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Sample records for oil sands shear

  1. 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.

  2. Three dimensional fabric evolution of sheared sand

    SciTech Connect

    Hasan, Alsidqi; Alshibli, Khalid

    2012-10-24

    Granular particles undergo translation and rolling when they are sheared. This paper presents a three-dimensional (3D) experimental assessment of fabric evolution of sheared sand at the particle level. F-75 Ottawa sand specimen was tested under an axisymmetric triaxial loading condition. It measured 9.5 mm in diameter and 20 mm in height. The quantitative evaluation was conducted by analyzing 3D high-resolution x-ray synchrotron micro-tomography images of the specimen at eight axial strain levels. The analyses included visualization of particle translation and rotation, and quantification of fabric orientation as shearing continued. Representative individual particles were successfully tracked and visualized to assess the mode of interaction between them. This paper discusses fabric evolution and compares the evolution of particles within and outside the shear band as shearing continues. Changes in particle orientation distributions are presented using fabric histograms and fabric tensor.

  3. Aging effects on oil-contaminated Kuwaiti sand

    SciTech Connect

    Al-Sanad, H.A.; Ismael, N.F.

    1997-03-01

    Large quantities of oil-contaminated sands resulted from the destruction of oil wells and the formation of oil lakes in Kuwait at the end of the Gulf Wa/r. A laboratory testing program was carried out to determine the geotechnical properties of this material and the effect of aging on their properties. Tests included direct shear, triaxial, and consolidation tests on clean and contaminated sand at the same relative density. The influence of aging was examined by testing uncontaminated sand after aging for one, three, and six months in natural environmental conditions. The results indicated increased strength and stiffness due to aging and a reduction of the oil content due to evaporation of volatile compounds. The factors that influence the depth of oil penetration in compacted sand columns were also examined including the type of oil, relative density, and the amount of fines.

  4. 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.

  5. Geotechnical properties of oil-contaminated Kuwaiti sand

    SciTech Connect

    Al-Sanad, H.A.; Eid, W.K.; Ismael, N.F.

    1995-05-01

    Large quantities of oil-contaminated sands resulted from exploded oil wells, burning oil fires, the destruction of oil storage tanks, and the formation of oil lakes in Kuwait at the end of the Gulf War. An extensive laboratory testing program was carried out to determine the geotechnical characteristics of this material. Testing included basic properties, compaction and permeability tests, and triaxial and consolidation tests on clean and contaminated sand at the same relative density. Contaminated specimens were prepared by mixing the sand with oil in the amount of 6% by weight or less to match field conditions. The influence of the type of oil, and relative density was also investigated by direct shear tests. The results indicated a small reduction in strength and permeability and an increase in compressibility due to contamination. The preferred method of disposal of this material is to use it as a stabilizing material for other projects such as road construction.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Shear Band Formation in Plane Strain Experiments of Sand

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alshibli, Khalid A.; Sture, Stein

    2000-01-01

    A series of biaxial (plane strain) experiments were conducted on three sands under low (15 kPa) and high (100 kPa) confining pressure conditions to investigate the effects of specimen density, confining pressure, and sand grain size and shape on the constitutive and stability behavior of granular materials. The three sands used in the experiments were fine-, medium-, and coarse-grained uniform silica sands with rounded, subangular, and angular grains, respectively. Specimen deformation was readily monitored and analyzed with the help of a grid pattern imprinted on the latex membrane. The overall stress-strain behavior is strongly dependent on the specimen density, confining pressure, sand grain texture, and the resulting failure mode(s). That became evident in different degrees of softening responses at various axial strains. The relationship between the constitutive behavior and the specimens' modes of instability is presented. The failure in all specimens was characterized by two distinct and opposite shear bands. It was found that the measured dilatancy angles increase as the sand grains' angularities and sizes increase. The measured shear band inclination angles are also presented and compared with classical Coulomb and Roscoe solutions.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. Precessive sand ripples in intense steady shear flows.

    PubMed

    Restrepo, Juan M; Moulton, Derek E; Uys, Hermann

    2011-03-01

    We describe experimental observations of fully developed, large-amplitude bars under the action of a shearing fluid. The experiments were performed in an annular tank filled with water and sheared above by a steady motor source. The same steady shearing flow can produce a variety of different erodible bed manifestations: advective or precessive bars, which refer to bar structures with global regularity and a near-steady precession velocity; interactive bars, the structure of which depends on local rearrangements, which are in turn a response to complex background topography; and dispersive bars, which are created when an initially isolated mound of sand evolves into a train of sand ripples. Of these, the most amenable to analysis are the precessive bars. For precession bars, we find that the skin depth, which is the nondimensionalized mean-field transport rate, grows exponentially as a function of the shear velocity. From this, we arrive at an analytical expression that approximates the precession speed of the bars as a function of shear velocity. We use this to obtain a formula for sediment transport rate. However, in intense flows, the bars can get large engendering boundary layer separation, leading to a different dynamic for bar formation and evolution. Numerical flow calculations over an experimentally obtained set of precessive bars are presented and show that classical parametrizations of mass flux in terms of bottom gradients have shortcomings. Within the range of shear rates considered, a quantity that does not change appreciably in time is the aspect ratio, which is defined as the ratio of the average bar amplitude, with respect to a mean depth, to the average bar length. PMID:21517492

  13. Precessive sand ripples in intense steady shear flows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Restrepo, Juan M.; Moulton, Derek E.; Uys, Hermann

    2011-03-01

    We describe experimental observations of fully developed, large-amplitude bars under the action of a shearing fluid. The experiments were performed in an annular tank filled with water and sheared above by a steady motor source. The same steady shearing flow can produce a variety of different erodible bed manifestations: advective or precessive bars, which refer to bar structures with global regularity and a near-steady precession velocity; interactive bars, the structure of which depends on local rearrangements, which are in turn a response to complex background topography; and dispersive bars, which are created when an initially isolated mound of sand evolves into a train of sand ripples. Of these, the most amenable to analysis are the precessive bars. For precession bars, we find that the skin depth, which is the nondimensionalized mean-field transport rate, grows exponentially as a function of the shear velocity. From this, we arrive at an analytical expression that approximates the precession speed of the bars as a function of shear velocity. We use this to obtain a formula for sediment transport rate. However, in intense flows, the bars can get large engendering boundary layer separation, leading to a different dynamic for bar formation and evolution. Numerical flow calculations over an experimentally obtained set of precessive bars are presented and show that classical parametrizations of mass flux in terms of bottom gradients have shortcomings. Within the range of shear rates considered, a quantity that does not change appreciably in time is the aspect ratio, which is defined as the ratio of the average bar amplitude, with respect to a mean depth, to the average bar length.

  14. Extraction of oil from oil sands using thermoresponsive polymeric surfactants.

    PubMed

    Yang, Bingqing; Duhamel, Jean

    2015-03-18

    Several thermoresponsive block copolymers constituted of a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and a poly(2-(2-methoxyethoxy) ethyl methacrylate) (PMEO2MA) block were prepared by atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) and their ability to extract oil from oil sands was evaluated. The chemical composition of the PEG113-b-PMEO2MAX block copolymers was determined by (1)H NMR and gel permeation chromatography (GPC) with X-values ranging between 48 and 80. Aqueous solutions of block copolymers showed a cloud point of 34 ± 1 °C as determined by turbidimetry and dynamic light scattering (DLS) measurements. DLS experiments indicated that these polymers formed stable block copolymer micelles due to association of the PMEO2MA blocks at temperatures greater than 45 °C with a unimodal distribution of hydrodynamic diameters. Since characterization of the block copolymer solutions as a function of temperature indicated the formation of hydrophobic domains in water for T > 45 °C, extractions of oil from oil sands with the block copolymers were conducted at T = 45 and 50 °C. At these temperatures, 15 mL of a 1 mg/mL PEG113-b-PMEO2MA77 aqueous solution extracted 100% of the oil trapped in 1 g of oil sand if 60 mg of toluene was added to the mixture. When the extraction was conducted under the same experimental conditions without block copolymer, a poor oil recovery of less than 30% was achieved. Starting with a 1 mg/mL block copolymer concentration, the block copolymer aqueous solution could be recycled up to five successive extractions while maintaining satisfying oil recovery. Each extraction cycle led to a 22% mass loss of block copolymer, certainly due to association with the toluene, oil, and sand particles. Together these experiments demonstrate that thermoresponsive block copolymers can be powerful aids to enhance the oil recovery of oil sands. PMID:25719623

  15. Shear rheological characterization of motor oils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bair, Scott; Winer, Ward O.

    1988-01-01

    Measurements of high pressure viscosity, traction coefficient, and EHD film thickness were performed on twelve commercial automotive engine oils, a reference oil, two unformulated base oils and two unformated base oil and polymer blends. An effective high shear rate inlet viscosity was calculated from film thickness and pressure viscosity coefficient. The difference between measured and effective viscosity is a function of the polymer type and concentration. Traction measurements did not discriminate mileage formulated oils from those not so designated.

  16. 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.

  17. Oil sands treatment utilizing the Taciuk direct thermal processor

    SciTech Connect

    Taciuk, W.

    1982-01-01

    The Athabasca Oil Sands reserves of heavy oil represent a major source of energy for the future. As conventional oil becomes more expensive a larger percentage of the oil sands can be economically mined by open pit mining methods which allow much higher oil recovery rates than those obtained by in situ methods. This work discusses the initial and planned development stages of the Taciuk Direct Thermal Processor System for treatment of mined oil sands. As the name implies, this processor accepts as-mined oil sands feed, produces a thermally cracked oil product that can be directly pumped to remote refineries, and produces a damp, oil free, tailings sand that can be conveyed back to the mined out areas. Processor units in increments of 8000 to 12,000 bpd output can be economically constructed and operated by lease holders. Approximate yield projections, as well as general capital and operating cost comments are included.

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Comparison of the Experimental Fault Permeability in Two Sands using Ring-shear Apparatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimura, S.; Kaneko, H.; Ito, T.; Minagawa, H.

    2014-12-01

    We used a ring-shear apparatus to examine the perpendicular permeability of different type of sand for evaluating faults around methane hydrate reservoirs. The effect of effective normal stress on the permeability was investigated. We obtained measurements under constant effective normal stress ranging from 0.5 MPa to 8.0 MPa. The grain size distribution and particle shape in sand samples were performed by laser diffraction and optical microscopy method using the Morphologi G3, respectively. The median D50 and of median HSC (High Sensitivity Circularity) were obtained as 215.7μm and 0.758 in No.7 silica sand, 231.8μm and 0.789 in Toyoura sand. In No.7 silica sand, permeability after ring-shearing substantially decreased with increasing effective normal stress up to an effective normal stress of 2.0 MPa, and became gradually decrease for effective normal stress values greater than 2.0 MPa. In Toyoura sand, while, permeability after ring-shearing drastically decreased up to an effective normal stress of 3.0MPa. Although the relationships between the permeability after ring-shearing and the effective normal stress in both sand samples could be expressed by an exponential equation up to 3.0 MPa, the gradual change in slope was shown in Toyoura sand in comparison with No.7 silica sand. The both permeability in two sands had almost the same values for effective normal stress greater than 3.0 MPa. These results indicate that the influence of single particle crushing strength is more important than grain size and particle shape for understanding of different permeability up to 3.0 MPa between two sands. This study is financially supported by METI and Research Consortium for Methane Hydrate Resources in Japan (the MH21 Research Consortium).

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Numerical study of shear stress distribution at sand ripple surface in wind tunnel flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bar, Nitsan; Elperin, Tov; Katra, Itzhak; Yizhaq, Hezi

    2016-06-01

    The mechanism responsible for the formation and sustainability of sand ripples sheared by a uniform air flow is not well understood, despite the significant attention that has been given to it ever since the pioneering studies of Bagnold (1941). In this study we explore ANSYS Fluent simulations of fine-scale turbulent flow structure in the vicinity of 2D sand ripples with particular emphasis on shear stress distribution at the sand bed. The flow parameters in the simulations were pertinent to the wind tunnel experiments for studying sand ripples formation. The simulations show that the shear stress at the crest is about 2.5 times larger than the shear stress at the trough and that in most of the simulations a separation bubble has been developed at the lee slope. In contrast to wind tunnel experiments the simulations show that ripples will be flattened at wind speed of 9 m/s as shear stress at the ripples surface exceeds the fluid threshold. This discrepancy between the calculations and real wind tunnel measurements are due to the important role of the saltation layer on the decrease of the shear stress at the surface. Without this effect ripples cannot grow higher and will be diminished at quite moderate winds.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Effect of Initial Fabric on Cyclic and Monotonic Undrained Shear Strength of Gioia Tauro Sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porcino, Daniela; Marcianò, Vincenzo

    2008-07-01

    An experimental study is presented aimed at a direct comparison of the undrained behaviour of a natural coarse sand using specimens reconstituted by different techniques. Undrained monotonic and cyclic triaxial compression tests were carried out on reconstituted specimens of Gioia Tauro sand, as well as on truly undisturbed specimens retrieved by in-situ ground freezing. It is worth noting that Gioia Tauro Plain, on the Calabrian side of the Messina Strait, manifested various types of geotechnical hazards related to soil liquefaction during several catastrofic earthquakes. Two different preparation methods were employed, namely air pluviation and water sedimentation. Soil fabrics resulting from the above methods appear to exhibit different undrained response during monotonic straining. The behaviour of truly undisturbed specimens (and hence with their natural fabric) appears to be similar to that exhibited by water sedimentation reconstituted specimens in both undrained monotonic and cyclic triaxial tests. Finally, in view of assessing equivalent simple shear or in-situ response of the natural deposit, undrained cyclic shear strength characteristics of the tested sand from triaxial tests were compared with those gathered from the simple shear device.

  12. Preliminary examination of oil bonding at sand surfaces and its influence on hot water separation

    SciTech Connect

    Hupka, J.; Budzich, M.; Miller, J.D.

    1991-12-31

    The efficiency of water-based separation of oil from sand particles is dependent on the nature of the oil-sand association and a preliminary examination of this bonding has been completed. The degree of hydration of the sand surface at the time of contact with oil was related to the subsequent efficiency of the oil-sand separation process. Variables which influence hot water separation were correlated by multiple linear regression, and a second order experimental model was obtained. The processing temperature appeared to be the most significant variable, followed by digestion time and pH. Oil-coated sand particles which had intrinsic water left on their surface during sample preparation were easily processed in hot water separation experiments, and 64 to 90% of the oil was removed. On the other hand, only 1 to 23% separation and oil recovery was possible when a calcinated sand-oil mixture was used.

