Total PAH fluxes in the modern sediments of our six study lakes, including one site ∼90 km northwest of the major development area, are now ∼2.5–23 times greater than ∼1960 levels. PAH ratios indicate temporal shifts from primarily wood combustion to petrogenic sources that coincide with greater oil sands development. Canadian interim sediment quality guidelines for PAHs have been exceeded since the mid-1980s at the most impacted site. A paleoecological assessment of Daphnia shows that this sentinel zooplankter has not yet been negatively impacted by decades of high atmospheric PAH deposition. Rather, coincident with increases in PAHs, climate-induced shifts in aquatic primary production related to warmer and drier conditions are the primary environmental drivers producing marked daphniid shifts after ∼1960 to 1970. Because of the striking increase in PAHs, elevated primary production, and zooplankton changes, these oil sands lake ecosystems have entered new ecological states completely distinct from those of previous centuries. PMID:23297215

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 product over Alberta.

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

    PubMed Central

    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 (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+) 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. PMID:24711805

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-29

    The absence of well-executed environmental monitoring in the Athabasca oil sands (Alberta, Canada) has necessitated the use of indirect approaches to determine background conditions of freshwater ecosystems before development of one of the Earth's largest energy deposits. Here, we use highly resolved lake sediment records to provide ecological context to ∼50 y of oil sands development and other environmental changes affecting lake ecosystems in the region. We show that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) within lake sediments, particularly C1-C4-alkylated PAHs, increased significantly after development of the bitumen resource began, followed by significant increases in dibenzothiophenes. Total PAH fluxes in the modern sediments of our six study lakes, including one site ∼90 km northwest of the major development area, are now ∼2.5-23 times greater than ∼1960 levels. PAH ratios indicate temporal shifts from primarily wood combustion to petrogenic sources that coincide with greater oil sands development. Canadian interim sediment quality guidelines for PAHs have been exceeded since the mid-1980s at the most impacted site. A paleoecological assessment of Daphnia shows that this sentinel zooplankter has not yet been negatively impacted by decades of high atmospheric PAH deposition. Rather, coincident with increases in PAHs, climate-induced shifts in aquatic primary production related to warmer and drier conditions are the primary environmental drivers producing marked daphniid shifts after ∼1960 to 1970. Because of the striking increase in PAHs, elevated primary production, and zooplankton changes, these oil sands lake ecosystems have entered new ecological states completely distinct from those of previous centuries. PMID:23297215

  6. Anomalously high yields from high clay oil sand deposits - The KpX process

    SciTech Connect

    Keane, J.

    1995-12-31

    Using a new process, an excess oil yield was recovered from the Cold Lake, Alberta oil sands deposits far above what was expected. The yield was 12.5% instead of the expected 6.9% per the Dean-Stark analysis by AOSTRA. The mass balance that was performed for the new process is the subject of this paper. The effect is to multiply the recoverable oil value by 1.81 and thus improve the economics of Alberta`s oil sands reserves. The process has been shown to recover all of the solvents used in the extraction step plus the so called {open_quotes}insoluble hydrocarbons,{close_quotes} which are bound to the clay and are not normally found by Dean-Stark analysis. This result is in line with previous results from multiple samples of oil-soaked bentonite from California, but is not consistent with Athabasca sand analyses nor actual production recoveries when using Dean-Stark for analysis or hot water extraction. The membrane-like-material (MLM) process, as presented at the 1991 UNITAR Conference, has now been modified to eliminate halogens and the resulting performance has been greatly enhanced for operation on oil sands with fine clays. The extraction method uses a non-permeable liquid membrane acting to substitute oil for water at the molecular interface between the substrate and the oil layer. This process uses no heat other than solvent recovery, which would be done during the upgrade step. The solvent system uses only a small amount of p-xylene to form the MLM, with an MLM forming compound extract of bitumen from a source in China. This source of the bitumen extract seems to provide superior performance in the extraction process as compared with Athabasca bitumen as the source. The clay fines settle rapidly from the process water with further treatment using direct nucleate flotation, a second non-permeable liquid membrane made as an aqueous system allows the process water to be recycled, thus greatly reducing the need for tailings ponds.

  7. Sensitivity of streamflow to water withdrawals for the Athabasca Oil Sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leong, D. N.; Donner, S. D.

    2013-12-01

    Water use in the Athabasca oil sands mining industry has accelerated rapidly in the last few decades. Increasing withdrawals from the Athabasca River and other waterways have the potential to threaten instream flow needs and downstream ecosystem health. In this study, two models, the land surface model IBIS and the hydrological routing model THMB, produced a physically-based assessment of the impact of water withdrawals on streamflow magnitude and timing at the basin scale. The models accurately simulate the annual, peak and minimum flows within 5% of observed flows at the nearest monitoring station to oil sands mining activities, and the interannual variability in streamflow is well correlated (r = 0.73) with observations. Oil sands water-use scenarios were constructed based on estimates of water allocations, water use efficiency, and mine production capacity. Simulated winter flows and minimum annual flows were the most sensitive to withdrawals, decreasing by over 6% and 12% respectively, relative to streamflow with no withdrawals. The frequency of low flows also increased by up to 17% as the intensity of withdrawals increased. Water management practices that increase water use efficiency and limit operational growth will be necessary to minimize the occurrence of future low flows that threaten instream needs.

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

    PubMed

    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 4M NH4HCO3 as a draw solution achieved 85% water recovery from OSPW, and 80 to100% 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. PMID:27120634

  9. Characterization and distribution of metal and nonmetal elements in the Alberta oil sands region of Canada.

    PubMed

    Huang, Rongfu; McPhedran, Kerry N; Yang, Lingling; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2016-03-01

    This review covers the characterization and distribution of metals and nonmetals in the Alberta oil sands region (AOSR) of Canada. The development of the oil sands industry has resulted in the release of organic, metal and nonmetal contaminants via air and water to the AOSR. For air, studies have found that atmospheric deposition of metals in the AOSR decreased exponentially with distance from the industrial emission sources. For water, toxic metal concentrations often exceeded safe levels leading to the potential for negative impacts to the receiving aquatic environments. Interestingly, although atmospheric deposition, surface waters, fish tissues, and aquatic bird eggs exhibited increasing level of metals in the AOSR, reported results from river sediments showed no increases over time. This could be attributed to physical and/or chemical dynamics of the river system to transport metals to downstream. The monitoring of the airborne emissions of relevant nonmetals (nitrogen and sulphur species) was also considered over the AOSR. These species were found to be increasing along with the oil sands developments with the resultant depositions contributing to nitrogen and sulphur accumulations resulting in ecosystem acidification and eutrophication impacts. In addition to direct monitoring of metals/nonmetals, tracing of air emissions using isotopes was also discussed. Further investigation and characterization of metals/nonmetals emissions in the AOSR are needed to determine their impacts to the ecosystem and to assess the need for further treatment measures to limit their continued output into the receiving environments. PMID:26766359

  10. Profiling oil sands mixtures from industrial developments and natural groundwaters for source identification.

    PubMed

    Frank, Richard A; Roy, James W; Bickerton, Greg; Rowland, Steve J; Headley, John V; Scarlett, Alan G; West, Charles E; Peru, Kerry M; Parrott, Joanne L; Conly, F Malcolm; Hewitt, L Mark

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to identify chemical components that could distinguish chemical mixtures in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) that had potentially migrated to groundwater in the oil sands development area of northern Alberta, Canada. In the first part of the study, OSPW samples from two different tailings ponds and a broad range of natural groundwater samples were assessed with historically employed techniques as Level-1 analyses, including geochemistry, total concentrations of naphthenic acids (NAs) and synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy (SFS). While these analyses did not allow for reliable source differentiation, they did identify samples containing significant concentrations of oil sands acid-extractable organics (AEOs). In applying Level-2 profiling analyses using electrospray ionization high resolution mass spectrometry (ESI-HRMS) and comprehensive multidimensional gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC × GC-TOF/MS) to samples containing appreciable AEO concentrations, differentiation of natural from OSPW sources was apparent through measurements of O2:O4 ion class ratios (ESI-HRMS) and diagnostic ions for two families of suspected monoaromatic acids (GC × GC-TOF/MS). The resemblance between the AEO profiles from OSPW and from 6 groundwater samples adjacent to two tailings ponds implies a common source, supporting the use of these complimentary analyses for source identification. These samples included two of upward flowing groundwater collected <1 m beneath the Athabasca River, suggesting OSPW-affected groundwater is reaching the river system. PMID:24446583

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  13. Sublethal effects of aged oil sands-affected water on white sucker (Catostomus commersonii).

    PubMed

    Arens, Collin J; Hogan, Natacha S; Kavanagh, Richard J; Mercer, Angella G; Kraak, Glen J Van Der; van den Heuvel, Michael R

    2015-03-01

    To investigate impacts of proposed oil sands aquatic reclamation techniques on benthic fish, white sucker (Catostomus commersonii Lacépède, 1803) were stocked in 2 experimental ponds-Demonstration Pond, containing aged fine tailings capped with fresh water, consistent with proposed end-pit lake designs, and South Bison Pond, containing aged unextracted oil sands material-to examine the effects of unmodified hydrocarbons. White sucker were stocked from a nearby reservoir at both sites in May 2010 and sampled 4 mo later to measure indicators of energy storage and utilization. Comparisons were then made with the source population and 2 reference lakes in the region. After exposure to aged tailings, white sucker had smaller testes and ovaries and reduced growth compared with the source population. Fish introduced to aged unextracted oil sands material showed an increase in growth over the same period. Limited available energy, endocrine disruption, and chronic stress likely contributed to the effects observed, corresponding to elevated concentrations of naphthenic acids, aromatic compounds in bile, and increased CYP1A activity. Because of the chemical and biological complexity of these systems, direct cause-effect relationships could not be identified; however, effects were associated with naphthenic acids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, ammonia, and high pH. Impacts on growth have not been previously observed in pelagic fishes examined in these systems, and may be related to differences in sediment interaction. PMID:25545538

  14. Mutagenicity in emissions from coal- and oil-fired boilers.

    PubMed Central

    Alfheim, I; Bergström, J G; Jenssen, D; Møller, M

    1983-01-01

    The mutagenicity of emission samples from three oil-fired and four coal-fired boilers have been compared by using the Salmonella/microsome assay. Very little or no mutagenic activity was observed in samples from five of these boilers. The sample from one oil-fired boiler showed mutagenic activity of about 500 revertants/MJ, and the sample from a coal-fired fluidized bed combustor had an activity of 58,000 revertants/MJ measured with strain TA 98 in the absence of metabolic activation. All samples contained substances that were cytotoxic to the test bacteria, thus making it difficult to obtain linear dose-response curves. Mutagenic activity at low levels may remain undetected due to this toxicity of the samples. Samples with mutagenic activity below the detection limit in the Salmonella test have also been tested for forward mutations at the HGPRT locus in V79 hamster cells. Weak mutagenic effects were detected in two of the samples, whereas the sample from one oil-fired boiler remained negative. In this test, as well as in the Salmonella test, a strong cytotoxic effect could be observed with all samples. PMID:6825617

  15. Liquid fuels from coal: analysis of a partial transition from oil to coal; light liquids in Zimbabwe's liquid fuels base

    SciTech Connect

    Maya, R.S.

    1986-01-01

    This study assesses the feasibility of a coal based light liquids program as a way to localize forces that determine the flow of oil into the Zimbabwean economy. Methods in End-use Energy Analysis and Econometrics in which the utilization of petroleum energy is related to economic and industrial activity are used to gain insight into the structure and behavior of petroleum utilization in that country and to forecast future requirements of this resource. The feasibility of coal liquefaction as a substitute for imported oil is assessed by the use of engineering economics in which the technical economics of competing oil supply technologies are analyzed and the best option is selected. Coal conversion technologies are numerous but all except the Fischer-Trosch indirect coal liquefaction technology are deficient in reliability as commercial ventures. The Fischer-Tropsch process by coincidence better matches Zimbabwe's product configuration than the less commercially advanced technologies. Using present value analysis to compare the coal liquefaction and the import option indicates that it is better to continue importing oil than to resort to a coal base for a portion of the oil supplies. An extended analysis taking special consideration of the risk and uncertainty factors characteristic of Zimbabwe's oil supply system indicates that the coal option is better than the import option. The relative infancy of the coal liquefaction industry and the possibility that activities responsible for the risk and uncertainty in the oil supply system will be removed in the future, however, make the adoption of the coal option an unusually risky undertaking.

  16. Three-phase measurements of oil and gas trapping in sand packs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al Mansoori, Saleh K.; Iglauer, Stefan; Pentland, Christopher H.; Blunt, Martin J.

    2009-10-01

    We measure the trapped saturations of oil and gas as a function of initial saturation in water-wet sand packs. We start with a water-saturated column and inject octane (oil), while water and oil are produced from the bottom. Once water production has ceased, air (gas) then enters from the top, allowing oil and gas to drain under gravity for different times. Finally water is then injected from the bottom to trap both oil and gas. The columns are sliced and the fluids analyzed using gas chromatography. We find that for high initial gas saturations more gas can be trapped in the presence of oil than in a two-phase (gas/water) system. The residual gas saturation can be over 20% compared to 14% in two-phase flow [Al Mansoori SK, Iglauer S, Pentland CH, Bijeljic B, Blunt MJ. Measurements of non-wetting phase trapping applied to carbon dioxide storage. Energy Procedia 2009;1(1):3173-80]. This is unlike previous measurements on consolidated media, where the trapped gas saturation is either similar or lower to that reached in an equivalent two-phase experiment. For lower initial gas saturation, the amount of trapping follows the initial-residual trend seen in two-phase experiments. The amount of oil trapped is insensitive to initial gas saturation or the amount of gas that is trapped, again in contrast to measurements on consolidated media. More oil is trapped than would be predicted from an equivalent two-phase (oil/water) system, although the trapped saturation is never larger than the maximum reached in two-phase flow (around 11%) [Pentland CH, Al Mansoori SK, Iglauer S, Bijeljic B, Blunt MJ. Measurement of non-wetting phase trapping in sand packs. In: SPE 115697, proceedings of the SPE annual technical conference and exhibition, Denver, Colorado, USA; 21-24 September 2008]. These initially surprising results are explained in the context of oil layer stability and the competition between snap-off and piston-like advance. In two-phase systems, displacement is principally by cooperative piston-like advance with relatively little trapping, whereas in consolidated media snap-off is generally more significant. However, oil layer collapse events during three-phase waterflooding rapidly trap the oil which acts as a barrier to direct water/gas displacement, except by snap-off, leading to enhanced gas trapping.

  17. Oil and gas regulatory considerations for coal, oil and gas operators in West Virginia: Selected issues

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, W.H. III |

    1997-11-01

    This Article examines selected issues arising in the nexus between coal, oil and gas regulation. For coal, oil and gas operators, it is significant that - in addition to the traditional safety and operational requirements associated with oil and gas work near coal - private and public agreements concerning bonds, transfers, and rights to develop are also affected by state oil and gas regulatory requirements. The requirement to {open_quotes}produce or plug{close_quotes} arises, for instance, in the context of bond forfeiture, transfer efficacy, and responsibility for well work. In the context of abandoned wells, delay in compliance with the requirement to {open_quotes}produce or plug{close_quotes} represented by a proffered bona fide future use, may turn upon a showing of future commercial profitability, or, at least, a showing of a willingness to guarantee plugging. Accordingly, the operator`s regulatory considerations bring focus back to what is likely one of the operator`s initial considerations - the prospects for profitable production.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Summary The subsurface microbiology of an Athabasca oil sands reservoir in western Canada containing severely biodegraded oil was investigated by combining 16S rRNA gene- and polar lipid-based analyses of reservoir formation water with geochemical analyses of the crude oil and formation water. Biomass was filtered from formation water, DNA was extracted using two different methods, and 16S rRNA gene fragments were amplified with several different primer pairs prior to cloning and sequencing or community fingerprinting by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Similar results were obtained irrespective of the DNA extraction method or primers used. Archaeal libraries were dominated by Methanomicrobiales (410 of 414 total sequences formed a dominant phylotype affiliated with a Methanoregula sp.), consistent with the proposed dominant role of CO2-reducing methanogens in crude oil biodegradation. In two bacterial 16S rRNA clone libraries generated with different primer pairs, > 99% and 100% of the sequences were affiliated with Epsilonproteobacteria (n = 382 and 72 total clones respectively). This massive dominance of Epsilonproteobacteria sequences was again obtained in a third library (99% of sequences; n = 96 clones) using a third universal bacterial primer pair (inosine-341f and 1492r). Sequencing of bands from DGGE profiles and intact polar lipid analyses were in accordance with the bacterial clone library results. Epsilonproteobacterial OTUs were affiliated with Sulfuricurvum, Arcobacter and Sulfurospirillum spp. detected in other oil field habitats. The dominant organism revealed by the bacterial libraries (87% of all sequences) is a close relative of Sulfuricurvum kujiense – an organism capable of oxidizing reduced sulfur compounds in crude oil. Geochemical analysis of organic extracts from bitumen at different reservoir depths down to the oil water transition zone of these oil sands indicated active biodegradation of dibenzothiophenes, and stable sulfur isotope ratios for elemental sulfur and sulfate in formation waters were indicative of anaerobic oxidation of sulfur compounds. Microbial desulfurization of crude oil may be an important metabolism for Epsilonproteobacteria indigenous to oil reservoirs with elevated sulfur content and may explain their prevalence in formation waters from highly biodegraded petroleum systems. PMID:21824242

  19. Generation storage and expulsion of oil and gas from Mesaverde Group coals, Washakie Basin, Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Garcia-Gonzalez, M. ); Surdam, R.C. ) Lee, M.L. )

    1996-01-01

    An integrated study of hydrocarbon maturation reactions of coals from the Mesaverde Group (Washakie Basin of Wyoming) demonstrates that these coals are a significant source of both liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons. Petrographic studies of subsurface coal samples from a variety of depths (e.g. thermal exposure) show that with increasing temperatures, oil is generated during alteration of desmocollinite and liptinite macerals info exsudatinite (waxy oil) and inertinite solid residue; the waxy oil is stored in porous structures and vesicles in the coal; significant oil is expelled if the coals are tectonically fractured; and in the absence of tectonic fractures, with increased thermal exposure, the oil is thermally cracked to gas and as a result the coal is fractured and gas is expelled and migrates. Similar hydrocarbon reaction, storage and expulsion scenarios are observed in hydrous pyrolysis experiments designed to simulate the thermal maturation of coal. Compositional studies utilizing supercritical CO[sub 2] extractions and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry show that liquids from natural coal samples, hydrous pyrolysis experiments and oil fields in the Washakie Basin are similar. The data suggests that coal is the main source of the oil and gas associated with the Mesaverde Group in the Washakie Basin.

  20. Generation storage and expulsion of oil and gas from Mesaverde Group coals, Washakie Basin, Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Garcia-Gonzalez, M.; Surdam, R.C. Lee, M.L.

    1996-12-31

    An integrated study of hydrocarbon maturation reactions of coals from the Mesaverde Group (Washakie Basin of Wyoming) demonstrates that these coals are a significant source of both liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons. Petrographic studies of subsurface coal samples from a variety of depths (e.g. thermal exposure) show that with increasing temperatures, oil is generated during alteration of desmocollinite and liptinite macerals info exsudatinite (waxy oil) and inertinite solid residue; the waxy oil is stored in porous structures and vesicles in the coal; significant oil is expelled if the coals are tectonically fractured; and in the absence of tectonic fractures, with increased thermal exposure, the oil is thermally cracked to gas and as a result the coal is fractured and gas is expelled and migrates. Similar hydrocarbon reaction, storage and expulsion scenarios are observed in hydrous pyrolysis experiments designed to simulate the thermal maturation of coal. Compositional studies utilizing supercritical CO{sub 2} extractions and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry show that liquids from natural coal samples, hydrous pyrolysis experiments and oil fields in the Washakie Basin are similar. The data suggests that coal is the main source of the oil and gas associated with the Mesaverde Group in the Washakie Basin.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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 oil shale and tar sands resource development.

  2. APPLICATION OF OIL AGGLOMERATION FOR EFFLUENT CONTROL FROM COAL CLEANING PLANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report discusses the potential applicability of oil agglomeration for the control of black water effluents from coal cleaning plants processing four different coals. Removal and recovery of the coal from each of the black waters produced aqueous suspensions of mineral matter ...

  3. FUEL CONTAMINANTS: VOLUME 4. APPLICATION OF OIL AGGLOMERATION TO COAL WASTES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report gives results of a study of the application of oil agglomeration to coal wastes. There are an estimated 3000-5000 sizeable active and abandoned coal waste piles and impoundments in the eastern U.S. coal fields alone, containing 3 billion tons of refuse, part of which a...

  4. Do Massive Oil Sands Developments in a Northern Watershed Lead to an Impending Crisis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kienzle, S. W.; Byrne, J.; Schindler, D.; Komers, P.

    2005-12-01

    Oil sands developments in northern Alberta are land disruptions of massive proportions, with potentially major impacts on watersheds. Alberta has one of the largest known oil reserves in the world, and developments have about 25,000 sqkm of lease areas, and have approvals for plants to develop over half a million ha (or 54 townships). This is 91% the size of Lake Erie covered mainly with tailings dams, open-pit mines and associated massive removal of forests, wetlands, and soils. With rising oil prices and declining conventional reserves, the current production of about 900,000 barrels per day will dramatically increase. There is considerable confusion over how much water is needed to extract and refine the oil. Best estimated by oil companies are 6 to 10 barrels of water for each barrel of oil. Shell Oil is aiming to bring the water to oil ratio down to 3, however, this is not yet achieved. Trend analysis of the Athabasca streamflow shows that the streamflow is declining, particularly the low flow during winter. In order to sustain a minimum flow that ensures a relatively healthy aquatic environment, the only option the oil sands companies have to ensure uninterrupted production during winter is to build large water reservoirs, which would be filled during the high flow period in spring or summer. A disturbing fact is that this need for reservoirs was never considered until a science panel initiated by the Mikesew Cree First Nation participated in two hearings in the fall of 2003, when two major oil companies applied for licenses of a massive scale each. In the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), water was to be extracted throughout the year, consequently threatening in-stream flow needs at some point in the future. Less than 1% has been reclaimed so far, with questionable success, as the new landscape will be a relatively sterile landscape with minimal biological diversity. Reclamation liabilities need to be included in mining leases. The release of naphthenic acids into water bodies through oil sands refining and potential tailings pond leaks could have huge impacts on the water quality for a large region. The short-comings in the EIAs submitted during the past two and a half years are manifold: a) the hydrological science of the EIAs is extremely sparse, with hardly any references to peer-reviewed journals; b) uncertainty analysis was not included until the 2003 hearings, and today uncertainty analysis is carried out inadequately; c) climate change impacts on streamflow and the water cycle have been totally ignored until the 2003 hearings, and today climate change impact analyses are totally inadequate; d) impacts quantification calculations are based on comparing impacted areas, such as the change of open water areas, to the total study area, instead of the associated pre-development areas, which results in highly underrated impacts quantification; e) the regions of potentially affected impacts from oil sands operations are defined to end at the inflow into Lake Athabasca, which is insufficient as substances carried with the water will flow into Lake Athabasca; f) frequency analyses are based on the wrong frequency distribution, subsequently resulting in inadequate predictions of streamflow extremes.

  5. Cultivation of yeast on light-oil fractions of hard-coal tar

    SciTech Connect

    Kucher, R.V.; Dzumeozei, N.V.; Pavlyuk, M.I.; Tyrovskii, A.A.

    1982-01-01

    The results are given of experiments on the cultivation of the yeast Candida tropicalis on light-oil fractions of coal-tar. It has been shown that a light fraction can serve as the sole source of carbon and energy. Surface active agents stimulate the growth of the yeast on the light-oil fractions of hard-coal tar.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  7. Preliminary investigations on the injection of a coal-oil-slurry into the blast furnace

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rejek, U.; Franke, F. H.

    1981-12-01

    The flow and pumping behaviour and sedimentation of coal-oil-slurries as a function of concentration, temperature, coal and oil type, grain size, size distribution, pipe geometry etc. were determined. The results are intended to facilitate the planning of an injection plant and to enable an assessment of the economic feasibility of such a plant. The results show that for trouble-free transportation, (without undue increase in viscosity) the maximum coal concentration is 50 percent by weight with lignite coal-oil-slurries and 65 percent by weight with bituminous low volatile coal-oil-slurries at 80 C. A fine grinding of the coals leads to high viscosity in the slurries. The utilization of coarse particles leads to a rapid sedimentation at low velocities.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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 precipitate readily enables removal of asphaltenes. Thus, an upgraded crude low in heavy metal, sulfur and nitrogen is more conducive for further purification.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  10. Desulfurization of coal with hydroperoxides of vegetable oils. Technical progress report, March 1--May 31, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, G.V.; Gaston, R.D.; Song, R.; Cheng, J.; Shi, Feng; Gholson, K.L.

    1995-12-31

    This project proposes a new method for removing organic sulfur from Illinois coals using readily available farm products. It proposes to use air and vegetable oils to disrupt the coal matrix, oxidize sulfur forms, increase volatiles, and desulfurize coal. This will be accomplished by impregnating coals with polyunsaturated oils, converting the oils to their hydroperoxides, and heating. Since these oils are relatively inexpensive and easily applied, this project could lead to a cost effective method for removing organic sulfur from coals. Moreover, the oils are environmentally safe; they will produce no noxious products and will improve burning qualities of solid products. Preliminary experiments showed that IBC 104 coal catalyzes the formation of hydroperoxides in safflower oil and that more sulfur is extracted from the treated than untreated coal. During the first quarter the requirement of an added photosensitizer was eliminated, the catalytic effect of coal was confirmed, and the existence of a complex set of reactions was revealed. During the second quarter, working with IBC-108 coal (2.3% organic S, 0.4% pyrite S), the effects of different extraction solvents were examined. A new pretreatment which combines alkali with linseed oil was discovered. Best organic sulfur removal is approximately 26% using alkali pretreatment combined with linseed oil at 100[degrees]C. BTU loses can be kept to a minimum of 3% with proper use of solvents. During this third quarter the effects of different ratios of oil:coal, different temperatures, and different reaction times were completely examined. The effects of alkali on sulfur removal were further investigated. Best organic sulfur removal reaches 34% using ammonia pretreatment, then oil and finally aqNA2CO3 extraction.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Frankel, Mathew L.; Demeter, Marc A.; Lemire, Joe A.; Turner, Raymond J.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26849649

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Frankel, Mathew L; Demeter, Marc A; Lemire, Joe A; Turner, Raymond J

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26849649

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 development. Mineralization of water samples from these natural discharge zones ranged up to 64,000 mg/L TDS. Elevated levels of ammonia (up to 4.5 mg/L) were also detected, as well as certain trace elements (e.g., arsenic), dissolved organics (e.g., phenols and naphthenic acids), and certain polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. Geophysical anomalies identified near active oil sands developments yielded similar results. The data generated by this, and other, studies was used to create geochemical fingerprints to identify likely sources and associated risk to aquatic receptors. In the end this multi-disciplined investigation, employing physical and chemical sciences in a forensic manner, identified the significant role that nature plays in contaminant loading to the Athabasca River. This paper will highlight key geochemical findings (consistent with the physical setting) leading to a refined understanding of risks related to oil sands development, and the importance of a holistic approach when assessing and attributing environmental effects.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 microbial population. Ongoing compound specific radiocarbon analysis of microbial PLFA will elucidate the connection between the observed biomass increase and these potential carbon sources. This work will identify the primary carbon sources controlling microbial redox cycling and thus petroleum hydrocarbon degradation and/or production of byproducts such as H2S. Complementary analyses of naphthenic acid distribution, sulphur geochemistry, and microbial genetics are being undertaken by collaborating research groups. Combined, this research will increase our understanding of the environmental impact of oil sands reclamation activities and enable management decisions and future design of large scale reclamation projects.

  18. Variation in toxicity response of Ceriodaphnia dubia to Athabasca oil sands coke leachates.

    PubMed

    Puttaswamy, Naveen; Turcotte, Dominique; Liber, Karsten

    2010-07-01

    Coke from the Athabasca (Alberta, Canada) oil sands operations may someday be integrated into reclamation landscapes. It is hypothesized that the metals associated with the solid coke may leach into the surrounding environment. Therefore, the main objectives of this study were to characterize the toxicity and chemistry of coke leachates collected from two field lysimeters (i.e. shallow lysimeter and deep lysimeter) over a period of 20months, as well as from other oil sands coke storage sites. In addition, a batch renewal leaching of coke was conducted to examine the rate of metals release. Chronic toxicity of key metals (e.g. Al, Mn, Ni and V) found in lysimeter coke leachate was evaluated separately. Toxicity test results revealed that whole coke leachates (100% v/v) were acutely toxic to Ceriodaphnia dubia; the 7-day LC50 values were always <25% v/v coke leachate. The deep lysimeter leachate was generally more toxic than the shallow lysimeter leachate, likely because of significantly higher concentrations of vanadium (V) found in the deep lysimeter leachate at all sampling times. Vanadium concentrations were higher than all other metals found in the leachate from both lysimeters, and in the batch renewal leaching study. Furthermore, V found in leachates collected from other oil sands field sites showed a concentration-response relationship with C. dubia survival. Mass balance calculations indicated that 94-98% of potentially leachable V fraction was still present in the coke from two field lysimeters. Evidence gathered from these assessments, including toxic unit (TU) calculations for the elements of concern, suggests that V was the likely cause of toxicity of the deep lysimeter leachate, whereas in the shallow lysimeter leachate both Ni and V could be responsible for the observed toxicity. PMID:20553931

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25697311

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

    PubMed

    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 (<1ppb/year) at Fort McKay and Fort McMurray over the period consistent with increasing emissions of oxides of nitrogen (ca. 1000tons/year) from industrial developments. Emissions from all oil sands facilities appear to be contributing to the trend at Fort McKay, whereas both emissions from within the community (vehicles and commercial) and oil sands facility emissions appear to be contributing to the trend at Fort McMurray. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from industrial developments in the AOSR were unchanged during the period (101,000±7000tons/year; mean±standard deviation) and no meaningful trends were judged to be occurring at all community stations. No meaningful trends occurred for ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) at all community stations and carbon monoxide at one station in Fort McMurray. 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. PMID:25454237

  1. Measurements of oxygenated volatile organic compounds in the oil sands region of Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moussa, S. G.; Leithead, A.; Li, S. M.; Gordon, M.; Hayden, K. L.; Wang, D. K.; Staebler, R. M.; Liu, P.; O'Brien, J.; Mittermeier, R.; Liggio, J.