  13. Preliminary examination of oil bonding at sand surfaces and its influence on hot water separation

    SciTech Connect

    Hupka, J.; Budzich, M.; Miller, J.D.

    1991-01-01

    The efficiency of water-based separation of oil from sand particles is dependent on the nature of the oil-sand association and a preliminary examination of this bonding has been completed. The degree of hydration of the sand surface at the time of contact with oil was related to the subsequent efficiency of the oil-sand separation process. Variables which influence hot water separation were correlated by multiple linear regression, and a second order experimental model was obtained. The processing temperature appeared to be the most significant variable, followed by digestion time and pH. Oil-coated sand particles which had intrinsic water left on their surface during sample preparation were easily processed in hot water separation experiments, and 64 to 90% of the oil was removed. On the other hand, only 1 to 23% separation and oil recovery was possible when a calcinated sand-oil mixture was used.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-15

    The exploitation of Athabasca oil sands deposits in northern Alberta has known an intense development in recent years. This development has raised concern about the ecotoxicological risk of such industrial activities adjacent to the Athabasca River. Indeed, bitumen extraction generated large amounts of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) which are discharged in tailing ponds in the Athabasca River watershed. This study sought to evaluate and compare the toxicity of OSPW and oil sands lixiviate water (OSLW) with a baseline (oil sands exposed to water; OSW) on a microalgae, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata, at different concentrations (1.9, 5.5, 12.25, 25 and 37.5%, v/v). Chemical analyses of water-soluble contaminants showed that OSPW and OSLW were enriched in different elements such as vanadium (enrichment factor, EF=66 and 12, respectively), aluminum (EF=64 and 15, respectively), iron (EF=52.5 and 17.1, respectively) and chromium (39 and 10, respectively). The toxicity of OSPW on cells with optimal intracellular esterase activity and chlorophyll autofluorescence (viable cells) (72h-IC 50%<1.9%) was 20 times higher than the one of OSW (72h-IC 50%>37.5%, v/v). OSLW was 4.4 times less toxic (IC 50%=8.5%, v/v) than OSPW and 4.5 times more toxic than OSW. The inhibition of viable cell growth was significantly and highly correlated (<-0.7) with the increase of arsenic, beryllium, chromium, copper, lead, molybdenum and vanadium concentrations. The specific photosynthetic responses studied with JIP-test (rapid and polyphasic chlorophyll a fluorescence emission) showed a stimulation of the different functional parameters (efficiency of PSII to absorb energy from photons, size of effective PSII antenna and vitality of photosynthetic apparatus for energy conversion) in cultures exposed to OSPW and OSLW. To our knowledge, our study highlights the first evidence of physiological effects of OSPW and OSLW on microalgae. PMID:22387878

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Effects of beach sand properties, temperature and rainfall on the degradation rates of oil in buried oil/beach sand mixtures.

    PubMed

    Rowland, A P; Lindley, D K; Hall, G H; Rossall, M J; Wilson, D R; Benham, D G; Harrison, A F; Daniels, R E

    2000-07-01

    Lysimeters located outdoors have been used to evaluate the decomposition of buried oily beach sand waste (OBS) prepared using Forties light crude oil and sand from different locations around the British coast. The OBS (5% oil by weight) was buried as a 12-cm layer over dune pasture sub-sand and overlain by 20 cm of dune pasture topsoil. Decomposition rates of oil residues averaged 2300 kg ha(-1) in the first year and the pattern of oil decomposition may be represented by a power curve. Oil decomposition was strongly related to the temperature in the OBS layer, but was also significantly affected by rainfall in the previous 12 h. The CO(2) flux at the surface of the treatment lysimeters followed the relationship [log(10) CO(2) (mg C m(-2) h(-1))=0.93+0.058x OBS temp. (degrees C)-0.042x12 h rain (mm)]. There was considerable variation in the rate of oil decomposition in sands collected from different sites. Sand from Askernish supported most microbial activity whilst sand from Tain was relatively inactive. The decomposition process appeared to cease when the sand became saturated with water, i.e. temporarily anaerobic. However, decomposition recommenced when the soil dried out. The fastest rate of decomposition occurred in sand from one of the two sites predicted to have high populations of hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria. Larger particle size and higher Ca content may also be significant factors governing the rate of decomposition. PMID:15092918

  19. Reynolds averaged theory of turbulent shear flows over undulating beds and formation of sand waves.

    PubMed

    Bose, Sujit K; Dey, Subhasish

    2009-09-01

    Based on the Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations and the time-averaged continuity equation, a theory of turbulent shear flow over an undulating sand bed is developed addressing the instability criterion of plane sand beds in free-surface flows leading to the formation of sand waves. In the analysis, the integration of RANS equations leads to generalized Saint Venant equations, in which the time-averaged streamwise velocity is characterized by a power law obtained from turbulence closure, treating the curvilinear streamlines by the Boussinesq approximation. As a consequence, the modified pressure distribution has a departure from the traditionally linear hydrostatic pressure distribution. The instability analysis of a plane sand bed yields the curves of the Froude number versus nondimensional wave number, determining an instability zone for which at lower Froude numbers (less than 0.8), the plane bed becomes unstable with the formation of dunes; whereas at higher Froude numbers, the plane bed becomes unstable with the formation of standing waves and antidunes. For higher Froude numbers, the experimental data for antidunes lie within the unstable zone; while for lower Froude numbers, the same is found for dunes with some experimental scatter. PMID:19905209

  20. 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.).

  1. Quantifying Sources of Methane in the Alberta Oil Sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  2. 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) (Uni

  3. 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) (Uni

  4. 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...

  5. Evaluation of shear strength of oil treated laminated bamboo.

    PubMed

    Sulaiman, O; Hashim, R; Wahab, R; Ismail, Z A; Samsi, H W; Mohamed, A

    2006-12-01

    Studies were carried out on heat treatment of bamboo species Gigantochloa scortechinii Gamble using palm oil. The samples were laminated and glued. The adhesion results showed that the delamination of glue line increased as the temperature and duration of oil heat treatment increased. Maximum load and shear strength of the glue line reduced as the heat treatment become more severe. It was found that the palm oil used as the heating medium penetrated in some parts of the cell wall as well as in the cell lumen of the bamboo. PMID:16524726

  6. Nature and significance of trace elements in oil sands and heavy oils

    SciTech Connect

    Jacobs, F.S.U.

    1982-01-01

    The occurrence, distribution, and nature of 30 trace elements in oil sands were investigated using solvent extraction, chromatography, IR spectroscopy, UV-visible spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy, and instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). Asphaltenes extracted from oil sands and crude oils were separated by sequential elution solvent chromatography (SESC). The relative weight distribution of SESC fractions is similar for all asphaltenes irrespective of their original source or method of preparation. The extent of substitution of aromatic protons, the number, location, and type of heteroatom determine the SESC fraction in which a compound elutes. Trace metals occur in asphaltenes by bonding either to defect sites of the aromatic sheet structures (e.g. V, Ni, Co, Cr) or to the substituent heteroatoms (e.g. Mo, Ga). Selenium occurs as organoselenium compounds of varying molecular sizes while As is apparently combined in relatively simpler molecules such as aryl or alkyl arsines.

  7. Draft Genome Sequences of Campylobacterales (Epsilonproteobacteria) Obtained from Methanogenic Oil Sands Tailings Pond Metagenomes

    PubMed Central

    Tan, BoonFei

    2014-01-01

    Draft genome sequences of two Campylobacterales (Sulfurospirillum sp. strain SCADC and Sulfuricurvum sp. strain MLSB [Mildred Lake Settling Basin]) were obtained by taxonomic binning of metagenomes originating from an oil sands tailings pond. Both genomes contain soxABXYZ genes involved in sulfur oxidation, highlighting their potential roles in sulfur cycling in oil sands tailings ponds. PMID:25323712

  8. 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

  9. Long-time behavior of sand ripples induced by water shear flow.

    PubMed

    Betat, A; Kruelle, C A; Frette, V; Rehberg, I

    2002-08-01

    The formation of sand ripples under water shear flow in a narrow annular channel and the approach of the ripple pattern towards a steady state were studied experimentally. Four results are obtained: i) The mean amplitude, the average drift velocity and the mean sediment transport rate of the evolving bed shape are strongly related. A quantitative characterization of this relation is given. ii) The ripple pattern reaches a stationary state with a finite ripple amplitude and wavelength. The time needed to reach the state depends on the shear stress and may be several days. iii) The onset of ripple formation is determined by the bed shear stress, but it seems neither to depend on the grain diameter nor on the depth of the water layer. iv) The ripple amplitude, drift velocity and sediment transport in this stationary state depend on the grain size. This dependency is neither captured by the particle Reynolds number nor by the Shields parameter: an empirical scaling law is presented instead. PMID:15015119

  10. Variation of shear and compressional wave modulus upon saturation for pure pre-compacted sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhuiyan, M. H.; Holt, R. M.

    2016-04-01

    Gassmann's fluid substitution theory is commonly used to predict seismic velocity change upon change in saturation, and is hence essential for 4D seismic and AVO studies. This paper addresses the basics assumptions of the Gassmann theory, in order to see how well they are fulfilled in controlled laboratory experiments. Our focus is to investigate the sensitivity of shear modulus to fluid saturation, and the predictability of Gassmann's fluid substitution theory for P-wave modulus. Ultrasonic P- and S-wave velocities in dry and saturated (3.5wt% NaCl) unconsolidated clean sands (Ottawa and Columbia) were measured in an oedometer test system (uniaxial strain conditions) over a range of 0.5 MPa to 10 MPa external vertical stress. This study shows shear modulus hardening upon brine saturation, which is consistent with previous data found in the literature. Analysis of the data shows that most of the hardening of the ultrasonic shear modulus may be explained by Biot dispersion. Isotropic Gassmann's fluid substitution is found to underestimate the P-wave modulus upon fluid saturation. However, adding the Biot dispersion effect improves the prediction. More work is required to obtain good measurements of parameters influencing dispersion, such as tortuosity, which is very ambiguous and challenging to measure accurately.

  11. Variation of shear and compressional wave modulus upon saturation for pure pre-compacted sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhuiyan, M. H.; Holt, R. M.

    2016-07-01

    Gassmann's fluid substitution theory is commonly used to predict seismic velocity change upon change in saturation, and is hence essential for 4-D seismic and AVO studies. This paper addresses the basics assumptions of the Gassmann theory, in order to see how well they are fulfilled in controlled laboratory experiments. Our focus is to investigate the sensitivity of shear modulus to fluid saturation, and the predictability of Gassmann's fluid substitution theory for P-wave modulus. Ultrasonic P- and S-wave velocities in dry and saturated (3.5 wt per cent NaCl) unconsolidated clean sands (Ottawa and Columbia) were measured in an oedometer test system (uniaxial strain conditions) over a range of 0.5-10 MPa external vertical stress. This study shows shear modulus hardening upon brine saturation, which is consistent with previous data found in the literature. Analysis of the data shows that most of the hardening of the ultrasonic shear modulus may be explained by Biot dispersion. Isotropic Gassmann's fluid substitution is found to underestimate the P-wave modulus upon fluid saturation. However, adding the Biot dispersion effect improves the prediction. More work is required to obtain good measurements of parameters influencing dispersion, such as tortuosity, which is very ambiguous and challenging to measure accurately.

  12. 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.

  13. Oil sands operations as a large source of secondary organic aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liggio, John; Li, Shao-Meng; Hayden, Katherine; Taha, Youssef M.; Stroud, Craig; Darlington, Andrea; Drollette, Brian D.; Gordon, Mark; Lee, Patrick; Liu, Peter; Leithead, Amy; Moussa, Samar G.; Wang, Danny; O’Brien, Jason; Mittermeier, Richard L.; Brook, Jeffrey R.; Lu, Gang; Staebler, Ralf M.; Han, Yuemei; Tokarek, Travis W.; Osthoff, Hans D.; Makar, Paul A.; Zhang, Junhua; L. Plata, Desiree; Gentner, Drew R.

    2016-06-01

    Worldwide heavy oil and bitumen deposits amount to 9 trillion barrels of oil distributed in over 280 basins around the world, with Canada home to oil sands deposits of 1.7 trillion barrels. The global development of this resource and the increase in oil production from oil sands has caused environmental concerns over the presence of toxic compounds in nearby ecosystems and acid deposition. The contribution of oil sands exploration to secondary organic aerosol formation, an important component of atmospheric particulate matter that affects air quality and climate, remains poorly understood. Here we use data from airborne measurements over the Canadian oil sands, laboratory experiments and a box-model study to provide a quantitative assessment of the magnitude of secondary organic aerosol production from oil sands emissions. We find that the evaporation and atmospheric oxidation of low-volatility organic vapours from the mined oil sands material is directly responsible for the majority of the observed secondary organic aerosol mass. The resultant production rates of 45–84 tonnes per day make the oil sands one of the largest sources of anthropogenic secondary organic aerosols in North America. Heavy oil and bitumen account for over ten per cent of global oil production today, and this figure continues to grow. Our findings suggest that the production of the more viscous crude oils could be a large source of secondary organic aerosols in many production and refining regions worldwide, and that such production should be considered when assessing the environmental impacts of current and planned bitumen and heavy oil extraction projects globally.