    2014-12-01

    Oxygenated volatile organic compounds (OVOCs) are ubiquitous in the atmosphere, and represent an important fraction of volatile organic compounds. Additionally some OVOC species may pose health risks. OVOCs can affect the oxidative and radiative budget of the atmosphere since they are precursors to ground level ozone, hydroxyl radicals and secondary organic aerosols (SOA). OVOCs such as methanol, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, crotonaldehyde, methylvinylketone (MVK), methylethylketone (MEK) and acrolein can be emitted from anthropogenic and biogenic sources. Additionally, they are the secondary products of the photo-oxidation of hydrocarbons (biogenic and anthropogenic). Understanding the magnitude of these sources is a prerequisite for accurate representations of radical cycling, ozone production and SOA formation in air quality models. The sources of OVOCs in the Alberta Oil Sands (OS) region have not previously been well characterized. In the summer of 2013, airborne measurements of various OVOCs were made in the Athabasca oil sands region between August 13 and September 7, 2013. Proton Transfer Reaction-Time of Flight-Mass Spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS) was used to measure methanol, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetone, crotonaldehyde, MVK, MEK, acrolein as well as other hydrocarbons. Emission ratios (ER) for several OVOCs (relative to carbon monoxide; CO) were used to estimate direct anthropogenic emissions from OS industrial sources, while the calculated OH radical exposures were used to estimate the production and removal of secondary anthropogenic OVOCs. The results indicate that OVOCs such as acetaldehyde, crotonaldehyde and MVK have both primary and secondary anthropogenic and biogenic sources. However, species such as methanol and acrolein are from biogenic and anthropogenic sources, respectively. The results of this work will help to characterize sources of OVOCs and the factors influencing their atmospheric fate in the Oil Sands region.

  2. Solvent extraction of bituminous coals using light cycle oil: characterization of diaromatic products in liquids

    SciTech Connect

    Josefa M. Griffith; Caroline E. Burgess Clifford; Leslie R. Rudnick; Harold H. Schobert

    2009-09-15

    Many studies of the pyrolytic degradation of coal-derived and petroleum-derived aviation fuels have demonstrated that the coal-derived fuels show better thermal stability, both with respect to deposition of carbonaceous solids and cracking to gases. Much previous work at our institute has focused on the use of refined chemical oil (RCO), a distillate from the refining of coal tar, blended with light cycle oil (LCO) from catalytic cracking of vacuum gas oil. Hydroprocessing of this blend forms high concentrations of tetralin and decalin derivatives that confer particularly good thermal stability on the fuel. However, possible supply constraints for RCO make it important to consider alternative ways to produce an 'RCO-like' product from coal in an inexpensive process. This study shows the results of coal extraction using LCO as a solvent. At 350{sup o}C at a solvent-to-coal ratio of 10:1, the conversions were 30-50 wt % and extract yields 28-40 wt % when testing five different coals. When using lower LCO/coal ratios, conversions and extract yields were much smaller; lower LCO/coal ratios also caused mechanical issues. LCO is thought to behave similarly to a nonpolar, non-hydrogen donor solvent, which would facilitate heat-induced structural relaxation of the coal followed by solubilization. The main components contributed from the coal to the extract when using Pittsburgh coal are di- and triaromatic compounds. 41 refs., 3 figs., 12 tabs.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    The expanding industrial development in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR) in northeastern Alberta, Canada, has raised concerns about increasing nitrogen (N) emissions from oil sands operations and their potential effects on the surrounding terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Stable isotope techniques may help to trace industrial emissions provided that they are isotopically distinct from background isotope ratios of atmospheric N compounds. Ammonium deposition rates (NH4-N) typically exceed nitrate deposition rates (NO3-N) in the AOSR (Proemse et al., 2013), suggesting that emissions of reduced nitrogen compounds play a significant role for the atmospheric nitrogen budget in the AOSR. We collected atmospheric ammonium in open field bulk deposition and throughfall using ion exchange resins over ~6 months time periods from summer 2007 to summer 2011 located at distances between 3 to 113 km to one of the major oil sands developments in the AOSR. Ammonium deposition rates and δ15N-NH4 values were determined using ion chromatography and the ammonium diffusion method (Sebilo et al., 2004) on resin extracts. Atmospheric ammonium deposition rates in open field bulk collectors and throughfall collectors ranged from 1.0 to 4.7 kg ha-1 yr-1 NH4-N, and from 1.0 to 18.3 kg ha-1 yr-1 NH4-N, respectively. δ15N-NH4 values varied from -6.3 to +14.8‰ with the highest δ15N values typically associated with elevated NH4-N deposition rates. δ15N-NH4 values of up to +20.1‰ were observed for industrially emitted NH4 in particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions (Proemse et al., 2012) suggesting that industrial NH3 and NH4 emissions are associated with elevated δ15N values providing a potential tracer. Applying a two-end-member mixing analysis using a background δ15N-NH4 value of -3.6‰ for summer and -3.2‰ for winter periods revealed that particularly sites within ~30 km radius from the main oil sands developments are significantly affected by industrial contributions to atmospheric NH4 deposition. References: Sebilo et al., 2004: Environmental Chemistry, Vol. 1, 99-103. Proemse et al., 2012: Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 60, 555-563. Proemse et al., 2013: Environmental Pollution, Vol. 182, 80-91.

  5. A wintertime investigation of atmospheric deposition of metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Canada.

    PubMed

    Bari, M A; Kindzierski, W B; Cho, S

    2014-07-01

    With planned expansion of oil sands facilities, there is interest in being able to characterize the magnitude and extent of deposition of metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) of Alberta. A study was undertaken using a bulk collection system to characterize wintertime atmospheric deposition of selected inorganic and organic contaminants in the AOSR. The study was carried out from January to March 2012 at two sampling sites near (within a 20 km circle of oil sands development) and two sampling sites distant (>45 km) to oil sands development. Triplicate bulk samplers were used to estimate precision of the method at one distant site. Monthly deposition samples were analyzed for 36 metals, ultra-low mercury, and 25 PAHs (including alkylated, and parent PAH). At the two sites located within 20 km of oil sands development, 3-month wintertime integrated deposition for some priority metals, alkylated and parent PAH were higher compared to distant sites. Deposition fluxes of metals and PAH were compared to other available bulk deposition studies worldwide. Median bulk measurement uncertainties of metals and both PAH classes were 26% and within ±15%, respectively suggesting that the bulk sampling method is a potential alternative for obtaining future direct measures of wintertime metals and PAH deposition at locations without access to power in the AOSR. PMID:24727036

  6. Fluid flow and sand production in heavy-oil reservoirs under solution-gas drive

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, G.E.

    1988-05-01

    The production of heavy oil in Canada has led to a number of anomalous results, most of which have been excused as high-permeability channels resulting from sand production. The methods of soil mechanics predict gross formation failure resulting from high fluid compressability, small cohesion, and high viscosity. Gross failure results in excellent productivity but reduced in-situ stress (and fracture stress). Solution-gas drive in these reservoirs involves simultaneous-mixture flow of a gas as very tiny little bubbles entrained in heavy oil. Stress, geometry, and permeability alteration resulting from matrix deformation combined with peculiar pressure-depended multiphase-flow properties result in a new model of reservoir performance. A field observation of stress modification is discussed, as are the contributions of the four components discussed previously to the observed phenomena.

  7. Decaking of coal or oil shale during pyrolysis in the presence of iron oxides

    DOEpatents

    Khan, M. Rashid

    1989-01-01

    A method for producing a fuel from the pyrolysis of coal or oil shale in the presence of iron oxide in an inert gas atmosphere. The method includes the steps of pulverizing feed coal or oil shale, pulverizing iron oxide, mixing the pulverized feed and iron oxide, and heating the mixture in a gas atmosphere which is substantially inert to the mixture so as to form a product fuel, which may be gaseous, liquid and/or solid. The method of the invention reduces the swelling of coals, such as bituminous coal and the like, which are otherwise known to swell during pyrolysis.

  8. Decaking of coal or oil shale during pyrolysis in the presence of iron oxides

    DOEpatents

    Rashid Khan, M.

    1988-05-05

    A method for producing a fuel from the pyrolysis of coal or oil shale in the presence of iron oxide in an inert gas atmosphere is described. The method includes the steps of pulverizing feed coal or oil shale, pulverizing iron oxide, mixing the pulverized feed and iron oxide, and heating the mixture in a gas atmosphere which is substantially inert to the mixture so as to form a product fuel, which may be gaseous, liquid and/or solid. The method of the invention reduces the swelling of coals, such as bituminous coal and the like, which are otherwise known to swell during pyrolysis. 4 figs., 8 tabs.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26539710

  10. Analytical approaches to characterising fish tainting potential of oil sands process waters.

    PubMed

    Rogers, V; MacKinnon, M; Brownlee, B

    2007-01-01

    A three-stage study has been carried out with rainbow trout (Oncorhyncus mykiss) to develop analytical approaches which can provide a fingerprint for tainting by oil sands chemicals from process-affected waters and natural sources. The objective was to find a simpler alternative to sensory evaluation. In the first stage, a set of seven test compounds was added to fish tissue which was analysed by headspace and solvent (dichloromethane, DCM) extraction followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). In the second stage, fingerlings (5-20 g) were exposed for 96 hours to the test compound mixture at 1.0 and 0.5 times the estimated tainting threshold concentrations. In the final stage, fingerlings were exposed for 96 hours to an oil sands process water at 5, 10, 20 and 50% concentrations in clean water. None of the test compounds was identified in DCM extracts of tissue from exposed fish. Two long-chain aldehydes, hexadecanal and 9-octadecenal, were tentatively identified in these extracts by matching of mass spectra with library spectra. PMID:17489424

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

    PubMed

    Zubot, Warren; MacKinnon, Michael D; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; Smith, Daniel W; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    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. PMID:22575375

  12. Sublethal health effects in laboratory rodents from environmentally relevant exposures to oil sands contaminants.

    PubMed

    Rodrguez-Estival, Jaime; North, Michelle A; Smits, Judit E G

    2015-12-01

    Increasing activity of oil sands extraction and processing in northern Alberta is marked by ongoing controversy about the nature and extent of associated environmental impacts. Bitumen contains a mixture of toxic chemicals, including metals and residual polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), whose release into the environment poses a distinct risk to the surrounding environment, plus wildlife and human health. In the present study, the authors evaluated several subclinical biomarkers of exposure and effect to mixtures of metals (Pb, Cd, and Hg) and/or PAHs (3 alkylated forms) at environmentally relevant concentrations (100-fold and 10-fold higher than the maximum dissolved concentrations found in snow, to simulate a worst-case scenario), using laboratory mice as a model for future studies of small mammals in the wild. Both metals and alkyl-PAHs exposure were associated with 1) increased relative liver, kidney, and spleen size; 2) alterations in the homeostasis of the antioxidant vitamins A and E in liver; and 3) compromised glutathione redox status in testes, with results also indicating synergistic interactions from co-exposure. The combination of morphometric and oxidative stress biomarkers provide reliable and sensitive measures of the response to contaminant exposure in a mammalian model, suggesting associated physiological costs. Based on the present experimental study, the authors propose that wild small mammals will prove to be valuable sentinel species reflecting sublethal health effects from oil sands-related contaminants. The present study's results also present a basis for the interpretation of future field data. PMID:26139097

  13. Health of domestic mallards (Anas platyrhynchos domestica) following exposure to oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Beck, Elizabeth M; Smits, Judit E G; St Clair, Colleen Cassady

    2014-01-01

    Bitumen extraction from the oil sands of northern Alberta produces large volumes of process-affected water that contains substances toxic to wildlife. Recent monitoring has shown that tens of thousands of birds land on ponds containing this water annually, creating an urgent need to understand its effects on bird health. We emulated the repeated, short-term exposures that migrating water birds are thought to experience by exposing pekin ducks (Anas platyrhynchos domestica) to recycled oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). As indicators of health, we measured a series of physiological (electrolytes, metabolites, enzymes, hormones, and blood cells) and toxicological (metals and minerals) variables. Relative to controls, juvenile birds exposed to OSPW had higher potassium following the final exposure, and males had a higher thyroid hormone ratio (T3/T4). In adults, exposed birds had higher vanadium, and, following the final exposure, higher bicarbonate. Exposed females had higher bile acid, globulin, and molybdenum levels, and males, higher corticosterone. However, with the exception of the metals, none of these measures varied from available reference ranges for ducks, suggesting OSPW is not toxic to juvenile or adult birds after three and six weekly, 1 h exposures, but more studies are needed to know the generality of this result. PMID:25003652

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24711806

  15. Effects-Directed Analysis of Dissolved Organic Compounds in Oil Sands Process-Affected Water.

    PubMed

    Morandi, Garrett D; Wiseman, Steve B; Pereira, Alberto; Mankidy, Rishikesh; Gault, Ian G M; Martin, Jonathan W; Giesy, John P

    2015-10-20

    Acute toxicity of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is caused by its complex mixture of bitumen-derived organics, but the specific chemical classes that are most toxic have not been demonstrated. Here, effects-directed analysis was used to determine the most acutely toxic chemical classes in OSPW collected from the world's first oil sands end-pit lake. Three sequential rounds of fractionation, chemical analysis (ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry), and acute toxicity testing (96 h fathead minnow embryo lethality and 15 min Microtox bioassay) were conducted. Following primary fractionation, toxicity was primarily attributable to the neutral extractable fraction (F1-NE), containing 27% of original organics mass. In secondary fractionation, F1-NE was subfractionated by alkaline water washing, and toxicity was primarily isolated to the ionizable fraction (F2-NE2), containing 18.5% of the original organic mass. In the final round, chromatographic subfractionation of F2-NE2 resulted in two toxic fractions, with the most potent (F3-NE2a, 11% of original organic mass) containing predominantly naphthenic acids (O2(-)). The less-toxic fraction (F3-NE2b, 8% of original organic mass) contained predominantly nonacid species (O(+), O2(+), SO(+), NO(+)). Evidence supports naphthenic acids as among the most acutely toxic chemical classes in OSPW, but nonacidic species also contribute to acute toxicity of OSPW. PMID:26381019

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

    PubMed

    Choi, Jeongdong; Liu, Yang

    2014-10-01

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW), a product of bitumen isolation in the oil sands industry, is a source of pollution if not properly treated. In present study, OSPW treatment and voltage generation were examined in a single chamber air-cathode microbial fuel cell (MFC) under the effect of inoculated carbon source and temperature. OSPW treatment with an anaerobic sludge-inoculated MFC (AS-MFC) generated 0.55 ± 0.025 V, whereas an MFC inoculated with mature-fine tailings (MFT-MFC) generated 0.41 ± 0.01 V. An additional carbon source (acetate) significantly improved generated voltage. The voltage detected increased to 20-23% in MFCs when the condition was switched from ambient to mesophilic. The mesophilic condition increased OSPW treatment efficiency in terms of lowering the chemical oxygen demand and acid-extractable organics. Pyrosequencing analysis of microbial consortia revealed that Proteobacteria were the most abundant in MFCs and microbial communities in the AS-MFC were more diverse than those in the MFT-MFC. PMID:25103035

  17. Pyrolysis of Uinta Basin Oil Sands in fluidized bed and rotary kiln reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Nagpal, S.; Fletcher, J.V.; Hanson, F.V.

    1995-12-31

    A pilot-scale fluidized bed reactor (FBR) was used to pyrolyze the mined and crushed ore from the PR Spring oil sands deposit which is located in the Uinta Basin of Utah. Liquid yields of approximately 80 wt% of the bitumen fed to the reactor were obtained. This compares to 55-70 wt% obtained from smaller laboratory scale fluidized bed reactors and a pilot-scale rotary kiln. The product yields and distributions exhibited no discernable trends with reactor temperature or solids retention time. The liquid products obtained from the pilot-scale fluidized bed reactor were upgraded compared to the bitumen in terms of volatility, viscosity, molecular weight, and metals (Ni and V) content. The nitrogen and sulphur contents of the total liquid products were also reduced relative to the bitumen. A comparison of oil sands pyrolysis yields from a pilot scale FBR and a rotary kiln of the same diameter (15.2 cm) was made. Under similar pyrolysis conditions, the rotary kiln produced a slightly more upgraded product but at lower total liquid yields. Kinetic modeling of the various reactors indicates that the pilot-scale FBR product distributions may be explained using a simplified two-reaction scheme. It is proposed that secondary cracking is suppressed in the large diameter FBR due to elimination of slugging and the superior quality of fluidization in the reactor. More experimental studies with the rotary kiln and an economic evaluation will be required before concluding which reactor is preferred for the thermal recovery process.

  18. Acid deposition in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region: a policy perspective.

    PubMed

    Whitfield, Colin J; Watmough, Shaun A

    2015-12-01

    Industrial emissions of sulphur (S) and nitrogen (N) to the atmosphere associated with the oil sands industry in north-eastern Alberta are of interest as they represent the largest localized source in Canada (with potential for future growth) and the region features acid-sensitive upland terrain. Existing emission management policy for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, where the industry is located, is based on a time-to-effect approach that relies on dynamic model simulations of temporal changes in chemistry and features highly protective chemical criteria. In practice, the policy is difficult to implement and it is unlikely that a scientifically defensible estimate of acidification risk can be put forward due to the limitations primarily associated with issues of scale, chemical endpoint designation (selection of chemical limit for ecosystem protection from acidification) and data availability. A more implementable approach would use a steady-state critical load (CL) assessment approach to identify at-risk areas. The CL assessment would consider areas of elevated acid deposition associated with oil sands emissions rather than targeted political jurisdictions. Dynamic models should only be (strategically) used where acidification risk is identified via CL analysis, in order to characterize the potential for acidification-induced changes that can be detrimental to sensitive biota within the lifespan of the industry. PMID:26607154

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

    PubMed Central

    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 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 (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. PMID:24711806

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

    The Canadian oil sands industry stores toxic oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) in large tailings ponds adjacent to the Athabasca River or its tributaries, raising concerns over potential seepage. Naphthenic acids (NAs; C(n)H(2n-Z)O(2)) are toxic components of OSPW, but are also natural components of bitumen and regional groundwaters, and may enter surface waters through anthropogenic or natural sources. This study used a selective high-resolution mass spectrometry method to examine total NA concentrations and NA profiles in OSPW (n = 2), Athabasca River pore water (n = 6, representing groundwater contributions) and surface waters (n = 58) from the Lower Athabasca Region. NA concentrations in surface water (< 2-80.8 μg/L) were 100-fold lower than previously estimated. Principal components analysis (PCA) distinguished sample types based on NA profile, and correlations to water quality variables identified two sources of NAs: natural fatty acids, and bitumen-derived NAs. Analysis of NA data with water quality variables highlighted two tributaries to the Athabasca River-Beaver River and McLean Creek-as possibly receiving OSPW seepage. This study is the first comprehensive analysis of NA profiles in surface waters of the region, and demonstrates the need for highly selective analytical methods for source identification and in monitoring for potential effects of development on ambient water quality. PMID:23134288

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:23379948

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:22029695

  3. Transcriptional responses of male fathead minnows exposed to oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Wiseman, Steve B; He, Yuhe; Gamal-El Din, Mohamed; Martin, Jonathan W; Jones, Paul D; Hecker, Markus; Giesy, John P

    2013-03-01

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is produced by the oil sands industry in Alberta, Canada. OSPW has acute and chronic effects on aquatic organisms, but the suite of effects of OSPW, and mechanisms of effects, are not understood. The goal of this study was to use RNA sequencing (RNAseq) to quantify abundances of transcripts in livers of male fathead minnows exposed to untreated OSPW and ozone-treated OSPW to investigate sublethal effects of untreated OSPW and to determine whether ozonation imparts toxicity upon OSPW. A reference transcriptome of 25,342 contigs was constructed from RNA from livers of fathead minnows exposed to various experimental conditions. Exposure to untreated OSPW resulted in greater abundances of 104 transcripts and lesser abundances of 91 transcripts. Oxidative metabolism, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and immune function were identified as processes affected by OSPW. Exposure to ozone-treated OSPW resulted in greater abundances of 57 transcripts and lesser abundances of 75 transcripts. However, in general, putative pathways for effects of OSPW in fathead minnows exposed to untreated OSPW were not identified in minnows exposed to ozone-treated OSPW, and pathways by which ozone-treated OSPW might have effects were not identified. PMID:23246600

  4. Snowpack deposition of trace elements in the Athabasca oil sands region, Canada.

    PubMed

    Guéguen, C; Cuss, C W; Cho, S

    2016-06-01

    The total recoverable and dissolved concentrations of 29 metals and metalloids were analyzed in snowpack collected at 91 sites in the Athabasca oil sands region, Canada in winter 2011. Based on deposition pattern from geographical centre, three groups were found: Type-1 metals (i.e. dissolved and total recoverable V; Mo) showed a significant exponential decrease with distance, suggesting oil sands development sources; Type-2 elements (e.g. Al, Sb, As, Ba, Fe, Ni, Tl, and Ti and Zn) showed exponentially decline patterns but with some local point sources; Type-3 elements (e.g. Cd, Cl, Cr, Mn, Sr and Th) deposition pattern represented local sources. A self-organizing map showed that sites with the highest elemental concentrations (Cluster I) were mainly located in the vicinity of upgrading facilities and along the north-south transects. The lowest elemental concentration sites (Cluster III) were the most distal sites or located in the western region of the study area. PMID:27031808

  5. Coal and the Present Energy Situation: Abundant coal reserves can be used to alleviate the oil and gas shortage.

    PubMed

    Osborn, E F

    1974-02-01

    To summarize, we must make greater use of coal, an energy resource that the nation has in great abundance, if we are to approach our former position of self-sufficiency in energy production. The first step is to move immediately to replace the oil and gas used in electric generating plants with coal and to require that coal be used in fossil fuel electric plants planned or under construction in the next few years. The technology to remove sulfur and particulates from the stack gases is at hand, and therefore environmental regulations can be met. Producing and transporting the required increased tonnages of coal are problems that can be met with appropriate incentives to the coal and transportation industries. Improved mining technology would be helpful but is not a requiremlent. Oil and gas from coal should be in significant commercial production in about a decade. Underground, or in situ, gasification of coal, now in field tests, looks promising as a practical process for recovering the energy from coal, especially in deep or thick beds that cannot be mined efficiently. Recoverable methane occurs in coal beds in the United States in an amount approximately equal to the total reserves of natural gas-about 260 trillion cubic feet. This large reserve of natural gas should be exploited as quickly as possible. Only minor investments in exploration and modest advances in technology are required. Finally, as coal production is expanded. adequate planning and the most modern technology should be used to ensure that coal is extracted with maximum recovery and with minimum damage to the environment. PMID:17773028

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 (1:1).

  7. Fundamentals of asphaltene phase behavior in heavy oil and tar sands

    SciTech Connect

    Carnahan, N.F.; Quintero, L.

    1995-12-31

    As a continuation and update of work presented at the 5th UNITAR International Conference on Heavy Crude and Tar Sands, this presentation addresses the phase behavior of asphaltenes in terms of traditional thermodynamics of mixtures and in terms of interfacial phenomena known to be an integral part of the problem. Recent experimental studies have demonstrated the pressure effect on apparent reverse micelle behavior of asphaltenes in petroleum fluids. Published results have shown that certain commercial surfactants have been effective in ameliorating the problem of asphaltene precipitation in crude oils, and in solubilizing asphaltenes deposited in porous media. These recent observations correspond well with the concepts advanced in our previous studies. Phase behavior of asphaltenes in heavy crude and in tar sands is again addressed from the fundamental point of view, at the molecular level, to interpret observed behavior and to provide a logical means of forecasting expected behavior in these fluids under many different physical and chemical conditions. Interactions between resins and asphaltenes, in the presence of heavy crude or tar sands, do not follow classical thermodynamics, at least, not faithfully. Resins tend to interact as amphiphiles between the asphaltene-free material and the asphaltenes. Resins may be in solution with the asphaltene-free material; however, resins are adsorbed at the surface of the asphaltene aggregations, forming micelles or other amphiphilic structures. Phase behavior of asphaltenes, therefore, depends upon the thermodynamic equilibrium of resins distributed between the asphaltenes and the asphaltene-free material. In crude oils, resins may form solutions which reasonably conform to the Modified Regular Solution Theory, as described previously. At the asphaltene-resin interface, adsorption can be described in terms of classical theories of adsorption and/or similar association mechanisms for interfacial phenomena.

  8. Natural hydrocarbon background in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound, Alaska: Oil vs coal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Short, J.W.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Carlson, P.R.; Hostettler, F.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.; Wright, B.A.

    1999-01-01

    The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). We present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1670 and 3070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios (<0.2) of triaromatic steranes to methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios (11 and 13) found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation of PAH in salmon collected within 100 m of the Katalla oil seeps but not in filter-feeding mussels collected near oilfield drainages 9 km from the seeps, indicating negligible transport of bioavailable PAH from Katalla seeps to the GOA. In contrast with oil, PAH in coal are not bioavailable, so the presence of coal in these benthic sediments confers no adaptive benefit to biota of the marine ecosystem with respect to PAH insults from anthropogenic sources.The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). We present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1670 and 3070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios (<0.2) of triaromatic steranes to methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios (11 and 13) found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation of PAH in salmon collected within 100 m of the Katalla oil seeps but not in filter-feeding mussels collected near oilfield drainages 9 km from the seeps, indicating negligible transport of bioavailable PAH from Katalla seeps to the GOA. In contrast with oil, PAH in coal are not bioavailable, so the presence of coal in these benthic sediments confers no adaptive benefit to biota of the marine ecosystem with respect to PAH insults from anthropogenic sources.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 about 14% of 14C is used to build up biomass. The results also show that microorganisms use 14C-naphthenic acid as a carbon source, but at a lower rate. About half of the degraded naphthenic acid is incorporated into cells; the other half is released as 14CO2. The results give an impression of how fast and to what amount microorganisms can degrade residual oil compounds. Additionally, our study allows for rough estimates of greenhouse gas emissions of reclamation areas.

  10. Using Epiphytic Lichens to Elucidate the Sources and Spatial Distribution of Inorganic Air Pollution in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    The Wood Buffalo Environmental Association (WBEA) conducted studies to document the geographic patterns of atmospheric deposition of sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) using epiphytic lichens as bioindicators of atmospheric pollution. Epiphytic lichen samples (Hypogymnia physodes) were collected from 44 locations in 2002, 359 locations in 2008, and 21 locations in 2011 within the AOSR. A subset of samples from 2002 (15) and 2008 (121); and all the samples from 2011 were microwave extracted and analyzed for a comprehensive suite of trace elements using DRC-ICPMS. In addition, source profiles were developed for samples from a variety of available process stacks, heavy duty diesel fleet vehicles, bulk materials representing the various stages of oil sands processing operations, and forest fires. The lichen monitoring and source profile information were integrated into a receptor modeling framework to elucidate the relative importance of natural and anthropogenic sources to the observed atmospheric deposition of S and N in the AOSR. U.S. EPA implemented statistical receptor models utilized included Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF), Unmix, and Chemical Mass Balance (CMB). The sources uniquely identified that significantly contributed to concentrations of elements in the lichen tissue include: fugitive dust from haul roads, tailing sand, and oil sand mining; oil sand processing; combustion processes; and a general urban regional source. The spatial patterns of CMB, PMF, and Unmix receptor model estimated source impacts on the Hypogymnia physodes tissue concentrations from the oil sand processing and fugitive dust sources had a significant association with the distance from the primary oil sands surface mining operations and related production facilities. The spatial extent of the fugitive dust impact was limited to an approximately 20 km radius around the major mining and oil production facilities, indicative of ground level coarse particulate fugitive emissions from these sources. The impact of the general urban source was found to be enhanced in the southern portion of the sampling domain in the vicinity of the Fort McMurray urban area. The receptor model results also indicated lower Mn concentrations in lichen tissues near oil sands production operations suggesting a biogeochemical response. Overall the largest impact on elemental concentrations of Hypogymnia physodes tissue in the AOSR was related to fugitive dust, suggesting that implementation of a fugitive dust abatement strategy could minimize the near-field impact of future mining related production activities.

  11. Isolation and characterization of acutely toxic fractions in oil sands wastewater

    SciTech Connect

    Verbeek, A.; Mackay, W.; MacKinnon, M.

    1995-12-31

    Extraction of oil from oil sand using the hot water flotation method results in the production of large volumes of wastewater that are acutely toxic to aquatic organisms. At Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Suncor Oil Sands Group Inc., this wastewater is stored in large tailings ponds that must eventually be reclaimed. The acute toxicity of these wastewaters was assessed and the acutely toxic fractions were identified. Samples were collected from the surface and fine tails zones of the Syncrude and Suncor tailings ponds during the summers of 1991 and 1992. The Microtox bioassay was used to assess the acute toxicity before and after various treatments. Where significant reductions in acute toxicity were found, further acute toxicity tests were carried out using Daphnia magna and rainbow trout. The Microtox IC{sub 50} of all centrifuged tailings pond water samples varied between 26.5 and 46%. Daphnia LC{sub 50}s varied between 76 and 98% and a rainbow trout LC{sub 50} was 12.5 %. Organic compounds that have a non-polar component, as removed by solid phase extraction with C{sub 18} sorbent, accounted for all the acute toxicity (100%) of all samples. Organic ``acids``, as removed by precipitation at pH 2.5, also accounted for all the acute toxicity (100%) of all samples except those from pond 1A of Suncor. In pond 1A, organic ``acids`` accounted for approximately 55--60% of the acute toxicity, nonpolar organic volatile compounds accounted for approximately 20--35% and the balance of the acute toxicity was due to non-polar organic compounds that were neither volatile nor organic ``acids``, as removed by precipitation at pH 2.5.

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

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Estival, Jaime; Smits, Judit E G

    2016-02-01

    The extraction of bitumen in areas of northeastern Alberta (Canada) has been associated with the release of complex mixtures of metals, metalloids, and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) to the environment. To mitigate effects on ecosystems, Canadian legislation mandates that disturbed areas be reclaimed to an ecologically sustainable state after active operations. However, as part of reclamation activities, exposure to, and effects on wildlife living in these areas is not generally assessed. To support successful reclamation, the development of efficient methods to assess exposure and health effects in potentially exposed wildlife is required. In the present study, we investigated the usefulness of two native mammalian species (deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus, and meadow vole Microtus pennsylvanicus) as sentinels of oil sands related contaminants by examining biomarkers of exposure and indicators of biological costs. Tissue residues of 31 metals and metalloids in kidneys and muscle, activity of the hepatic detoxification enzyme EROD (as a biomarker of exposure to organic contaminants), body condition, and the relative mass of liver, kidney, spleen, and testes were compared in animals from one reclaimed area and a reference site. Deer mice from the reclaimed site had higher renal levels of Co, Se and Tl compared to animals from the reference site, which was associated with reduced body condition. Lower testis mass was another feature that distinguished mice from the reclaimed site in comparison to those from the reference site. One mouse and one vole from the reclaimed site also showed increased hepatic EROD activity. In marked contrast, no changes were evident for these variables in meadow voles. Our results show that deer mouse is a sensitive sentinel species and that the biomarkers and indicators used here are efficient means to detect local contamination and associated biological effects in native mammals inhabiting reclaimed areas on active oil sands mine sites. These field-derived findings can be used by risk assessors to fill possible data gaps for mammalian wildlife in science-based environmental risk assessments for oil and gas projects. PMID:26555251

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    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. PMID:26054375

  14. S reactivity of an oil sands composite tailings deposit undergoing reclamation wetland construction.

    PubMed

    Reid, Michelle L; Warren, Lesley A

    2016-01-15

    This study is the first to characterize the S stability of a composite tailings (CT) deposit undergoing pilot wetland reclamation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR, Alberta, Canada). As CT is sulfur, organic carbon and bacterially rich, the goal of this study was to characterize the in situ aqueous distribution of sulfur compounds across the wetland, sand cap and underlying CT zones of the deposit, in an effort to establish the potential for microbial sulfur cycling and generation of H2S, an explosive, corrosive and toxicity risk. Porewater samples from three depths spanning the different layers of the deposit, as well as wetland surface ponded water samples were collected for geochemical analyses (July and Sept 2013), and for microbial enrichments (both S reducing and S oxidizing bacteria) in June 2014. While porewater ΣH2S(aq) was detected at all depths across the three zones of the deposit, results identify that the sand cap layer required for construction, acts as a mixing zone generating the highest solution H2S concentrations (>500 uM or 18 mg/L) and H2S gas levels (over 100 and up to 180 ppm) observed. Porewater dissolved sulfate concentrations (0.14-6.97 mM) were orders of magnitude higher and did not correlate to the observed distribution of ΣH2S concentrations throughout the deposit. Unique to the sandcap, dissolved organic carbon positively correlated with the observed maxima of ΣH2S(aq) seen in this layer. The water management of the deposit is a critical factor in the observed S trends. Active dewatering of the CT resulted in migration of S rich water up into the sandcap, while downwelling labile organic carbon from the developing wetland acted in concert to stimulate microbial generation of the H2S in this structural layer to the highest levels observed. Functional enrichments identified that diverse S reducing and oxidizing microbial metabolisms are widespread throughout the deposit, indicating that these waste materials are biogeochemically reactive with implications for longterm stability. These results are of relevance to both the oil sands region, as well as other mine contexts where S rich wastes occur, identifying the need to consider the potential bacterially driven cycling of S and C in the generation of constituents of concern, as well as the water management of such waste deposits to minimize risk. PMID:26520039

  15. Effect of oxidation on separation of coal and pyrite by selective oil agglomeration

    SciTech Connect

    Drzymala, J.; Wheelock, T.D.

    1992-01-01

    The separation of coal and pyrite particles by selective agglomeration with oil can be troublesome for coals which are weakly hydrophobic or hydrophilic and, therefore, are not strongly agglomerable. The hydrophobicity of lower rank coals and other coals which have become oxidized is generally low. The problem of separating such coals from pyrite was studied by oxidizing a moderately hydrophobic coal with air at 150{degrees}C for either 8, 20, or 72 hr to systematically reduce its hydrophobicity. Samples of the raw and treated coal were subsequently mixed with aged mineral pyrite from Peru and agglomerated with heptone. Although a mixture of the raw, unoxidized coal and pyrite was largely separated by this method, it proved increasingly difficult to separate the materials as the coal became increasingly oxidized. While raw coal was agglomerated in preference to pyrite, this preference changed as the coal was oxidized. After 20 hr. of oxidation, coal and pyrite were agglomerated almost to the same extent. Finally after 72 hr. of oxidation, more pyrite was agglomerated than coal.

  16. Effect of oxidation on separation of coal and pyrite by selective oil agglomeration

    SciTech Connect

    Drzymala, J.; Wheelock, T.D.

    1992-07-01

    The separation of coal and pyrite particles by selective agglomeration with oil can be troublesome for coals which are weakly hydrophobic or hydrophilic and, therefore, are not strongly agglomerable. The hydrophobicity of lower rank coals and other coals which have become oxidized is generally low. The problem of separating such coals from pyrite was studied by oxidizing a moderately hydrophobic coal with air at 150{degrees}C for either 8, 20, or 72 hr to systematically reduce its hydrophobicity. Samples of the raw and treated coal were subsequently mixed with aged mineral pyrite from Peru and agglomerated with heptone. Although a mixture of the raw, unoxidized coal and pyrite was largely separated by this method, it proved increasingly difficult to separate the materials as the coal became increasingly oxidized. While raw coal was agglomerated in preference to pyrite, this preference changed as the coal was oxidized. After 20 hr. of oxidation, coal and pyrite were agglomerated almost to the same extent. Finally after 72 hr. of oxidation, more pyrite was agglomerated than coal.

  17. Key performance indicators for electric mining shovels and oil sands diggability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patnayak, Sibabrata

    A shovel performance monitoring study was undertaken in two oil sands mines operated by Syncrude Canada Ltd. using performance data obtained from P&H 4100 TS and BOSS electric mining shovels. One year of shovel performance data along with geological, geotechnical, and climatic data were analyzed. The approach adopted was to use current and voltage data collected from hoist and crowd motors and to calculate the energy and/or power associated with digging. Analysis of performance data along with digital video records of operating shovels indicated that hoist and crowd motor voltages and currents can be used to identify the beginning and the end of individual dig cycles. A dig cycle identification algorithm was developed. Performance indicators such as dig cycle time, hoist motor energy and power, and crowd motor energy and power were determined. The shovel performance indicators provide important insight into how geology, equipment and operators affect the digging efficiency. The hoist motor power is a useful key performance indicator for assessing diggability. Hoist motor energy consumption per tonne of material excavated and the number of dig cycles required for loading a truck can be useful key performance indicators for assessing operator performance and productivity. Analysis of performance data along with operators team schedules showed that the performance of a shovel can be significantly influenced by the operator's digging technique while digging uniform material. Up to 25% variability in hoist motor power consumption and 50% variability in productivity was noted between different operators. Shovel type and dipper teeth configuration can also influence the power draw on electrical motors during digging. There is no common agreement existing on the influence of bitumen content on oil sands diggability. By comparing the hoist motor power consumption, it was found that the rich ore was more difficult to dig than the lean ore. Similarly, estuarine ore was more difficult to dig than marine ore. Winter weather was expected to have a significant influence on oil sands diggability but was found to have only a minor and localized influence that depends upon the ore type, temperature conditions and the duration of bench exposure.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. Overall, these observations lend support to the notion that harnessing a community of microorganisms as opposed to targeted isolates can enhance NA degradation ex situ. Moreover, the variable success caused by NA structure related persistence emphasized the difficulties associated with employing bioremediation to treat complex, undefined mixtures of toxicants such as OSPW NAs. PMID:26388865

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24210008

  20. Wood species affect the degradation of crude oil in beach sand.

    PubMed

    Jandl, Gerald; Rodríguez Arranz, Alberto; Baum, Christel; Leinweber, Peter

    2015-01-01

    The addition of wood chips as a co-substrate can promote the degradation of oil in soil. Therefore, in the present study, the tree species-specific impact of wood chips of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Norway spruce (Picea abies L.) and Western balsam poplar (Populus trichocarpa L.) on the degradation of crude oil was tested in beach sand in a 4-week incubation experiment. The CO2-C release increased in the order of control without wood chips < +spruce < +pine < +poplar. Initial and final hydrocarbon concentrations (C10 to C40), as indicators for the oil degradation, were determined with gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (GC-FID). The degradation increased for the light fraction (C10 to C22), the heavy fraction (C23 to C40) as well as the whole range (C10 to C40) in the order of control without wood chips (f(degrad.) = 23% vs. 0% vs. 12%) < +poplar (f(degrad.) = 49% vs. 19% vs. 36%) < +spruce (f(degrad.) = 55% vs. 34% vs. 46%) < +pine (f(degrad.) = 60% vs. 44% vs. 53%), whereas the heavy fraction was less degraded in comparison to the light fraction. It can be concluded, that the tree species-specific wood quality is a significant control of the impact on the degradation of hydrocarbons, and pine wood chips might be promising, possibly caused by their lower decomposability and lower substrate replacement than the other wood species. PMID:26305901

  1. Natural hydrocarbon background in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound, Alaska: Oil vs coal

    SciTech Connect

    Short, J.W.; Wright, B.A.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Carlson, P.R.; Hostettler, F.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The authors present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1,670 and 3,070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios of triaromatic steranes of methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation of PAH in salmon collected within 100 m of the Katalla oil seeps but not in filter-feeding mussels collected near oilfield drainages 9 km from the seeps, indicating negligible transport of bioavailable PAH from Katalla seeps to the GOA. In contrast with oil, PAH in coal are not bioavailable, so the presence of coal in these benthic sediments confers no adaptive benefit to biota of the marine ecosystem with respect to PAH insults from anthropogenic sources.

  2. Dry mature fine tailings as oil sands reclamation substrates for three native grasses.

    PubMed

    Luna Wolter, Gabriela L; Naeth, M Anne

    2014-07-01

    Mature fine tailings (MFT) are a by-product of oil sands mining that must be reclaimed through capping or use as a reclamation substrate. Some chemical and physical properties of MFT make it inhospitable for plant growth, such as high concentrations of sodium, sulfate, chloride, and hydrocarbons. A greenhouse study assessed whether substrates of various mixes of dry MFT, overburden sand, and peat mineral soil mix (PMM) and caps of forest floor organic material (LFH) and PMM would support the emergence and growth of three native grass species commonly used in land reclamation. Select vegetation properties were monitored for 16 wk in the greenhouse; select chemical and physical substrate properties were determined in the laboratory. was more tolerant of dry MFT than and . Mean aboveground and belowground biomass were more than twice as high on substrates with <60% MFT than on 100% MFT. Aboveground biomass was two to four times greater with capping than without and 30% greater on LFH than PMM caps. Cover and density followed similar trends. Belowground biomass on capped substrates was at least double that on uncapped substrates. Aboveground biomass was almost doubled with the use of fertilizer. High concentrations of hydrocarbons and exchangeable ions were associated with reduced plant growth and health. Results from this study show that capping, amendments, and fertilizer may improve the reclamation potential of dry MFT. PMID:25603099

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

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Jinfei; Tse, Peter W.

    2013-01-01

    Oil sand pumps are widely used in the mining industry for the delivery of mixtures of abrasive solids and liquids. Because they operate under highly adverse conditions, these pumps usually experience significant wear. Consequently, equipment owners are quite often forced to invest substantially in system maintenance to avoid unscheduled downtime. In this study, an approach combining relevance vector machines (RVMs) with a sum of two exponential functions was developed to predict the remaining useful life (RUL) of field pump impellers. To handle field vibration data, a novel feature extracting process was proposed to arrive at a feature varying with the development of damage in the pump impellers. A case study involving two field datasets demonstrated the effectiveness of the developed method. Compared with standalone exponential fitting, the proposed RVM-based model was much better able to predict the remaining useful life of pump impellers. PMID:24051527

  4. Ozone treatment ameliorates oil sands process water toxicity to the mammalian immune system.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Garcia, Erick; Ge, Jun Qing; Oladiran, Ayoola; Montgomery, Benjamin; El-Din, Mohamed Gamal; Perez-Estrada, Leonidas C; Stafford, James L; Martin, Jonathan W; Belosevic, Miodrag

    2011-11-15

    We evaluated whether ozonation ameliorated the effects of the organic fraction of oil sands process water (OSPW) on immune functions of mice. Ozonation of OSPW eliminated the capacity of its organic fraction to affect various mouse bone marrow-derived macrophage (BMDM) functions in vitro. These included the production of nitric oxide and the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase, the production of reactive oxygen intermediates and the expression of NADPH oxidase subunits, phagocytosis, and the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine genes. Ozone treatment also eliminated the ability of OSPW organic fraction to down-regulate the expression of various pro-inflammatory cytokine and chemokine genes in the liver of mice, one week after oral exposure. We conclude that ozone treatment may be a valuable process for the remediation of large volumes of OSPW. PMID:21940034

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

    PubMed

    Hu, Jinfei; Tse, Peter W

    2013-01-01

    Oil sand pumps are widely used in the mining industry for the delivery of mixtures of abrasive solids and liquids. Because they operate under highly adverse conditions, these pumps usually experience significant wear. Consequently, equipment owners are quite often forced to invest substantially in system maintenance to avoid unscheduled downtime. In this study, an approach combining relevance vector machines (RVMs) with a sum of two exponential functions was developed to predict the remaining useful life (RUL) of field pump impellers. To handle field vibration data, a novel feature extracting process was proposed to arrive at a feature varying with the development of damage in the pump impellers. A case study involving two field datasets demonstrated the effectiveness of the developed method. Compared with standalone exponential fitting, the proposed RVM-based model was much better able to predict the remaining useful life of pump impellers. PMID:24051527

  6. Comparative assessment of the trace-element composition of coals, crude oils, and oil shales

    SciTech Connect

    M.Y. Shpirt; S.A. Punanova

    2007-10-15

    A comparative analysis of the amounts of 42 trace elements in coals, crude oils, and oil and black shales was performed. The degree of concentration of trace elements by caustobioliths and their ashes relative to their abundance in argillaceous rocks and the Earth's crust was calculated. Typomorphic trace elements were distinguished, of which many turned out to be common for the different kinds of caustobioliths in question. The trace elements were classified according to their concentration factors in different caustobioliths. The ash of crude oils is enriched in trace elements (Cs, V, Mo, Cu, Ag, Au, Zn, Hg, Se, Cr, Co, Ni, U) to the greatest extent (concentration factor above 3.5) and that of oil shales is enriched to the least extent (Re, Cs, Hg, Se). The ratios between typomorphic trace elements in general strongly differ from those in the Earth's crust and argillaceous rocks and are not identical in different caustobioliths. Quantitative parameters that make it possible to calculate a change in these ratios on passing from one caustobiolith type to another were proposed and the relative trace-element affinity of different caustobioliths was estimated.

  7. The role of recycle oil in direct coal liquefaction process development

    SciTech Connect

    Burke, F.P.

    1995-08-01

    It has long been recognized that use of a recycle oil is a convenient and perhaps necessary feature of a practical direct coal liquefaction process. The recycle oil performs a number of important functions. It serves as a vehicle to convey coal into the liquefaction reactor and products from the reactor. It is a medium for mass and heat transfer among the solid, liquid, and gaseous components of the reactor inventory. It can act as a reactant or intermediate in the liquefaction process. Therefore, the nature of the recycle oil can have a determining effect on process configuration and performance, and the characterization of recycle oil composition and chemistry has been the subject of considerable interest. This paper discusses recycle oil characterization and its influence on the industrial development of coal liquefaction technology,

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26771587

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

    PubMed

    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 (<2 ppm). The additional chromatographic resolution allowed for separation of various isomers and interference-free MS(n) experiments. Overall, ∼3000 elemental compositions were revealed in each OSPW sample, corresponding to a range of heteroatom-containing homologue classes: Ox (where x = 1-6), NOx (where x = 1-4), SOx (where x = 1-4), NO₂S, N, and S. Despite similarities between the OSPW samples at the level of heteroatom class, the two samples were very different when considering isomer patterns and double-bond equivalent profiles. The chromatographic separations also allowed for confirmation that, in both OSPW samples, the O₂ species detected in ESI(-) (i.e., naphthenic acids) were chemically distinct from the corresponding O₂ species detected in ESI(+). In comparison to model compounds, tandem MS spectra of these new O₂ species suggested a group of non-acidic compounds with dihydroxy, diketo, or ketohydroxy functionality. In light of the known endocrine-disrupting potential of sm-OSPW, the toxicity of these O₂ species deserves attention and the method should be further applied to environmental forensic analysis of water in the region. PMID:23607765

  10. Airborne Measurements of Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation in the Oil Sands Region of Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liggio, J.; Hayden, K.; Liu, P.; Leithead, A.; Moussa, S. G.; Staebler, R. M.; Gordon, M.; O'brien, J.; Li, S. M.

    2014-12-01

    The Alberta oil sands (OS) region represents a strategic natural resource and is a key driver of economic development. Its rapid expansion has led to a need for a more comprehensive understanding of the associated potential cumulative environmental impacts. In summer 2013, airborne measurements of various gaseous and particulate substances were made in the Athabasca oil sands region between August 13 and Sept 7, 2013. In particular, organic aerosol mass and composition measurements were performed with a High Resolution Time of flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) supported by gaseous measurements of organic aerosol precursors with Proton Transfer Reaction (PTR) and Chemical Ionization (CI) mass spectrometers. These measurement data on selected flights were used to estimate the potential for local anthropogenic OS emissions to form secondary organic aerosol (SOA) downwind of precursor sources, and to investigate the importance of the surrounding biogenic emissions to the overall SOA burden in the region. The results of several flights conducted to investigate these transformations demonstrate that multiple distinct plumes were present downwind of OS industrial sources, each with differing abilities to form SOA depending upon factors such as NOx level, precursor VOC composition, and oxidant concentration. The results indicate that approximately 100 km downwind of an OS industrial source most of the measured organic aerosol (OA) was secondary in nature, forming at rates of ~6.4 to 13.6 μgm-3hr-1. Positive matrix factor (PMF) analysis of the HR-ToF-AMS data suggests that the SOA was highly oxidized (O/C~0.6) resulting in a measured ΔOA (difference above regional background OA) of approximately 2.5 - 3 despite being 100 km away from sources. The relative contribution of biogenic SOA to the total SOA and the factors affecting SOA formation during a number of flights in the OS region will be described.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strawbridge, K. B.

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:21898553

  13. Mercury trends in colonial waterbird eggs downstream of the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Hebert, Craig E; Campbell, David; Kindopp, Rhona; MacMillan, Stuart; Martin, Pamela; Neugebauer, Ewa; Patterson, Lucy; Shatford, Jeff

    2013-10-15

    Mercury levels were measured in colonial waterbird eggs collected from two sites in northern Alberta and one site in southern Alberta, Canada. Northern sites in the Peace-Athabasca Delta and Lake Athabasca were located in receiving waters of the Athabasca River which drains the oil sands industrial region north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. Temporal trends in egg mercury (Hg) levels were assessed as were egg stable nitrogen isotope values as an indicator of dietary change. In northern Alberta, California and Ring-billed Gulls exhibited statistically significant increases in egg Hg concentrations in 2012 compared to data from the earliest year of sampling. Hg levels in Caspian and Common Tern eggs showed a nonstatistically significant increase. In southern Alberta, Hg concentrations in California Gull eggs declined significantly through time. Bird dietary change was not responsible for any of these trends. Neither were egg Hg trends related to recent forest fires. Differences in egg Hg temporal trends between northern and southern Alberta combined with greater Hg levels in eggs from northern Alberta identified the likely importance of local Hg sources in regulating regional Hg trends. Hg concentrations in gull and Common Tern eggs were generally below generic thresholds associated with toxic effects in birds. However, in 2012, Hg levels in the majority of Caspian Tern eggs exceeded the lower toxicity threshold. Increasing Hg levels in eggs of multiple species nesting downstream of the oil sands region of northern Alberta warrant continued monitoring and research to further evaluate Hg trends and to conclusively identify sources. PMID:24070029

  14. First results from the oil sands passive air monitoring network for polycyclic aromatic compounds.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Jasmin K; Harner, Tom; Su, Ky; Mihele, Cristian; Eng, Anita

    2015-03-01

    Results are reported from an ongoing passive air monitoring study for polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) in the Athabasca oil sands region in Alberta, Canada. Polyurethane foam (PUF) disk passive air samplers were deployed for consecutive 2-month periods from November 2010 to June 2012 at 17 sites. Samples were analyzed for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), alkylated PAHs, dibenzothiophene and its alkylated derivatives (DBTs). Relative to parent PAHs, alkylated PAHs and DBTs are enriched in bitumen and therefore considered to be petrogenic markers. Concentrations in air were in the range 0.03-210 ng/m(3), 0.15-230 ng/m(3) and 0.01-61 ng/m(3) for ∑PAHs, ∑alkylated PAHs and ΣDBTs, respectively. An exponential decline of the PAC concentrations in air with distance from mining areas and related petrogenic sources was observed. The most significant exponential declines were for the alkylated PAHs and DBTs and attributed to their association with mining-related emissions and near-source deposition, due to their lower volatility and greater association with depositing particles. Seasonal trends in concentrations in air for PACs were not observed for any of the compound classes. However, a forest fire episode during April to July 2011 resulted in greatly elevated PAH levels at all passive sampling locations. Alkylated PAHs and DBTs were not elevated during the forest fire period, supporting their association with petrogenic sources. Based on the results of this study, an "Athabasca PAC profile" is proposed as a potential source marker for the oil sands region. The profile is characterized by ∑PAHs/∑Alkylated PAHs = ∼0.2 and ∑PAHs/∑DBTs = ∼5. PMID:25602941

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies reported (15)N enrichment of biota in reclamation wetlands that contain oil sands processed material (e.g., processed water and tailings); however, there is little information on the factors controlling (15)N enrichment in these systems. In this microcosm study, the aim was to examine stable C and N isotopes and growth (chlorophyll a [chl a] and dry weight) of algae as a function of exposure to different sources and concentrations of water-soluble fractions (WSF) derived from tailings. Two sources of tailings including mature fine tailings (MFT) and consolidated tailings (CT) and peat-mineral overburden were utilized to generate separate WSF that differed in water quality. In general, there was (15)N enrichment of filamentous algae along the increasing gradient of WSF/nutrient concentrations in both CT and peat microcosms, and among the different sources, algae were more (15)N enriched in CT WSF than in peat WSF. Growth of filamentous algae was inhibited at higher WSF concentrations, possibly due to reduced light availability at elevated levels of fine clay particles in MFT microcosms and colored dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in peat microcosms. Filamentous algae displayed lower biomass and (15)N depletion in 100% peat WSF. This study indicated that both the quality (source) and quantity of WSF affected algal growth and directly and/or indirectly influenced δ(15)N of algae. The distinct (15)N enrichment of primary producers derived from tailings suggest that stable N isotopes might be useful to trace exposure to oil sands processed material in biota that utilize these resources in reclaimed systems constructed with tailings or natural systems that receive tailings dyke seepage. PMID:25506635

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-15

    The large volumes, acute toxicity, estrogenicity, and antiandrogenicity of process-affected waters accruing in tailings ponds from the operations of the Alberta oil sands industries pose a significant task for environmental reclamation. Synchronous fluorescence spectra (SFS) suggest that oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) may contain aromatic carboxylic acids, which are among the potentially environmentally important toxicants, but no such acids have yet been identified, limiting interpretations of the results of estrogenicity and other assays. Here we show that multidimensional comprehensive gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCxGC-MS) of methyl esters of acids in an OSPW sample produces mass spectra consistent with their assignment as C(19) and C(20) C-ring monoaromatic hydroxy steroid acids, D-ring opened hydroxy and nonhydroxy polyhydrophenanthroic acids with one aromatic and two alicyclic rings and A-ring opened steroidal keto acids. High resolution MS data support the assignment of several of the so-called 'O3' species. When fractions of distilled, esterified, OSPW acid-extractable organics were examined, the putative aromatics were mainly present in a high boiling fraction; when examined by argentation thin layer chromatography, some were present in a fraction with a retardation factor between that of the methyl esters of synthetic monoalicyclic and monoaromatic acids. Ultraviolet absorption spectra of these fractions indicated the presence of benzenoid moieties. SFS of model octahydro- and tetrahydrophenanthroic acids produced emissions at the characteristic excitation wavelengths observed in some OSPW extracts, consistent with the postulations from ultraviolet spectroscopy and mass spectrometry data. We suggest the acids originate from extensive biodegradation of C-ring monoaromatic steroid hydrocarbons and offer a means of differentiating residues at different biodegradation stages in tailings ponds. Structural similarities with estrone and estradiol imply that such compounds may account for some of the environmental estrogenic activity reported in OSPW acid-extractable organics and naphthenic acids. PMID:22014158

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

    PubMed

    MacDonald, Gillian Z; Hogan, Natacha S; Köllner, Bernd; Thorpe, Karen L; Phalen, Laura J; Wagner, Brian D; van den Heuvel, Michael R

    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 5d 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 × 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. PMID:23159729

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26921562

  19. Desulfurization of coal with hydroperoxides of vegetable oils. [Quarterly progress report], December 1, 1994--February 28, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, G.V.; Gaston, R.D.; Song, Ruozhi; Cheng, Jianjun; Shi, Feng; Gholson, K.L.; Ho, K.K.

    1995-12-31

    This project proposes a new method for removing organic sulfur from Illinois coals using readily available farm products. It proposes to use air and vegetable oils to disrupt the coal matrix, oxidize sulfur forms, increase volatiles, and desulfurize coal. This will be accomplished by impregnating coals with polyunsaturated oils, converting the oils to their hydroperoxides, and heating. Since these oils are relatively inexpensive and easily applied, this project could lead to a cost effective method for removing organic sulfur from coals. Moreover, the oils are environmentally safe; they will produce no noxious products and will improve burning qualities of the solid products. Preliminary experiments showed that IBC 104 coal catalyzes the formation of hydroperoxides in safflower oil and that more sulfur is extracted from the treated than untreated coal. During the first quarter the requirement of an added photosensitizer was eliminated, the catalytic effect of coal was confirmed, and the existence of a complex set of reactions was revealed. During this second quarter working with IBC-108 coal (2.3% organic S. 0.4% pyrite S), the effects of different ratios of oil:coal, different extraction solvents, and different temperatures were examined. A new pretreatment which combines alkali with linseed oil was discovered. Best organic sulfur removal is approximately 26% using alkali pretreatment combined with linseed oil at 1OO{degree}C. BTU loses can be kept to a minimum of 3% with proper use of solvents.

  20. Petroleum source rock identification of United Kingdom Atlantic Margin oil fields and the Western Canadian Oil Sands using Platinum, Palladium, Osmium and Rhenium: Implications for global petroleum systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finlay, Alexander J.; Selby, David; Osborne, Mark J.

    2012-01-01

    This study demonstrates that petroleum and source rocks are enriched in Pt and Pd to the ppb level, and that the 187Os/ 188Os composition coupled with the Pt/Pd value permits the fingerprinting of petroleum to its source. Oils from the United Kingdom Atlantic Margin (sourced from the Upper Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay Fm.) as well as source rock samples have been analysed for Pt and Pd. When the Pt/Pd value is compared with 187Os/ 188Os (calculated at the time of oil generation; Os g) the values from both the known source and the oils are similar, demonstrating that they can be used as an oil to source fingerprinting tool. This inorganic petroleum fingerprinting tool is particularly important in heavily biodegraded petroleum systems where traditional fingerprinting techniques (e.g. biomarkers) are severely hampered, e.g. the world's largest oil sand deposit, the West Canadian Oil Sands (WCOS). This has caused the source of the WCOS to be hotly debated, with no present day consensus between inputs from potential source units e.g. Exshaw and Gordondale Fms. 187Os/ 188Os and Pt/Pd fingerprinting of the oil sands shows that the majority of the petroleum have similar 187Os/ 188Os and Pt/Pd values, supporting the hypothesis of one principal source. Analysis of the potential source rocks establishes that the principal source of the oil sands to be from the Jurassic Gordondale Fm., with a minor Exshaw Fm. input. Thus, the combination of previously pioneered Re-Os petroleum geochronology with 187Os/ 188Os and Pt/Pd values of petroleum permits both a temporal and spatial understanding of petroleum systems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 improve upland function. Water quality issues related to the transport of residual process water in the tailings sand are part of the design. Initially these are less problematic than sediment entering the fen due to the overland flow caused by the large snowmelt and several extreme rainfall events that have occurred. The modifications to the upland, and a suite of sediment-trapping geotextile logs, will reduce the sediment issue. Monitoring continues.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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. Results obtained from analyzing the fractal structure of permeability data collected from the southern Utah outcrop and from core permeability data provided by Chevron from West Coalinga Field were used in distributing permeability values in 3D reservoir models. Spectral analyses and the Double Trace Moment method (Lavallee et al., 1991) were used to analyze the scaling and multifractality of permeability data from cores from West Coalinga Field. T2VOC, which is a numerical flow simulator capable of modeling multiphase, multi-component, nonisothermal flow, was used to model steam injection and oil production for a portion of section 36D in West Coalinga Field. The layer structure and permeability distributions of different models, including facies group, facies tract, and fractal permeability models, were incorporated into the numerical flow simulator. The injection and production histories of wells in the study area were modeled, including shutdowns and the occasional conversion of production wells to steam injection wells. The framework provided by facies groups provides a more realistic representation of the reservoir conditions than facies tracts, which is revealed by a comparison of the history-matching for the oil production. Permeability distributions obtained using the fractal results predict the high degree of heterogeneity within the reservoir sands of West Coalinga Field. The modeling results indicate that predictions of oil production are strongly influenced by the geologic framework and by the boundary conditions. The permeability data collected from the southern Utah outcrop, support a new concept for representing natural heterogeneity, which is called the fractal/facies concept. This hypothesis is one of the few potentially simplifying concepts to emerge from recent studies of geological heterogeneity. Further investigation of this concept should be done to more fully apply fractal analysis to reservoir modeling and simulation. Additional outcrop permeability data sets and further analysis of the data from distinct facies will be needed in order to fully develop this new concept.

  3. Investigations of mercury concentrations in walleye and other fish in the Athabasca River ecosystem with increasing oil sands developments.