  14. Oil sands operations as a large source of secondary organic aerosols.

    PubMed

    Liggio, John; Li, Shao-Meng; Hayden, Katherine; Taha, Youssef M; Stroud, Craig; Darlington, Andrea; Drollette, Brian D; Gordon, Mark; Lee, Patrick; Liu, Peter; Leithead, Amy; Moussa, Samar G; Wang, Danny; O'Brien, Jason; Mittermeier, Richard L; Brook, Jeffrey R; Lu, Gang; Staebler, Ralf M; Han, Yuemei; Tokarek, Travis W; Osthoff, Hans D; Makar, Paul A; Zhang, Junhua; Plata, Desiree L; Gentner, Drew R

    2016-06-01

    Worldwide heavy oil and bitumen deposits amount to 9 trillion barrels of oil distributed in over 280 basins around the world, with Canada home to oil sands deposits of 1.7 trillion barrels. The global development of this resource and the increase in oil production from oil sands has caused environmental concerns over the presence of toxic compounds in nearby ecosystems and acid deposition. The contribution of oil sands exploration to secondary organic aerosol formation, an important component of atmospheric particulate matter that affects air quality and climate, remains poorly understood. Here we use data from airborne measurements over the Canadian oil sands, laboratory experiments and a box-model study to provide a quantitative assessment of the magnitude of secondary organic aerosol production from oil sands emissions. We find that the evaporation and atmospheric oxidation of low-volatility organic vapours from the mined oil sands material is directly responsible for the majority of the observed secondary organic aerosol mass. The resultant production rates of 45-84 tonnes per day make the oil sands one of the largest sources of anthropogenic secondary organic aerosols in North America. Heavy oil and bitumen account for over ten per cent of global oil production today, and this figure continues to grow. Our findings suggest that the production of the more viscous crude oils could be a large source of secondary organic aerosols in many production and refining regions worldwide, and that such production should be considered when assessing the environmental impacts of current and planned bitumen and heavy oil extraction projects globally. PMID:27251281

  15. Sand remobilization enhanced complexity to mounded geometry, Early Tertiary deep water sand reservoirs, Balder Oil Field North Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Bergslien, D.; Rye-Larsen, M.; Jenssen, A.I.

    1996-12-31

    Sand remobilization played a major role in generating the high relief mounded geometries that trap oil in the early Tertiary reservoirs at Balder Field in Norwegian North Sea blocks 25/10 and 25/11. The thick massive submarine-fan sandstones were shed from the East Shetland Platform and deposited from high density turbidity currents. These thick massive sandstones lie in the distal portions of the fan system on the northwestern margin of the Utsira High. An intricate interaction between deposition and soft sediment deformation processes generated the complex cluster of thick mounded sand geometries comprising the Balder oil field. Slumping, sliding and sand remobilization with associated sand injections into overlying shales were the dominant deformation processes that mainly occurred during the early Eocene. The field is comprised of three reservoirs, the Paleocene Heimdal and Hermod Formations and the Early Eocene Balder Formation. The sandstones, which have excellent reservoir properties, share a common pressure system and oil-water contact. This is probably related to the soft-sediment deformation and associated sand injections establishing cross-stratal communication.

  16. Sand remobilization enhanced complexity to mounded geometry, Early Tertiary deep water sand reservoirs, Balder Oil Field North Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Bergslien, D.; Rye-Larsen, M.; Jenssen, A.I. )

    1996-01-01

    Sand remobilization played a major role in generating the high relief mounded geometries that trap oil in the early Tertiary reservoirs at Balder Field in Norwegian North Sea blocks 25/10 and 25/11. The thick massive submarine-fan sandstones were shed from the East Shetland Platform and deposited from high density turbidity currents. These thick massive sandstones lie in the distal portions of the fan system on the northwestern margin of the Utsira High. An intricate interaction between deposition and soft sediment deformation processes generated the complex cluster of thick mounded sand geometries comprising the Balder oil field. Slumping, sliding and sand remobilization with associated sand injections into overlying shales were the dominant deformation processes that mainly occurred during the early Eocene. The field is comprised of three reservoirs, the Paleocene Heimdal and Hermod Formations and the Early Eocene Balder Formation. The sandstones, which have excellent reservoir properties, share a common pressure system and oil-water contact. This is probably related to the soft-sediment deformation and associated sand injections establishing cross-stratal communication.

  17. [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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coulibaly, Kapo M.; Borden, Robert C.

    2004-07-01

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

  12. Shear wave attenuation and micro-fluidics in water-saturated sand and glass beads.

    PubMed

    Chotiros, Nicholas P; Isakson, Marcia J

    2014-06-01

    An improvement in the modeling of shear wave attenuation and speed in water-saturated sand and glass beads is introduced. Some dry and water-saturated materials are known to follow a constant-Q model in which the attenuation, expressed as Q(-1), is independent of frequency. The associated loss mechanism is thought to lie within the solid frame. A second loss mechanism in fluid-saturated porous materials is the viscous loss due to relative motion between pore fluid and solid frame predicted by the Biot-Stoll model. It contains a relaxation process that makes the Q(-1) change with frequency, reaching a peak at a characteristic frequency. Examination of the published measurements above 1 kHz, particularly those of Brunson (Ph.D. thesis, Oregon State University, Corvalis, 1983), shows another peak, which is explained in terms of a relaxation process associated with the squirt flow process at the grain-grain contact. In the process of deriving a model for this phenomenon, it is necessary to consider the micro-fluidic effects associated with the flow within a thin film of water confined in the gap at the grain-grain contact and the resulting increase in the effective viscosity of water. The result is an extended Biot model that is applicable over a broad band of frequencies. PMID:24907791

  13. Mycorrhizal inoculum potentials of pure reclamation materials and revegetated tailing sands from the Canadian oil sand industry.

    PubMed

    Bois, G; Piché, Y; Fung, M Y P; Khasa, D P

    2005-05-01

    Recent improvements in the management of oil sand tailings used by the Canadian oil sand industry have resulted in the production of composite tailing sands (CT): a new challenging material for reclamation work. Jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.), hybrid poplar (Populus deltoides Bartr. ex Marsh. xPopulus nigra L.) and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) plants were used in an 8-week greenhouse bioassay to evaluate the mycorrhizal inoculum potential of CT. This inoculum potential was compared with that of three other reclamation materials [common tailing sands (TS), deep overburden (OB) and muskeg peat (MK)], and with three sites reclaimed in 1982 (R82), 1988 (R88) and 1999 (R99). CT was devoid of active mycorrhizal propagules while all other materials showed some level of inoculum potential. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were observed on roots of clover or poplar grown in TS, OB, and all substrates containing peat (MK, R82, R88 and R99). Pine roots were also colonized by vesicle-forming hyphae of an unidentified fine endophyte and by dark septate fungi. Ectomycorrhizas (ECM) were observed on pine and poplar grown in OB, MK, and in soils from the two older reclaimed sites (R82 and R88). Using morpho- and molecular typing, six ECM fungi were identified to the genus or species level: Laccaria sp., Thelephora americana, Wilcoxina sp. (E-strain), Tuber sp. (I-type), a Sebacinoid, and a Pezizales species. Laccaria sp. and Wilcoxina sp. were the most frequently observed ECM species. PMID:15883852

  14. 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.

  15. Vegetation and soil water interactions on a tailings sand storage facility in the athabasca oil sands region of Alberta Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naeth, M. A.; Chanasyk, D. S.; Burgers, T. D.

    The relationship between vegetation and soil water was studied on the Syncrude South West Sand Storage facility in the Athabasca Oil Sands region of Alberta, Canada. Soil water and relevant soil chemical and physical properties were measured at the soil surface, as well as above and below the reclamation soil and tailings sand interface, in areas of low and high vegetation cover. The interface between the reclamation soil and the tailings sand acted as a capillary barrier. Water content was highest under low vegetation cover but soil water conditions above field capacity were rare and unlikely to have impacted vegetation. Periods of water stress occurred, where volumetric water content was below wilting point; these periods were of short duration and generally typical of ecosystems in the study area. Differences in surface soil water between the two vegetation covers were attributed to evapotranspiration and/or canopy interception. Differences above and below the interface were attributed to variation in canopy cover at the surface and resulting quantities of water available for percolation through the soil profiles. At the interface of the reclamation soil and tailings sand, water movement was restricted. High and low canopy covers responded differently to precipitation events; low vegetation cover areas had greater fluctuations in volumetric water content at all depths. The occurrence of a capillary barrier effect will need to be accounted for in developing reclamation soil profiles.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Mechanical properties of heavy oil-sand and shale as a function of pressure and temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Blair, S.C.; Sweeney, J.J.; Ralph, W.R.; Ruddle, D.G.

    1987-07-01

    Laboratory tests were conducted to determine the mechanical properties of oil-sand and shale samples from the Faja region of Venezuela at elevated temperature and pressure. Results describe pressure-volume (PV) behavior at temperatures of 23 and 125/sup 0/C; the effect of mechanical disturbance on PV behavior; equation-of-state (EOS) at temperatures of 23, 125, and 250/sup 0/C and effective pressures to 150 MPa; and creep/compaction behavior at temperatures of 23 and 125/sup 0/C. Data from PV tests on oil-sand show that increasing temperature from 23 to 125/sup 0/C had very little effect on this material. Mechanical disturbance of oil-sand prior to PV testing lowered values of K. The compressive strength of oil-sand increased as effective (P/sub E/) was raised and at both temperatures, samples tested at equivalent P/sub E/ had similar strengths. Compressive strength of oil-sand seems to be controlled by the drainage of pore fluid during axial deformation. Nearly all oil-sand samples exhibited strain-hardening. PV tests conducted on shale show that increasing temperature from 23 to 125/sup 0/C reduced values of K one third. Mechanical disturbance significantly affected the PV response of shale samples due to the friable nature of the material. Data for shale samples tested in triaxial compression show that ultimate stress increases with increasing pressure and increasing temperature. Results of long-term creep compaction tests show a linear change in sample volume as a function of the log of time and that the rate of volume change with time was larger at 125/sup 0/C than at 23/sup 0/C for both oil-sand and shale. 4 refs., 31 figs., 6 tabs.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Oil sands development contributes polycyclic aromatic compounds to the Athabasca River and its tributaries

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Erin N.; Short, Jeffrey W.; Schindler, David W.; Hodson, Peter V.; Ma, Mingsheng; Kwan, Alvin K.; Fortin, Barbra L.

    2009-01-01

    For over a decade, the contribution of oil sands mining and processing to the pollution of the Athabasca River has been controversial. We show that the oil sands development is a greater source of contamination than previously realized. In 2008, within 50 km of oil sands upgrading facilities, the loading to the snowpack of airborne particulates was 11,400 T over 4 months and included 391 kg of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAC), equivalent to 600 T of bitumen, while 168 kg of dissolved PAC was also deposited. Dissolved PAC concentrations in tributaries to the Athabasca increased from 0.009 μg/L upstream of oil sands development to 0.023 μg/L in winter and to 0.202 μg/L in summer downstream. In the Athabasca, dissolved PAC concentrations were mostly <0.025 μg/L in winter and 0.030 μg/L in summer, except near oil sands upgrading facilities and tailings ponds in winter (0.031–0.083 μg/L) and downstream of new development in summer (0.063–0.135 μg/L). In the Athabasca and its tributaries, development within the past 2 years was related to elevated dissolved PAC concentrations that were likely toxic to fish embryos. In melted snow, dissolved PAC concentrations were up to 4.8 μg/L, thus, spring snowmelt and washout during rain events are important unknowns. These results indicate that major changes are needed to the way that environmental impacts of oil sands development are monitored and managed. PMID:19995964

  10. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bera, Achinta; Kumar, T.; Ojha, Keka; Mandal, Ajay

    2013-11-01

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

  12. NMR relaxometry and diffusometry in characterizing structural, interfacial and colloidal properties of heavy oils and oil sands.

    PubMed

    Jones, Marc; Taylor, Spencer E

    2015-10-01

    We present a discussion of the use of NMR in the characterization of heavy oils and oil sands and their interactions with water and solid surfaces. The phenomena probed by the NMR techniques take place over different length scales, ranging from molecular, through colloidal to macroscopic. During the course of the last 15 years, NMR applications have grown from their initial use in studying conventional oils in rocks to the characterization of more viscous oils in unconsolidated porous media. In particular, (1)H NMR relaxometry and diffusometry are considered with a view to the identification of oil and water in oilfield fluids and their environment. After some theoretical considerations, various topics of current significance to petroleum recovery and production are discussed, including oil viscosity (with new experimental viscosity correlations added), oil sands characterization, heavy oil emulsions, and the identification of solvent effects on oil components and asphaltene solution behaviour and interactions. We show that, increasingly, NMR is becoming an invaluable and versatile characterization tool in petroleum science, in both laboratory and field. PMID:26253810

  13. Frequency- and stress-dependent changes in shear-wave velocity dispersion in water-saturated, unconsolidated sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghose, R.

    2009-04-01

    Anelastic processes in the earth causes dissipation of seismic energy. Because of the fundamental laws of causality, the dissipation effects demand a frequency-dependent change of elastic moduli, and therefore, dispersion in elastic wave velocities. Assessing the dispersion of seismic shear waves in the unconsolidated subsoil is important for at least 3 reasons: 1) shear-wave velocity (Vs) is a key parameter in all dynamic loading problems; the frequency of the observed shear waves in field, downhole and laboratory measurements varies widely (20 Hz - 10 kHz), and consequently an uncertainty resulting from an unknown or poorly known estimate of dispersion may translate into erroneous evaluation and potential risks, 2) generally Vs-dispersion is considered negligible for the frequency range of practical interest; it is important to check this assumption and modify the site evaluation results, if necessary, and 3) the underlying soil-physics of any observed dispersion can be useful in estimating an unknown soil physical parameter. In the present research, we have concentrated on Vs dispersion in saturated sand in laboratory, under varying vertical and horizontal stress levels that are realistic in the context of shallow subsoil investigations. We explored theoretical models to obtain insight from our experimental findings. Laboratory experiments involving array seismic measurements and accurate stress control present clear evidence of dispersive shear-wave velocity in saturated sand in the frequency range 2-16 kHz. The change of Vs as a function of frequency is clearly nonlinear. For low frequencies, as observed in the field data, our result indicates significant dispersion and, therefore, nonlinear variation of attenuation. This has important implication on site evaluation using Vs. Significantly, the data allows us to distinguish a frequency-dependence of the velocity dispersion. The relative importance of fluid motion relative to the skeleton frame (Biot theory

  14. 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.

  15. 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,…

  16. 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...