    PubMed

    Evans, Marlene S; Talbot, André

    2012-07-01

    Recent studies have reported an increasing trend of mercury concentrations in walleye (Sander vitreus) from the Athabasca River, north eastern Alberta (Canada); these studies were based on three years of comparison and attributed the mercury increase to expanding oil sands developments in the region. In order to conduct a more comprehensive analysis of mercury trends in fish, we compiled an extensive database for walleye, lake whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), northern pike (Esox lucius) and lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) using all available data obtained from provincial, federal, and industry-funded monitoring and other programs. Evidence for increasing trends in mercury concentrations were examined for each species by location and year also considering fish weight and length. In the immediate oil sands area of the Athabasca River, mercury concentrations decreased (p < 0.001) in walleye and lake whitefish over 1984-2011. In western Lake Athabasca and its delta, mercury concentrations decreased (p < 0.0001) in northern pike (1981-2009) although no trend was evident for walleye (1981-2005) and lake trout (1978-2009). Mercury concentrations in lake trout from Namur Lake, a small lake west of the oil sands area, were higher in 2007 than 2000 (p < 0.0001); it is difficult to ascribe this increase to an oil sands impact because similar increases in mercury concentrations have been observed in lake trout from similar sized lakes in the Northwest Territories. While mercury emissions rates have increased with oil sands development and the landscape become more disturbed, mercury concentrations remained low in water and sediments in the Athabasca River and its tributaries and similar to concentrations observed outside the development areas and in earlier decades. Our fish database was assembled from a series of studies that differed in study purpose, design, and analytical methods. Future monitoring programs investigating mercury trends in fish should be more rigorous in their design. PMID:22652822

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

    PubMed

    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 a significant increase in the dry sand abrasion wear resistance when compared with the microstructured coating. PMID:19916449

  5. Immunological impacts of oil sands-affected waters on rainbow trout evaluated using an in situ exposure.

    PubMed

    McNeill, Sean A; Arens, Collin J; Hogan, Natacha S; Köllner, Bernd; van den Heuvel, Michael R

    2012-10-01

    Rainbow trout were exposed in situ to oil sands-affected waters for 21 d, either with or without an immune stimulation using inactivated Aeromonas salmonicida. Three aquatic systems were utilized for the experiment: a pond containing oil sands tailings capped with approximately 3 m of natural surface water, a second pond where unextracted oil sands materials were deposited in the watershed, and a reservoir receiving Athabasca River water as a reference caging location. The three systems showed a gradient of oil sands-related compounds, most notably, total naphthenic acids were highest in the system containing tailings (13 mg/L), followed by the system influenced by unextracted oil sands (4 mg/L), followed by the reference cage location (1 mg/L). Biochemical and chemical measures of exposure in rainbow trout showed the same trend, with the tailings-influenced system having the highest hepatic EROD activity and elevated bile fluorescence measured at phenanthrene wavelengths. Trout caged in the tailings-influenced location had significantly fewer leukocytes and smaller spleens as compared to the reference fish, though liver size and condition factor were unaffected. Fish in the tailings-influenced waters also demonstrated increased fin erosion, indicative of opportunistic infection. The trout exposed to tailing-influenced waters also showed a significantly decreased ability to produce antibodies to the inactivated A. salmonicida. Given the complexity of the exposure conditions, exact causative agents could not be determined, however, naphthenic acids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and pH correlate with the immunotoxic effects while elevated salinity or metals seem unlikely causes. PMID:22877820

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Changes in environmental and wildlife health from contaminants in tailings water on the Canadian oil sands have been well-studied; however, effects of air contaminants on wildlife health have not. A field study was conducted to assess biological costs of natural exposure to oil sands-related air emissions on birds. Nest boxes for tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) were erected at two sites; within 5 km of active oil sands mining and extraction, and ≥ 60 km south, at one reference site. Passive air monitors were deployed at the nest boxes to measure nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone, volatile organic compounds, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Nestlings were examined at day 9 post hatching to assess T cell function and morphometry. At day 14 post hatching, a subset of nestlings was euthanized to measure detoxification enzymes, endocrine changes, and histological alterations of immune organs. Except for ozone, all air contaminants were higher at the two oil sands sites than the reference site (up to 5-fold). Adult birds had similar reproductive performance among sites (p>0.05). Nestlings from industrial sites showed higher hepatic ethoxyresorufin O-dealkylase (EROD) induction (p<0.0001) with lower relative hepatic mass (p=0.0001), a smaller T cell response to the phytohemagglutinin skin test (p=0.007), and smaller bursae of Fabricius (p<0.02); a low sample size for one site indicating lower body condition scores (p=0.01) at day 14 warrants cautious interpretation. There were no differences among nestlings for feather corticosterone (p>0.6), and no histological alterations in the spleen or bursa of Fabricius (p>0.05). This is the first report examining toxicological responses in wild birds exposed to air contaminants from industrial activity in the oil sands. It is also the first time that small, individual air contaminant monitors have been used to determine local contaminant levels in ambient air around nest boxes of wild birds. PMID:25240100

  7. Tales from a distant swamp: Petrological and paleobotanical clues for the origin of the sand coal lithotype (Mississippian, Valley Fields, Virginia)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hower, J.C.; O'Keefe, J. M. K.; Eble, C.F.

    2008-01-01

    Tournasian (Mississippian) Price Formation semianthracites (Rmax = 2.40%) in the Valley Fields of southwestern Virginia contain a lithotype described in an early-20th-century report as a "sand" coal. The Center for Applied Energy Research inherited a collection of coals containing sand coal specimens, making it possible to study the lithotype from the long-closed mines. The sand coal consists of rounded quartz sand and maceral assemblages (secretinite, corpogelinite, and rounded collotelinite) along with banded collotelinite, vitrodetrinite, and inertodetrinite assemblages. The association of rounded macerals and similar-size quartz grains suggests transport. Oxidation rims surrounding the rounded collotelinite provides further evidence for transport. Due to the semianthracite rank, palynology could not be performed. Stratigraphic evidence indicates that the Lepidodendropsis flora would have been the dominant mire vegetation. Pteridosperms in this assemblage could have contributed resin rodlets, subsequently metamorphosed to collogelinite or secretinite. While a resin rodlet origin is an intriguing possibility for the origin of the rounded macerals (at least some of the rounded maceral, the rounded collotelinite clearly has a different origin), we cannot definitively prove this origin. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Studies for the stabilization of coal-oil mixtures. Final report, August 1978-May 1981

    SciTech Connect

    Botsaris, G.D.; Glazman, Y.M.; Adams-Viola, M.

    1981-01-01

    A fundamental understanding of the stabilization of coal-oil mixtures (COM) was developed. Aggregation of the coal particles was determined to control both the sedimentation and rheological properties of the COM. Sedimentation stability of COM prepared with coal, 80% < 200 mesh, is achieved by particle aggregation, which leads to the formation of a network of particles throughout the oil. The wettability of coal powders was evaluated by the Pickering emulsion test and a spherical agglomeration test to assess its effect on the stability of various COM formulations. Sedimentation stability of hydrophilic coal-oil-water mixtures (COWM) involves the formation of water bridges between the coal particles, while less stabilization of oleophilic COWM is achieved by the formation of an emulsion. Anionic SAA were least sensitive to the coal type and enhanced the aggregation stability of the suspension. The effect of cationic SAA, nonionic SAA and polymer additives depended upon the specific chemical structure of the SAA, the water content of the COM and the type of coal. The sedimentation stability of ultrafine COM was not directly due to the fineness of the powder but due to the formation of a network of flocculated particles.

  9. SASOL: SOUTH AFRICA'S OIL FROM COAL STORY--BACKGROUND FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report describes the world's only oil-from-coal plant, known as SASOL, operated by South Africa since 1955. When almost $7 billion worth of expansion is completed in the early 1980s, three SASOL plants will produce a total of 112,000 barrels of oil per day, or about half of S...

  10. Coal-oil mixture combustion program: injection into a blast furnace

    SciTech Connect

    Jansto, S.G.; Mertdogan, A.; Marlin, L.A.; Beaucaire, V.D.

    1982-04-30

    A chemically stabilized coal-oil mixture (COM) was made and used as an auxiliary fuel in a blast furnace for 44 days. Approximately 485,000 gallons of COM were produced at an on-site COM plant. Composition was 47.9% coal, 47.6% No. 6 oil, 4.0% water, and 0.5% emulsifier. Average injection rates were 3.8 to 13.0 gpm during different periods of the trial. Coal handling equipment, mixing and processing equipment, pumps, piping, fuel lances, and instrumentation are discussed. The blast furnace performance during the trial is compared to a Base Period of injecting No. 6 oil. Blast furnace performance was satisfactory, with one pound of COM replacing one pound of coke or 0.8 pound of No. 6 oil. The production of COM and its usage in a blast furnace is economical and feasible.

  11. Pseudomonas diversity in crude-oil-contaminated intertidal sand samples obtained after the Prestige oil spill.

    PubMed

    Mulet, Magdalena; David, Zoyla; Nogales, Balbina; Bosch, Rafael; Lalucat, Jorge; García-Valdés, Elena

    2011-02-01

    The Galicia seashore, in northwestern Spain, was one of the shorelines affected by the Prestige oil spill in November 2002. The diversity of autochthonous Pseudomonas populations present at two beaches (Carnota municipality) was analyzed using culture-independent and culture-dependent methods. The first analysis involved the screening of an rpoD gene library. The second involved the isolation of 94 Pseudomonas strains that were able to grow on selective media by direct plating or after serial enrichments on several carbon sources: biphenyl, gentisate, hexadecane, methylnaphthalene, naphthalene, phenanthrene, salicylate, xylene, and succinate. Eight denitrifying Pseudomonas strains were also isolated by their ability to grow anaerobically with nitrate. The calculated coverage index for Pseudomonas species was 89% when clones and isolates were considered together, and there were 29 phylospecies detected. The most abundant were members of the species P. stutzeri, P. putida, P. anguilliseptica, and P. oleovorans. Thirty-one isolates could not be identified at the species level and were considered representatives of 16 putative novel Pseudomonas species. One isolate was considered representative of a novel P. stutzeri genomovar. Concordant results were obtained when the diversities of the cloned DNA library and the cultured strains were compared. The clone library obtained by the rpoD PCR method was a useful tool for evaluating Pseudomonas communities and also for microdiversity studies of Pseudomonas populations. PMID:21131512

  12. Sand patties provide evidence for the presence of Deepwater Horizon oil on the beaches of the West Florida Shelf.

    PubMed

    McDaniel, L D; Basso, J; Pulster, E; Paul, J H

    2015-08-15

    The ecological consequences of the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill are both long-term and pervasive. The distribution of toxicity and mutagenicity in the Gulf of Mexico suggests oil from the DWH spill could have contaminated the West Florida Shelf (WFS). We utilized polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) analysis to determine presence and potential origin of oil contaminants in beach sand patty samples. PAH profiles from WFS beaches were statistically significantly similar to DWH contaminated samples from the Northeast Gulf of Mexico (Gulf Shores, AL; Ft. Pickens, FL). Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (DOSS), a major component of Corexit 9500 dispersant was also detected in the sediments. DOSS concentrations ranged from 1.6 to 5.5ngg(-1) dry weight. Additionally, two samples from DWH oil contaminated beaches were acutely toxic and one WFS beach sediment sample was mutagenic. These observations provide support for the theory that DWH oil made its way onto beaches of the WFS. PMID:26104828

  13. Water management challenges at the world`s largest integrated oil sands mining and refining complex

    SciTech Connect

    Rogers, M.E.; Ferguson, D.; MacKinnon, M.

    1996-08-01

    The world`s largest oil sands mining and bitumen upgrading complex (150 million tons of ore to produce 75 million barrels of sweet crude per year) is operated in Northern Alberta, Canada. The company`s license to operate prohibits the discharge of any process affected water from the site. With an annual raw water import of approximately 34 million cubic meters, the company`s water management program has been limited to the impounding of the waste water. The impounded volume has grown to over 350 million cubic meters and will continue to grow in future years. The storage of this waste water (contaminated with sand, fines, hydrocarbons and salts) is governed by the storage space that is made available by the mine plan, and the need to maintain sufficiently low suspended solids water for recycling in the process. In addition, the final reclamation of the site, on abandonment of operations, requires restoration of the land to an environmentally acceptable condition, and it is important that the quality of the water associated with the various areas is not limiting to this goal. This paper discusses the operation as well as research and development efforts that are in place to optimize the water management plans. Some of the areas that must be addressed include aspects of corrosion and scaling control, water balances and maintenance of water quality. To aid in this, a model using High-Performance Numeric Computation and Visualization Software has been developed. Also some impacts from alternative tailings management approaches will be discussed.

  14. Bioprocessing-Based Approach for Bitumen/Water/Fines Separation and Hydrocarbon Recovery from Oil Sands Tailings

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Brigmon, Robin L.; Berry, Christopher J.; Wade, Arielle; Simpson, Waltena

    2016-05-04

    Oil sands are a major source of oil, but their industrial processing generates tailings ponds that are an environmental hazard. The main concerns are mature fine tailings (MFT) composed of residual hydrocarbons, water, and fine clay. Tailings ponds include toxic contaminants such as heavy metals, and toxic organics including naphthenics. Naphthenic acids and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) degrade very slowly and pose a long-term threat to surface and groundwater, as they can be transported in the MFT. Research into improved technologies that would enable densification and settling of the suspended particles is ongoing. In batch tests, BioTiger™, a microbial consortium thatmore » can metabolize PAHs, demonstrated improved oil sands tailings settling from a Canadian tailings pond. Results also showed, depending on the timing of the measurements, lower suspended solids and turbidity. Elevated total organic carbon was observed in the first 48 hours in the BioTiger™-treated columns and then decreased in overlying water. Oil sands tailings mixed with BioTiger™ showed a two-fold reduction in suspended solids within 24 hours as compared to abiotic controls. The tailings treated with BioTiger™ increased in microbial densities three orders of magnitude from 8.5 × 105 CFU/mL to 1.2 × 108 CFU/mL without any other carbon or energy source added, indicating metabolism of hydrocarbons and other available nutrients. Results demonstrated that bioaugmentation of BioTiger™ increased separation of organic carbon from particles in oil sands and enhanced settling with tailings with improved water quality.« less

  15. Multicomponent seismic reservoir characterization of a steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) heavy oil project, Athabasca oil sands, Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiltz, Kelsey Kristine

    Steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is an in situ heavy oil recovery method involving the injection of steam in horizontal wells. Time-lapse seismic analysis over a SAGD project in the Athabasca oil sands deposit of Alberta reveals that the SAGD steam chamber has not developed uniformly. Core data confirm the presence of low permeability shale bodies within the reservoir. These shales can act as barriers and baffles to steam and limit production by prohibiting steam from accessing the full extent of the reservoir. Seismic data can be used to identify these shale breaks prior to siting new SAGD well pairs in order to optimize field development. To identify shale breaks in the study area, three types of seismic inversion and a probabilistic neural network prediction were performed. The predictive value of each result was evaluated by comparing the position of interpreted shales with the boundaries of the steam chamber determined through time-lapse analysis. The P-impedance result from post-stack inversion did not contain enough detail to be able to predict the vertical boundaries of the steam chamber but did show some predictive value in a spatial sense. P-impedance from pre-stack inversion exhibited some meaningful correlations with the steam chamber but was misleading in many crucial areas, particularly the lower reservoir. Density estimated through the application of a probabilistic neural network (PNN) trained using both PP and PS attributes identified shales most accurately. The interpreted shales from this result exhibit a strong relationship with the boundaries of the steam chamber, leading to the conclusion that the PNN method can be used to make predictions about steam chamber growth. In this study, reservoir characterization incorporating multicomponent seismic data demonstrated a high predictive value and could be useful in evaluating future well placement.

  16. Weathering and the fallout plume of heavy oil from strong petroleum seeps near Coal Oil Point, CA.

    PubMed

    Farwell, Christopher; Reddy, Christopher M; Peacock, Emily; Nelson, Robert K; Washburn, Libe; Valentine, David L

    2009-05-15

    The Coal Oil Point (COP) seeps offshore Goleta, CA, are estimated to release 20-25 tons of oil daily, providing an ideal natural laboratory to investigate the fate of oil in the coastal ocean. To address the long-term fate of COP oil, we collected 15 sediment samples down current from the seeps and quantified petroleum content and individual biomarkers using traditional and comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography. Similarities in the distributions of hopane biomarkers link the oil in the sediments to fresh seep oil (n=5) and underlying reservoirs (n=3), although sediment oil is heavily weathered. The spatial distribution of oil forms a plume along the continental shelf that we suggest represents a chronic fallout pattern for heavy oil from the persistent surface slicks; average surface currents appear to modulate the distribution of the fallout over a period of 0.4-5 days. The extent of hydrocarbon loss is consistent for all sediments, indicating a common limit to oil weathering with contributions from evaporation, biodegradation, and dissolution. Considering the amount of oil and quantity of sediment impacted, we estimate a sediment oil burden of 0.3 x 10(12) to 3 x 10(12) g in the study area, equivalent to 8-80 spills of the Exxon Valdez accident of 1989. PMID:19544852

  17. The Rheology of a Three Component System: COAL/WATER/#4 Oil Emulsions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilmartin, Barbara Jean

    The purpose of this investigation was to study the rheology of a three component system, coal/water/#4 oil emulsions (COW), in which the third component, water, was present in a significant concentration, and to determine the applicability of existing theories from suspension rheology to the three component system studied. In a coal/water/oil emulsion, free coal particles adhere to the surface of the water droplets, preventing their coagulation, while the larger coal particles reside in the matrix of stabilized water droplets. The use of liquid fuels containing coal is a means of utilizing our nation's coal reserves while conserving oil. These fuels can be burned in conventional oil-fired furnaces. In this investigation, a high sulfur, high ash, bituminous coal was used, along with a heavy #4 oil to prepare the emulsions. The coal was ground to a log-normal distribution with an average particle size of 62 microns. A Haake RV3 concentric cylinder viscometer, with a ribbed measuring system, was used to determine the viscosity of the emulsions. A physical pendulum settling device measured the shift in center of mass of the COW as a function of time. The flow behavior of the fuel in pipes was also tested. In interpreting the data from the viscometer and the pipe flow experiments, a power law analysis was used in the region from 30 s('-1) to 200 s('-1). Extrapolation methods were used to obtain the low and high shear behavior of the emulsions. In the shear rate region found in boiler feed systems, COW are shear thinning with a flow behavior index of 0.7. The temperature dependent characteristic of the emulsions studied were similar and followed an Arrhenius type relationship. The viscosity of the COW decreases with increasing coal average particle size and is also a function of the width of the size distribution used. The type of coal used strongly influences the rheology of the fuel. The volatile content and the atomic oxygen to nitrogen ratio of the coal are the most predictive factors in terms of the variation in viscosity of the emulsion with coal type. The viscosity of the oil used is linearly related to the viscosity of the COW. The relative viscosity - concentration relationship for the emulsions was evaluated by an equation developed by Quemada for use in blood rheology: (eta)(,r) = (1 - (phi)/(phi)(,max))('-2). The best fit of the data to the equation was found when the coal plus water concentration was used for (phi). The maximum packing fraction increased with increasing shear rate, reflecting a breaking up of the agglomerates in the system. By using the relative packing fraction of the coal plus oil concentration, the relative viscosity of the emulsions tested at the three shear rates evaluted can be fit to the Quemada relative viscosity equation. In the pipe flow tests, the emulsions showed little time-dependent behavior, however they did exhibit a well effect. A fair correlation was obtained between pipe flow behavior and the results obtained in the viscometer. Coal/water/#4 oil emulsions behave as coal and water in oil systems and can be successfully modeled using theories from suspension rheology.

  18. Assessing the potential environmental impact of Athabasca oil sands development in lakes across Northwest Saskatchewan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahad, J. M.; Cumming, B. F.; Das, B.; Sanei, H.

    2011-12-01

    The continued development of Canada's Athabasca oil sands poses a significant environmental challenge. Low buffered boreal lakes located downwind of the prevailing eastward wind direction may be threatened by acidification and elevated inputs of airborne contaminants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). An accurate assessment of the impact that increased levels of bitumen production may have on lakes in the region requires an understanding of the historic variability within these systems prior to at least the past several decades. Here we report concentrations of PAHs, δ13C and δ15N of organic matter (OM), Rock-Eval pyrolysis analyses, and distributions of n-alkanes in dated sediment cores from ten lakes located across NW Saskatchewan. Concentrations of PAHs were relatively low (< 100 ng/g for Σ 16 EPA Priority PAHs at each lake) and in general showed no substantial increases over the past 30 years. Retene, which is often associated with the combustion of coniferous wood, was generally the most abundant PAH amongst those reported, demonstrating the importance of forest fires as a principal PAH source. Plots of Hydrogen Index (HI) versus Oxygen Index (OI) fell within a relatively narrow range typical for sediments containing a high content of algal-derived OM. Relatively lower C/N ratios and higher abundances of C17 n-alkane in more recent sediments pointed to an increasingly larger component of algal-derived OM. In all ten lakes δ13C showed gradual upcore depletions that fell within the expected range for fossil fuel combustion (i.e., Suess effect), although this alone may not explain the up to ~3% depletion observed in several of the lakes. In conjunction with the other upcore trends these data may suggest a possible increase in primary productivity over the past several decades in many of the lakes studied. δ15N signatures were more variable, showing upcore increases in some lakes and upcore depletions in others. The increasingly lighter values observed in more recent sediments in some lakes suggest a potential input of depleted bioavailable nitrogen, as might be expected from anthropogenic NOx emissions. This study implies that thus far it appears that oil sands industry related emissions have had only a minor environmental impact on lakes in NW Saskatchewan.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 often exceeds the detection limit. There is a rough correlation between NO2 and aerosol, so it may be possible to indirectly monitor aerosol production.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26974568

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25306090

  2. [A Quick Quantitative Analysis for Group Composition of Coal Liquefaction Oil by Ultraviolet Spectroscopy].

    PubMed

    Fan, Wen-jun; Wu, Mei-xiang; Hao, Jian-shu; Feng, Jie; Li, Wen-ying

    2015-07-01

    Gas chromatography is now the primary analysis method for the coal liquefaction oil. However, a simple and rapid quantification/qualification of the coal liquefaction oil can hardly be realized, because the coal liquefaction oil is in a heterogeneous state with a long boiling range. The aim of this study was to establish a rapid and accurate method for the quantification of phenolic compounds, aromatics and aliphatic hydrocarbons in coal liquefaction oil. A representative composition of coal liquefaction light oil, i.e., the distillate fractions of the boiling point range 180-200 degrees C, was chosen as the investigated object. The characteristic absorption peaks of the samples in the UV spectra (200-400 nm) were examined, using three kinds of solvents, cyclohexane, ethanol, 50 Wt% NaOH/ethanol mixture. Among them, the mixture solvent provided the best performance, where the aromatics interfered minimally with the quantification of phenolic compounds by avoiding the peak overlapping problem. By comparison of the UV absorption standard curves between the standard compounds (phenol, m-cresol, p-cresol and o-cresol) and the phenolic mixtures in coal liquefaction oil, m-cresol was selected for the quantification of phenolic compounds in coal liquefaction oil. The content of phenolic compounds was determined to be 32.14% according to the calibration curve of m-cresol at 290 nm, and this result is largely consistent with that determined by weighing after separation. Based on UV and GC analysis of the dephenolized oil, the standard curve of tetrahydronaphthalene at 266 nm was used for the quantification of aromatic hydrocarbons in coal liquefaction oil. The contents of aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons were determined to be 44.91% and 22.95%, respectively. To verify the accuracy of the method, recovery of added standards in the oil samples was determined and found to be 104.3%-110.75% and 84.3%-91.75% for phenolic compounds and aromatics, respectively. These results indicate that the contents of phenolic compounds and aromatics can be determined simultaneously with the UV standard curves of m-cresol and tetrahydronaphthalene, respectively, and the aliphatic compounds can be determined by difference. PMID:26717756

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

    SciTech Connect

    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

    SciTech Connect

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-19

    This paper investigates the oxidation of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) by potassium ferrate(VI). Due to the selectivity of ferrate(VI) oxidation, two-ring and three-ring fluorescing aromatics were preferentially removed at doses <100 mg/L Fe(VI), and one-ring aromatics were removed only at doses ≥100 mg/L Fe(VI). Ferrate(VI) oxidation achieved 64.0% and 78.4% removal of naphthenic acids (NAs) at the dose of 200 mg/L and 400 mg/L Fe(VI) respectively, and NAs with high carbon number and ring number were removed preferentially. (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H NMR) spectra indicated that the oxidation of fluorescing aromatics resulted in the opening of some aromatic rings. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) analysis detected signals of organic radical intermediates, indicating that one-electron transfer is one of the probable mechanisms in the oxidation of NAs. The inhibition effect of OSPW on Vibrio fischeri and the toxicity effect on goldfish primary kidney macrophages (PKMs) were both reduced after ferrate(VI) oxidation. The fluorescing aromatics in OSPW were proposed to be an important contributor to this acute toxicity. Degradation of model compounds with ferrate(VI) was also investigated and the results confirmed our findings in OSPW study. PMID:27008571

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26204047

  7. Identification of estrogenic compounds in oil sands process waters by effect directed analysis.

    PubMed

    Yue, Siqing; Ramsay, Bruce A; Brown, R Stephen; Wang, Jiaxi; Ramsay, Juliana A

    2015-01-01

    Using effect directed analysis, the presence of estrogenic components in untreated and biologically treated oil sands process water (OSPW) was detected with the yeast estrogenic screening assay after fractionation with solid phase extraction followed by reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography. Comparison of the composition, as determined by electrospray ionization combined with high-resolution linear trap quadropole (LTQ)-Orbitrap Velos Pro hybrid mass spectrometry (negative ion) of selected estrogenic and nonestrogenic fractions identified compounds that were uniquely present in the estrogenic samples, biologically treated and untreated. Of the 30 most abundant compounds, there were 14 possible nonaromatic structures and 16 possible aromatic structures. Based on the published literature, the latter are the most likely to cause estrogenicity and were O2, O3 and O4 C17 to C20 compounds with double bond equivalents between 6 and 10 and chemical formulas similar to estrone- and estradiol-like compounds. This study shows exact formulas and masses of possible estrogenic compounds in OSPW. These findings will help to focus study on the most environmentally significant components in OSPW. PMID:25521156

  8. Predicting project environmental performance under market uncertainties: case study of oil sands coke.

    PubMed

    McKellar, Jennifer M; Bergerson, Joule A; Kettunen, Janne; MacLean, Heather L

    2013-06-01

    A method combining life cycle assessment (LCA) and real options analyses is developed to predict project environmental and financial performance over time, under market uncertainties and decision-making flexibility. The method is applied to examine alternative uses for oil sands coke, a carbonaceous byproduct of processing the unconventional petroleum found in northern Alberta, Canada. Under uncertainties in natural gas price and the imposition of a carbon price, our method identifies that selling the coke to China for electricity generation by integrated gasification combined cycle is likely to be financially preferred initially, but eventually hydrogen production in Alberta is likely to be preferred. Compared to the results of a previous study that used life cycle costing to identify the financially preferred alternative, the inclusion of real options analysis adds value as it accounts for flexibility in decision-making (e.g., to delay investment), increasing the project's expected net present value by 25% and decreasing the expected life cycle greenhouse gas emissions by 11%. Different formulations of the carbon pricing policy or changes to the natural gas price forecast alter these findings. The combined LCA/real options method provides researchers and decision-makers with more comprehensive information than can be provided by either technique alone. PMID:23675646

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24281733

  10. Modeling soil acidification in the Athabasca Oil Sands region, Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Whitfield, Colin J; Aherne, Julian; Watmough, Shaun A

    2009-08-01

    Industrial activities have proliferated across Canada's Athabasca Oil Sands Region in recent years, stimulating concerns over the impact of atmospheric sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions on acid-sensitive terrain. Upland jack pine forests have been identified as possibly the most sensitive ecosystem in the region but despite high emissions of SO2, sulfur (S) deposition is relatively low across much of the region. The response of forest soils at 11 locations that exhibit low estimated weathering rates (< 10 mmol(c) x m(-2) x yr(-1)) was simulated for the period 1900-2100 using a dynamic hydrogeochemical model assuming no change or doubling of S deposition. The model predicted minimal impact on soil base saturation (BS), but a decline in soil solution base cation (BC) to aluminum (Al) ratio (BC:Al). The regional effects-based emissions management framework uses modeled changes in these two parameters relative to site-specific chemical thresholds to trigger actions to reduce S emissions. Modeled changes in BS are insufficient to invoke a response. Under base case conditions, modeled BC:Al reaches the chemical threshold at two and three sites within 15 and 30 years, respectively. Under conditions of double S deposition, seven sites are simulated to reach the threshold within 30 years. Nonetheless, the chemical thresholds are stringent relative to critical chemical criteria used elsewhere and the impacts of acidic deposition in the region are anticipated to be limited. PMID:19731686

  11. Achieving Conservation when Opportunity Costs Are High: Optimizing Reserve Design in Alberta's Oil Sands Region

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:21858046

  12. Woody plant establishment in grassed reclamation areas of the Athabasca oil sands

    SciTech Connect

    Fedkenheuer, A.W.

    1980-12-01

    The primary end land use for areas disturbed by the Syncrude Canada Ltd. oil sands surface mining venture is forest cover. Short term erosion control is of concern, however, and this results in the early establishment of a grass and legume cover. Problems have subsequently been encountered in attempts to establish woody plants in the grass and legume cover. Vegetation competition for soil moisture and nutrients and rodent damage to woody seedlings have been the major problem areas. A study was initiated in 1978 to evaluate methods of manipulating the grass and legume cover sufficiently to improve success rates in establishing a variety of shrubs and trees. Five replicated treatments using the chemical herbicide glyphosate, soil scarification and fire alone plus soil scarification were established on an area seeded to grass and legumes in spring 1976. Woody plant survival and rodent damage, populations and distribution are being assessed annually in spring and fall. Rodent damage to woody seedlings was heavy in fall 1978 with 80 percent of the deciduous seedlings on non-scarified plots being damaged. In June 1979, 98 percent of the deciduous plants on the control and herbicide treatment areas were damaged. Damage to conifers was approximately 30 percent less during this time. Prescribed burning and mechanical scarification substantially reduced rodent damage. Seedling survival was variable with Amelanchier alnifolia, Pinus contorta and Populus tremuloides consistently exhibiting the highest survival rates.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25828413

  14. Interaction of microbial sulphate reduction and methanogenesis in oil sands tailings ponds.

    PubMed

    Stasik, Sebastian; Wendt-Potthoff, Katrin

    2014-05-01

    Anaerobic turnover of organic compounds in oil sands tailings ponds is accomplished by a complex microbial consortium. We examined major electron accepting processes in mature fine tailings (MFT). Beside methanogenesis and sulphate reduction, microbial iron reduction was an important process of anaerobic respiration. Microbial numbers and activity were comparable to those reported for natural lakes. To understand metabolic interactions of indigenous methanogenic and sulphate-reducing communities, we conducted a 6 month microcosm experiment with MFT supplemented with easily available carbon sources and molybdate and/or 2-bromoethane sulphonate (BES) as specific inhibitors for sulphate reduction and methanogenesis. Methanogenesis increased when microcosms were supplemented with extra carbon, but was completely inhibited by the addition of BES. Molybdate not only inhibited sulphate reduction, but also methanogenesis, indicating a positive relation between the two processes. The turnover of extra carbon sources differed between microcosms treated with molybdate and BES. Acetate and propionate were not consumed in microcosms amended with molybdate, indicating that sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB) were responsible for their metabolisation, and that methane was rather produced by hydrogenotrophic methanogens. In microcosms without molybdate, acetate transiently accumulated, indicating the activity of both incomplete and complete oxidizing SRB. Ethanol and lactate were also consumed in the simultaneous presence of BES and molybdate, demonstrating the occurrence of other anaerobic processes. Biomass increased by the addition of extra carbon, mainly due to a relative increase in the proportion of SRB. The addition of extra carbon lowered the degradation of BTEX compounds. PMID:24325799

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  16. Microfine coal firing results from a retrofit gas/oil-designed industrial boiler

    SciTech Connect

    Patel, R.; Borio, R.W.; Liljedahl, G.; Miller, B.G.; Scaroni, A.W.; McGowan, J.G.

    1995-12-31

    The development of a High Efficiency Advanced Coal Combustor (HEACC) has been in progress since 1987 and the ABB Power Plant Laboratories. The initial work on this concept produced an advanced coal firing system that was capable of firing both water-based and dry pulverized coal in an industrial boiler environment. Economics may one day dictate that it makes sense to replace oil or natural gas with coal in boilers that were originally designed to burn these fuels. The objective of the current program is to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of retrofitting a gas/oil designed boiler to burn micronized coal. In support of this overall objective, the following specific areas were targeted: A coal handling/preparation system that can meet the technical requirements for retrofitting microfine coal on a boiler designed for burning oil or natural gas; Maintaining boiler thermal performance in accordance with specifications when burning oil or natural gas; Maintaining NOx emissions at or below 0.6 lb/MBtu; Achieving combustion efficiencies of 98% or higher; and Calculating economic payback periods as a function of key variables. The overall program has consisted of five major tasks: (1) A review of current state-of-the-art coal firing system components; (2) Design and experimental testing of a prototype HEACC burner; (3) Installation and testing of a HEACC system in a commercial retrofit application; (4) Economic evaluation of the HEACC concept for retrofit applications; and (5) Long term demonstration under commercial user demand conditions. This paper will summarize the latest key experimental results (Task 3) and the economic evaluation (Task 4) of the HEACC concept for retrofit applications. 28 figs., 6 tabs.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-01-08

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  19. Washakie RMP/EIS lists prohibitions on tar sand development

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-03-01

    The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued a draft Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact State (RMP/EIS) for the Washakie Resource Area in Wyoming. Among the leasable minerals found in the resource area are oil, gas, coal, tar sand, and oil shale. Only oil, gas and tar sand are discussed in detail in the various alternatives. The Preferred Alternative outlined by the BLM generally allows continued resource use with greater emphasis on protection of the natural environment. The main points of this preferred alternative are outlined. 3 figures, 1 table.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26284348

  1. Approach to Assessing the Effects of Aerial Deposition on Water Quality in the Alberta Oil Sands Region.

    PubMed

    Dayyani, Shadi; Daly, Gillian; Vandenberg, Jerry

    2016-02-01

    Snow cover forms a porous medium that acts as a receptor for aerially deposited polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metals. The snowpack, acting as a temporary storage reservoir, releases contaminants accumulating over the winter during a relatively short melt period. This process could result in elevated concentrations of contaminants in melt water. Recent studies in the Alberta oil sands region have documented increases in snowpack and lake sediment concentrations; however, no studies have addressed the fate and transport of contaminants during the snowmelt period. This study describes modelling approaches that were developed to assess potential effects of aerially deposited PAHs and metals to snowpack and snowmelt water concentrations. The contribution of snowmelt to freshwater PAH concentrations is assessed using a dynamic, multi-compartmental fate model, and the contribution to metal concentrations is estimated using a mass-balance approach. The modelling approaches described herein were applied to two watersheds in the Alberta oil sands region for two planned oil sands developments. Accumulation of PAHs in a lake within the deposition zone was also modelled for comparison to observed concentrations. PMID:26803105

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    A decade (2005-2014) of observations from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) were used to examine trends in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) over a large region of western Canada and the northern United States, with a focus on the Canadian oil sands. In the oil sands, primarily over an area of intensive surface mining, NO2 tropospheric vertical column densities (VCDs) are seen to be increasing by as much as 10%/year, with the location of the largest trends in a newly developing NO2 "lobe" well removed from surface monitoring stations. SO2 VCDs in the oil sands have remained approximately constant. The only other significant increase in the region was seen in NO2 over Bakken gas fields in North Dakota which showed increases of up to 5%/yr. By contrast, other locations in the region show substantial declines in both pollutants, providing strong evidence to the efficacy of environmental pollution control measures implemented by both nations. The OMI-derived trends were found to be consistent with those from the Canadian surface monitoring network, although in the case of SO2, it was necessary to apply a correction in order to remove the residual signal from volcanic eruptions present in the OMI data. PMID:26642237

  3. Multi-tracer profiling of natural and anthropogenic water sources and interaction in the oil sands region (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Isotopic, geochemical and organic tracer techniques for labeling water and for tracing biogeochemical processes in the Athabasca oil sands region, northern Alberta are being developed as part of research projects led by Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF). Studies conducted to date have included both regional and site-specific assessments of baseline groundwater geochemistry, groundwater-surface water interactions, lake/wetland water balance, and acid sensitivity studies, as well as analysis of specific industrial issues such as airborne deposition, water supply, SAGD metals mobility, surface-casing-vent flows, and oil-sands process-affected water. Multiple tracers have been applied to interpret the source of water, salinity and organics in groundwater and surface water, which has led to better understanding of groundwater age, hydrodynamics, surface-subsurface connectivity, and the role of glaciogenic water and evaporate deposits in the regional hydrogeological system. Progress has also been made towards more extensive chemical characterization of process-affected water. The key to assessing ongoing anthropogenic impacts, in the context of significant observed natural variability in the oil sands region, is application of a multi-tracer toolkit as well as understanding of the regional and site-specific biogeochemical processes that control tracer distribution and interaction.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Brandt, Adam R

    2012-01-17

    Because of interest in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation fuels production, a number of recent life cycle assessment (LCA) studies have calculated GHG emissions from oil sands extraction, upgrading, and refining pathways. The results from these studies vary considerably. This paper reviews factors affecting energy consumption and GHG emissions from oil sands extraction. It then uses publicly available data to analyze the assumptions made in the LCA models to better understand the causes of variability in emissions estimates. It is found that the variation in oil sands GHG estimates is due to a variety of causes. In approximate order of importance, these are scope of modeling and choice of projects analyzed (e.g., specific projects vs industry averages); differences in assumed energy intensities of extraction and upgrading; differences in the fuel mix assumptions; treatment of secondary noncombustion emissions sources, such as venting, flaring, and fugitive emissions; and treatment of ecological emissions sources, such as land-use change-associated emissions. The GHGenius model is recommended as the LCA model that is most congruent with reported industry average data. GHGenius also has the most comprehensive system boundaries. Last, remaining uncertainties and future research needs are discussed. PMID:22191713

  6. Phytotoxicity and naphthenic acid dissipation from oil sands fine tailings treatments planted with the emergent macrophyte Phragmites australis.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

    During reclamation the water associated with the runoff or groundwater flushing from dry stackable tailings technologies may become available to the reclaimed environment within an oil sands lease. Here we evaluate the performance of the emergent macrophyte, common reed (Phragmites australis), grown in chemically amended mature fine tailings (MFT) and simulated runoff/seepage water from different MFT drying treatments. The present study also investigated the phytotoxicity of the concentration of oil sands naphthenic acids (NAs) in different MFT drying chemical treatments, in both planted and unplanted systems. We demonstrate that although growth was reduced, the emergent macrophyte common reed was capable of growing in diluted unamended MFT runoff, as well as in diluted runoff from MFT amended with either 0.25% lime and gypsum or 0.5% gypsum. Common reed can thus assist in the dewatering process of oil sands MFT. However, simulated runoff or seepage waters from chemically amended and dried MFT were phytotoxic, due to combined levels of salts, naphthenic acids and pH. Phytoremediation of runoff water/ground water seepage from dry-land applied MFT will thus require pre-treatment in order to make conditions more favorable for plant growth. PMID:20486009

  7. Superclean coal-water slurry combustion testing in an oil-fired boiler

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, B.G.; Pisupati, S.V.; Poe, R.L.; Morrison, J.L.; Xie, J.; Walsh, P.M.; Shamanna, S.; Schobert, H.H.; Scaroni, A.W.

    1992-10-13

    The Pennsylvania State University is conducting a superclean coal-water slurry (SCCWS) program for the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with the objective of determining the capability of effectively firing SCCWS in an industrial boiler designed for oil. Penn State has entered into a cooperative agreement with DOE to determine if SCCWS (a fuel containing coal with 3.0 wt.% ash and 0.9 wt.% sulfur) can effectively be burned in an oil-designed industrial boiler without adverse impact on boiler rating, maintainability, reliability, and availability. The project will provide information on the design of new systems specifically configured to fire these clean coal-based fuels. The project consists of four phases: (1) design, permitting, and test planning, (2) construction and start up, (3) demonstration and evaluation (1,000-hour demonstration), and (4) program expansion (additional 1,000 hours of testing). The boiler testing will determine if the SCCWS combustion characteristics, heat release rate, fouling and slagging behavior, corrosion and erosion limits, and fuel transport, storage, and handling characteristics can be accommodated in an oil-designed boiler system. In addition, the proof-of-concept demonstration will generate data to determine how the properties of SCCWS and its parent coal affect boiler performance. Economic factors associated with retrofitting and operating boilers will be identified to assess the viability of future oil-to-coal retrofits.

  8. 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)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 subsequent separation into asphaltenes, aliphatic hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons, neutral nitrogen, sulphur, oxygen (NSO) compounds and carboxylic acids. The asphaltene fractions are analysed using pyrolysis-GC, all other fractions are analysed by GC-MS. Additionally Fourier transform-ion cyclotron resonance-mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS) is used to study the chemical composition of the samples on the molecular level using different ionisation methods.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  10. Hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria and the bacterial community response in gulf of Mexico beach sands impacted by the deepwater horizon oil spill.

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

    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

  11. Balancing oil and environment... responsibly.

    SciTech Connect

    Weimer, Walter C.; Teske, Lisa

    2007-01-25

    Balancing Oil and Environment…Responsibly As the price of oil continues to skyrocket and global oil production nears the brink, pursuing unconventional oil supplies, such as oil shale, oil sands, heavy oils, and oils from biomass and coal has become increasingly attractive. Of particular significance to the American way is that our continent has significant quantities of these resources. Tapping into these new resources, however, requires cutting-edge technologies for identification, production, processing and environmental management. This job needs a super hero or two for a job of this size and proportion…

  12. Desulfurization of Illinois coals with hydroperoxides of vegetable oils and alkali. Technical report, September 1--November 30, 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, G.V.; Gaston, R.D.; Song, R.; Cheng, J.; Shi, F.; Wang, Y.

    1995-12-31

    Organic sulfur is removed from coals by treatment with aqueous base, air, and vegetable oils with minimal loss of BTU. Such results were revealed during exploratory experiments on an ICCI funded project to remove organic sulfur from Illinois coals with hydroperoxides of vegetable oils. In fact, prewashing IBC-108 coal with dilute alkali prior to treating with linseed oil and air results in 26% removal of sulfur. This new method will be investigated by treating coals with alkali, impregnating coals with polyunsaturated oils, converting the oils to their hydroperoxides, and heating. Since these oils are relatively inexpensive and easily applied, this project could lead to a cost effective method for removing organic sulfur from coals. Moreover the oils are environmentally safe; they will produce no noxious products and will improve burning qualities of the solid products. During this first quarter the selection of base for pretreatment and extraction (Task 1) has been completed. NaOH is better than NH{sub 4}OH for the pretreatment and Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} is better than NaOH for the oil extraction. About 40% of sulfur is removed from IBC-108 coal using 5% NaOH for pretreatment followed by linseed oil oxidation in air and Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} extraction.

  13. Coal oxidation and its effect on oil agglomeration

    SciTech Connect

    Qiu, X.; Wheelock, T.D.

    1991-12-31

    Small particles of high volatile bituminous coal from two different sources were oxidized by air at 150 C for up to 72 hrs. As the treatment progressed, samples of coal were recovered and characterized by measuring the heat of immersion of the particles in water and determining the agglomerability of the material with heptane while suspended in water. As oxidation proceeded, the heat of immersion increased and the agglomerability decreased, and a direct relationship between the two was observed.

  14. Chemical fingerprinting of naphthenic acids and oil sands process waters-A review of analytical methods for environmental samples.

    PubMed

    Headley, J V; Peru, K M; Mohamed, M H; Frank, R A; Martin, J W; Hazewinkel, R R O; Humphries, D; Gurprasad, N P; Hewitt, L M; Muir, D C G; Lindeman, D; Strub, R; Young, R F; Grewer, D M; Whittal, R M; Fedorak, P M; Birkholz, D A; Hindle, R; Reisdorph, R; Wang, X; Kasperski, K L; Hamilton, C; Woudneh, M; Wang, G; Loescher, B; Farwell, A; Dixon, D G; Ross, M; Pereira, A Dos Santos; King, E; Barrow, M P; Fahlman, B; Bailey, J; McMartin, D W; Borchers, C H; Ryan, C H; Toor, N S; Gillis, H M; Zuin, L; Bickerton, G; Mcmaster, M; Sverko, E; Shang, D; Wilson, L D; Wrona, F J

    2013-01-01

    This article provides a review of the routine methods currently utilized for total naphthenic acid analyses. There is a growing need to develop chemical methods that can selectively distinguish compounds found within industrially derived oil sands process affected waters (OSPW) from those derived from the natural weathering of oil sands deposits. Attention is thus given to the characterization of other OSPW components such as oil sands polar organic compounds, PAHs, and heavy metals along with characterization of chemical additives such as polyacrylamide polymers and trace levels of boron species. Environmental samples discussed cover the following matrices: OSPW containments, on-lease interceptor well systems, on- and off-lease groundwater, and river and lake surface waters. There are diverse ranges of methods available for analyses of total naphthenic acids. However, there is a need for inter-laboratory studies to compare their accuracy and precision for routine analyses. Recent advances in high- and medium-resolution mass spectrometry, concomitant with comprehensive mass spectrometry techniques following multi-dimensional chromatography or ion-mobility separations, have allowed for the speciation of monocarboxylic naphthenic acids along with a wide range of other species including humics. The distributions of oil sands polar organic compounds, particularly the sulphur containing species (i.e., OxS and OxS2) may allow for distinguishing sources of OSPW. The ratios of oxygen- (i.e., Ox) and nitrogen-containing species (i.e., NOx, and N2Ox) are useful for differentiating organic components derived from OSPW from natural components found within receiving waters. Synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy also provides a powerful screening technique capable of quickly detecting the presence of aromatic organic acids contained within oil sands naphthenic acid mixtures. Synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy provides diagnostic profiles for OSPW and potentially impacted groundwater that can be compared against reference groundwater and surface water samples. Novel applications of X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy (XANES) are emerging for speciation of sulphur-containing species (both organic and inorganic components) as well as industrially derived boron-containing species. There is strong potential for an environmental forensics application of XANES for chemical fingerprinting of weathered sulphur-containing species and industrial additives in OSPW. PMID:23647107

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

    PubMed

    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 < 0.05). In white spruce stands, fine root surface area was the only parameter that increased along the 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. PMID:26668730

  16. Dissolved organic carbon in a constructed and natural fens in the Athabasca oil sands region, Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Khadka, Bhupesh; Munir, Tariq M; Strack, Maria

    2016-07-01

    In the Athabasca oil sands region near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, peatlands are disturbed extensively in order to recover bitumen below the surface. Hence, following oil sands mining, landscape reclamation is a part of the mine closure process in order to return functioning ecosystems, including peatlands, to the region. This study was conducted at a pilot fen reclamation project and three other diverse natural (poor, rich and saline) fens in the oil sands region during the growing seasons of 2013 and 2014, the first and second year post-construction. Ecosystem functioning of the constructed fen (CF) was evaluated with reference to natural fens based on pore water dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration and chemistry. Significant variation of DOC concentration among the reference fens was observed, varying from an average of 42.0mg/L at the rich fen (RF) to 70.8mg/L at the saline fen (SF). Dissolved organic carbon concentration at CF was significantly lower than at all reference fens, but increased significantly over the first two years. Seasonal variation of DOC concentration was also observed in each site with concentration increasing over the growing season. At CF, DOC was comprised of larger, more humic and complex aromatic compounds than reference fens in the first year post-construction based on its spectrophotometric properties; however, these differences were reduced in the second year. Initial DOC concentration and chemistry at CF was indicative of the source being largely the peat placed during fen construction. Changes in chemistry and increasing concentration of DOC in the second growing season likely resulted from increasing inputs from plants established on site. These results suggest that DOC concentration is likely to increase in future at CF as vascular plant productivity increases and in response to salinity sourced from tailing sand used to construct the catchment. PMID:27037879

  17. Total and methyl mercury concentrations in sediment and water of a constructed wetland in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region.

    PubMed

    Oswald, Claire J; Carey, Sean K

    2016-06-01

    In the Athabasca Oil Sands Region in northeastern Alberta, Canada, oil sands operators are testing the feasibility of peatland construction on the post-mining landscape. In 2009, Syncrude Canada Ltd. began construction of the 52 ha Sandhill Fen pilot watershed, including a 15 ha, hydrologically managed fen peatland built on sand-capped soft oil sands tailings. An integral component of fen reclamation is post-construction monitoring of water quality, including salinity, fluvial carbon, and priority pollutant elements. In this study, the effects of fen reclamation and elevated sulfate levels on mercury (Hg) fate and transport in the constructed system were assessed. Total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in the fen sediment were lower than in two nearby natural fens, which may be due to the higher mineral content of the Sandhill Fen peat mix and/or a loss of Hg through evasion during the peat harvesting, stockpiling and placement processes. Porewater MeHg concentrations in the Sandhill Fen typically did not exceed 1.0 ng L(-1). The low MeHg concentrations may be a result of elevated porewater sulfate concentrations (mean 346 mg L(-1)) and an increase in sulphide concentrations with depth in the peat, which are known to suppress MeHg production. Total Hg and MeHg concentrations increased during a controlled mid-summer flooding event where the water table rose above the ground surface in most of the fen. The Hg dynamics during this event showed that hydrologic fluctuations in this system exacerbate the release of THg and MeHg downstream. In addition, the elevated SO4(2-) concentrations in the peat porewaters may become a problem with respect to downstream MeHg production once the fen is hydrologically connected to a larger wetland network that is currently being constructed. PMID:27017139

  18. Elevated Nitrogen Deposition from Alberta Oil Sands Development Stimulates Phosphatase Activity in Dominant Sphagnum Moss Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashi, N. N.; Wieder, R.; Vile, M. A.

    2013-12-01

    Emissions of NOx associated with Alberta oil sands (AOS) development are leading to locally elevated atmospheric N deposition, in a region where background N deposition has been historically quite low (< 1 kg/ha/yr). This elevated N deposition has the potential to alter the ecosystem structure and function of nutrient-poor boreal peatlands. Nitrogen enrichment may alter soil microbial activity, which could be manifested in changes in extracellular enzyme activities. Since 2011, we have been experimentally adding N as NH4NO3 in simulated precipitation at 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 kg N ha/yr/ plus no-water controls to a boreal bog and a poor fen (3 replicate plots per treatment). In 2013, acid phosphatase activities in living plant capitulum of Sphagnum angustifolium, Sphagnum fuscum, and Sphagnum magellanicum were quantified in June and July using 4-methyumbelliferylphosphate and fluorescence detection of the enzymatically released methylumbelliferone (MUF). Phosphatase activities did not differ with N treatment for S. angustifolium in the bog (p=0.3409) or the poor fen (p=0.0629), or for S. fuscum in the bog (p=0.1950), averaging 35.0 × 0.7, 61.6 × 1.2, and 41.6 × 0.9 μmol MUF/g DWT/hr, respectively. For S. fuscum in the poor fen, phosphatase activities differed between N treatments (p=0.0275), ranging 40.6 × 1.1 μmol MUF/g DWT/hr in the control plots to 73.7 × 2.0 μmol MUF/g DWT/hr in the 5 kg/ha/yr N treatment plots; increasing N deposition did not result in a gradual change in enzyme activity. On the other hand, S. magellanicum phosphatase activities differed between N treatments (p=0.0189) and showed a pattern of generally increasing activity with increasing N deposition (37.4 × 0.5 μmol MUF/g DWT/hr in control plots; 97.9 × 4.5 μmol MUF/g DWT/hr in the 25 kg/ha/yr N treatment plots). The differing phosphatase responses between these dominant Sphagnum species suggest unique differences in nutrient balance and/or microbial activity. Combining the three moss species and weighting by their abundances within each plot (percent cover), phosphatase activities differed between N treatments in the bog (p=0.0388) and the poor fen (p=0.0005), with the latter exhibiting a clear increase in enzyme activity with increasing N deposition, and a doubling of phosphatase activity between the control plots and the 25 kg/kg/yr N deposition treatment. Although the three moss species responded differently, at the plot scale, increasing N deposition stimulated phosphatase activity, suggesting that microbial enzyme activity in peat is sensitive to increasing N deposition from oil sands development, with potential consequences for peatland nutrient cycling.

  19. Pooling tree-ring samples for determining Zn isotopic signatures in the Athabasca oil sands region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinis, L.; Savard, M. M.; Bégin, C.; Gammon, P.; Girard, I.

    2013-12-01

    The sampling protocols for trees are primarily determined by the aim of the study and the expected concentrations of targeted elements. For site-specific environmental investigations using C and O stable isotopes, it is common to pool temporally-equivalent samples from different trees to obtain a representative signature for a given site. Furthermore, non-traditional stable isotopic analyses can require significant sample weights due to low elemental concentrations, which can force researchers to pool samples. However, it is unclear whether or not pooling will produce isotopic results representative of a site for elemental distribution of metals within trees. Therefore, this study investigates the validity of pooling sub-samples from several trees to obtain site-averaged Zn-isotopic analyses. We have investigated four white spruce trees from one site about 42 km east of the mining center of the Athabasca oil sands region (Alberta, Canada), and characterized their ring Zn-isotopes. Our specific goal here was to determine if individual determination and/or pooling sub-samples could detect temporal variations in Zn characteristics. We collected and analyzed nine sub-samples per tree, at a resolution of 4 and 2 years, and distributed over a 130 year period (1878-2009) using an ICP-MS. It turned out that the tree rings have very low Zn concentrations (3.8 to 7.6 ppm). The segmented tree-ring series were subsequently analyzed both for δ66Zn values in individual tree samples and pooled samples with equally weighted aliquots (total of 45 samples), using a MC-ICP-MS and a standard sample bracketing correction reported against NIST683. The δ66Zn results ranged between 0.30 and 0.74‰ ×0.05 (2 SD) for individual samples, and, 0.35 and 0.66‰ ×0.07, for the pooled sample set. As expected, all trees at the investigated site responded similarly, and the weighted average δ66Zn value of the individual series closely compared to the δ66Zn signature of the pooled sample (r2 = 0.8). For any single pooled versus individual trees comparative data point the δ66Zn results are bracketed within 0.2‰ with minimal scatter (generally < 0.1‰), suggesting that at the investigated site the sampling of individual or pooled series gives essentially the same result, and that the pooling technique may be suitable for understanding environmental processes through time. It seems overall that this method has the potential to differentiate Zn sources and emissions, and help understanding local Zn cycling and processes leading to Zn uptake by trees. In order to assess this potential for the oil sands region, we are currently analyzing Zn isotopes for the series from the first investigated site and from a second site, as well as their soil profiles (total of 150 tree and soil samples). Comparison of tree results with the soil Zn-isotopic signatures will help assess the use of tree-ring Zn-isotopes as an environmental tool, as well as the fractionation processes that may be operating at the two sites.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26209669

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  4. Dry deposition of polycyclic aromatic compounds to various land covers in the Athabasca oil sands region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Leiming; Cheng, Irene; Wu, Zhiyong; Harner, Tom; Schuster, Jasmin; Charland, Jean-Pierre; Muir, Derek; Parnis, J. Mark

    2015-09-01

    A framework was developed to estimate dry deposition of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs), including 17 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), 21 alkylated PAHs, and 5 parent and alkylated dibenzothiophenes (DBTs), to various land covers surrounding three monitoring sites in the Athabasca oil sands region. Modeled dry deposition velocities for various gaseous PACs and over various land covers were mostly in the range of 0.01-0.5 cm s-1 with median and annual mean values between 0.08 and 0.24 cm s-1, comparable with literature values obtained from field studies. Annual dry deposition of the sum of PAHs was estimated to range from 330 to 560 μg m-2 over forested canopies surrounding the three sites and from 270 to 490 μg m-2 over grass and shrubs. The corresponding values are 3920-5380 and 2850-4920 μg m-2 for the sum of 21 alkylated PAHs, and are 230-1120 and 450-930 μg m-2 for the sum of 5 DBTs. The three monitoring sites are situated nearby the Athabasca River, and the direct annual atmospheric dry deposition to water surface was estimated to range from 350 to 500, 3170 to 4530, and 170 to 840 μg m-2 for PAHs, alkylated PAHs, and DBTs, respectively. Alkylated PAHs contributed 80% of the total dry and 60% of the total wet deposition budget, suggesting the importance of including this group of PAHs in the atmospheric deposition budget estimation for subsequent ecosystem impact studies.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26209669

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

    PubMed Central

    Muhly, Tyler; Serrouya, Robert; Neilson, Eric; Li, Haitao; Boutin, Stan

    2015-01-01

    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, and thus provides clear direction for mitigation efforts for features that will exist on the landscape for decades to come. PMID:26349062

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pum, Lisa; Reichenauer, Thomas; Germida, Jim

    2015-04-01

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

  8. POC-scale testing of oil agglomeration techniques and equipment for fine coal processing

    SciTech Connect

    W. Pawlak; K. Szymocha

    1998-04-01

    This report covers the technical progress achieved from January 1, 1998 to April 31, 1998 on the POC-Scale Testing of Oil Agglomeration Techniques and Equipment for Fine Coal Processing. Experimental work was carried out with two coal fines. One sample originated from pond (Drummond Pond Fines) while the second was pulverized Luscar Mine coal. Both samples were tested at the laboratory batch-scale while only Luscar Mine Coal was processed on the 250 kg/h continuous system. Significant progress was made on optimization of process conditions for Pond Fines. The test results showed that ash could be reduced by about 42% at combustible recovery exiting 94%. It was also found that pond fines required significantly longer conditioning time than freshly pulverized run of mine coal. Continuous bench-scale testing carried out with Luscar Mine coal included rod mill calibration, plant equipment and instrumentation check-up, and parametric studies. Compared with batch-scale tests, the continuous bench-scale process required more bridging oil to achieve similar process performance. During the current reporting period work has been commenced on the final engineering and preparation of design package of 3t/h POC-scale unit.

  9. LITERATURE SURVEY OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS ASSOCIATED WITH IN SITU COAL/OIL SHALE OPERATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report summarizes available data on in situ coal gasification and in situ oil shale retorting to assess their potential environmental impacts on four areas: (1) groundwater due to leaching of residual materials left underground, (2) those due to subsidence, (3) air quality du...

  10. Synthesis and analysis of jet fuel from shale oil and coal syncrudes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gallagher, J. P.; Collins, T. A.; Nelson, T. J.; Pedersen, M. J.; Robison, M. G.; Wisinski, L. J.

    1976-01-01

    Thirty-two jet fuel samples of varying properties were produced from shale oil and coal syncrudes, and analyzed to assess their suitability for use. TOSCO II shale oil and H-COAL and COED syncrudes were used as starting materials. The processes used were among those commonly in use in petroleum processing-distillation, hydrogenation and catalytic hydrocracking. The processing conditions required to meet two levels of specifications regarding aromatic, hydrogen, sulfur and nitrogen contents at two yield levels were determined and found to be more demanding than normally required in petroleum processing. Analysis of the samples produced indicated that if the more stringent specifications of 13.5% hydrogen (min.) and 0.02% nitrogen (max.) were met, products similar in properties to conventional jet fuels were obtained. In general, shale oil was easier to process (catalyst deactivation was seen when processing coal syncrudes), consumed less hydrogen and yielded superior products. Based on these considerations, shale oil appears to be preferred to coal as a petroleum substitute for jet fuel production.

  11. ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF A FIRETUBE BOILER FIRING COAL/OIL/WATER MIXTURES. VOLUME 1. TECHNICAL RESULTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This volume describes emission results from sampling of flue gas from a firetube boiler burning a coal/oil/water (COW) mixture and COW with soda ash added (COW+SA) to control SO2 emissions. Measurements included: continuous monitoring of flue gas emissions; source assessment samp...

  12. COMBUSTION MODIFICATION EFFECTS ON NOX EMISSIONS FROM GAS-, OIL-, AND COAL-FIRED UTILITY BOILERS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report represents the conclusion of 4 years of analysis of large quantities of emissions, operating conditions, and boiler configuration data from full-scale multiple-burner, electric-generating boilers firing natural gas, oil, and coal fuels. The overall objective of the stu...

  13. ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF A FIRETUBE BOILER FIRING COAL/OIL/WATER MIXTURES. VOLUME 2. DATA SUPPLEMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    This volume is a compendium of detailed emission and test data from field tests of a firetube industrial boiler burning a coal/oil/water (COW) mixture. The boiler was tested while burning COW fuel, and COW with soda ash added (COW+SA) to serve as an SO2 sorbent. The test data inc...

  14. VEGETATIVE REHABILITATION OF ARID LAND DISTURBED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF OIL SHALE AND COAL

    EPA Science Inventory

    Field experiments were established on sites disturbed by exploratory drilling in the oil shale region of northeastern Utah and on disturbed sites on a potential coal mine in south central Utah. Concurrently, greenhouse studies were carried out using soil samples from disturbed si...

  15. Desulfurization of Illinois coals with hydroperoxides of vegetable oils and alkali, Quarterly report, March 1 - May 31, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, G.V.; Gaston, R.D.; Song, R.; Cheng, J.; Shi, F.; Wang, Y.

    1996-12-31

    Organic sulfur is removed from coals by treatment with aqueous base, air, and vegetable oils with minimal loss of BTU. Such results were revealed during exploratory experiments on an ICCI funded project to remove organic sulfur from Illinois coals with hydroperoxides of vegetable oils. In fact, prewashing IBC-108 coal with dilute alkali prior to treating with linseed oil and air results in 26% removal of sulfur. This new method is being investigated by treating coals with alkali, impregnating coals with polyunsaturated oils, converting the oils to their hydroperoxides, and heating. Since these oils are relatively inexpensive and easily applied, this project could lead to a cost effective method for removing organic sulfur from coals. During the first quarter the selection of base fro pretreatment and extraction was completed. NaOH is better than NH{sub 4}OH for the pretreatment and Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} is better than NaOH for the oil extraction. During the second quarter the effectiveness of linseed oil and NaOH for sulfur removal from IBC-108 coal was further tested by pretreating the coal with two base concentrations at four different times followed by treatment with linseed oil at 125{degrees}C for three different times and finally washing with 5% Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} and methanol. During this third quarter more experimental parameters were systematically varied in order to study the effectiveness of linseed oil and NaOH for sulfur removal from IBC- 108 coal.

  16. Superclean coal-water slurry combustion testing in an oil-fired boiler

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, B.G.; Poe, R.L.; Morrison, J.L.; Xie, Jianyang; Walsh, P.M.; Schobert, H.H.; Scaroni, A.W.

    1992-05-29

    The Pennsylvania State University is conducting a superclean coal-water slurry (SCCWS) program for the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with the objective of determining the capability of effectively firing SCCWS in an industrial boiler designed for oil. Penn State has entered into a cooperative agreement with DOE to determine if SCCWS (a fuel containing coal with less than 3.0 wt.% ash and 0.9 wt.% sulfur) can effectively be burned in an oil-designed industrial boiler without adverse impact on boiler rating, maintainability, reliability, and availability. The project will provide information on the design of new systems specifically configured to fire these clean coal-based fuels.

  17. Combustion characteristics of Malaysian oil palm biomass, sub-bituminous coal and their respective blends via thermogravimetric analysis (TGA).