  17. Microbial communities involved in methane production from hydrocarbons in oil sands tailings.

    PubMed

    Siddique, Tariq; Penner, Tara; Klassen, Jonathan; Nesbø, Camilla; Foght, Julia M

    2012-09-01

    Microbial metabolism of residual hydrocarbons, primarily short-chain n-alkanes and certain monoaromatic hydrocarbons, in oil sands tailings ponds produces large volumes of CH(4) in situ. We characterized the microbial communities involved in methanogenic biodegradation of whole naphtha (a bitumen extraction solvent) and its short-chain n-alkane (C(6)-C(10)) and BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes) components using primary enrichment cultures derived from oil sands tailings. Clone libraries of bacterial 16S rRNA genes amplified from these enrichments showed increased proportions of two orders of Bacteria: Clostridiales and Syntrophobacterales, with Desulfotomaculum and Syntrophus/Smithella as the closest named relatives, respectively. In parallel archaeal clone libraries, sequences affiliated with cultivated acetoclastic methanogens (Methanosaetaceae) were enriched in cultures amended with n-alkanes, whereas hydrogenotrophic methanogens (Methanomicrobiales) were enriched with BTEX. Naphtha-amended cultures harbored a blend of these two archaeal communities. The results imply syntrophic oxidation of hydrocarbons in oil sands tailings, with the activities of different carbon flow pathways to CH(4) being influenced by the primary hydrocarbon substrate. These results have implications for predicting greenhouse gas emissions from oil sands tailings repositories. PMID:22894132

  18. Examination of the mining of heavy oil and tar sands by overburden substitution

    SciTech Connect

    Fox, R.L.

    1982-02-01

    A mining procedure which removes the geologic formations above an oil or tar sand bearing reservoir by strip mining techniques, then floods the upper surface of the reservoir with a pool of water, is examined by computational models and laboratory scale experiments. The results of the studies indicate low production rates are achieved by such a procedure.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-15

    Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery (MEOR) technology uses microorganisms and their metabolites to retrieve unrecoverable oil from mature reservoirs. In situ stimulation of biosurfactant-producing and oil-degrading microorganisms reduces the capillary forces retaining the oil inside the reservoir and decreases its viscosity, thus promoting oil flow and consequently production. In this work, a sand-pack column model was designed to simulate oil recovery operations and evaluate mobilization of residual oil by the selected microorganisms. Four different hydrocarbon mixtures and three Bacillus subtilis strains isolated from crude oil samples were used. Additional oil recoveries ranged from 6 to 24% depending on the hydrocarbon mixture and microorganism used. Biosurfactant production was observed with all the microorganisms and hydrocarbon mixtures studied. The oils recovered after incubation with B. subtilis isolates showed a reduction in the percentage of long-chain n-alkanes and lower viscosity when compared with the original oils. The results obtained suggest that stimulation of the selected B. subtilis strains in situ can contribute to mobilize entrapped oil in mature reservoirs. PMID:23911831

  20. 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.

  1. Ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) induction in rainbow trout exposed to diluted oil sand wastewater

    SciTech Connect

    Verbeek, A.; Mackay, W.; Birkholz, D.

    1995-12-31

    Toxic industrial wastewaters, such as those from oil sands extraction, must be assessed for their potential sublethal effects before they can be safely disposed in the environment. The induction of ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity was assessed as a potential bioindicator of sublethal stress in rainbow trout exposed to sublethal concentrations of oil sands tailings water. The mixed-function oxygenase system in rainbow trout responded rapidly following a definable concentration-response relationship; however, it proved to be a relatively insensitive indicator of sublethal exposure to oil sands tailings water. Increased activity and maximal induction, as a result of exposure to 0.3 and 0.6 times the LC{sub 50} (Toxic Units), occurred rapidly within 24 hours of exposure. The linearity of the relationship between the concentration of oil sands tailings pond water and ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity, expressed by the following regression equation, In EROD = 3.68 (conc.) + 3.20, had an r{sup 2} value of 0.593. Maximal induction required 0.4--0.8 Toxic Units. The absolute level of maximal induction was only one-fifth to one-sixth of the potential induction as found in response to the positive control, 0.5 mg/kg {beta}-naphthoflavone (i.p.). The authors also present data that suggests that the different levels of induction observed in trout exposed to tailings pond water vs those injected with 0.5 mg/kg {beta}-naphthoflavone (i.p.) may be indicative of two different P450 isoforms, the CYP4Al isoform responding to the organic acidic surfactants in oil sands tailings pond water and the CYP1A1 isoform, the isoform generally associated with most xenobiotic transformation in fish, responding to {beta}-naphthoflavone.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. New insights into halocarbon emissions in boreal regions: Forest fires and Alberta oil sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, I. J.; Barletta, B.; Meinardi, S.; Marrero, J.; Rowland, F. S.; Akagi, S. K.; Yokelson, R. J.; Blake, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    Boreal forest fires and Alberta oil sands represent two major co-located trace gas emission sources within the boreal ecosystem. During the airborne ARCTAS mission in summer 2008, UC-Irvine performed the most comprehensive characterization of halocarbon emissions from boreal forest fires to date. In summer 2008 and 2010 we also performed the first independent characterizations of halocarbon emissions from Alberta's oil sands industry. In both cases the measurements were made using whole air sampling followed by gas chromatography analysis using electron capture detection and mass spectrometer detection. In the case of boreal forest fires, of 26 speciated halocarbons that were measured, only the simplest halocarbons were emitted from the fires (CH3Cl, CH3Br, CH3I, 1,2-C2H4Cl2, C2H5Cl and CH2Br2) (Simpson et al., 2011). These compounds were released in relatively small quantities and together they represented <0.3% of the total carbon released from boreal forest fires in the form of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs). Even though CH3Cl was the most abundantly emitted halocarbon, its average global emission from boreal forest fires (0.011 ± 0.003 Tg yr-1) was very small compared to its global source budget. The poly-chlorinated compounds CH2Cl2, CHCl3 and CH3CCl3 were not released from the fires. In the case of the Alberta oil sands, based on airborne measurements during the ARCTAS mission, 15 of 26 measured halocarbons were statistically enhanced over the oil sands compared to local background values (Simpson et al., 2010). The short-lived solvents C2HCl3, C2Cl4, C2H5Cl and CHCl3 were the most strongly enhanced halocarbons, with maximum values that were 1.5-34× the local background. A subsequent ground-based study in 2010 detected even stronger halocarbon enhancements downwind of upgraders and tailings sand at the oil sands surface mining sites. For example C2HCl3 and CHBrCl2 mixing ratios were up to 60-85× the local background values. Long

  6. 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.

  7. The structural setting and deformation associated with pseudotachylite occurrences in the Palala Shear Belt and Sand River Gneiss, Northern Transvaal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandl, G.; Reimold, W. U.

    1990-01-01

    Two occurrences of shear-related pseudotachylite from the Limpopo Metamorphic Province are described. In particular, the structural setting as well as deformation textures in pseudotachylite inclusions and host rocks are presented for these occurrences in gabbroic anorthosite from the Palala Shear Belt and dioritic to granodioritic rocks from the Sand River Gneiss locality. The Palala Shear Belt is a 13 km wide zone of intensely mylonitized rocks of the Beit Bridge and Bushveld Complexes, situated at the southern boundary of the Central Zone of the Limpopo Metamorphic Province. The Sand River Gneiss comprises a bimodal suite of high-grade dioritic and granodioritic rocks which were subjected to at least three periods of deformation. In the context of comparisons between pseudotachylites from different geological settings (i.e. cryptoexplosion structures, meteorite craters and tectonic settings) the major results are as follows: (1) The deformation phenomena associated with pseudotachylite formation as recorded in quartz and feldspar, occurring as inclusions or at the host rock contact, are undulatory extinction in quartz, brecciation, mechanical twinning and kinking of plagioclase, and characteristic formation of irregular and planar (Vredefort-type) fractures, the latter occurring in quartz. (2) Frequency distributions of crystallographic orientations of planar fractures and their annealed manifestation (planar fluid inclusion trails) are very similar for the Vredefort structure, the Sudbury structure, the Johannesburg dome, the Witwatersrand basin and the Limpopo pseudotachylites. It is therefore concluded that planar fractures in quartz are the typical microdeformation associated with pseudotachylite, irrespective of the geological setting of the latter. Planar fractures alone do not provide unambiguous information on the genesis of the structure in which they are found.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    Progress made in five research programs is described. The subtasks in oil shale study include oil shale process studies and unconventional applications and markets for western oil shale.The tar sand study is on recycle oil pyrolysis and extraction (ROPE) process. Four tasks are described in coal research: underground coal gasification; coal combustion; integrated coal processing concepts; and sold waste management. Advanced exploratory process technology includes: advanced process concepts; advanced mitigation concepts; and oil and gas technology. Jointly sponsored research covers: 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; shallow oil production using horizontal wells with enhanced oil recovery techniques; NMR analysis of sample from the ocean drilling program; and menu driven access to the WDEQ hydrologic data management system.

  13. Sea sand disruption method (SSDM) as a valuable tool for isolating essential oil components from conifers.

    PubMed

    Dawidowicz, Andrzej L; Czapczyńska, Natalia B

    2011-11-01

    Essential oils are one of nature's most precious gifts with surprisingly potent and outstanding properties. Coniferous oils, for instance, are nowadays being used extensively to treat or prevent many types of infections, modify immune responses, soothe inflammations, stabilize moods, and to help ease all forms of non-acute pain. Given the broad spectrum of usage of coniferous essential oils, a fast, safe, simple, and efficient sample-preparation method is needed in the estimation procedure of essential oil components in fresh plant material. Generally, the time- and energy-consuming steam distillation (SD) is applied for this purpose. This paper will compare SD, pressurized liquid extraction (PLE), matrix solid-phase dispersion (MSPD), and the sea sand disruption method (SSDM) as isolation techniques to obtain aroma components from Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), spruce (Picea abies), and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). According to the obtained data, SSDM is the most efficient sample preparation method in determining the essential oil composition of conifers. Moreover, SSDM requires small organic solvent amounts and a short extraction time, which makes it an advantageous alternative procedure for the routine analysis of coniferous oils. The superiority of SSDM over MSPD efficiency is ascertained, as there are no chemical interactions between the plant cell components and the sand. This fact confirms the reliability and efficacy of SSDM for the analysis of volatile oil components. PMID:22083917

  14. 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

  15. 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 (Οm) to 60 nanometers (nm). Some of the pore space created during pyrolysis was clearly visible at these resolutions and it was possible to distinguish between the reaction products and the host shale rock. The pore structure deduced from the images was used in Lattice Boltzmann simulations to calculate the permeability in the pore space. The permeabilities of the pyrolyzed samples of the silicate-rich zone were on the order of millidarcies, while the permeabilities of the kerogen-rich zone after pyrolysis were very anisotropic and about four orders of magnitude higher.

  16. 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

  17. 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)

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Delivery of Vegetable Oil Suspensions in a Shear Thinning Fluid for Enhanced Bioremediation

    SciTech Connect

    Zhong, Lirong; Truex, Michael J.; Kananizadeh, Negin; Li, Yusong; Lea, Alan S.; Yan, Xiulan

    2015-04-01

    In situ anaerobic biological processes are widely applied for dechlorination of chlorinated solvents in groundwater. A wide range of organic substrates have been tested and applied to support the dechlorination processes. Vegetable oils are a promising substrate and have been shown to induce effective dechlorination, have limited geochemical impacts, and good longevity. Distribution of vegetable oil in the subsurface, because it is a non-aqueous phase material, has typically been addressed by creating emulsified oil solutions. In this study, inexpensive waste vegetable oils were suspended in a xanthan gum solution, a shear-thinning fluid, as an alternative oil delivery mechanism. The stability, oil droplet size and distribution, and rheological behavior of the oil suspensions that are created in the xanthan solutions were studied in batch experiments. The injectability of the suspensions and oil distribution in porous medium were evaluated in column tests. Numerical modeling of the oil droplet transport and distribution in porous media was conducted to help interpret the column-test data. Batch studies showed that simple mixing of vegetable oil and xanthan solution produced stable suspensions of the oil as micron-size droplets. The mixture rheology retains shear-thinning properties that facilitate improved uniformity of substrate distribution in heterogeneous aquifers. Column tests demonstrated successful injection of the vegetable oil suspension into porous medium. This study provided evidence that vegetable oil suspensions in xanthan are a potential substrate to support in situ anaerobic bioremediation with favorable injection properties.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Quality of groundwater in the Agbabu oil sands area of the Ondo State, Nigeria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ajayi, Owolabi

    1998-08-01

    The Agbabu area is currently the focus of geological investigations for oil sands by several multinational companies. Mining and associated activities will require substantial quantities of water, hence the aim of this study is to evaluate the groundwater quality in the area. Total dissolved solids in the range 1260-1460 mg I -1 exceed the upper limit of 1000 mg I -1 for fresh water, and indicate brackish, non-potable water. Using relevant indices, the groundwater is found to be not suitable for irrigated agriculture and most industrial uses without further treatment. On the basis of dominant cations and anions, the groundwater is classified as a sodium chloride (NaCl) type. Detailed and systematic hydrogeological study of the entire oil sands area is recommended to provide information on the nature, origin, occurrence and quality characteristics of the groundwater found in this area.

  4. Injection of colloidal Fe{sup 0} particles in sand with shear-thinning fluids

    SciTech Connect

    Cantrell, K.J.; Kaplan, D.I.; Gilmore, T.J.

    1997-08-01

    A novel approach to emplacing chemically reactive barriers is the injection of zero-valent iron (Fe{sup 0}) colloids into the subsurface. A difficulty encountered in this approach is that the dense Fe{sup 0} colloids settle out of solution with time, decreasing the distance the colloids can be injected into the subsurface. Studies were conducted to evaluate if several viscous shear-thinning fluids could enhance Fe{sup 0} colloid emplacement in porous media. Aqueous solutions of three nontoxic polymers at different concentrations were investigated: a synthetic high molecular weight polymer [vinyl polymer, (VP)], a biopolymer (gum xanthan, GX), and a cellulose-type polymer (carboxymethyl cellulose, CMC). The use of shear-thinning fluids greatly increases the mobility of the colloidal Fe{sup 0} suspensions in porous media. VP was superior to GX and GMC because the VP suspensions produced the lowest back pressures, resulting in the highest hydraulic conductivities.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Castle, J.W.; Molz, F.J.; Brame, S.E.; Falta, R.W.