    PubMed

    Idris, Siti Shawalliah; Rahman, Norazah Abd; Ismail, Khudzir

    2012-11-01

    The combustion characteristics of Malaysia oil palm biomass (palm kernel shell (PKS), palm mesocarp fibre (PMF) and empty fruit bunches (EFB)), sub-bituminous coal (Mukah Balingian) and coal/biomass blends via thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) were investigated. Six weight ratios of coal/biomass blends were prepared and oxidised under dynamic conditions from temperature 25 to 1100°C at four heating rates. The thermogravimetric analysis demonstrated that the EFB and PKS evolved additional peak besides drying, devolatilisation and char oxidation steps during combustion. Ignition and burn out temperatures of blends were improved in comparison to coal. No interactions were observed between the coal and biomass during combustion. The apparent activation energy during this process was evaluated using iso-conversional model free kinetics which resulted in highest activation energy during combustion of PKS followed by PMF, EFB and MB coal. Blending oil palm biomass with coal reduces the apparent activation energy value. PMID:22944493

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Exploitation of the Alberta oil sands, the world’s third-largest crude oil reserve, requires fresh water from the Athabasca River, an allocation of 4.4% of the mean annual flow. This allocation takes into account seasonal fluctuations but not long-term climatic variability and change. This paper examines the decadal-scale variability in river discharge in the Athabasca River Basin (ARB) with (i) a generalized least-squares (GLS) regression analysis of the trend and variability in gauged flow and (ii) a 900-y tree-ring reconstruction of the water-year flow of the Athabasca River at Athabasca, Alberta. The GLS analysis removes confounding transient trends related to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Pacific North American mode (PNA). It shows long-term declining flows throughout the ARB. The tree-ring record reveals a larger range of flows and severity of hydrologic deficits than those captured by the instrumental records that are the basis for surface water allocation. It includes periods of sustained low flow of multiple decades in duration, suggesting the influence of the PDO and PNA teleconnections. These results together demonstrate that low-frequency variability must be considered in ARB water allocation, which has not been the case. We show that the current and projected surface water allocations from the Athabasca River for the exploitation of the Alberta oil sands are based on an untenable assumption of the representativeness of the short instrumental record. PMID:26392554

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-13

    Exploitation of the Alberta oil sands, the world's third-largest crude oil reserve, requires fresh water from the Athabasca River, an allocation of 4.4% of the mean annual flow. This allocation takes into account seasonal fluctuations but not long-term climatic variability and change. This paper examines the decadal-scale variability in river discharge in the Athabasca River Basin (ARB) with (i) a generalized least-squares (GLS) regression analysis of the trend and variability in gauged flow and (ii) a 900-y tree-ring reconstruction of the water-year flow of the Athabasca River at Athabasca, Alberta. The GLS analysis removes confounding transient trends related to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Pacific North American mode (PNA). It shows long-term declining flows throughout the ARB. The tree-ring record reveals a larger range of flows and severity of hydrologic deficits than those captured by the instrumental records that are the basis for surface water allocation. It includes periods of sustained low flow of multiple decades in duration, suggesting the influence of the PDO and PNA teleconnections. These results together demonstrate that low-frequency variability must be considered in ARB water allocation, which has not been the case. We show that the current and projected surface water allocations from the Athabasca River for the exploitation of the Alberta oil sands are based on an untenable assumption of the representativeness of the short instrumental record. PMID:26392554

  20. Demineralization of petroleum cokes and fly ash samples obtained from the upgrading of Athabasca oil sands bitumen

    SciTech Connect

    Majid, A.; Ratcliffe, C.I.; Ripmeester, J.A.

    1988-06-01

    Today's commercially proved technology to recover oil from the Athabasca oil sands, as practiced by Suncor and Syncrude, involves two major operations, namely: separation of the bitumen from the sand and upgrading of the bitumen to refinery oil. Significant amounts of petroleum coke are produced during the bitumen upgrading process. Suncor burns the bulk of its petroleum coke in boilers to fulfill the energy requirements of the entire operation, still meeting government regulations restricting the amount of sulfur dioxide that can be released to the environment. In contrast, Syncrude is able to burn only 20% of its coke production because of high sulphur dioxide emissions from elsewhere in its operations. The boiler ash (Fly ash) which contains appreciable amounts of metals, such as vanadium, nickel, titianium, iron, aluminum and other elements, is collected in the boiler hoppers and cyclones of the petroleum coke fired steam generation plants. There has been relatively little effort made towards the understanding of the chemical or physical nature of these materials. Knowledge of the physico-chemical properties of these materials will be helpful in assessing their beneficiation and potential use as fuel or metallurigcal coke and the feasibility of extracting some metals, especially Ni and V. In this communication the authors report studies of acid demineralization as a means of reducing ash content of these materials for /sup 13/C NMR spectroscopic investigations.

  1. Factors Affecting the Temporal and Spatial Variability and Characteristics of Marine Hydrocarbon Seepage, Coal Oil Point, CA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    del Sontro, T. S.; Leifer, I.; Luyendyk, B.

    2004-12-01

    The Coal Oil Point (COP) natural marine hydrocarbon (HC) seep field of the Santa Barbara Channel is one of the largest and most intensively studied marine HC seepage regions. Daily oil emissions were estimated at ˜100 barrels, while total gas emissions reach ˜100,000 m3day-1. The COP seep field consists of several intense areas of seepage that are each made up of dozens to hundreds or thousands of individual vents. Observations show that COP seepage varies spatially (cm-km), temporally (second - decade), and in magnitude (from trace to 104 m3day-1). The primary seepage trends (scale of 100s-1000s meters) lie above major WNW-ESE faults cutting the Coal Oil Point and South Ellwood anticlines. There is significant variation in seepage along these trends with the most intense emissions at intersections with NE-SW cross-cutting faults. Spatial variations on shorter scales (10s of meters) are related to fractures, exposed shale beds, and seabed characteristics (pebbles, sand, tar, etc.). Individual vent distribution varies on sub-meter scales. Seabed characteristics, seepage spatial distribution, and gas and oil emissions relate to seabed and subsurface geologic features. For example, bubble sizes are correlated with the substrate from which they are emitted. Small-sized bubbles (<0.1 cm diameter) emerge directly from fractures in the exposed shale. Larger-sized bubbles (0.1 < 1.0 cm) tend to escape after passing through a sediment overburden, with the size of the bubbles increasing with the sediment coarseness. Giant bubbles (>1.0 cm) are associated with a tar-sand overburden. The bubble size is an important factor with regards to bubble-mediated transport of seep gas and oil to the sea surface. A network of small conical tents was developed and deployed in active seep areas to gather high time resolution (0.2 s) gas emission rates that also had high spatial resolution (1 m). The tents ( ˜1-m tall, ˜2-m diameter) sit directly on the seabed over areas of seepage, typically spanning several vents. Rising bubbles generate an upwelling flow of water that spins a turbine with an optical encoder on its axis. The encoders are connected to a multi-channel datalogger. Measurements are recorded in revolutions per second and converted to gas volume flux based on laboratory calibration. Spectra of the seepage time series showed the effect of external forcings, including swell and tides. Responses to external forcing factors, such as a 1% swell variation, differ between multiple tents. Seeps with a higher flux exhibit a smaller response than seeps with a lower flux. Flux variations between tents demonstrate the complexity of the underlying processes of gas, oil, and tar migration through an inter-connected subsurface fracture network.

  2. Bog Plant Tissue Chemistry as Indicators of Regionally Elevated Atmospheric N and S Deposition in the Alberta Oil Sands Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

    Nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide emission from ongoing development of oil sands in northern Alberta results in regionally elevated atmospheric deposition of N and S in an area where background deposition of both N and S is exceptionally low (less than 1 kg/ha/yr). Because bogs, which represent major landforms in the Alberta oil sands region, are believed to be N-limited and potentially sensitive to S inputs, we have been investigating the effects of elevated N deposition on C, N, and S cycling in bogs, as well as the potential of bogs to serve as monitors of N and S deposition. Toward this latter end, we have measured seasonal variation (5 sampling dates between June and October 2009) concentrations of N and S, as well as δ15N value, in leaf tissues (Picea mariana (ectomycorrhizal); Ledum groenlandicum, Oxycoccos microcarpon, Vaccinium vitis-idaea (ericoid mycorrhizal); Rubus chamaemorus, and Smilacina trifolia (nonmycorrhizal), Sphagnum (S. fuscum, S. capillifolium, S. magellanicum, S. angustifolium) moss capitula (top 1-cm of plant) and lichens (Cladina mitis and Evernia mesomorpha) at 5 bogs at distances ranging from 14 to 300 km from the heart of the oil sands mining area. Averaged across all sites and sampling dates, N concentrations in ectomycorrhizal, ericoid mycorrhizal, nonmycorrhizal, Sphagnum, and lichens was 8.6 + 0.2, 11.9 + 0.2, 26.3 + 0.6, 10.2 + 0.1, 7.2 + 0.2 mg/g, respectively; δ15N values were -10.3 + 0.1, -6.0 + 0.1, 1.7 + 0.2, -5.3 + 0.1, -4.7 + 0.1 mg/g, respectively, and S concentrations were 1.07 + 0.2, 1.31 + 0.2, 1.94 + 0.6, 1.46 + 0.2, 1.11 + 0.3 mg/g, respectively. Plant functional groups and individual species behaved differently with respect to both seasonal variation and site differences, often with significant interactions when analyzed using two-way analyses of variance. Some species exhibited seasonal variation in some aspects of plant tissue chemistry, while others did not; when a species did exhibit seasonal variation, the variation was rather consistent between sites. More importantly, however, canonical discriminant analysis (with potential variables of C, N, or S concentrations, C:N, C:S, or N:S ratios, and δ15N values) indicated that the five sites can be differentiated based on plant tissue chemistry, most clearly separating the site closest and the site farthest from the oil sands mining area. The first canonical axis explained between 66 and 91 percent of the overall variation, but the variables that were significantly correlated with the first canonical axis differed between species. We conclude that plant tissue chemistry exhibited a significant variation between plant functional groups, between species, between sites, and seasonally. Some of this variation appears to be related to distance from the heart of oil sands mining activity in northern Alberta, possibly reflecting regionally elevated atmospheric deposition of N and S. Bog plants, through analysis of tissue chemistry, have the potential to serve as biomonitors of the anticipated spread of elevated atmospheric N and S deposition as oil sands development continues to grow in northern Alberta.

  3. Chemical nature of coal hydrogenation oils. II - The effect of temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kershaw, J. R.; Barrass, G.; Du Preez, I. C.; Gray, D.

    1980-05-01

    Hydrogenation of the same coal was carried out at 400, 450, 500, 550, 600, 650 and 700 C. H-1-nuclear magnetic resonance spectra of the oils (hexane soluble portion) showed an increase in the percentage of aromatic protons and a decrease in the percentage of aliphatic protons as the temperature increases, while the percentage of benzylic protons remained constant. The aromaticity of the oils as calculated by the Brown-Ladner equation increases with the reactor temperature. C-13-nuclear magnetic resonance spectra of the oils indicates that the long aliphatic chains present decrease in both number and length as the reactor temperature increases. The molecular weight and viscosity of the oil as well as the percentage of polar compounds in the oil decrease with increasing temperature.

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

    PubMed

    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, p<0.05) over the test period, while nutrient enrichment appeared to have little effect. A 96 h static acute rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) bioassay showed that the initial acute toxicity of Syncrude OSPW (LC50=67% v/v) was reduced (LC50>100% v/v) independent of HRT. However, EC20s from separate Microtox® bioassays were relatively unchanged when comparing the input and microcosm waters at both HRTs over the 52-week study period (p>0.05), indicating that some sub-lethal toxicity persisted under these experimental conditions. The present study demonstrated that given sufficiently long HRTs, simulated wetland microcosms containing OSPW significantly reduced total NAs concentrations and acute toxicity, but left behind a persistent component of the NAs mixture that appeared to be associated with residual chronic toxicity. PMID:23000048

  5. In vitro assessment of endocrine disrupting potential of naphthenic Acid fractions derived from oil sands-influenced water.

    PubMed

    Leclair, Liane A; Pohler, Lani; Wiseman, Steve B; He, Yuhe; Arens, Collin J; Giesy, John P; Scully, Stephen; Wagner, Brian D; van den Heuvel, Michael R; Hogan, Natacha S

    2015-05-01

    Oil sands-influenced process waters have been observed to cause reproductive effects and to induced CYP1A activity in fishes; however, little progress has been made in determining causative agents. Naphthenic acids (NAs) are the predominant organic compounds in process-affected waters, but due to the complexity of the mixture, it has been difficult to examine causal linkages in fishes. The aim of this study was to use in vitro assays specific to reproductive and CYP1A mechanisms to determine if specific acid extractable fractions of NAs obtained from oil sands-influenced water are active toward reproductive processes or interact with the Ah receptor responsible for CYP1A activity. NAs were extracted from aged oil sands-influenced waters by use of acid precipitation, and the mixture was fractionated into three acidic and one neutral fraction. The four fractions were examined for Ah receptor-mediated potency by use of the H4IIE-luc bioassay, effects on production of steroid hormones by use of the H295R steroidogenesis assay, and sex steroid receptor binding activity using the yeast estrogen screen and yeast androgen screen. The mixtures were characterized by high resolution mass spectrometry, (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance, and attenuated total reflectance infrared spectroscopy. The neutral fraction elicited Ah-receptor mediated activity after 24 h but not after 48 or 72 h. None of the fractions contained measurable levels of estrogen or androgen receptor agonists nor did they cause reductions in steroidogenesis. A number of fractions showed antiestrogenic or antiandrogenicity potency, with the neutral and main acidic fractions being the most potent. Neutral aromatic compounds are likely responsible for the CYP1A activity observed. Direct estrogenic, androgenic, or steroidogenic mechanisms are unlikely for NAs based on these results, but NAs act as potent antiandrogen or antiestrogens. PMID:25835061

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  7. Advances in mass spectrometric characterization of naphthenic acids fraction compounds in oil sands environmental samples and crude oil-A review.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    There has been a recent surge in the development of mass spectrometric methods for detailed characterization of naphthenic acid fraction compounds (all Cc Hh Nn Oo Ss , species, including heteroatomic and aromatic components in the acid-extractable fraction) in environmental samples. This surge is driven by the increased activity in oil sands environmental monitoring programs in Canada, the exponential increase in research studies on the isolation and toxicity identification of components in oil sands process water (OSPW), and the analytical requirements for development of technologies for treatment of OSPW. There has been additional impetus due to the parallel studies to control corrosion from naphthenic acids during the mining and refining of heavy bitumen and crude oils. As a result, a range of new mass spectrometry tools have been introduced since our last major review of this topic in 2009. Of particular significance are the developments of combined mass spectrometric methods that incorporate technologies such as gas chromatography, liquid chromatography, and ion mobility. There has been additional progress with respect to improved visualization methods for petroleomics and oil sands environmental forensics. For comprehensive coverage and more reliable characterization of samples, an approach based on multiple-methods that employ two or more ionization modes is recommended. On-line or off-line fractionation of isolated extracts, with or without derivatization, might also be used prior to mass spectrometric analyses. Individual ionization methods have their associated strengths and weaknesses, including biases, and thus dependence upon a single ionization method is potentially misleading. There is also a growing trend to not rely solely on low-resolution mass spectrometric methods (<20,000 resolving power at m/z 200) for characterization of complex samples. Future research is anticipated to focus upon (i) structural elucidation of components to determine the correlation with toxicity or corrosion, (ii) verification of characterization studies based on authentic reference standards and reference materials, and (iii) integrated approaches based on multiple-methods and ionization methods for more-reliable oil sands environmental forensics. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Mass Spec Rev 35:311-328, 2016. PMID:25970647

  8. Inhibition of ABC transport proteins by oil sands process affected water.

    PubMed

    Alharbi, Hattan A; Saunders, David M V; Al-Mousa, Ahmed; Alcorn, Jane; Pereira, Alberto S; Martin, Jonathan W; Giesy, John P; Wiseman, Steve B

    2016-01-01

    The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) superfamily of transporter proteins is important for detoxification of xenobiotics. For example, ABC transporters from the multidrug-resistance protein (MRP) subfamily are important for excretion of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their metabolites. Effects of chemicals in the water soluble organic fraction of relatively fresh oil sands process affected water (OSPW) from Base Mine Lake (BML-OSPW) and aged OSPW from Pond 9 (P9-OSPW) on the activity of MRP transporters were investigated in vivo by use of Japanese medaka at the fry stage of development. Activities of MRPs were monitored by use of the lipophilic dye calcein, which is transported from cells by ABC proteins, including MRPs. To begin to identify chemicals that might inhibit activity of MRPs, BML-OSPW and P9-OSPW were fractionated into acidic, basic, and neutral fractions by use of mixed-mode sorbents. Chemical compositions of fractions were determined by use of ultrahigh resolution orbitrap mass spectrometry in ESI(+) and ESI(-) mode. Greater amounts of calcein were retained in fry exposed to BML-OSPW at concentration equivalents greater than 1× (i.e., full strength). The neutral and basic fractions of BML-OSPW, but not the acidic fraction, caused greater retention of calcein. Exposure to P9-OSPW did not affect the amount of calcein in fry. Neutral and basic fractions of BML-OSPW contained relatively greater amounts of several oxygen-, sulfur, and nitrogen-containing chemical species that might inhibit MRPs, such as O(+), SO(+), and NO(+) chemical species, although secondary fractionation will be required to conclusively identify the most potent inhibitors. Naphthenic acids (O2(-)), which were dominant in the acidic fraction, did not appear to be the cause of the inhibition. This is the first study to demonstrate that chemicals in the water soluble organic fraction of OSPW inhibit activity of this important class of proteins. However, aging of OSPW attenuates this effect and inhibition of the activity of MRPs by OSPW from Base Mine Lake does not occur at environmentally relevantconcentrations. PMID:26650706

  9. Laser-induced fluorescence analysis of PAC-doped model oils on alumina, sand and soil surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Roch, T.; Loehmannsroeben, H.G.; Meyer, T.

    1995-12-31

    From the fluorescence analysis of PAC-doped model oils on alumina, quartz sand and soil surfaces LIF intensity/concentration-relationships (calibration curves) were obtained. It was found that LIF measurements directly for soil surfaces allow the in-situ analysis of PAC contaminations in environmentally relevant concentration ranges. However, the LIF signals measured cannot directly be related to photophysical parameters of the PAC in solution. Also reported are results of preliminary investigations of the long-term behavior and the depth profile of perylene or fluoranthene LIF signals from surfaces reflecting mass transport and sorption processes.

  10. Comparative analysis of coal use options for reducing the dependence of utilities on imported oil

    SciTech Connect

    Eggers, Jr, A J

    1980-01-03

    The President and the Congress are finalizing National Goals to reduce the Nation's dependence on imported oil. A key element of these goals is the conversion of utilities from oil-fired to coal-fired to yield an import reduction of 0.75 MBD by 1990. Since these utilities already exist at fixed locations, this element of the National Goals has the focus of Appolo, Polaris, Minuteman and other major successful programs. It is indicated, therefore, that the program development and management techniques employed in these programs may have useful application to the utility conversion program. These techniques include comparative systems and mission mode analysis, and the application of these techniques to the utility conversion program is discussed. It is observed that the conversions of coal-capable utilities will most likely be achieved in the first half of the next decade, while those for non coal-capable utilities will likely occur in the latter half of the next decade. It is suggested that DOE/RA initiate an in-house task force effort to make a comparative analysis of conversion alternatives to meet this goal. This analysis is discussed in some detail and it should consider the coal delivery as well as the conversion elements of the overall coal use system with a view to focusing on problems which must be addressed, and discarding those which are of no consequence to meeting the National Goal.

  11. Superclean coal-water slurry combustion testing in an oil-fired boiler

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, B.G.; Pisupati, S.V.; Poe, R.L.; Morrison, J.L.; Xie, J.; Walsh, P.M.; Wincek, R.T.; Clark, D.A.; Scaroni, A.W.

    1993-04-21

    The Pennsylvania State University is conducting a superclean coal-water slurry (SCCWS) program for the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with the objective of determining the capability of effectively firing SCCWS in an industrial boiler designed for heavy fuel oil. Penn State has entered into a cooperative agreement with DOE to determine if SCCWS (a fuel containing coal with 3.0 wt.% ash and 0.9 wt.% sulfur) can effectively be burned in a heavy fuel oil-designed industrial boiler without adverse impact on boiler rating, maintainability, reliability, and availability. The project will provide information on the design of new systems specifically configured to fire these clean coal-based fuels. The project consists of four phases: (1) design, permitting, and test planning, (2) construction and start up, (3) demonstration and evaluation (1,000-hour demonstration), and (4) program expansion (additional 1,000 hours of testing). The boiler testing wig determine if the SCCWS combustion characteristics, heat release rate, fouling and slagging behavior, corrosion and erosion limits, and fuel transport, storage, and handling characteristics can be accommodated in an oil-designed boiler system. In addition, the proof-of-concept demonstration will generate data to determine how the properties of SCCWS and its parent coal affect boiler performance. Economic factors associated with retrofitting boilers will be identified

  12. CYP1A induction and blue sac disease in early life stages of white suckers (Catostomus commersoni) exposed to oil sands.

    PubMed

    Colavecchia, Maria V; Hodson, Peter V; Parrott, Joanne L

    2006-05-01

    The objectives of this study were to evaluate the influence of natural oil sands on the early developmental stages of white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) and to determine whether biochemical responses in this species were similar to native fish caught in the Athabasca Oil Sands area. Early life stage (ELS) sediment toxicity tests were conducted using controls, reference sediments, natural oil sands, and industrially contaminated (wastewater pond) sediments collected from sites along the Athabasca River, Alberta (Canada). Eggs and larvae were observed for mortality, hatching, deformities, growth, and cytochrome P-4501A (CYP1A) activity using immunohistochemistry. E-Nat-, S-Nat-, and wastewater pond sediment-exposed groups showed significant premature hatching, reduced growth, and exposure-dependent increases in ELS mortality and larval malformations relative to controls. The most common larval deformities included edemas (pericardial, yolk sac, and subepidermal), hemorrhages, and spinal defects. Juveniles exposed to oil sands and wastewater pond sediments (96 h) demonstrated significantly increased 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity (30- to 50-fold) as compared to controls. Reference sediment-exposed groups and water controls demonstrated reliable embryo and larval survival, minimal malformations, and negligible CYP1A staining. These observed signs of blue sac disease (ELS mortality, malformations, growth reductions, CYP1A activity induction) may produce deleterious reproductive effects in natural fish populations exposed to oil sands mixtures. PMID:16728374

  13. Effect of coal liquefaction conditions on the composition of the product oil

    SciTech Connect

    Karaca, H.

    2006-12-15

    Two methods, catalyst physically mixing method (method I) and catalyst impregnation method (method II) were employed for Beypazari and Tuncbilek lignites liquefaction. Fe{sub 2}O{sub 3} and Mo(CO){sub 6} were used as the catalysts. Oils obtained at the end of the catalytic coal liquefaction were qualitatively analyzed by gas chromatography (GC). With solvent/coal ratio increase, compounds with straight chain and high molecular weight were formed. Likewise, as the reaction time and catalyst concentration were increased, the number and the intensity of the compounds in the oils increased partially. Due to the increase in the reaction time, temperature and catalyst concentration, the oils were enriched in straight chain alkanes and aromatic polycyclic compounds. However, alkanes with straight chain were reduced by the effect of pyrolysis at temperatures over 400{sup o}C. Retention times of the compounds obtained by method II were higher than those of the compounds obtained by method I. Respectively, the compounds in the oils obtained by method II were found to have been composed by high quantities of high molecular straight chain alkanes and aromatic polycyclic compounds. Our data gave us ground to presume that the oils from both lignites were composed by straight chain alkanes and aromatic polycyclic compounds (tetralin, naphthalene and their derivatives, phenols, xylenols, biphenyl, naphthols, etc.). The oil compositions were strongly influenced by the liquefaction conditions.

  14. Slagging and fouling by coal-oil mixture in a utility boiler. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, W.

    1982-12-01

    A two-day steady state firing test was conducted in New England Power Company's Salem Harbor No. 1 boiler with each of the following fuels: (a) No. 6 oil containing 0.05 wt% of a magnesium antifouling additive, (b) coal-oil mixture (COM) containing 32 wt% coal, 68 wt% No. 6 oil with magnesium additive, and (c) COM without additive. The objective of the project was to characterize the nature and degree of fouling/slagging which could be caused by combination of the ash from coal and oil. For this task, two controlled temperature waterwall probes and a superheater probe were installed in boiler viewports to collect ash/slag deposits typical of each of the three test fuels. Skin metal temperatures were taken at three locations on each probe and recorded during each test. Samples of coal, oil, COM, and fly ash (from the economizer outlet) were collected and analyzed. Color movies and still pictures were taken of the flame patterns from each test to characterize fuel atomization and burning behavior in the boiler. Ash deposits were removed from each probe after the test and subjected to x-ray fluorescence analysis to determine elemental composition. X-ray diffraction scans were run to identify the chemical compounds. The fly ash samples collected from the economizer outlet were subjected to detailed wet chemical analysis, fusibility measurements, x-ray fluorescence, and x-ray diffraction analysis. Based on the results of furnace observations and sample analysis, conclusions were drawn relative to the characterization of ash deposits and their effect on furnace performance.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

  16. POC-SCALE TESTING OF OIL AGGLOMERATION TECHNIQUES AND EQUIPMENT FOR FINE COAL PROCESSING

    SciTech Connect

    1998-01-01

    This report covers the technical progress achieved from October 1, 1997 to December 31, 1997 on the POC-Scale Testing of Oil Agglomeration Techniques and Equipment for Fine Coal Processing project. Experimental test procedures and the results related to the processing of coal fines originating from process streams generated at the Shoal Creek Mine preparation plant, owned and operated by the Drummond Company Inc. of Alabama, are described. Two samples of coal fines, namely Cyclone Overflow and Pond Fines were investigated. The batch test results showed that by applying the Aglofloat technology a significant ash removal might be achieved at a very high combustible matter recovery: · for the Cyclone Overflow sample the ash reduction was in the range 50 to 55% at combustible matter recovery about 98% · for the Pond Fines sample the ash reduction was up to 48% at combustible matter recovery up to 85%. Additional tests were carried out with the Alberta origin Luscar Mine coal, which will be used for the parametric studies of agglomeration equipment at the 250 kg/h pilot plant. The Luscar coal is very similar to the Mary Lee Coal Group (processed at Shoal Creek Mine preparation plant) in terms of rank and chemical composition.

  17. Evaluation of dense-phase ultrafine coal (DUC) as a fuel alternative for oil- and gas-designed boilers and heaters. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-12-01

    Utility and industrial firms currently using oil- and gas-fired boilers have an interest in substitution of coal for oil and gas as the primary boiler fuel. This interest stems from coal`s two main advantages over oil and gas-lower cost and security of supply. Recent efforts in the area of coal conversion have been directed to converting oil- and gas- fired boilers which were originally designed for coal-firing or were designed with some coal-firing capability. Boilers designed exclusively for oil- or gas-firing have not been considered viable candidates for coal conversion because they generally require a significant capacity derating and extensive and costly modifications. As a result, conversion of boilers in this class to coal-firing has generally been considered unattractive. Renewed interest in the prospects for converting boilers designed exclusively for oil- and gas-firing to coal firing has centered around the concept of using ``ultra fine`` coal as opposed to ``conventional grind`` pulverized coal. The main distinction being the finer particle size to which the former is ground. This fuel type may have characteristics which ameliorate many of the boiler problems normally associated with pulverized coal-firing. The overall concept for ultrafine coal utilization is based on a regional large preparation plant with distribution of a ready to fire fuel directly to many small users. This differs from normal practice in which final coal sizing is performed in pulverizers at the user`s site.

  18. ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF COAL-AND OIL-FIRING IN A CONTROLLED INDUSTRIAL BOILER. VOLUME I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The report gives results of a comparative multimedia assessment of coal versus oil firing in a controlled industrial boiler. Relative environmental, energy, economic, and societal impacts were identified. Comprehensive sampling and analyses of gaseous, liquid, and solid emissions...

  19. ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF COAL-AND OIL-FIRING IN A CONTROLLED INDUSTRIAL BOILER. VOLUME II. COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    A comparative multimedia assessment of coal firing and oil firing in an industrial boiler was conducted. The assessment consists of several parts. First, comprehensive emissions assessments of each fuel were conducted. These comprehensive emissions assessments were used to develo...

  20. PAH distributions in sediments in the oil sands monitoring area and western Lake Athabasca: Concentration, composition and diagnostic ratios.

    PubMed

    Evans, Marlene; Davies, Martin; Janzen, Kim; Muir, Derek; Hazewinkel, Rod; Kirk, Jane; de Boer, Dirk

    2016-06-01

    Oil sands activities north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, have intensified in recent years with a concomitant debate as to their environmental impacts. The Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program and its successor, the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring (JOSM), are the primary aquatic programs monitoring this industry. Here we examine sediment data (collected by Ekman grabs) to investigate trends and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), supplementing these data with sediment core studies. Total PAH (ΣPAH) concentrations were highest at Shipyard Lake (6038 ± 2679 ng/g) in the development center and lower at Isadore's Lake (1660 ± 777 ng/g) to the north; both lakes are in the Athabasca River Valley and lie below the developments. ΣPAH concentrations were lower (622-930 ng/g) in upland lakes (Kearl, McClelland) located further away from the developments. ΣPAH concentrations increased at Shipyard Lake (2001-2014) and the Ells River mouth (1998-2014) but decreased in nearshore areas at Kearl Lake (2001-2014) and a Muskeg River (2000-2014) site. Over the longer term, ΣPAH concentrations increased in Kearl (1934-2012) and Sharkbite (1928-2010) Lakes. Further (200 km) downstream in the Athabasca River delta, ΣPAH concentrations (1029 ± 671 ng/g) increased (1999-2014) when %sands were included in the regression model; however, 50 km to the east, concentrations declined (1926-2009) in Lake Athabasca. Ten diagnostic ratios based on anthracene, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, pyrene, benz[a]anthracene, chrysene, indeno[123-cd]pyrene, dibenz[a,h]anthracene, dibenzothiophene and retene were examined to infer spatial and temporal trends in PAH sources (e.g., combustion versus petrogenic) and weathering. There was some evidence of increasing contributions of unprocessed oil sands and bitumen dust to Shipyard, Sharkbite, and Isadore's Lakes and increased combustion sources in the Athabasca River delta. Some CCME interim sediment quality guidelines were exceeded, primarily in Shipyard Lake and near presumed natural bitumen sources. PMID:27020047

  1. Influence of O2 and H2O on carbothermal reduction of SO2 by oil-sand fluid coke.

    PubMed

    Feng, Wenguo; Jia, Charles Q

    2005-12-15

    To develop a new process for removing high-concentration SO2 from industrial flue gases, the carbothermal reduction of SO2 by oil-sand fluid coke at 700 degrees C was investigated by varying the inlet concentration of either O2 or H2O. Concentrations of O2 and H2O ranged from 0 to 20% and from 0 to 30%, respectively, in a stream of SO2 (18%) with the balance helium. Addition of O2 and H2O was found to enhance SO2 reduction. The enhancement was attributed to the reducing gases, CO and H2, produced by solid-gas reactions between carbon and O2 or H2O. The effects of O2 and H2O on sulfur yield, however, were bifacial: adding O2 and/or H2O increased the sulfur yield when SO2 conversion was incomplete, otherwise, it decreased the sulfur yield through the formation of sulfides such as H2S. The results of a thermodynamic analysis were in a good agreementwith the experimental results, suggesting that gas-solid reactions were slow enough to allow gas-phase equilibrium. This study indicates that carbon, such as oil-sand fluid coke, can be utilized to remove SO2 in flue gases containing O2/H2O and to convert it to elemental sulfur. PMID:16475356

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

    PubMed

    Boudens, Ryan; Reid, Thomas; VanMensel, Danielle; Prakasan M R, Sabari; Ciborowski, Jan J H; Weisener, Christopher G

    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(-)) 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. PMID:26356184

  3. In Vitro Microbial Degradation of Bituminous Hydrocarbons and In Situ Colonization of Bitumen Surfaces Within the Athabasca Oil Sands Deposit

    PubMed Central

    Wyndham, R. C.; Costerton, J. W.

    1981-01-01

    Bituminous hydrocarbons extracted from the Athabasca oil sands of north-eastern Alberta were adsorbed onto filter supports and placed at sites in the Athabasca River and its tributaries where these rivers come in contact with the oil sands formation. Colonization of the hydrocarbon surfaces at summer and winter ambient temperatures was examined by scanning and transmission electron microscopy as well as by epifluorescence microscopy of acridine orange-stained cross sections. Ruthenium red and alkaline bismuth stains visualized an association of bacteria with the hydrocarbon surface which was mediated by bacterial polysaccharides. Bacteria apparently lacking a glycocalyx were also found closely associated with the surface of the hydrophobic substrate and in channels within the substrate. A solvent precipitation and column chromatographic fractionation of the bitumen was followed by cross-tests for growth on the fractions by various isolated sediment microorganisms, as determined by epifluorescence count. All fractions except the asphaltenes supported the growth of at least two of the isolates, although fractionation of degraded bitumen revealed that the saturate, aromatic, and first polar fractions were preferentially degraded. Images PMID:16345738

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:25617868

  5. Long-Term Incubation Reveals Methanogenic Biodegradation of C5 and C6 iso-Alkanes in Oil Sands Tailings.

    PubMed

    Siddique, Tariq; Mohamad Shahimin, Mohd Faidz; Zamir, Saima; Semple, Kathleen; Li, Carmen; Foght, Julia M

    2015-12-15

    iso-Alkanes are major components of petroleum and have been considered recalcitrant to biodegradation under methanogenic conditions. However, indigenous microbes in oil sands tailings ponds exposed to solvents rich in 2-methylbutane, 2-methylpentane, 3-methylpentane, n-pentane, and n-hexane produce methane in situ. We incubated defined mixtures of iso- or n-alkanes with mature fine tailings from two tailings ponds of different ages historically exposed to different solvents: one, ~10 years old, receiving C5-C6 paraffins and the other, ~35 years old, receiving naphtha. A lengthy incubation (>6 years) revealed iso-alkane biodegradation after lag phases of 900-1800 and ~280 days, respectively, before the onset of methanogenesis, although lag phases were shorter with n-alkanes (~650-1675 and ~170 days, respectively). 2-Methylpentane and both n-alkanes were completely depleted during ~2400 days of incubation, whereas 2-methylbutane and 3-methylpentane were partially depleted only during active degradation of 2-methylpentane, suggesting co-metabolism. In both cases, pyrotag sequencing of 16S rRNA genes showed codominance of Peptococcaceae with acetoclastic (Methanosaeta) and hydrogenotrophic (Methanoregula and Methanolinea) methanogens. These observations are important for predicting long-term greenhouse-gas emissions from oil sands tailings ponds and extend the known range of hydrocarbons susceptible to methanogenic biodegradation in petroleum-impacted anaerobic environments. PMID:26571341

  6. Effectiveness of ozonation treatment in eliminating toxicity of oil sands process-affected water to Chironomus dilutus.

    PubMed

    Anderson, J C; Wiseman, S B; Wang, N; Moustafa, A; Perez-Estrada, L; Gamal El-Din, M; Martin, J W; Liber, K; Giesy, J P

    2012-01-01

    Water soluble organic compounds (OCs), including naphthenic acids (NAs), are potentially toxic constituents of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) that is generated during extraction of bitumen from Alberta oil sands. Ozonation can decrease concentrations of OCs in OSPW. However, effects of ozonated-OSPW on multicellular organisms are unknown. A 10-day and a chronic exposure of Chironomus dilutus to OSPW were conducted to assess effects on survival, growth, development, and behavior. Two separate batches of OSPW were treated with 30 or 80 mg ozone (O(3))/L. Wet body masses of larvae exposed to OSPW were 64 to 77% less than their respective controls (p < 0.001). However, both levels of ozonation significantly attenuated effects of OSPW on growth. Similarly, chronic exposure to untreated OSPW resulted in significantly less pupation than in the controls, with 31% and 71% less pupation of larvae exposed to the two batches of OSPW (p < 0.05). Emergence was significantly less for larvae exposed to OSPW, with 13% and 8% of larvae emerging, compared to 81% in controls (p < 0.0001). Both levels of ozonation of OSPW attenuated effects on emergence. These results suggest that OCs degraded by ozonation causes toxicity of OSPW toward C. dilutus, and that ozonation attenuates toxicity of OSPW. PMID:21992611

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  8. Improvement in facies discrimination using multiple seismic attributes for permeability modelling of the Athabasca Oil Sands, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashihara, Koji; Tsuji, Takashi

    2010-02-01

    This study was conducted to develop a reservoir modelling workflow to reproduce the heterogeneous distribution of effective permeability that impacts on the performance of SAGD (Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage), the in-situ bitumen recovery technique in the Athabasca Oil Sands. Lithologic facies distribution is the main cause of the heterogeneity in bitumen reservoirs in the study area. The target formation consists of sand with mudstone facies in a fluvial-to-estuary channel system, where the mudstone interrupts fluid flow and reduces effective permeability. In this study, the lithologic facies is classified into three classes having different characteristics of effective permeability, depending on the shapes of mudstones. The reservoir modelling workflow of this study consists of two main modules; facies modelling and permeability modelling. The facies modelling provides an identification of the three lithologic facies, using a stochastic approach, which mainly control the effective permeability. The permeability modelling populates mudstone volume fraction first, then transforms it into effective permeability. A series of flow simulations applied to mini-models of the lithologic facies obtains the transformation functions of the mudstone volume fraction into the effective permeability. Seismic data contribute to the facies modelling via providing prior probability of facies, which is incorporated in the facies models by geostatistical techniques. In particular, this study employs a probabilistic neural network utilising multiple seismic attributes in facies prediction that improves the prior probability of facies. The result of using the improved prior probability in facies modelling is compared to the conventional method using a single seismic attribute to demonstrate the improvement in the facies discrimination. Using P-wave velocity in combination with density in the multiple seismic attributes is the essence of the improved facies discrimination. This paper also discusses sand matrix porosity that makes P-wave velocity differ between the different facies in the study area, where the sand matrix porosity is uniquely evaluated using log-derived porosity, P-wave velocity and photographically-predicted mudstone volume.

  9. Method for controlling boiling point distribution of coal liquefaction oil product

    DOEpatents

    Anderson, Raymond P.; Schmalzer, David K.; Wright, Charles H.

    1982-12-21

    The relative ratio of heavy distillate to light distillate produced in a coal liquefaction process is continuously controlled by automatically and continuously controlling the ratio of heavy distillate to light distillate in a liquid solvent used to form the feed slurry to the coal liquefaction zone, and varying the weight ratio of heavy distillate to light distillate in the liquid solvent inversely with respect to the desired weight ratio of heavy distillate to light distillate in the distillate fuel oil product. The concentration of light distillate and heavy distillate in the liquid solvent is controlled by recycling predetermined amounts of light distillate and heavy distillate for admixture with feed coal to the process in accordance with the foregoing relationships.

  10. Method for controlling boiling point distribution of coal liquefaction oil product

    DOEpatents

    Anderson, R.P.; Schmalzer, D.K.; Wright, C.H.

    1982-12-21

    The relative ratio of heavy distillate to light distillate produced in a coal liquefaction process is continuously controlled by automatically and continuously controlling the ratio of heavy distillate to light distillate in a liquid solvent used to form the feed slurry to the coal liquefaction zone, and varying the weight ratio of heavy distillate to light distillate in the liquid solvent inversely with respect to the desired weight ratio of heavy distillate to light distillate in the distillate fuel oil product. The concentration of light distillate and heavy distillate in the liquid solvent is controlled by recycling predetermined amounts of light distillate and heavy distillate for admixture with feed coal to the process in accordance with the foregoing relationships. 3 figs.

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

    PubMed

    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 (<500 ppm against all pathogens). In the in vivo test, cinnamon fumigation at a concentration of 500 ppm reduced infection rates of Penicillium, Fusarium, and Mortierella by 50.3%, 54.3%, and 60.7%, respectively. We recommended cinnamon oil fumigation combined with medium storage at 12 °C as an integrated approach to baby ginger storage. PMID:24547773

  12. Thermal stability of some aircraft turbine fuels derived from oil shale and coal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reynolds, T. W.

    1977-01-01

    Thermal stability breakpoint temperatures are shown for 32 jet fuels prepared from oil shale and coal syncrudes by various degrees of hydrogenation. Low severity hydrotreated shale oils, with nitrogen contents of 0.1 to 0.24 weight percent, had breakpoint temperatures in the 477 to 505 K (400 to 450 F) range. Higher severity treatment, lowering nitrogen levels to 0.008 to 0.017 weight percent, resulted in breakpoint temperatures in the 505 to 533 K (450 to 500 F) range. Coal derived fuels showed generally increasing breakpoint temperatures with increasing weight percent hydrogen, fuels below 13 weight percent hydrogen having breakpoints below 533 K (500 F). Comparisons are shown with similar literature data.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    The reconstruction of disturbed landscapes back to working ecosystems is an issue of increasing importance for the oil sand areas in Alberta, Canada. In this context, the fate of oil-sand-derived organic material in the tailings sands used for reclamation is of utmost environmental importance. Here we use electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry of maltene fractions to identify compositional variations over a complete oil sand mining and recultivation process chain. On the basis of bulk compound class distributions and percentages of unique elemental compositions, we identify specific compositional features that are related to the different steps of the process chain. The double bond equivalent and carbon number distributions of the N1 and S1O2 classes are almost invariant along the process chain, despite a significant decrease in overall abundance. We thus suggest that these oil-sand-derived components can be used as sensitive tracers of residual bitumen, even in soils from relatively old reclamation sites. The patterns of the O2, O3, and O4 classes may be applied to assess process-chain-related changes in organic matter composition, including the formation of plant-derived soil organic matter on the reclamation sites. The N1O2 species appear to be related to unidentified processes in the tailings ponds but do not represent products of aerobic biodegradation of pyrrolic nitrogen compounds. PMID:25961672

  14. Scavenging ratios of polycyclic aromatic compounds in rain and snow in the Athabasca oil sands region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L.; Cheng, I.; Muir, D.; Charland, J.-P.

    2015-02-01

    The Athabasca oil sands industry in northern Alberta, Canada, is a possible source of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs). Monitored PACs, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), alkylated PAHs, and dibenzothiophenes (DBTs), in precipitation and in air at three near-source sites in the Fort MacKay and Fort McMurray area during January 2011 to May 2012, were used to generate a database of scavenging ratios (Wt) for PACs scavenged by both snow and rain. Higher concentrations in precipitation and air were observed for alkylated PAHs and DBTs compared to the other PACs. The sums of the median precipitation concentrations over the period of data analyzed were 0.48 μ g L-1 for the 18 PAHs, 3.38 μ g L-1 for the 20 alkylated PAHs, and 0.94 μ g L-1 for the 5 DBTs. The sums of the median air concentrations for parent PAHs, alkylated PAHs, and DBTs were 8.37, 67.26, and 11.83 ng m-3, respectively. Median Wt over the measurement period were 6100 - 1.1 × 106 from snow scavenging and 350 - 2.3 × 105 from rain scavenging depending on the PAC species. Median Wt for parent PAHs were within the range of those observed at other urban and suburban locations, but Wt for acenaphthylene in snow samples were 2-7 times higher compared to other urban and suburban locations. Wt for some individual snow and rain samples exceeded literature values by a factor of 10. Wt for benzo(a)pyrene, dibenz(a,h)anthracene, and benzo(g,h,i)perylene in snow samples had reached 107, which is the maximum for PAH snow scavenging ratios reported in the literature. From the analysis of data subsets, Wt for particulate-phase dominant PACs were 14-20 times greater than gas-phase dominant PACs in snow samples and 7-20 times greater than gas-phase dominant PACs in rain samples. Wt from snow scavenging were ~ 9 times greater than from rain scavenging for particulate-phase dominant PACs and 4-9.6 times greater than from rain scavenging for gas-phase dominant PACs. Gas-particle fractions of each PAC, particle size distributions of particulate-phase dominant PACs, and the Henry's law constant of gas-phase dominant PACs explained, to a large extent, the different Wt values among the different PACs and precipitation types. The trend in Wt with increasing alkyl substitutions may be attributed to their physico-chemical properties, such as octanol-air and particle partition coefficients and subcooled vapor pressure, which increases gas-particle partitioning and, subsequently, the particulate mass fraction. This study verified findings from a previous study of Wang et al. (2014) that suggested that snow scavenging is more efficient than rain scavenging of particles for equivalent precipitation amounts, and also provided new knowledge of the scavenging of gas-phase PACs and alkylated PACs by snow and rain.

  15. Scavenging ratio of polycyclic aromatic compounds in rain and snow at the Athabasca oil sands region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L.; Cheng, I.; Muir, D.; Charland, J.-P.

    2014-07-01

    Athabasca oil sands industry in northern Alberta, Canada is a possible source of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs). Monitored PACs, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), alkylated PAHs, and dibenzothiophenes, in precipitation and in air at three near-source sites in the Fort MacKay and Fort McMurray area during May 2011 to August 2012 were analyzed to generate a database of scavenging (or washout) ratios (Wt) for PACs scavenged by both snow and rain. Median precipitation and air concentrations of parent PAHs over the May 2011 to August 2012 period ranged from 0.3-184.9 (chrysene) ng L-1 and 0.01-3.9 (naphthalene) ng m-3, respectively, which were comparable to literature values. Higher concentrations in precipitation and air were observed for alkylated PAHs and dibenzothiophenes. The median precipitation and air concentrations were 11.3-646.7 (C3-fluoranthene/pyrene) ng L-1 and 0.21-16.9 (C3-naphthalene) ng m-3, respectively, for alkylated PAHs, and 8.5-530.5 (C4-dibenzothiophene) ng L-1 and 0.13-6.6 (C2-dibenzothiophene) ng m-3 for dibenzothiophenes and their alkylated derivatives. Median Wt over the measurement period were 6100-1.1 × 106 from snow scavenging and 350-2.3 × 105 from rain scavenging depending on the PAC species. Median Wt for parent PAHs were within the range of those observed at other urban and suburban locations. But Wt for acenaphthylene in snow samples was 2-7 times higher. Some individual snow and rain samples exceeded literature values by a factor of 10. Wt for benzo(a)pyrene, dibenz(a,h)anthracene, and benzo(g,h,i)perylene in snow samples had reached 107, which is the maximum for PAH snow scavenging ratios reported in literature. From the analysis of data subsets, Wt for particulate-phase dominant PACs were 14-20 times greater than gas-phase dominant PACs in snow samples and 7-20 times greater than gas-phase dominant PACs in rain samples. Wt from snow scavenging was ∼9 times greater than rain scavenging for particulate-phase dominant PACs and 4-9.6 times greater than rain scavenging for gas-phase dominant PACs. Gas-particle fractions of each PAC, particle size distributions of particulate-phase dominant PACs, and Henry's Law constant of gas-phase dominant PACs explained, to a large extent, the different Wt values among the different PACs and precipitation types. This study verified findings from a previous study of Wang et al. (2014) which suggested that snow scavenging is more efficient than rain scavenging of particles for equivalent precipitation amount, and also provided new knowledge on the scavenging of gas-phase PACs by snow and rain.

  16. The Non-Impact of Scientific Reviews of Oil Sands Environmental Impact Assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kienzle, S. W.; Byrne, J.

    2008-12-01

    Schindler (Science, Vol. 192: 509; 1976) stated that Environmental Impact Assessments authors "conduct the studies regardless of how quickly results are demanded, write large, diffuse reports containing reams of uninterpreted and incomplete descriptive data, and in some cases, construct "predictive" models, irrespective of the quality of the data base." Schindler offered a solution: "If we are to protect both our resources and scientific integrity, environmental scientists must seek to put their studies on a scientifically credible basis-to see that problems, terms of reference, funding, time constraints, reports, and conclusions are all within a bona fide scientific framework." When the first scientific panel was formed in 2003 by the Mikisew Cree First Nations (MCFN), Alberta, to objectively review EIAs of proposed oil sands mining projects, the scientific panel uncovered many severe omissions, errors, and a significant lack of substance that could not withstand scientific scrutiny. Neither the Terms of Reference for two major oilsands projects, estimated to be worth approximately CND 15 billion, nor the EIAs (one single EIA was over 11,000 pages long) contained the terms "climate change", "trend analysis", or "risk analysis", and nearly all environmental impacts were described by the proponents as "negligible". The Hydrology Section (over 950 pages in length) of one EIA did not contain a single peer-reviewed scientific publication. In summary, nothing had changed since Schindler's observations 27 years earlier. Since 2003, the authors have reviewed more than a dozen EIAs of proposed oilsands projects in northern Alberta. The "non-impact" of scientific reviews on the quality of EIAs and the insincerity of the stewards of the land are very sobering: apart from cosmetic improvements in the requirements of the Terms of Reference and the writing of the EIAs, no meaningful improvement of scientific content has been made. Key environmental concerns around water resource utilization and contamination, massive boreal forest ecosystem disruption and destruction, insignificant reclamation, and dramatic increases in emission of acidic pollutants and GHGs have never been adequately addressed. Spills of contaminated tailings fluids into the Athabasca River have occurred in the past, and Mikisew Cree Elders have both anecdotal and physical evidence of contamination of downstream areas through to Lake Athabasca. As the Alberta government has declared a sell-out of very large areas of boreal forest for fast profit, the scientific reviews have been ignored. With the exception of a few cosmetic improvements to the EIAs (e.g. climate change is now discussed, however, with incomplete data and incorrect interpretations), the scientific quality of EIAs has not improved. In fact, the Terms of Reference differ in content requirements with each oilsands project, which means that there is inconsistency between EIAs, prohibiting the evaluation of the evolution of the Terms of Reference. The consequences of the disregard of scientific standards are enormous environmental impacts in terms of carbon dioxide output, acid rain, severe health risks of the local population, water quality, and negligible reclamation efforts.

  17. Chemical and biological characterization of emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants.

    PubMed Central

    Ahlberg, M; Berghem, L; Nordberg, G; Persson, S A; Rudling, L; Steen, B

    1983-01-01

    Emission samples were obtained from two medium-sized power plants, one fired with oil and the other with pulverized coal. Particles obtained by a miniscale plume stack gas sampler (MIPSGAS), simulating the dilution process in the plume, were subjected to detailed physical, chemical and biological characterization. Studies by scanning electron microscopy and by Coulter counter demonstrated that the particles from the oil-fired boiler were considerably larger than the particles from the coal-fired boiler. Chemical analyses revealed more organic substances and more S, Ni, V, in the oil than in the coal particles. The latter contained a larger proportion of Al, Si, Cl, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Se, Rb, Y, Zr, Ba and Pb. Biological testing revealed a greater acute and subacute toxicity by the intratracheal route in the hamster, a greater toxicity to alveolar macrophages and a greater lung retention of BaP coated on the particles from oil combustion than on those from coal combustion. In another sampling line, employed simultaneously with the MIPSGAS-particulate sampler, the total emissions were collected, i.e., both particle and gas phase. These samples were used for chemical analyses and Ames mutagenicity test. Analyses of specific PAHs in emissions from both plants demonstrated that concentrations were below the detection limit (less than 4 ng/m3 of benzo(a)pyrene), which is in accord with an efficient combustion of the fuel. The mutagenicity of the samples were below the detection limit of the mutagenicity assay. Images FIGURE 4. FIGURE 5. PMID:6825622

  18. Flash calcining system converts waste lime to usable products while running on gas, oil or coal

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-07-01

    This article focuses on the energy efficiency of a flash calcining system which converts waste lime to usable products while running on gas, oil, or coal. The flash calciner can turn significant amounts of undercalcined and normally wasted lime into useful products such as hydrated lime, soil stabilizers and neutralizers. The system has demonstrated that waste fines and dust can be processed into a product having less than two percent loss-on-ignition.

  19. Desulfurization of Illinois coals with hydroperoxides of vegetable oils and alkali. Final technical report, September 1, 1995--August 31, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, G.V.; Gaston, R.D.; Song, Ruozhi

    1997-05-01

    The goal of this project is to develop an inexpensive method to remove organic sulfur from pyrite-free and mineral-free coal using base, air, and readily available farm products. This is accomplished by treating coals with impregnating coals with polyunsaturated offs, converting the oils to their hydroperoxides, and heating. Since these oils are relatively inexpensive and easily applied, this project could lead to a cost effective method for removing organic sulfur from coals. Moreover, the oils are environmentally safe; they produce no noxious products and improve burning qualities of the solid products. IBC-108 coal, (contains only 0.4% pyrite and 2.7% organic sulfur) was first treated with Na{sub 4}OH at two different concentrations and four different times, and with NH{sub 4}OH at two different concentrations and two different temperatures. Pretreating IBC-108 coal with bases removes 13% to 23% of the sulfur, and NaOH is a better treatment than NH{sub 4}OH in most of the experiments. Higher temperatures, higher base concentrations, and longer treatment times remove more sulfur. Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} is more effective than NaOH for oil extraction after the oil treatment. To test for effectiveness of sulfur removal, eight coal samples were treated with NaOH (two concentrations at four different times) were further treated with linseed oil at three temperatures, four different times, and two oil to coal ratios. The combination of NaOH pretreatment, then oil treatment, followed by Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3} extraction, removes 23% to 50% of the sulfur. The best result is achieved by pretreating with 5% NaOH for 20 hr (23% sulfur removal) followed by oil treatment at 100{degrees}C for 5 hr with a 1:1 oil to coal ratio (50% sulfur removal in total). More sulfur is removed with a 1:1 oil to coal ratio than a 1:10 ratio under most conditions.

  20. Microbial Oxidation of Natural Gas in a Plume Emanating from the Coal Oil Point Seep Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendes, S. D.; Valentine, D. L.; Perez, C.; Scarlett, R.

    2012-12-01

    The hydrocarbon seep field at Coal Oil Point, off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, releases > 1010 g of thermogenic natural gas each year. Gases emitted from Coal Oil Point include methane, ethane, propane, and butane, which are atmospheric pollutants and greenhouse gases. Even though the seeps are at water depths of only 5-80 m, much of the gas dissolves and contributes to a plume that is transported by ocean currents. While hydrocarbons can support bacterial respiration, resulting in the removal of hydrocarbon gas from the plume, the time-scale for the bacterial respiratory response is unconstrained. To track hydrocarbon respiration 3H-ethane, propane, and butane were synthesized using Grignard reagents and tritiated water with yields of >70% and applied as tracers to samples up- and down-current from the seeps at Coal Oil Point. Validation experiments conducted in September 2011 aboard the R/V Atlantis show that 3H-labeled tracers are an order of magnitude more sensitive than previous methods using stable carbon isotopes (Valentine et. al 2010), making this technique preferable in natural systems. Application of the tracers concurrent with plume tracking in July-August 2012 show ethane, propane, and butane consumption are readily inducible on a timescale of days.

  1. Distribution of Total Dissolved Solids in McMurray Formation Water in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada: Implications for Oil Sands Mining and In Situ Resource Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cowie, B.; Mayer, B.

    2013-12-01

    Saline water management is a significant environmental challenge for mining and in-situ resource development in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR), Alberta, Canada. In the AOSR, the Cretaceous aged McMurray formation that bears the majority of the oil sands resources is underlain by saline Devonian formations containing saline water. Vertical connectivity between Devonian and Cretaceous aquifer systems has been uncovered by mining operations in the AOSR over the past several years, inducing occasional and local saline water flow into mining areas. The observed upward flow of groundwater from Devonian to Cretaceous systems necessitates detailed characterization of the spatial extent of high salinity formation waters to improve water management decisions in the AOSR. This study used published data from recent government reports and Environmental Impact Assessments to map total dissolved solids (TDS) of 355 McMurray formation water samples across the Athabasca oil sands region (54 to 58° N and 110 to 114° W). McMurray formation waters varied from non-saline (TDS < 4 000 mg/L) to brine (TDS > 100 000 mg/L) with a locally high salinity formation waters trending parallel to the dissolution edge of the Devonian-aged Prairie evaporite formation across the AOSR. The simplest hydrogeological explanation for the observed formation water salinity data is that Devonian aquifers are locally connected to the McMurray formation via conduits in the sub-Cretaceous karst system in the region overlying the partial dissolution edge of the Prairie evaporite formation. The driving force for upward formation water flow was provided by the Pleistocene glaciation events that reversed the regional flow system in the Devonian strata over the past 2 Ma. This study demonstrates that a detailed approach to hydrogeological assessment is required to elucidate total dissolved solids concentrations in McMurray formation waters at an individual lease-area scale, and to manage potential impacts from high salinity formation waters. The sub-Cretaceous hydrogeology exerts significant influence on the McMurray formation waters and thus may have significant future environmental impacts on mining and in-situ resource developments in the Athabasca region.

  2. Erosion-corrosion in carbon dioxide saturated systems in presence of sand, inhibitor, oil, and high concentration of salt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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-shore because of the difficulty in running coupon tests. Research reported in this dissertation is aimed at providing producers with information that will help them make decisions about the design of a well given advanced knowledge of the inhibition options and their predicted effectiveness under sand production conditions. Frumkin isotherms modified to handle effects of erosivity, temperature, and oil phase were successfully fitted to erosion-corrosion data. Inhibitor adsorption isotherms were integrated into a mechanistic model for prediction of CO2 corrosion rates as a function of inhibitor concentration and good results were obtained as compared with data. A computer program was also developed to predict the inhibited erosion-corrosion rate as a function of corrosivity of the system (temperature, pH, CO 2 pressure, and other factors) and erosivity of the system (particle size, particle rate, material type, pipe diameter, and other factors).

  3. Distribution of naphthenic acids in tissues of laboratory-exposed fish and in wild fishes from near the Athabasca oil sands in Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Young, Rozlyn F; Michel, Lorelei Martínez; Fedorak, Phillip M

    2011-05-01

    Naphthenic acids, which have a variety of commercial applications, occur naturally in conventional crude oil and in highly biodegraded petroleum such as that found in the Athabasca oil sands in Alberta, Canada. Oil sands extraction is done using a caustic aqueous extraction process. The alkaline pH releases the naphthenic acids from the oil sands and dissolves them into water as their soluble naphthenate forms, which are anionic surfactants. These aqueous extracts contain concentrations of naphthenates that are acutely lethal to fishes and other aquatic organisms. Previous research has shown that naphthenic acids can be taken up by fish, but the distribution of these acids in various tissues of the fish has not been determined. In this study, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were exposed to commercial (Merichem) naphthenic acids in the laboratory. After a 10-d exposure to approximately 3mg naphthenic acids/L, the fish were dissected and samples of gills, heart, liver, kidney, muscle, and eggs were extracted and analyzed for free (unconjugated) naphthenic acids by a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method. Each of the tissues contained naphthenic acids and non-parametric statistical analyses showed that gills and livers contained higher concentrations than the muscles and that the livers had higher concentrations than the hearts. Four different species of fish (two fish of each species) were collected from the Athabasca River near two oil sands mining and extraction operations. No free naphthenic acids were detected in the muscle or liver of these fish. PMID:21216009

  4. Two-dimensional HPLC and GC-MS of oils from catalytic coal liquefaction

    SciTech Connect

    Saini, A.K.; Song, C.

    1994-12-31

    We have employed normal-phase HPLC with photo diode array detector and GC-MS techniques to characterize the oils (hexane soluble fraction) from the catalytic and non-catalytic liquefaction of Wyodak subbituminous coal at 400{degrees}C under 6.9 MPa H{sub 2} pressure. The use of a dispersed Mo catalyst afforded much higher oil yield than the non-catalytic run. HPLC reveals that the oils from the catalytic runs contain more phenolic compounds and more of heavier components as compared to the oils from non-catalytic run. On the other hand, GC-MS shows that there is a significant amount of long-chain alkanes in the oils, ranging from C{sub 11} to C{sub 35}. The analytical results from the two techniques appear to be complementary to each other. The oils contain some heavier components which are detectable by HPLC but undetectable by GC-MS. GC-MS of HPLC fractions of the oils from the catalytic run confirmed the presence of significant amount of phenols and indanols.

  5. Bog Plant Tissue Chemistry and N and S Accumulation in Peat are Influenced by Elevated N and S Deposition from Alberta Oil Sands Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wieder, R.; Vile, M. A.; Quinn, J.; Albright, C. M.; Scott, K. D.; Vitt, D. H.

    2013-12-01

    Development of the oil sands resource in northern Alberta, Canada has led to elevated atmospheric N and S deposition, the N coming mainly from the exhaust of diesel fueled-trucks that haul the raw oil sands from the mine sites and the S coming mainly from refining. Against a background deposition of < 1 kg/ha/yr for both N and S, at sites within 15 km of the oil sands mining region we have measured current N and S deposition to be as high as 2 and 27 kg/ha/yr. With a goal of developing monitoring tools to assess the spatial extent of elevated N and S deposition in the region, we collected leaves, needles, or whole plants of 12 bog species (lichens: Cladina mitis and Evernia mesomorpha; Sphagnum mosses: S. capillifolium and S. fuscum; a tree: Picea mariana; ericaceous shrubs: Ledum groenlandicum, Oxycoccos microcarpus and Vaccinium vitis-idaea; deciduous forbs: Rubus chamaemorus and Smilacina trifolia) from 5 bogs ranging from 11 to over 250 km from the oil sands mining area. Samples were collected on 23 dates between May and October of 2009-2012 and were analyzed for C, N, and S concentrations. Six species (C. mitis, E. mesomorpha, S. fuscum, O. microcarpus, V. vitis-idaea, and R. chamaemorus) exhibited statistically significant increases in C:N ratio with increasing distance from the oil sands mining area. Five species (C. mitis, E. mesomorpha, S. fuscum, S. capillifolium, O. microcarpus) exhibited statistically significant increases in C:S ratio with increasing distance from the oil sands mining area. For three species (S. fuscum, E. mesomorpha, O. microcarpus), N concentrations gradually and significantly increased (C:N ratios decreased) over the four years of the study, with the rate of increase as high as 1 mg/g/yr at sites in close proximity to the oil sands mining area. In contrast, S concentrations in plant tissues generally did not increase over the four years, possibly because of increasing efforts to control S emissions from stacks. Using 210Pb-dated cores collected from 15 bogs ranging from ranging from 11 to over 250 km from the oil sands mining area, we demonstrated greater net N and S accumulation in peat over the most recent 25 years, as compared to the 25-50 time horizon. Moreover, net N and S accumulation decreased exponentially with distance from the oil sands mining region. These relationships indicate that higher N and S accumulation in peat is evident within a distance of about 20 km from the oil sands mining area. Our findings reveal that elevated N and S deposition from oil sands development affects plant tissue chemistry, with potential ramifications for both N and S cycling and potential vegetation change in bogs, and that atmospherically deposited N and S are retained in bog peat deposits.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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

  8. Prototype Commercial Coal/Oil Co-Processing Plant Project

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-03-01

    With the successful demonstration of the Co-Processing Process for simultaneously converting and upgrading Ohio coal and Cold Lake atmospheric resid, a hydrotreating program was subcontracted out to Sun Refining and Marketing by Ohio Clean Fuels to define operating conditions that will produce a distillate product meeting 0.05 wt % sulfur and a naphtha product with 1 wppm nitrogen maximum. Two hydrotreating runs were carried out: one on a 350/650{degree}F distillate blend and other on the C5/350{degree}F co-pro naphtha. Both runs scoped process conditions by varying temperature, pressure and space velocity while maintaining hydrogen treat gas rate constant at 1,000 SCF/Barrel. Each run took about 30 days to complete and consisted of a test matrix of 8 conditions and a referee'' condition at the beginning and the end of the run, and as well, several other optimal conditions to define further information. While catalyst life test were originally planned, they were not carried out due to lack of funds. The tests identified hydrotreating conditions that can effectively reduce distillate blend sulfur from 0.55 wt % to as low as 0.15 wt % sulfur. The co-pro naphtha was denitrogenated from 46 wppm to below 1 wppm with mild hydrotreating conditions. There were anomalies in the results in that lower feed space velocities resulted in higher product nitrogen. 3 refs., 9 figs., 16 tabs.