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. Oil sands development contributes elements toxic at low concentrations to the Athabasca River and its tributaries.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Erin N; Schindler, David W; Hodson, Peter V; Short, Jeffrey W; Radmanovich, Roseanna; Nielsen, Charlene C

    2010-09-14

    We show that the oil sands industry releases the 13 elements considered priority pollutants (PPE) under the US Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Act, via air and water, to the Athabasca River and its watershed. In the 2008 snowpack, all PPE except selenium were greater near oil sands developments than at more remote sites. Bitumen upgraders and local oil sands development were sources of airborne emissions. Concentrations of mercury, nickel, and thallium in winter and all 13 PPE in summer were greater in tributaries with watersheds more disturbed by development than in less disturbed watersheds. In the Athabasca River during summer, concentrations of all PPE were greater near developed areas than upstream of development. At sites downstream of development and within the Athabasca Delta, concentrations of all PPE except beryllium and selenium remained greater than upstream of development. Concentrations of some PPE at one location in Lake Athabasca near Fort Chipewyan were also greater than concentration in the Athabasca River upstream of development. Canada's or Alberta's guidelines for the protection of aquatic life were exceeded for seven PPE-cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, silver, and zinc-in melted snow and/or water collected near or downstream of development. PMID:20805486

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

    PubMed

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

    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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-15

    Oil sands tailings ponds in northern Alberta, Canada have been producing biogenic gases via microbial metabolism of hydrocarbons for decades. Persistent methanogenic activity in tailings ponds without any known replenishment of nutrients such as fixed nitrogen (N) persuaded us to investigate whether N2 fixation or polyacrylamide (PAM; used as a tailings flocculant) could serve as N sources. Cultures comprising mature fine tailings (MFT) plus methanogenic medium supplemented with or deficient in fixed N were incubated under an N2 headspace. Some cultures were further amended with citrate, which is used in oil sands processing, as a relevant carbon source, and/or with PAM. After an initial delay, N-deficient cultures with or without PAM produced methane (CH4) at the same rate as N-containing cultures, indicating a mechanism of overcoming apparent N-deficiency. Acetylene reduction and (15)N2 incorporation in all N-deficient cultures (with or without PAM) suggested active N2 fixation concurrently with methanogenesis but inability to use PAM as a N source. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing revealed little difference between archaeal populations regardless of N content. However, bacterial sequences in N-deficient cultures showed enrichment of Hyphomicrobiaceae and Clostridium members that might contain N2-fixing species. The results are important in understanding long-term production of biogenic greenhouse gases in oil sands tailings. PMID:27177137

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

    Lidar measurements of ozone and aerosol were conducted from a Twin Otter aircraft above the oil sands region of northern Alberta. For the majority of the flights, significant amounts of aerosol were observed within the boundary layer, up to an altitude of 2.0 km above sea level (ASL), while the ozone concentration remained at background levels (30-45 ppb) downwind of the industry. On August 24th the lidar measured a separated layer of aerosol above the boundary layer, at a height of 2.0 km ASL, in which the ozone mixing ratio increased to 70 ppb. Backward trajectory calculations revealed that the air containing this separated aerosol layer had passed over an area of forest fires. Directly below the layer of forest fire smoke, pollution from the oil sands industry was observed. Measurements of the backscatter linear depolarization ratio were obtained with a ground based lidar operated by Environment Canada within the oil sands region. The depolarization measurements aided in discriminating between the separate sources of pollution from industry and forest fires. The depolarization ratio was 5-6% in forest fire smoke and 7-10% in the industrial pollution.

  18. 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

  19. 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 4 M NH4HCO3 as a draw solution achieved 85% water recovery from OSPW, and 80 to 100% contaminant rejection for most metals and ions. A water backwash cleaning method was applied to clean the fouled membrane, and the cleaned membrane achieved 77% water recovery, a performance comparable to that of new FO membranes. This suggests that the membrane fouling was reversible. The FO system developed in this project provides a novel and energy efficient strategy to remediate the tailings waters generated by oil sands bitumen extraction and processing. PMID:27120634

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

    Bacillus licheniformis K125, isolated from an oil reservoir, produces an effective bioemulsifier. The crude bioemulsifier showed 66% emulsification activity (E(24)) and reduced the surface tension of water from 72 to 34 mN/m. It contains substantial amount of polysaccharide, protein and lipid. This bioemulsifier is pseudoplastic non-Newtonian in nature. It forms oil in water emulsion which remains stable at wide range of pH, temperature and salinity. It gave 43+/-3.3% additional oil recovery upon application to a sand pack column designed to simulate an oil reservoir. This is 13.7% higher than that obtained from crude lipopeptide biosurfactants produced by the standard strain, Bacillus mojavensis JF2 and 8.5% higher than hot water spring isolate, Bacillus licheniformis TT42. The increased oil recovery obtained by using the crude bioemulsifier can be attributed to its combined surface and emulsification activity. Its mechanism of oil recovery must be similar to the mechanism exhibited by surfactant-polymer flooding process of chemical enhanced oil recovery. PMID:18625271

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Due to changes in the drilling industry, oil spills are impacting large expanses of coastlines, thereby increasing the potential for people to come in contact with oil spill chemicals. The objective of this manuscript was to evaluate the health risk to children who potentially contact beach sands impacted by oil spill chemicals from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. To identify chemicals of concern, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) monitoring data collected during and immediately after the spill were evaluated. This dataset was supplemented with measurements from beach sands and tar balls collected five years after the spill. Of interest is that metals in the sediments were observed at similar levels between the two sampling periods; some differences were observed for metals levels in tar balls. Although PAHs were not observed five years later, there is evidence of weathered-oil oxidative by-products. Comparing chemical concentration data to baseline soil risk levels, three metals (As, Ba, and V) and four PAHs (benzo[a]pyrene, benz[a]anthracene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, and dibenz[a,h]anthracene) were found to exceed guideline levels prompting a risk assessment. For acute or sub-chronic exposures, hazard quotients, computed by estimating average expected contact behavior, showed no adverse potential health effects. For cancer, computations using 95% upper confidence limits for contaminant concentrations showed extremely low increased risk in the 10(-6) range for oral and dermal exposure from arsenic in sediments and from dermal exposure from benzo[a]pyrene and benz[a]anthracene in weathered oil. Overall, results suggest that health risks are extremely low, given the limitations of available data. Limitations of this study are associated with the lack of toxicological data for dispersants and oil-spill degradation products. We also recommend studies to collect quantitative information about children's beach play habits, which are necessary to more

  7. Observational Data Analysis and Numerical Model Assessment of the Seafloor Interaction and Mobility of Sand and Weathered Oil Agglomerates (Surface Residual Balls) in the Surf Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalyander, S.; Long, J.; Plant, N. G.; Penko, A.; Calantoni, J.; Thompson, D.; Mclaughlin, M. K.

    2014-12-01

    When weathered oil is transported ashore, such as during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, it can mix with suspended sediment in the surf zone to create heavier-than-water sand and oil agglomerates in the form of mats several centimeters thick and tens of meters long. Broken off pieces of these mats and smaller agglomerates formed in situ (called Surface Residual Balls, SRBs) can cause beach re-oiling months to years after the initial spill. The physical dynamics of these SRBs in the nearshore, where they are larger (cm-scale) and less dense than natural sediment, are poorly understood. In the current study, SRB mobility and seafloor interaction is investigated through a combination of laboratory and field experiments with pseudo-SRBs developed to be physically stable proxies for genuine agglomerates. Formulations for mobility prediction based on comparing estimated shear stress to the critical Shields and modified Shields parameters developed for mixed sediment beds are assessed against observations. Processes such as burial, exhumation, and interaction with bedforms (e.g., migrating ripples) are also explored. The observations suggest that incipient motion estimates based on a modified Shields parameter have some skill in predicting SRB movement, but that other forcing mechanisms such as pressure gradients may be important under some conditions. Additionally, burial and exhumation due to the relatively high mobility of sand grains are confirmed as key processes controlling SRB dynamics in the surf zone. This work has broad implications for understanding surf zone sediment transport at the short timescale associated with mobilizing sand grains and SRBs as well as at the longer timescales associated with net transport patterns, sediment budgets, and bed elevation changes.

  8. Microbial metabolism alters pore water chemistry and increases consolidation of oil sands tailings.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Tailings produced during bitumen extraction from surface-mined oil sands ores (tar sands) comprise an aqueous suspension of clay particles that remain dispersed for decades in tailings ponds. Slow consolidation of the clays hinders water recovery for reuse and retards volume reduction, thereby increasing the environmental footprint of tailings ponds. We investigated mechanisms of tailings consolidation and revealed that indigenous anaerobic microorganisms altered porewater chemistry by producing CO and CH during metabolism of acetate added as a labile carbon amendment. Entrapped biogenic CO decreased tailings pH, thereby increasing calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) cations and bicarbonate (HCO) concentrations in the porewater through dissolution of carbonate minerals. Soluble ions increased the porewater ionic strength, which, with higher exchangeable Ca and Mg, decreased the diffuse double layer of clays and increased consolidation of tailings compared with unamended tailings in which little microbial activity was observed. These results are relevant to effective tailings pond management strategies. PMID:25602329

  9. Athabasca oil sands process water: characterization by atmospheric pressure photoionization and electrospray ionization fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

    The Athabasca oil sands in Canada are a less conventional source of oil which have seen rapid development. There are concerns about the environmental impact, with particular respect to components in oil sands process water which may enter the aquatic ecosystem. Naphthenic acids have been previously targeted for study, due to their implications in toxicity toward aquatic wildlife, but it is believed that other components, too, contribute toward the potential toxicity of the oil sands process water. When mass spectrometry is used, it is necessary to use instrumentation with a high resolving power and mass accuracy when studying complex mixtures, but the technique has previously been hindered by the range of compounds that have been accessible via common ionization techniques, such as electrospray ionization. The research described here applied Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry in conjunction with electrospray ionization and atmospheric pressure photoionization, in both positive-ion and negative-ion modes, to the characterization of oil sands process water for the first time. The results highlight the need for broader characterization when investigating toxic components within oil sands process water. PMID:20359201

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  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

  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

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

    SciTech Connect

    FOSSUM,ARLO F.; FREDRICH,JOANNE T.

    2000-04-01

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

  19. Delivery of vegetable oil suspensions in a shear thinning fluid for enhanced bioremediation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, L.; Truex, M. J.; Kananizadeh, N.; Li, Y.; Lea, A. S.; Yan, X.

    2015-04-01

    In situ anaerobic biological processes are widely applied for dechlorination of chlorinated solvents in groundwater. A wide range of organic substrates have been tested and applied to support the dechlorination processes. Vegetable oils are a promising type of substrate and have been shown to induce effective dechlorination, have limited geochemical impacts, and maintain good longevity. Because they are non-aqueous phase liquids, distribution of vegetable oils in the subsurface has typically been approached by creating emulsified oil solutions for injection into the aquifer. In this study, inexpensive waste vegetable oils were suspended in a shear-thinning xanthan gum solution as an alternative approach for delivery of vegetable oil to the subsurface. The stability, oil droplet size distribution, and rheological behavior of the oil suspensions that are created in the xanthan solutions were studied in batch experiments. The injectability of the suspensions and the oil distribution in a porous medium were evaluated in column tests. Numerical modeling of oil droplet transport and distribution in porous media was conducted to help interpret the column-test data. Batch studies showed that simple mixing of vegetable oil with xanthan solution produced stable suspensions of the oil as micron-size droplets. The mixture rheology retains shear-thinning properties that facilitate improved uniformity of substrate distribution in heterogeneous aquifers. Column tests demonstrated successful injection of the vegetable oil suspension into a porous medium. This study provides evidence that vegetable oil suspensions in xanthan gum solutions have favorable injection properties and are a potential substrate for in situ anaerobic bioremediation.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-15

    Froth treatment thickened tailings (TT) are a waste product of bitumen extraction from surface-mined oil sands ores. When incubated in a laboratory under simulated moist oxic environmental conditions for ~450d, two different types of TT (TT1 and TT2) exhibited the potential to generate acid rock drainage (ARD) by producing acid leachate after 250 and 50d, respectively. We report here the release of toxic metals from TT via ARD, which could pose an environmental threat if oil sands TT deposits are not properly managed. Trace metal concentrations in leachate samples collected periodically revealed that Mn and Sr were released immediately even before the onset of ARD. Spikes in Co and Ni concentrations were observed both pre-ARD and during active ARD, particularly in TT1. For most elements measured (Fe, Cr, V, As, Cu, Pb, Zn, Cd, and Se), leaching was associated with ARD production. Though equivalent acidification (pH2) was achieved in leachate from both TT types, greater metal release was observed from TT2 where concentrations reached 10,000ppb for Ni, 5000ppb for Co, 3000ppb for As, 2000ppb for V, and 1000ppb for Cr. Generally, metal concentrations decreased in leachate with time during ARD and became negligible by the end of incubation (~450d) despite appreciable metals remaining in the leached TT. These results suggest that using TT for land reclamation purposes or surface deposition for volume reduction may unfavorably impact the environment, and warrants application of appropriate strategies for management of pyrite-enriched oil sands tailings streams. PMID:27443453

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. A two-step flocculation process on oil sands tailings treatment using oppositely charged polymer flocculants.

    PubMed

    Lu, Qiuyi; Yan, Bin; Xie, Lei; Huang, Jun; Liu, Yang; Zeng, Hongbo

    2016-09-15

    Water management and treatment of mineral tailings and oil sands tailings are becoming critical challenges for the sustainable development of natural resources. Polymeric flocculants have been widely employed to facilitate the flocculation and settling of suspended fine solid particles in tailings, resulting in the separation of released water and solid sediments. In this study, a new flocculation process was developed for the treatment of oil sands tailings by using two oppositely charged polymers, i.e. an anionic polyacrylamide and a natural cationic biopolymer, chitosan. The new process was able to not only improve the clarity of supernatant after settling but also achieve a high settling efficiency. Treatment of the oil sands tailings using pure anionic polyacrylamide showed relatively high initial settling rate (ISR) of ~10.3m/h but with poor supernatant clarity (>1000NTU); while the treatment using pure cationic polymer resulted in clear supernatant (turbidity as low as 22NTU) but relatively low ISR of >2m/h. In the new flocculation process, the addition of anionic polyacrylamide to the tailings was followed by a cationic polymer, which showed both a high ISR (~7.7m/h) and a low turbidity (71NTU) of the supernatant. The flocculation mechanism was further investigated via the measurements of floc size, zeta potential and surface forces. The new flocculation process was revealed to include two steps: (1) bridging of fine solids by anionic polyacrylamide, and (2) further aggregation and flocculation mediated by charge neutralisation of the cationic polymer, which significantly eliminated the fine solids in the supernatants as well as increases floc size. Our results provide insights into the basic understanding of the interactions between polymer flocculants and solid particles in tailings treatment, as well as the development of novel tailings treatment technologies. PMID:27179318

  6. Transport of Colloid-Size Oil Droplets in Saturated and Unsaturated Sand Columns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weisbrod, N.; Travis, M.; Gross, A.

    2011-12-01

    Oil in wastewater poses significant treatment and subsequent environmental challenges. Accumulation of oils in soil leads to hydrophobicity, and the transport of colloidal-sized oil droplets may facilitate the co-transport of oil soluble contaminants such as pesticides or pharmaceutical materials. In order to determine transport characteristics of colloidal-sized, edible oil droplets, short-pulse column breakthrough experiments were conducted. Oil droplets (mean diameter 0.7 μm, ζ-potential -34±1, density 0.92 g cm-3) were injected simultaneously with latex microspheres (0.02, 0.2 and 1.0 μm, ζ-potentials -16±1, -30±2, and -49±1, respectively, density 1.055 g cm-3) and bromide in saturated and unsaturated quartz sand (ζ-potential -63±2 mV). Breakthrough of oil droplets was consistently detected first and recovery of oil droplets from the column was 20% greater than similarly sized microspheres in the saturated column, and 16% greater in high (0.18±0.01) volumetric water content (VWC) unsaturated columns. Higher variability was observed in the lower VWC (0.14±0.01) column experiments, and oil droplet recovery was just slightly greater than similarly sized microspheres and statistically higher only compared to the 0.02 μm microspheres. The research demonstrated that oil droplets are able to be transported as colloids in both saturated and unsaturated porous media. An important finding was that transport of oil droplets exceeded that of microspheres within the same size range and similar electrostatic properties. Classical filtration theory indicates that oil droplets in the diameter range of about 0.5 to 2 μm will exhibit reduced deposition due to buoyancy. However, current improvements to the theory do not accommodate prediction of buoyant particle transport and the theory needs review. High recovery of oil droplets in unsaturated porous media is a novel finding. As expected, straining appeared to be an important removal mechanism in unsaturated

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Characterization of physical mass transport through oil sands fluid fine tailings in an end pit lake: a multi-tracer study.

    PubMed

    Dompierre, Kathryn A; Barbour, S Lee

    2016-06-01

    Soft tailings pose substantial challenges for mine reclamation due to their high void ratios and low shear strengths, particularly for conventional terrestrial reclamation practices. Oil sands mine operators have proposed the development of end pit lakes to contain the soft tailings, called fluid fine tailings (FFT), generated when bitumen is removed from oil sands ore. End pit lakes would be constructed within mined-out pits with FFT placed below the lake water. However, the feasibility of isolating the underlying FFT has yet to be fully evaluated. Chemical constituents of interest may move from the FFT into the lake water via two key processes: (1) advective-diffusive mass transport with upward pore water flow caused by settling of the FFT; and (2) mixing created by wind events or unstable density profiles through the lake water and upper portion of the FFT. In 2013 and 2014, temperature and stable isotopes of water profiles were measured through the FFT and lake water in the first end pit lake developed by Syncrude Canada Ltd. Numerical modelling was undertaken to simulate these profiles to identify the key mechanisms controlling conservative mass transport in the FFT. Shallow mixing of the upper 1.1 m of FFT with lake water was required to explain the observed temperature and isotopic profiles. Following mixing, the re-establishment of both the temperature and isotope profiles required an upward advective flux of approximately 1.5 m/year, consistent with average FFT settling rates measured at the study site. These findings provide important insight on the ability to sequester soft tailings in an end pit lake, and offer a foundation for future research on the development of end pit lakes as an oil sands reclamation strategy. PMID:27061245

  10. Characterization of physical mass transport through oil sands fluid fine tailings in an end pit lake: a multi-tracer study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dompierre, Kathryn A.; Barbour, S. Lee

    2016-06-01

    Soft tailings pose substantial challenges for mine reclamation due to their high void ratios and low shear strengths, particularly for conventional terrestrial reclamation practices. Oil sands mine operators have proposed the development of end pit lakes to contain the soft tailings, called fluid fine tailings (FFT), generated when bitumen is removed from oil sands ore. End pit lakes would be constructed within mined-out pits with FFT placed below the lake water. However, the feasibility of isolating the underlying FFT has yet to be fully evaluated. Chemical constituents of interest may move from the FFT into the lake water via two key processes: (1) advective-diffusive mass transport with upward pore water flow caused by settling of the FFT; and (2) mixing created by wind events or unstable density profiles through the lake water and upper portion of the FFT. In 2013 and 2014, temperature and stable isotopes of water profiles were measured through the FFT and lake water in the first end pit lake developed by Syncrude Canada Ltd. Numerical modelling was undertaken to simulate these profiles to identify the key mechanisms controlling conservative mass transport in the FFT. Shallow mixing of the upper 1.1 m of FFT with lake water was required to explain the observed temperature and isotopic profiles. Following mixing, the re-establishment of both the temperature and isotope profiles required an upward advective flux of approximately 1.5 m/year, consistent with average FFT settling rates measured at the study site. These findings provide important insight on the ability to sequester soft tailings in an end pit lake, and offer a foundation for future research on the development of end pit lakes as an oil sands reclamation strategy.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Method of extracting liquid and gaseous fuel from oil shale and tar sand

    SciTech Connect

    Alterman, I.; Rom, J.; Shwartz, J.

    1981-05-12

    Kerogen and other combustible matter can be extracted from an area of oil shale or rar sand by drilling boreholes in a selected pattern through the overlying soil and rock without removing it. Each borehole mouth is tightly closed by a cover provided with an air inlet pipe and a gas exhaust pipe. In the covers of one or several boreholes, the inlet pipe is centrally guided and longitudinally movable in an upward and downward direction, and a laser beam generated by a laser source is inroduced into the upper end of the pipe and directed centrally to its bottom where it is diverted toward the borehole wall by a mirror assembly. The laser beam moved along the borehole wall irradiates the oil shale or tar sand and ignites the combustible matter contained therein which liquefies and evaporates. Combustion spreads from the initially ignited bore to the remaining bores in the area through the fissures in the formation and likewise serves to liquefy and evaporate the kerogen there. The combustion is maintained by pressurized air or oxygen introduced through the air inlet pipe, which also serves to cool the mirror assembly. The pressure thus created drives the evaporated kerogen out of the borehold through the exhaust pipe into a storage vessel. After the output has become too low, the process is discontinued and liquefied kerogen which has gathered at the bottom of the bores is pumped out or floated to the surface.

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

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-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

  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. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Control of small mammal damage in the Alberta oil sands reclamation and afforestation program

    SciTech Connect

    Radvanyi, A.

    1980-12-01

    Open-pit mining procedures being conducted in the oil sands of northeast Alberta greatly disrupt many acres of the environment. The reclamation and afforestation program intended to restore the forest habitat encountered an unanticipated problem when a large percentage of young nursery-raised trees planted on a tailings pond dyke and on overburden dump sites were found to have been girdled by a population of meadow voles which had become established in the dense grass habitat created to stabilize steep sandy slopes of the spoil piles. The study monitored small mammal populations through a high, low, and a second high level commensurate with the 3- to 4-year population cycle of small mammals. A control technique utilizing grain treated with an anticoagulant rodenticide made available to the mice in poisoned bait feeder stations effectively reduced small mammal numbers to very low levels and reduced girdling damage from an average of 50% to 1-2%.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  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. Assessing Risks of Shallow Riparian Groundwater Quality Near an Oil Sands Tailings Pond.

    PubMed

    Roy, J W; Bickerton, G; Frank, R A; Grapentine, L; Hewitt, L M

    2016-07-01

    The potential discharge of groundwater contaminated by oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is a concern for aquatic ecosystems near tailings ponds. Groundwater in the area, but unaffected by OSPW, may contain similar compounds, complicating the assessment of potential ecological impacts. In this study, 177 shallow groundwater samples were collected from riparian areas along the Athabasca River and tributaries proximate to oil sands developments. For "pond-site" samples (71; adjacent to study tailings pond), Canadian aquatic life guidelines were exceeded for 11 of 20 assessed compounds. However, "non-pond" samples (54; not near any tailings pond) provided similar exceedances. Statistical analyses indicate that pond-site and non-pond samples were indistinguishable for all but seven parameters assessed, including salts, many trace metals, and fluorescence profiles of aromatic naphthenic acids (ANA). This suggests that, regarding the tested parameters, groundwater adjacent to the study tailings pond generally poses no greater ecological risk than other nearby groundwaters at this time. Multivariate analyses applied to the groundwater data set separated into 11 smaller zones support this conclusion, but show some variation between zones. Geological and potential OSPW influences could not be distinguished based on major ions and metals concentrations. However, similarities in indicator parameters, namely ANA, F, Mo, Se, and Na-Cl ratio, were noted between a small subset of samples from two pond-site zones and two OSPW samples and two shallow groundwater samples documented as likely OSPW affected. This indicator-based screening suggests that OSPW-affected groundwater may be reaching Athabasca River sediments at a few locations. PMID:26743232

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Commercial application of steamflooding in an oil field comprised of multiple thin-sand reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Powers, M.L.; Dosdon, C.J.; Ghassemi, F.; Moore, J.S.

    1984-09-01

    Steamfloods conducted in thin reservoirs generally provide marginal economics because of relatively high field development costs per barrel of oil-in-place and excessive heat losses from the productive zone. Techniques are being employed which include the utilization of induced horizontal fractures to circumvent these detriments attributed to thin zones, as well as the problems of steam distribution and confinement inherent in any steamflood. This paper documents the successful application of steamflooding in the multiple thin-sand reservoirs of the Loco Unit, Stephens County, Oklahoma. These reservoirs occur at depths from 50 ft (15 m) to 1,200 ft (366 m), and range in thickness up to 40 ft (12 m). Porosities of the productive zones vary from 20 percent to over 30 percent, and permeabilities range from 100 md to over 4,000 md. Oil gravities of the various zones range from 16 degrees to 24 degrees API. Reservoirs that occur at depths above approximately 700 ft (213 m) had little or no natural reservoir energy and generally contain viscous oils, ranging up to 10,000 cp. Consequently, there was no primary production from these reservoirs and potential for waterflooding was marginal. Steamflooding has been the only recovery process successfully applied to these zones, except for one isolated instance. Reservoirs of depths greater than 700 ft (213 m) normally contain lower viscosity oils. Six of these zones were produced by solution gas drive and were later successfully waterflooded. To date two of these six zones have been tested and have proven to support commercial steamflooding operations, after 23 years of waterflooding.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Oil Sands Operations in Alberta, Canada: A large source of secondary organic aerosol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liggio, J.; Li, S. M.; Hayden, K.; Taha, Y. M.; Stroud, C.; Darlington, A. L.; Drollette, B.; Gordon, M.; Lee, P.; Liu, P.; Leithead, A.; Moussa, S.; Wang, D.; O'Brien, J.; Mittermeier, R. L.; Brook, J.; Lu, G.; Staebler, R. M.; Han, Y.; Tokarek, T. W.; Osthoff, H. D.; Makar, P.; Zhang, J.; Plata, D.; Gentner, D. R.

    2015-12-01

    Little is known of the reaction products of emissions to the atmosphere from extraction of oil from unconventional sources in the oil sands (OS) region of Alberta, Canada. This study examines these reaction products, and in particular, the extent to which they form secondary organic aerosol (SOA), which can significantly contribute to regional particulate matter formation. An aircraft measurement campaign was conducted over the Athabasca oil sands region between August 13 and September 7, 2013. A broad suite of measurements were made during 22 flights, including organic aerosol mass and composition with a High Resolution Time of Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) and organic aerosol gas-phase precursors by Proton Transfer Reaction (PTR) and off-line gas chromatography mass spectrometry. Large concentrations of organic aerosol were measured downwind of the OS region, which we show to be entirely secondary in nature. Laboratory experiments demonstrated that bitumen (the mined product) contains semi-volatile vapours in the C12-C18 range that will be emitted at ambient temperatures. When oxidized, these vapours form SOA with highly similar HR-ToF-AMS spectra to the SOA measured in the flights. Box modelling of the OS plume evolution indicated that the measured levels of traditional volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are not capable of accounting for the amount of SOA formed in OS plumes. This discrepancy is only reconciled in the model by including bitumen vapours along with their oxidation and condensation into the model. The concentration of bitumen vapours required to produce SOA matching observations is similar to that of traditional VOC precursors of SOA. It was further estimated that the cumulative SOA mass formation approximately 100 km downwind of the OS during these flights, and under these meteorological conditions was up to 82 tonnes/day. The combination of airborne measurements, laboratory experiments and box modelling indicated that semi

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    Oil obtained from oil sands resources constitute an important portion of the oil industry in Canada. Extraction of the bitumen from oil sands is very crucial process because of its cost and environmental impact. Microwave energy applicators by heating oil sands at microwave frequencies can be an excellent alternative to extract bitumen with the advantages of being potentially cost-effective and environmentally friendly method of extraction. In order to design and manufacture a microwave energy applicator, its dielectric properties must be known. In this study, as the first part of our ultimate microwave energy applicator project, in advance, the complex permittivity of oil sands was measured by using rectangular cavity resonator, designed and fabricated in Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal laboratories, at 2.45 GHz with TE1,0,1 mode. The accuracy of the permittivity measurement results obtained with the developed system was verified against those obtained using a commercial open-ended probe system as well the values of well known materials documented in open literature. Since there is no study found in the literature about the complex permittivity values of oil sands at 2.45 GHz, the present study would be of great help and important guide for those who plan to design and manufacture microwave energy applicators in order to extract the bitumen from the oil sands. PMID:24427869

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Atmospheric dry deposition of sulfur and nitrogen in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Yu-Mei; Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Fenn, Mark E; Percy, Kevin E

    2016-10-15

    Due to the potential ecological effects on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems from atmospheric deposition in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR), Alberta, Canada, this study was implemented to estimate atmospheric nitrogen (N) and sulfur (S) inputs. Passive samplers were used to measure ambient concentrations of ammonia (NH3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitric acid/nitrous acid (HNO3/HONO), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the AOSR. Concentrations of NO2 and SO2 in winter were higher than those in summer, while seasonal differences of NH3 and HNO3/HONO showed an opposite trend, with higher values in summer. Concentrations of NH3, NO2 and SO2 were high close to the emission sources (oil sands operations and urban areas). NH3 concentrations were also elevated in the southern portion of the domain indicating possible agricultural and urban emission sources to the southwest. HNO3, an oxidation endpoint, showed wider ranges of concentrations and a larger spatial extent. Concentrations of NH3, NO2, HNO3/HONO and SO2 from passive measurements and their monthly deposition velocities calculated by a multi-layer inference model (MLM) were used to calculate dry deposition of N and S. NH3 contributed the largest fraction of deposited N across the network, ranging between 0.70-1.25kgNha(-1)yr(-1), HNO3/HONO deposition ranged between 0.30-0.90kgNha(-1)yr(-1), and NO2 deposition between 0.03-0.70kgNha(-1)yr(-1). During the modeled period, average dry deposition of the inorganic gaseous N species ranged between 1.03 and 2.85kgNha(-1)yr(-1) and SO4-S deposition ranged between 0.26 and 2.04kgha(-1)yr(-1). Comparisons with co-measured ion exchange resin throughfall data (8.51kgSha(-1)yr(-1)) indicate that modeled dry deposition combined with measured wet deposition (1.37kgSha(-1)yr(-1)) underestimated S deposition. Gas phase NH3 (71%) and HNO3 plus NO2 (79%) dry deposition fluxes dominated the total deposition of NH4-N and NO3-N, respectively. PMID:27295600

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Imprinted sol-gel materials for monitoring degradation products in automotive oils by shear transverse wave.