  9. Crude oil in a shallow sand and gravel aquifer-II. Organic geochemistry

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eganhouse, R.P.; Baedecker, M.J.; Cozzarelli, I.M.; Aiken, G.R.; Thorn, K.A.; Dorsey, T.F.

    1993-01-01

    Crude oil spilled from a pipeline break in a remote area of north-central Minnesota has contaminated a shallow glacial outwash aquifer. Part of the oil was sprayed over a large area to the west of the pipeline and part of it accumulated in an oil body that floats at the water table to the east of the point of discharge. Total dissolved organic carbon (TDOC) concentrations in shallow groundwater collected in the oil spray area reach 16 mg/l. This is nearly an order of magnitude higher than the TDOC concentrations of native groundwater (???2-3 mg/l). The additional TDOC derives from the partial degradation of petroleum residues deposited at the land surface and transported to the aquifer by vertical recharge. In the vicinity of the oil body, TDOC concentrations in groundwater are 48 mg/l, 58% of the TDOC being composed of non-volatile organic C. The majority of the volatile DOC (63%) is a mixture of low-molecular-weight saturated, aromatic and alicyclic hydrocarbons derived from the oil. Downgradient from the oil body along the direction of groundwater flow, concentrations of all measured constituents of the TDOC pool decrease. Concentrations begin to decline most rapidly, however, in the zone where dissolved O2 concentrations begin to increase, ???50 m downgradient from the leading edge of the oil. Within the anoxic zone near the oil body, removal rates of isometric monoaromatic hydrocarbons vary widely. This indicates that the removal processes are mediated mainly by microbiological activity. Molecular and spectroscopic characterization of the TDOC and its spatial and temporal variation provide evidence of the importance of biogeochemical processes in attenuating petroleum contaminants in this perturbed subsurface environment. ?? 1993.

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

    PubMed

    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 concentrations will exceed those of the ingressing plume (150 mg L(-1)). PMID:20980071

  11. Fate and transport of oil sand process-affected water into the underlying clay till: a field study.

    PubMed

    Abolfazlzadehdoshanbehbazari, Mostafa; Birks, S Jean; Moncur, Michael C; Ulrich, Ania C

    2013-08-01

    The South Tailings Pond (STP) is a ~2300-ha tailing pond operated by Suncor Energy Inc. that has received oil sand process-affected (PA) water and mature fine tailings since 2006. The STP is underlain by a clay till, which is in turn underlain by the Wood Creek Sand Channel (WCSC). The sandy deposits of the WCSC provide greater geotechnical stability but could act as a potential flow pathway for PA water to migrate off site and into the Athabasca River. Preliminary modeling of the STP suggests that PA water from the pond will infiltrate into the underlying sand channel, but the extent and development of this impact is still poorly understood. Suncor Energy Inc. built interception wells and a cut-off-wall to control any potential seepage. Here we present the results of an investigation of the fate and transport of PA water in clay till underlying a 10 m × 10 m infiltration pond that was constructed on the southeastern portion of the STP. The geochemistry of pore water in the till underlying the infiltration pond was determined prior to filling with process-affected water (2008) and two years after the infiltration pond was filled with PA waters (2010). Pore water was analyzed for metals, cations, anions, and isotopes ((2)H and (18)O). The distribution of conservative tracers ((18)O and chloride) indicated migration of the PA waters to approximately 0.9 m, but the migrations of major ions and metals were significantly delayed relative to this depth. Uptake of Na and Mo and release of Ca, Mg, Mn, Ba, and Sr suggest that adsorption and ion exchange reactions are the foremost attenuation processes controlling inorganic solutes transport. PMID:23752067

  12. Fate and transport of oil sand process-affected water into the underlying clay till: A field study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abolfazlzadehdoshanbehbazari, Mostafa; Birks, S. Jean; Moncur, Michael C.; Ulrich, Ania C.

    2013-08-01

    The South Tailings Pond (STP) is a ~ 2300-ha tailing pond operated by Suncor Energy Inc. that has received oil sand process-affected (PA) water and mature fine tailings since 2006. The STP is underlain by a clay till, which is in turn underlain by the Wood Creek Sand Channel (WCSC). The sandy deposits of the WCSC provide greater geotechnical stability but could act as a potential flow pathway for PA water to migrate off site and into the Athabasca River. Preliminary modeling of the STP suggests that PA water from the pond will infiltrate into the underlying sand channel, but the extent and development of this impact is still poorly understood. Suncor Energy Inc. built interception wells and a cut-off-wall to control any potential seepage. Here we present the results of an investigation of the fate and transport of PA water in clay till underlying a 10 m × 10 m infiltration pond that was constructed on the southeastern portion of the STP. The geochemistry of pore water in the till underlying the infiltration pond was determined prior to filling with process-affected water (2008) and two years after the infiltration pond was filled with PA waters (2010). Pore water was analyzed for metals, cations, anions, and isotopes (2H and 18O). The distribution of conservative tracers (18O and chloride) indicated migration of the PA waters to approximately 0.9 m, but the migrations of major ions and metals were significantly delayed relative to this depth. Uptake of Na and Mo and release of Ca, Mg, Mn, Ba, and Sr suggest that adsorption and ion exchange reactions are the foremost attenuation processes controlling inorganic solutes transport.

  13. Mineral resources of the Buffalo Hump and Sand Dunes Addition Wilderness Study Areas, Sweetwater County, Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Gibbons, A.B.; Barbon, H.N.; Kulik, D.M. ); McDonnell, J.R. Jr. )

    1990-01-01

    The authors present a study to assess the potential for undiscovered mineral resources and appraise the identified resources of the Buffalo Hump and Sand Dunes Addition Wilderness Study Areas, southwestern Wyoming, There are no mines, prospects, or mineralized areas nor any producing oil or gas wells; however, there are occurrences of coal, claystone and shale, and sand. There is a moderate resource potential for oil shale and natural gas and a low resource potential for oil, for metals, including uranium, and for geothermal sources.

  14. Coal.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brant, Russell A.; Glass, Gary B.

    1983-01-01

    Principle work of 23 state geological surveys is summarized. Work includes mapping/estimating coal resources, centralizing data in National Coal Resources Data System through cooperative programs, exploration drilling, and others. Comments on U.S. Geological Survey activities, coal-related conferences/meetings, and industry research activities are…

  15. Dispersants as Used in Response to the MC252-Spill Lead to Higher Mobility of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Oil-Contaminated Gulf of Mexico Sand

    PubMed Central

    Zuijdgeest, Alissa; Huettel, Markus

    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-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. PMID:23209777

  16. Dispersants as used in response to the MC252-spill lead to higher mobility of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in oil-contaminated Gulf of Mexico sand.

    PubMed

    Zuijdgeest, Alissa; Huettel, Markus

    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-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. PMID:23209777

  17. Advanced analytical mass spectrometric techniques and bioassays to characterize untreated and ozonated oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Sun, Nian; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; Klamerth, Nikolaus; McPhedran, Kerry N; Islam, Md Shahinoor; Perez-Estrada, Leonidas; Drzewicz, Przemysław; Blunt, Brian J; Reichert, Megan; Hagen, Mariel; Tierney, Keith B; Belosevic, Miodrag; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2014-10-01

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is a toxic and poorly biodegradable mixture of sand, silt, heavy metals, and organics. In this study, qualitative and quantitative comparisons of naphthenic acids (NAs) were done using ultraperformance liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC TOF-MS), Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) MS, and ion mobility spectrometry (IMS). The unique combination of these analyses allowed for the determination and correlation of NAs, oxidized NAs, and heteroatom (sulfur or nitrogen) NAs. Despite its lower resolution, UPLC-TOF MS was shown to offer a comparable level of reliability and precision as the high resolution FT-ICR MS. Additionally, the impacts of ozonation (35 mg/L utilized ozone dose) and subsequent NAs degradation on OSPW toxicity were assessed via a collection of organisms and toxicity end points using Vibrio fischeri (nonspecific), specific fish macrophage antimicrobial responses, and fish olfactory responses. Fish macrophages exposed to ozonated OSPW for 1 week showed higher production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen intermediates; however, after 12 weeks the responses were reduced significantly. Fish olfactory tests suggested that OSPW interfered with their perception of odorants. Current results indicate that the quantification of NAs species, using novel analytical methods, can be combined with various toxicity methods to assess the efficiency of OSPW treatment processes. PMID:25211339

  18. In-situ combustion pilot operations in the Wabasca heavy oil sands deposit of North Central Alberta, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Alderman, J.H.; Fox, R.L.; Antonation, R.G.

    1983-01-01

    A wet in situ combustion pilot was conducted in the Wabiskaw formation of the Wabasca heavy oil sands deposit from February 1981 until February 1983 to determine if this process would be economically feasible. A single 20-acre (8.09-ha) inverted 7-spot was chosen as the pattern for the pilot. The operational concept was that the producing wells would be cyclic steamed to stimulate them at the same time that the wet in situ combustion process was being conducted. To monitor the movement of the combustion front, a series of 3-dimensional seismic surveys was scheduled. The initial survey was conducted prior to air injection and was used as a reference. The pilot performance using cyclic steam and wet in situ combustion as well as the results of the 3-dimensional seismic monitoring are discussed. The well completions and surface facilities design as well as operational concepts to allow year round operation in the environment are discussed also. 11 references.

  19. The relationships among CYP1A induction, toxicity, and eye pathology in early life stages of fish exposed to oil sands.

    PubMed

    Colavecchia, Maria V; Hodson, Peter V; Parrott, Joanne L

    2007-09-01

    Exposure of the early life stages of fish to oil sands constituents is associated with mortality and larval malformations such as edemas, hemorrhages, and skeletal, craniofacial, and eye defects. In fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) and white sucker (Catostomus commersoni) larvae, indices of total eye pathology increased significantly following oil sands exposure. Structural, cytoplasmic, inflammatory, and degenerative eye alterations included poor retinal differentiation, microphthalmia, optic fissures, dysphasic retinas and lenses, inflammatory infiltrates, retinal epithelial lifting, and necrotic foci. Cytochrome P-4501A (CYP1A) was expressed in ocular (retina, lens) and kidney endothelial tissues, as indicated by immunohistochemistry. Although the kinetics of exposure-response curves for mortality and CYP1A expression were similar in both species, species differences in the magnitude and sensitivity of the responses were observed. Oil sands were twofold more toxic to fathead minnows (TPAH LC50 = 47-330 microg/g) than to white sucker (TPAH LC50 = 95-860 microg/g) larvae. For both species, larval mortality was significantly related to CYP1A protein concentrations in kidneys, and severity of these effects rose with oil sands exposure. The relationships among eye damage, mortality, and CYP1A indices warrants further investigation, and may lead to the use of CYP1A induction as an indicator of adverse effects rather than just contaminant exposure. PMID:17710614

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:24355856

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

    EPA Science Inventory

    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...

  2. The role of heavy crude and tar sands oil in the global energy mix in the 1990s: A report on energy and environmental sustainability

    SciTech Connect

    Boms, L.; Perez-Trejo, F.

    1995-12-31

    Refinery management has continued to center around optimization of surplus value of marketable products as a means of maintaining a competitive industry operation, by providing the mix of of refined products and quality standards required by the marketers. This paper aims at examining the role which heavy crude and tar sand oil will play in contributing to to market growth expected in the future.

  3. Unlike PAHs from Exxon Valdez crude oil, PAHs from Gulf of Alaska coals are not readily bioavailable.

    PubMed

    Deepthike, Halambage Upul; Tecon, Robin; Van Kooten, Gerry; Van der Meer, Jan Roelof; Harms, Hauke; Wells, Mona; Short, Jeffrey

    2009-08-01

    In the wake of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, spatially and temporally spill-correlated biological effects consistent with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) exposure were observed. Some works have proposed that confounding sources from local source rocks, prominently coals, are the provenance of the PAHs. Representative coal deposits along the southeast Alaskan coast (Kulthieth Formation) were sampled and fully characterized chemically and geologically. The coals have variable but high total organic carbon content technically classifying as coals and coaly shale, and highly varying PAH contents. Even for coals with high PAH content (approximately 4000 ppm total PAHs), a PAH-sensitive bacterial biosensor demonstrates nondetectable bioavailability as quantified, based on naphthalene as a test calibrant. These results are consistent with studies indicating that materials such as coals strongly diminish the bioavailability of hydrophobic organic compounds and support previous work suggesting that hydrocarbons associated with the regional background in northern Gulf of Alaska marine sediments are not appreciably bioavailable. PMID:19731689

  4. Filtering coal-derived oil through a filter media precoated with particles partially solubilized by said oil

    DOEpatents

    Rodgers, Billy R.; Edwards, Michael S.

    1977-01-01

    Solids such as char, ash, and refractory organic compounds are removed from coal-derived liquids from coal liquefaction processes by the pressure precoat filtration method using particles of 85-350 mesh material selected from the group of bituminous coal, anthracite coal, lignite, and devolatilized coals as precoat materials and as body feed to the unfiltered coal-derived liquid.

  5. LIDAR vertical profiles over the Oil Sands Region: an important tool in understanding atmospheric particulate matter transport, mixing and transformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strawbridge, K. B.

    2013-12-01

    LIDAR technology is an excellent tool to probe the complex vertical structure of the atmosphere at high spatial and temporal resolution. This provides the critical vertical context for the interpretation of ground-based chemistry measurements, airborne measurements and model verification and validation. In recent years, Environment Canada has designed an autonomous aerosol LIDAR system that can be deployed to remote areas such as the oil sands. Currently two autonomous LIDAR systems are making measurements in the oil sands region, one since December, 2012 and the other since July, 2013. The LIDAR transmitter emits two wavelengths (1064nm and 532nm) and the detector assembly collects four channels (1064nm backscatter, 532nm backscatter and 532nm depolarization, 607 nm nitrogen channel). Aerosol profiles from near ground to 20 km are collected every 10-60 s providing sufficient resolution to probe atmospheric dynamics, mixing and transport. The depolarization channel provides key information in identifying and discriminating the various aerosol layers aloft such as dust, forest fire plumes, industrial plume sources or ice crystals. The vertical resolution of the LIDAR can determine whether industrial plumes remain aloft or mix down to the surface and also provide estimates as to the concentration of the particulate at various altitudes. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week except during precipitation events. The system is operated remotely and the data are updated every hour to a website to allow near real-time capability. An intensive measurement campaign will be carried out in August and September of 2013 and will provide coincident airborne and ground-based measurements for the two LIDAR systems. The first results from this field study will be presented as well as some statistics on the frequency and evolution of plume events that were detected by the LIDARs.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:21907388

  7. Evaluating officially reported polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emissions in the Athabasca oil sands region with a multimedia fate model.

    PubMed

    Parajulee, Abha; Wania, Frank

    2014-03-01

    Emissions of organic substances with potential toxicity to humans and the environment are a major concern surrounding the rapid industrial development in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR). Although concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in some environmental samples have been reported, a comprehensive picture of organic contaminant sources, pathways, and sinks within the AOSR has yet to be elucidated. We sought to use a dynamic multimedia environmental fate model to reconcile the emissions and residue levels reported for three representative PAHs in the AOSR. Data describing emissions to air compiled from two official sources result in simulated concentrations in air, soil, water, and foliage that tend to fall close to or below the minimum measured concentrations of phenanthrene, pyrene, and benzo(a)pyrene in the environment. Accounting for evaporative emissions (e.g., from tailings pond disposal) provides a more realistic representation of PAH distribution in the AOSR. Such indirect emissions to air were found to be a greater contributor of PAHs to the AOSR atmosphere relative to reported direct emissions to air. The indirect pathway transporting uncontrolled releases of PAHs to aquatic systems via the atmosphere may be as significant a contributor of PAHs to aquatic systems as other supply pathways. Emission density estimates for the three PAHs that account for tailings pond disposal are much closer to estimated global averages than estimates based on the available emissions datasets, which fall close to the global minima. Our results highlight the need for improved accounting of PAH emissions from oil sands operations, especially in light of continued expansion of these operations. PMID:24596429

  8. Growth of mycorrhizal jack pine (Pinus banksiana) and white spruce (Picea glauca) seedlings planted in oil sands reclaimed areas.

    PubMed

    Onwuchekwa, Nnenna E; Zwiazek, Janusz J; Quoreshi, Ali; Khasa, Damase P

    2014-08-01

    The effectiveness of ectomycorrhizal inoculation at the tree nursery seedling production stage on growth and survival was examined in jack pine (Pinus banksiana) and white spruce (Picea glauca) planted in oil sands reclamation sites. The seedlings were inoculated with Hebeloma crustuliniforme strain # UAMH 5247, Suillus tomentosus strain # UAMH 6252, and Laccaria bicolor strain # UAMH 8232, as individual pure cultures and in combinations. These treatments were demonstrated to improve salinity resistance and water uptake in conifer seedlings. The field responses of seedlings to ectomycorrhizal inoculation varied between plant species, inoculation treatments, and measured parameters. Seedling inoculation resulted in higher ectomycorrhizal colonization rates compared with non-inoculated control, which had also a relatively small proportion of roots colonized by the nursery contaminant fungi identified as Amphinema byssoides and Thelephora americana. Seedling inoculation had overall a greater effect on relative height growth rates, dry biomass, and stem volumes in jack pine compared with white spruce. However, when examined after two growing seasons, inoculated white spruce seedlings showed up to 75% higher survival rates than non-inoculated controls. The persistence of inoculated fungi in roots of planted seedlings was examined at the end of the second growing season. Although the inoculation with H. crustuliniforme triggered growth responses, the fungus was not found in the roots of seedlings at the end of the second growing season suggesting a possibility that the observed growth-promoting effect of H. crustuliniforme may be transient. The results suggest that the inoculation of conifer seedlings with ectomycorrhizal fungi could potentially be carried out on a large scale in tree nurseries to benefit postplanting performance in oil sands reclamation sites. However, these practices should take into consideration the differences in responses between the different plant species and fungal strains. PMID:24424508

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

    PubMed

    Mohamad Shahimin, Mohd Faidz; 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 ~600d. Microbes in Albian MFT began methane production by ~80d, 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 ~80d lag but exhibited a lag of ~360d 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. PMID:26925736

  10. Interactions between nitrifying bacteria and hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria during detoxification of oil sands process affected water

    SciTech Connect

    Sobolewski, A.; MacKinnon, M.

    1995-12-31

    Large quantities of process water are produced during the extraction of bitumen from oil sands by the Syncrude and Suncor operations in northern Alberta. Freshly produced tailings water is acutely toxic, but it has been shown to slowly detoxify over time. As detoxification proceeds, there is also a precipitous decrease in ammonia concentrations. The present study examines these two microbially-mediated processes in relation to levels of bacteria and toxicants in mixtures of fresh and aged (detoxified) tailings water. Detoxification of tailings water was greatly accelerated when equal volumes of fresh and detoxified (natural aging for one year) tailings water were mixed. Addition of phosphorus further stimulated detoxification, causing levels of ammonia and naphthenic acids (toxic organic acids leached during bitumen extraction) to decrease to those of detoxified water within two months. Such changes were not observed when phosphorus was not added, or when it was added to less diluted (10-.1 or 3-.1) fresh tailings water. Populations of nitrifying bacteria and naphthenic acid degraders increased markedly in the phosphorus-amended mixtures, but not in its absence. Addition of CS{sub 2} (a specific inhibitor of nitrification) to these mixtures prevented ammonia oxidation. Surprisingly, it also prevented the increase in naphthenic acid-degraders and retarded the loss of naphthenic acids. These results suggest the existence of interactions in fresh tailings water between nitrifying bacteria, naphthenic acid degraders and toxicants. The activity of naphthenic acid-degraders apparently remains low until ammonia is oxidized, whereas that of nitrifying bacteria remains low until concentrations of naphthenic acids or other toxicants decrease below some threshold level. Understanding these interactions may lead to more efficient and effective processes to detoxify oil sands process water.

  11. Has Alberta Oil Sands Development Altered Delivery of Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds to the Peace-Athabasca Delta?

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Background The extent to which Alberta oil sands mining and upgrading operations have enhanced delivery of bitumen-derived contaminants via the Athabasca River and atmosphere to the Peace-Athabasca Delta (200 km to the north) is a pivotal question that has generated national and international concern. Accounts of rare health disorders in residents of Fort Chipewyan and deformed fish in downstream ecosystems provided impetus for several recent expert-panel assessments regarding the societal and environmental consequences of this multi-billion-dollar industry. Deciphering relative contributions of natural versus industrial processes on downstream supply of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) has been identified as a critical knowledge gap. But, this remains a formidable scientific challenge because loading from natural processes remains unknown. And, industrial activity occurs in the same locations as the natural bitumen deposits, which potentially confounds contemporary upstream-downstream comparisons of contaminant levels. Methods/Principal Findings Based on analyses of lake sediment cores, we provide evidence that the Athabasca Delta has been a natural repository of PACs carried by the Athabasca River for at least the past two centuries. We detect no measureable increase in the concentration and proportion of river-transported bitumen-associated indicator PACs in sediments deposited in a flood-prone lake since onset of oil sands development. Results also reveal no evidence that industrial activity has contributed measurably to sedimentary concentration of PACs supplied by atmospheric transport. Conclusions/Significance Findings suggest that natural erosion of exposed bitumen in banks of the Athabasca River and its tributaries is a major process delivering PACs to the Athabasca Delta, and the spring freshet is a key period for contaminant mobilization and transport. This baseline environmental information is essential for informed management of natural resources and human-health concerns by provincial and federal regulatory agencies and industry, and for designing effective long-term monitoring programs for the lower Athabasca River watershed. PMID:23049946

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  13. The hydrogeologic connectivity of a low-flow saline-spring fen peatland within the Athabasca oil sands region, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wells, Corey M.; Price, Jonathan S.

    2015-12-01

    Saline springs can provide clues as to the nature of groundwater flow, including how it relates to subsurface wastewater storage and the distribution of solutes in the landscape. A saline-spring peatland neighboring a proposed in-situ oil facility was examined near Fort McMurray, Alberta (Canada). The study area is situated just north of a saline groundwater discharge zone, which coincides with the erosional edge of the Cretaceous Grand Rapids Formation. Na+ (mean 6,949 mg L-1) and Cl- (mean 13,776 mg L-1) were the dominant salts within the peatland, which increased by an order of magnitude in the opposite direction to that of the local groundwater flow. Rivers and freshwater wetlands within the study area had anomalously high salinities, in some cases exceeding 10,000 mg L-1 total dissolved solids within deeper sediments. Saline-spring features were observed as far as 5 km from the study area. A low-permeability mineral layer underlying the peatland restricted vertical groundwater exchange (estimated to be less than several mm over the 4-month study period). Sand and gravel lenses underlying the fen's high-salinity zone may function as areas of enhanced discharge. High Cl/Br ratios point to halite as a potential source of salinity, while δ18O and δ2H signatures in groundwater were lower than modern-day precipitation or Quaternary aquifers. The complex connectivity of saline-spring wetlands within the landscape has implications for industry and land-use managers, and justifies incorporating them into monitoring networks to better gauge the magnitude and flow history of natural saline discharge in the oil sands region.

  14. Evaluating officially reported polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emissions in the Athabasca oil sands region with a multimedia fate model

    PubMed Central

    Parajulee, Abha; Wania, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Emissions of organic substances with potential toxicity to humans and the environment are a major concern surrounding the rapid industrial development in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR). Although concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in some environmental samples have been reported, a comprehensive picture of organic contaminant sources, pathways, and sinks within the AOSR has yet to be elucidated. We sought to use a dynamic multimedia environmental fate model to reconcile the emissions and residue levels reported for three representative PAHs in the AOSR. Data describing emissions to air compiled from two official sources result in simulated concentrations in air, soil, water, and foliage that tend to fall close to or below the minimum measured concentrations of phenanthrene, pyrene, and benzo(a)pyrene in the environment. Accounting for evaporative emissions (e.g., from tailings pond disposal) provides a more realistic representation of PAH distribution in the AOSR. Such indirect emissions to air were found to be a greater contributor of PAHs to the AOSR atmosphere relative to reported direct emissions to air. The indirect pathway transporting uncontrolled releases of PAHs to aquatic systems via the atmosphere may be as significant a contributor of PAHs to aquatic systems as other supply pathways. Emission density estimates for the three PAHs that account for tailings pond disposal are much closer to estimated global averages than estimates based on the available emissions datasets, which fall close to the global minima. Our results highlight the need for improved accounting of PAH emissions from oil sands operations, especially in light of continued expansion of these operations. PMID:24596429

  15. Synthesis and analysis of jet fuels from shale oil and coal syncrudes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antoine, A. C.; Gallagher, J. P.

    1976-01-01

    The technical problems involved in converting a significant portion of a barrel of either a shale oil or coal syncrude into a suitable aviation turbine fuel were studied. TOSCO shale oil, H-Coal and COED coal syncrudes were the starting materials. They were processed by distillation and hydrocracking to produce two levels of yield (20 and 40 weight percent) of material having a distillation range of approximately 422 to 561 K (300 F to 550 F). The full distillation range 311 to 616 K (100 F to 650 F) materials were hydrotreated to meet two sets of specifications (20 and 40 volume percent aromatics, 13.5 and 12.75 weight percent H, 0.2 and 0.5 weight percent S, and 0.1 and 0.2 weight percent N). The hydrotreated materials were distilled to meet given end point and volatility requirements. The syntheses were carried out in laboratory and pilot plant equipment scaled to produce thirty-two 0.0757 cu m (2-gal)samples of jet fuel of varying defined specifications. Detailed analyses for physical and chemical properties were made on the crude starting materials and on the products.

  16. Delayed coking of decant oil and coal in a laboratory-scale coking unit

    SciTech Connect

    Oemer Guel; Leslie R. Rudnick; Harold H. Schobert

    2006-08-15

    In this paper, we describe the development of a laboratory-scale delayed coker and present results of an investigation on the recovered liquid from the coking of decant oil and decant oil/coal mixtures. Using quantitative gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) and {sup 1}H and {sup 13}C NMR, a study was made of the chemical composition of the distillate liquids isolated from the overheads collected during the coking and co-coking process. {sup 1}H and {sup 13}C NMR analyses of combined liquids from coking and co-coking did not show any substantial differences. These NMR results of coking and co-coking liquids agree with those of GC/MS. In these studies, it was observed that co-coking with coal resulted in a decrease in the paraffins contents of the liquid. The percentage of cycloparaffins, indenes, naphthalenes, and tetralins did not change significantly. In contrast, alkyl benzenes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the distillate were higher in the co-coking experiments which may have resulted from the distillation of thermally cracked coal macromolecules and the contribution of these molecules to the overall liquid composition. 40 refs., 3 figs., 13 tabs.

  17. Tetracyclic diterpenoid hydrocarbons in some Australian coals, sediments and crude oils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noble, Rohinton A.; Alexander, Robert; Kagi, Robert Ian; Knox, John

    1985-10-01

    Tetracyclic diterpenoid hydrocarbons (diterpanes) based on the ent-beyerane, phyllocladane and ent-kaurane skeletons have been identified in the hydrocarbon extracts of some Australian coals, sediments and crude oils. Structures were assigned to the geological diterpanes by comparison with synthetically prepared reference compounds. Studies of a sample suite consisting of low-rank coals and sediments indicate that the ratios of C-16 epimers of phyllocladane and ent-kaurane are maturity dependent, and that the relative proportion of the thermodynamically preferred 16β (H)-compounds increases with increasing thermal maturity. Thermodynamic equilibrium for the interconversion reactions is attained in sediments before the onset of crude oil generation. The most likely natural product precursors for the tetracyclic diterpanes are considered to be the tetracyclic diterpene hydrocarbons which occur widely in the leaf resins of conifers. Tetracyclic diterpanes have been identified in sediments and coals of Permian age or younger, suggesting that these compounds are markers for both modern and extinct families of conifers. In particular, phyllocladane is proposed as a marker for the Podocarpaceae family of conifers.

  18. Early performance of native shrubs and trees planted on amended Athabasca oil sand tailings

    SciTech Connect

    Fedkenheuer, A.W.; Heacock, H.M.; Lewis, D.L.

    1980-01-01

    Regulations enacted in Alberta Province, Canada; require that reclamation programs restore disturbed lands in such a way that productivity will be equal to or greater than it was prior to being mined. Consistent with these requirements, Syncrude Canada embarked on a project to restore and rehabilitate tar sand tailings with native shrubs and trees. Soil amendments were followed by the seeding of grasses and legumes; plots were subsequently planted with trees and shrubs. Results to date indicate over-winter survival was very satisfactory with most plant species.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Castle, James W.; Molz, Fred J.

    2001-11-29

    The first twelve months of the project focused on collecting data for characterization and modeling. In addition, data from Coalinga Field was analyzed to define the fractal structure present in the data set. The following sections of the report parallel the first four subtasks of the investigation were: (1) Collect and Load Property Data from Temblor Outcrops in California, (2) Collect and Load Property Data from Temblor Reservoir Sands, West Coalinga Field, California, (3) Collect and Load Property Data from Continuous Upper Cretaceous Outcrops in Utah, and (4) Define Fractal Structure in the Data Sets and Apply to Generating Property Representations.

  20. Cracking of simulated oil refinery off-gas over a coal char, petroleum coke, and quartz

    SciTech Connect

    Yuan Zhang; Jin-hu Wu; Dong-ke Zhang

    2008-03-15

    The cracking of oil refinery off-gas, simulated with a gas mixture containing methane (51%), ethylene (21.4%), ethane (21.1%), and propane (6.5%), over a coal char, petroleum coke, and quartz, respectively, has been studied in a fixed bed reactor. The experiments were performed at temperatures between 850 and 1000{sup o}C and at atmospheric pressure. The results show that the conversions of all species considered increased with increasing temperature. Ethane and propane completely decomposed over all three bed materials in the temperature range investigated. However, the higher initial conversion rates of methane and ethylene cracking at all temperatures were observed only over the coal char and not on the petroleum coke and quartz, indicating a significant catalytic effect of the coal char on methane and ethylene cracking. Methane and ethylene conversions decreased with reaction time due to deactivation of the coal char by carbon deposition on the char surface and, in the later stage of a cracking experiment, became negative, suggesting that methane and ethylene had been formed during the cracking of ethane and propane. 16 refs., 13 figs., 2 tabs.