    PubMed

    Mujahid, Adnan; Afzal, Adeel; Glanzing, Gerd; Leidl, Anton; Lieberzeit, Peter A; Dickert, Franz L

    2010-08-18

    Titania sol-gel layers imprinted with capric acid have been used as synthetic receptors for highly sensitive detection of oxidized products resulting from degradation of automotive engine oil. These layers have been applied as sensitive coating material on shear transverse wave (STW) resonators of frequencies ranging from 100 MHz to 430 MHz. A relatively small size of STW resonators, i.e. about 2 mm for 430 MHz makes these devices extremely useful while considering the concept of miniaturization. It has been proved experimentally that by increasing fundamental resonance frequency of these devices, a very high sensor response i.e. 22 kHz up to 460 kHz can be generated. The geometry of long chain capric acid fits best as recognition element in the synthesis of imprinted TiO(2) network. The thin titania layers coated on transducer surface provide excellent diffusion pathways to oxidized products of waste engine oil for selective and reversible re-inclusion i.e. recovery time of 30 min. Viscosity effects of oxidized engine oil can be minimized by shear waves which do not dissipate considerable amount of energy that ensure smooth liquid phase operation. Different oxidized products i.e. carbonic acids and esters can be characterized in lubricant via infra-red (IR) spectroscopy. The increasing IR absorbance of different waste oil samples is a clear indication of increasing concentration of carbonyl group. The IR absorbance of carbonyl groups is directly correlated to the age of respective waste engine oil samples and a quantitative relationship between sensor responses from STWs and IR absorbance was also developed. PMID:20708116

  19. 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.

  20. Tar sands

    SciTech Connect

    Wennekers, J.H.N.

    1981-10-01

    The four largest oil sand deposits contain over 90% of the world's known heavy oil. The total heavy oil and bitumen in place, estimated at nearly 6 trillion barrels is almost entirely concentrated in western Canada, principally Alberta, and eastern Venezuela. The known tar sand resource in the United States consists of about 550 occurrences located in 22 states. The total oil in place in 39 of these occurrences is estimated to be between 23.7 billion and 32.7 billion barrels. At least 90% of this resource is located in Utah. Other significant deposits are in Texas, New Mexico, California, and Kentucky. Bituminous sand deposits and petroleum-impregnated rocks are found in Malagasy, Albania, Rumania, the USSR, and Trinidad. 4 figures, 2 tables. (DP)

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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. Toxicity and composition profiles of solid phase extracts of oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Yue, Siqing; Ramsay, Bruce A; Wang, Jiaxi; Ramsay, Juliana

    2015-12-15

    After fractionation using sequential solid phase extraction, the presence of toxic components in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) was detected by the Microtox® acute toxicity assay using effect-directed analysis. The composition of each fraction was determined by high-resolution electrospray ionization-Orbitrap mass spectrometry. Partial least-squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) was used to determine which chemical constituents in all seven fractions co-varied most strongly with toxicity. Although O2 compounds with double bond equivalence (DBE) between 3 and 9 positively correlated with toxicity, C15-C18 O2-NAs with DBE=4 (tricyclic structure), as well as C14-C17 O2-NAs with DBE=3 (bicyclic structure), were found to be most likely associated with OSPW toxicity, consistent with published toxicity studies of surrogate NAs. O4, many O3 (i.e. possibly hydroxylated O2 c-NAs) and a few O2 compounds were found to negatively correlate with toxicity. The results demonstrate the utility of the fractionation and the PLS-DA approach for evaluating composition-response relationships in a complex mixture and also contribute to a better understanding of the toxic compounds in OSPW. These findings will help to focus study on the most environmentally significant components in OSPW. PMID:26318810

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) vertical column density measurements by Pandora spectrometer over the Canadian oil sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fioletov, Vitali E.; McLinden, Chris A.; Cede, Alexander; Davies, Jonathan; Mihele, Cristian; Netcheva, Stoyka; Li, Shao-Meng; O'Brien, Jason

    2016-07-01

    Vertical column densities (VCDs) of SO2 retrieved by a Pandora spectral sun photometer at Fort McKay, Alberta, Canada, from 2013 to 2015 were analysed. The Fort McKay site is located in the Canadian oil sands region, approximately 20 km north of two major SO2 sources (upgraders), with total emission of about 45 kt yr-1. Elevated SO2 VCD values were frequently recorded by the instrument, with the highest values of about 9 Dobson Units (DU; DU = 2.69 × 1016 molecules cm-2). Comparisons with co-located in situ measurements demonstrated that there was a very good correlation between VCDs and surface concentrations in some cases, while in other cases, elevated VCDs did not correspond to high surface concentrations, suggesting the plume was above the ground. Elevated VCDs and surface concentrations were observed when the wind direction was from south to southeast, i.e. from the direction of the two local SO2 sources. The precision of the SO2 measurements, estimated from parallel measurements by two Pandora instruments at Toronto, is 0.17 DU. The total uncertainty of Pandora SO2 VCD, estimated using measurements when the wind direction was away from the sources, is less than 0.26 DU (1σ). Comparisons with integrated SO2 profiles from concurrent aircraft measurements support these estimates.

  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. Measuring solid percentage of oil sands mature fine tailings using the dual probe heat pulse method.

    PubMed

    Li, Min; Barbour, S Lee; Si, Bing Cheng

    2015-01-01

    The reclamation of mature fine tailings (MFT) is a critical challenge for the oil sands industry in western Canada, and a nonradioactive, automated, and inexpensive method to monitor the MFT solidification is needed. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the feasibility of a dual-probe heat pulse (DPHP) method to measure MFT solid percentage. Dual-probe heat pulse measurements were performed on three MFT samples, each at various solid percentages. A linear relationship ( = 0.9495 + 0.0558) was established between the DPHP-measured solid percentage () and that of oven-dry method (). Six additional MFT samples were collected and measured to validate the DPHP method. The specific heats of the six MFT solids were measured independently using a modulated differential scanning calorimetry method, and the sensitivity of DPHP-measured MFT solid percentage to the specific heat of MFT solids was evaluated. The result shows that the DPHP method can be used to accurately measure MFT solid percentages, and the accuracy can be further improved if the specific heat of the MFT solids is measured independently. PMID:25602345

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Simmons, Denina B D; Sherry, James P

    2016-09-01

    There are questions about the potential for oil sands related chemicals to enter the Athabasca River, whether from tailing ponds, atmospheric deposition, precipitation, or transport of mining dust, at concentrations sufficient to negatively impact the health of biota. We applied shotgun proteomics to generate protein profiles of mature male and female White Sucker (Catostomus commersonii) that were collected from various sites along the main stem of the Athabasca River in 2011 and 2012. On average, 399±131 (standard deviation) proteins were identified in fish plasma from each location in both years. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software was used to determine the proteins' core functions and to compare the datasets by location, year, and sex. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to determine if variation in the number of proteins related to a core function among all male and female individuals from both sampling years was affected by location. The core biological functions of plasma proteins that were common to both sampling years for males and females from each location were also estimated separately (based on Ingenuity's Knowledge Base). PCA revealed site-specific differences in the functional characteristics of the plasma proteome from white sucker sampled from downstream of oil sands extraction facilities compared with fish from upstream. Plasma proteins that were unique to fish downstream of oil sands extraction were related to lipid metabolism, small molecule biochemistry, vitamin and mineral metabolism, endocrine system disorders, skeletal and muscular development and function, neoplasia, carcinomas, and gastrointestinal disease. PMID:27013027

  20. Understanding ozone formation and the radical budget during oil sands plume transport in the Athabasca region of Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    The sources of ozone and hydroxyl radicals (OH) in the Alberta oil sands (OS) region have not previously been well characterized. In the summer of 2013, airborne measurements of various volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides (NOx = NO2+NO) and ozone were made in the Athabasca OS region between August 13 and September 7, 2013. Proton Transfer Reaction-Time of Flight-Mass Spectrometry (PTR-ToF-MS) and whole air samples were used to measure VOCs. A box model incorporating the Master Chemical Mechanism (MCM v3.3), was constrained by measured chemical species and meteorological parameters and used to simulate the evolution of an OS plume. In doing so, an improved understanding of the chemical factors controlling the radical budget and the evolution of ozone in oil sands plumes is achieved. Our results indicate that approximately 20% of the in-plume generated OH radicals are derived from primary sources (HCHO, O3 and HONO photolysis). The remaining OH is derived from the recycling of hydroperoxyl radical (HO2). The HO2 and alkyl peroxyl radical (RO2) chemistry leads to 35% of the ozone formation in the plume, while the main sink for ozone in the plume was via reactions with alkenes (anthropogenic and biogenic). The results of this work will help to characterize ozone formation and the factors influencing its atmospheric fate in the oil sands region.

  1. 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

  2. Scanning electron microscopic investigations of root structural modifications arising from growth in crude oil-contaminated sand.

    PubMed

    Balasubramaniyam, Anuluxshy; Harvey, Patricia J

    2014-11-01

    The choice of plant for phytoremediation success requires knowledge of how plants respond to contaminant exposure, especially their roots which are instrumental in supporting rhizosphere activity. In this study, we investigated the responses of plants with different architectures represented by beetroot (Beta vulgaris), a eudicot with a central taproot and many narrower lateral roots, and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), a monocot possessing a mass of threadlike fibrous roots to grow in crude oil-treated sand. In this paper, scanning electron microscopy was used to investigate modifications to plant root structure caused by growth in crude oil-contaminated sand. Root structural disorders were evident and included enhanced thickening in the endodermis, increased width of the root cortical zone and smaller diameter of xylem vessels. Inhibition in the rate of root elongation correlated with the increase in cell wall thickening and was dramatically pronounced in beetroot compared to the roots of treated fescue. The latter possessed significantly fewer (p < 0.001) and significantly shorter (p < 0.001) root hairs compared to control plants. Possibly, root hairs that absorb the hydrophobic contaminants may prevent contaminant absorption into the main root and concomitant axile root thickening by being sloughed off from roots. Tall fescue exhibited greater root morphological adaptability to growth in crude oil-treated sand than beetroot and, thus, a potential for long-term phytoremediation. PMID:24958531

  3. 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

  4. The symbiotic relationship of sediment and biofilm dynamics at the sediment water interface of oil sands industrial tailings ponds.

    PubMed

    Reid, T; VanMensel, D; Droppo, I G; Weisener, C G

    2016-09-01

    Within the oil sands industry, tailings ponds are used as a means of retaining tailings until a reclamation technology such as end pit lakes (EPLs) can be developed and optimized to remediate such tailings with a water cap (although dry-land strategies for tailing reclamation are also being developed). EPLs have proven successful for other mining ventures (e.g. metal rock mines) in eventually mitigating contaminant loads to receiving waters once biochemical remediation has taken place (although the duration for this to occur may be decades). While the biological interactions at the sediment water interface of tailings ponds or EPLs have been shown to control biogeochemical processes (i.e. chemical fluxes and redox profiles), these have often been limited to static microcosm conditions. Results from such experiments may not tell the whole story given that the sediment water interface often represents a dynamic environment where erosion and deposition may be occurring in association with microbial growth and decay. Mobilization of sediments and associated contaminants may therefore have a profound effect on remediation rates and, as such, may decrease the effectiveness of EPLs as viable reclamation strategies for mining industries. Using a novel core erosion system (U-GEMS), this paper examines how the microbial community can influence sediment water interface stability and how the biofilm community may change with tailings age and after disturbance (biofilm reestablishment). Shear strength, eroded mass measurements, density gradients, high-resolution microscopy, and microbial community analyses were made on 2 different aged tailings (fresh and ∼38 years) under biotic and abiotic conditions. The same experiments were repeated as duplicates with both sets of experiments having consolidation/biostabilization periods of 21 days. Results suggest that the stability of the tailings varies between types and conditions with the fresh biotic tailings experiencing up to 75

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Xingchen; Salahub, Dennis R.

    2015-12-31

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

  12. Elemental and spectroscopic characterization of fractions of an acidic extract of oil sands process water.

    PubMed

    Jones, D; Scarlett, A G; West, C E; Frank, R A; Gieleciak, R; Hager, D; Pureveen, J; Tegelaar, E; Rowland, S J

    2013-11-01

    'Naphthenic acids' (NAs) in petroleum produced water and oil sands process water (OSPW), have been implicated in toxicological effects. However, many are not well characterized. A method for fractionation of NAs of an OSPW was used herein and a multi-method characterization of the fractions conducted. The unfractionated OSPW acidic extract was characterized by elemental analysis, electrospray ionization-Orbitrap-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), and an esterified extract by Fourier Transform infrared (FTIR) and ultraviolet-visible (UV) absorption spectroscopy and by comprehensive multidimensional gas chromatography-MS (GCxGC-MS). Methyl esters were fractionated by argentation solid phase extraction (Ag(+) SPE) and fractions eluting with: hexane; diethyl ether: hexane and diethyl ether, examined. Each was weighed, examined by elemental analysis, FTIR, UV, GC-MS and GCxGC-MS (both nominal and high resolution MS). The ether fraction, containing sulfur, was also examined by GCxGC-sulfur chemiluminescence detection (GCxGC-SCD). The major ions detected by ESI-MS in the OSPW extract were assigned to alicyclic and aromatic 'O2' acids; sulfur was also present. Components recovered by Ag(+) SPE were also methyl esters of alicyclic and aromatic acids; these contained little sulfur or nitrogen. FTIR spectra showed that hydroxy acids and sulfoxides were absent or minor. UV spectra, along with the C/H ratio, further confirmed the aromaticity of the hexane:ether eluate. The more minor ether eluate contained further aromatics and 1.5% sulfur. FTIR spectra indicated free carboxylic acids, in addition to esters. Four major sulfur compounds were detected by GCxGC-SCD. GCxGC-high resolution MS indicated these were methyl esters of C18 S-containing, diaromatics with ≥C3 carboxylic acid side chains. PMID:23856466

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

    PubMed

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-15

    Oil sands tailings ponds receive and store the solid and liquid waste from bitumen extraction and are managed to promote solids densification and water recycling. The ponds are highly stratified due to increasing solids content as a function of depth but can be impacted by tailings addition and removal and by convection due to microbial gas production. We characterized the microbial communities in relation to microbial activities as a function of depth in an active tailings pond routinely treated with gypsum (CaSO(4)·2H(2)O) to accelerate densification. Pyrosequencing of 16S rDNA gene sequences indicated that the aerobic surface layer, where the highest level of sulfate (6 mM) but no sulfide was detected, had a very different community profile than the rest of the pond. Deeper anaerobic layers were dominated by syntrophs (Pelotomaculum, Syntrophus, and Smithella spp.), sulfate- and sulfur-reducing bacteria (SRB, Desulfocapsa and Desulfurivibrio spp.), acetate- and H(2)-using methanogens, and a variety of other anaerobes that have been implicated in hydrocarbon utilization or iron and sulfur cycling. The SRB were most abundant from 10 to 14 mbs, bracketing the zone where the sulfate reduction rate was highest. Similarly, the most abundant methanogens and syntrophs identified as a function of depth closely mirrored the fluctuating methanogenesis rates. Methanogenesis was inhibited in laboratory incubations by nearly 50% when sulfate was supplied at pond-level concentrations suggesting that in situ sulfate reduction can substantially minimize methane emissions. Based on our data, we hypothesize that the emission of sulfide due to SRB activity in the gypsum treated pond is also limited due to its high solubility and oxidation in surface waters. PMID:21128661

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Nitrogen mineralization and microbial activity in oil sands reclaimed boreal forest soils.

    PubMed

    McMillan, R; Quideau, S A; MacKenzie, M D; Biryukova, O

    2007-01-01

    Organic materials including a peat-mineral mix (PM), a forest floor-mineral mix (L/S), and a combination of the two (L/PM) were used to cap mineral soil materials at surface mine reclamation sites in the Athabasca oil sands region of northeastern Alberta, Canada. The objective of this study was to test whether LFH provided an advantage over peat by stimulating microbial activity and providing more available nitrogen for plant growth. Net nitrification, ammonification, and N mineralization rates were estimated from field incubations using buried bags. In situ gross nitrification and ammonification rates were determined using the 15N isotope pool dilution technique, and microbial biomass C (MBC) and N (MBN) were measured by the chloroform fumigation-extraction method. All reclaimed sites had lower MBC and MBN, and lower net ammonification and net mineralization rates than a natural forest site (NLFH) used as a control, but the reclamation treatment using LFH material by itself had higher gross and net nitrification rates. A positive correlation between in situ moisture content, dissolved organic N, MBC, and MBN was observed, which led us to conduct a moisture manipulation experiment in the laboratory. With the exception of the MBN for the L/S treatment, none of the reclamation treatments ever reached the levels of the natural site during this experiment. However, materials from reclamation treatments that incorporated LFH showed higher respiration rates, MBC, and MBN than the PM treatment, indicating that the addition of LFH as an organic amendment may stimulate microbial activity as compared to the use of peat alone. PMID:17766826

  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. Wet sand flows better than dry sand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Christian

    2015-03-01

    Wet sand that does not contain too much water is known to be stiff enough to build sand castles or in physical words has a significant yield stress. However, we could recently show that there are quite a few conditions under which such wet sand opposes less resistant to flow than its dry counterpart. This effect might have been already known to the old Egyptians: The Ancient painting of El Bersheh at the tomb of Tehutihetep shows that there was liquid poured in front of the sledge that was used to transport heavy weight stones and statues. While archeologist have attributed this to a sacral ceremony, our data clearly show that wetting the sand ground drastically decreases the effective sliding friction coefficient. We first study the stress-strain behavior of sand with and without small amounts of liquid under steady and oscillatory shear. Using a technique to quasistatically push the sand through a tube with an enforced parabolic (Poiseuille-like) profile, we minimize the effect of avalanches and shear localization. We observe that the resistance against deformation of the wet (partially saturated) sand is much smaller than that of the dry sand, and that the latter dissipates more energy under flow. Second we show experimentally that the sliding friction on sand is greatly reduced by the addition of some--but not too much--water. The formation of capillary water bridges increases the shear modulus of the sand, which facilitates the sliding.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

    The oil sands of northern Alberta, Canada contain an estimated 170 billion barrels of crude oil. Extraction processes produce large amounts of liquid tailings known as oil sand process affected water (OSPW) that are toxic to aquatic organisms. Naphthenic acids (NAs), and their sodium salts, represent a significant contributor to the toxicity of these waters. Due to the recalcitrant nature of these compounds, an effective mode of remediation has yet to be established. This study investigates the suitability of the use of phytoplankton for remediation efforts based on two criteria: the ability of phytoplankton strains to withstand the toxic effects of NAs, and their rate of biomass accumulation. A total of 21 phytoplankton strains were isolated from waters containing NAs, cultured, and maintained under unialgal conditions. These strains were then exposed to NAs in concentrations ranging from 0mg L(-1) to 1000mg L(-1) over a 14 day period. Inhibition of growth was observed at 30mg L(-1) NA (one strain), 100mg L(-1) NA (one strain), 300mg L(-1) NA (six strains), and 1000mg L(-1) NA (six strains). Five strains failed to show any growth inhibition at any test concentration and two strains could not be analysed due to poor growth during the test period. Strains were then ranked based on their suitability for use in remediation efforts. PMID:23031586

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    St-Jacques, J. M.; Sauchyn, D.; Luckman, B. H.

    2015-12-01

    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 1) a generalized-least-squares (GLS) regression analysis of the trend and variability in gauged flow, and 2) a 900-year 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Measurements of HONO in a Forested Region of Alberta Impacted by Oil Sands Processing Facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLaren, R.; Nikelski, K.; Lobo, A.; Davis, Z.

    2015-12-01

    During the summer of 2013, measurements of NO2, SO2 and HONO were made at a ground site in a rural forested region of Alberta known to be impacted by several oil sands processing facilities. Such sources are known to be the main sources of NOx and SOx emissions in the region. Nitrous acid (HONO) can be emitted directly from combustion sources in addition to being formed from the heterogeneous hydrolysis of NO2 on moist surfaces. The measurements were made both day and night by Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS) along a 2.304 km optical return path through the forest canopy using a 30-corner cube reflector. Nitrous acid (HONO) is of particular relevance to atmospheric chemistry as it can contribute to photochemical production of the OH radical, the main daytime oxidant in the troposphere, which was estimated to exceed 2•107 molec cm-3 on several days during the study, giving rise to rapid aerosol formation. Typically in urban areas HONO mixing ratios accumulate during the night, and are lost the next morning due to photolysis (HONO + hv→ OH + NO2). During this study however, HONO mixing ratios were found to be quite low with a median nightime mixing ratio of ~ 200 ppt. This is attributed to the very low nighttime NO2 precursor levels, perhaps in combination with a high surface area for deposition on the coniferous canopy. The low nighttime mixing ratios of NO2 and SO2 were driven by limited nocturnal mixing of elevated plumes down to the surface, while high daytime levels of NO2 and SO2 were episodic and frequently driven by daytime fumigation of the elevated plumes to the surface with additional contribution from surface sources of NOx. Daytime mixing ratios of HONO persisted longer than expected with median noontime mixing ratios of >50ppt. While this can imply an additional daytime source of HONO as has been observed by many others, it may also result from reduced photolysis rates below the canopy. This issue is being pursued more

  13. Evaluating microbial carbon sources in Athabasca oil sands tailings ponds using natural abundance stable and radiocarbon isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahad, J. M.; Pakdel, H.

    2013-12-01

    Natural abundance stable (δ13C) and radiocarbon (Δ14C) isotopes of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) were used to evaluate the carbon sources utilized by the active microbial populations in surface sediments from Athabasca oil sands tailings ponds. The absence of algal-specific PLFAs at three of the four sites investigated, in conjunction with δ13C signatures for PLFAs that were generally within ~3‰ of that reported for oil sands bitumen (~ -30‰), indicated that the microbial communities growing on petroleum constituents were dominated by aerobic heterotrophs. The Δ14C values of PLFAs ranged from -906 to -586‰ and pointed to a significant uptake of fossil carbon (up to ~90% of microbial carbon derived from petroleum), particularly in PLFAs (e.g., cy17:0 and cy19:0) often associated with petroleum hydrocarbon degrading bacteria. The comparatively higher levels of 14C in other, less specific PLFAs (e.g., 16:0) indicated the preferential uptake of younger organic matter by the general microbial population (~50-80% of microbial carbon derived from petroleum). Since the main carbon pools in tailings sediment were essentially 'radiocarbon dead' (i.e., no detectable 14C), the principal source for this modern carbon is considered to be the Athabasca River, which provides the bulk of the water used in the bitumen extraction process. The preferential uptake of the minor amount of young and presumably more biodegradable material present in systems otherwise dominated by recalcitrant petroleum constituents has important implications for remediation strategies. On the one hand, it implies that mining-related organic contaminants could persist in the environment long after tailings pond reclamation has begun. Alternatively, it may be that the young, labile organic matter provided by the Athabasca River plays an important role in stimulating or supporting the microbial utilization of petroleum carbon in oil sands tailings ponds via co-metabolism or priming processes

  14. 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

    2016-01-01

    There has been a recent surge in the development of mass spectrometric methods for detailed characterization of naphthenic acid fraction compounds (all C(c)H(h)N(n)O(o)S(s), 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

  15. Reservoir characteristics of two minter oil sands based on continuous core, E-logs, and geochemical data: Bee Brake field, East-Central Louisiana

    SciTech Connect

    Echols, J.B.; Goddard, D.A.; Bouma, A. )

    1993-09-01

    The Bee Brake field area, located in township 4N/6E and 4N/7E in Concordia Parish, has been one of the more prolific oil-producing areas in east-central Louisiana. Production decline in various fields, however, has sparked interest in the economic feasibility of locating and producing the remaining bypassed oil in the lower Wilcox. For this purpose, the Angelina BBF No. 1 well was drilled, and a 500-ft conventional core and a complete suite of state-of-the-are wireline logs were recovered. Production tests were run on the Minter interval of interest. The 16-ft Minter interval (6742-6758 ft depth), bounded at its top and base by lignite seams, consists of an upper 4-ft oil sand (Bee Brake) and a lower 3-ft oil sand (Angelina). The oil sands are separated by approximately 5 ft of thinly laminated silty shale and 4 ft of very fine-grained silty sandstone. Detailed sedimentologic and petrographic descriptions of the Minter interval provide accurate facies determinations of this lower delta-plain sequence. Petrophysical evaluation, combining core plug and modern electric-log data show differences between reservoir quality of the Bee Brake and Angelina sands. This data will also be useful for correlating and interpolating old electric logs. Organic geochemistry of the oil, lignites, and shales provides insight as to the source of the Minter oils and the sourcing potential of the lignites.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Anaerobic alkane biodegradation by cultures enriched from oil sands tailings ponds involves multiple species capable of fumarate addition.

    PubMed

    Tan, BoonFei; Semple, Kathleen; Foght, Julia

    2015-05-01

    A methanogenic short-chain alkane-degrading culture (SCADC) was enriched from oil sands tailings and transferred several times with a mixture of C6, C7, C8 and C10 n-alkanes as the predominant organic carbon source, plus 2-methylpentane, 3-methylpentane and methylcyclopentane as minor components. Cultures produced ∼40% of the maximum theoretical methane during 18 months incubation while depleting the n-alkanes, 2-methylpentane and methylcyclopentane. Substrate depletion correlated with detection of metabolites characteristic of fumarate activation of 2-methylpentane and methylcyclopentane, but not n-alkane metabolites. During active methanogenesis with the mixed alkanes, reverse-transcription PCR confirmed the expression of functional genes (assA and bssA) associated with hydrocarbon addition to fumarate. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes amplified during active alkane degradation revealed enrichment of Clostridia (particularly Peptococcaceae) and methanogenic Archaea (Methanosaetaceae and Methanomicrobiaceae). Methanogenic cultures transferred into medium containing sulphate produced sulphide, depleted n-alkanes and produced the corresponding succinylated alkane metabolites, but were slow to degrade 2-methylpentane and methylcyclopentane; these cultures were enriched in Deltaproteobacteria rather than Clostridia. 3-Methylpentane was not degraded by any cultures. Thus, nominally methanogenic oil sands tailings harbour dynamic and versatile hydrocarbon-degrading fermentative syntrophs and sulphate reducers capable of degrading n-, iso- and cyclo-alkanes by addition to fumarate. PMID:25873461

  4. 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

  5. Determination of thermodynamic and transport parameters of naphthenic acids and organic process chemicals in oil sand tailings pond water.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaomeng; Robinson, Lisa; Wen, Qing; Kasperski, Kim L

    2013-07-01

    Oil sand tailings pond water contains naphthenic acids and process chemicals (e.g., alkyl sulphates, quaternary ammonium compounds, and alkylphenol ethoxylates). These chemicals are toxic and can seep through the foundation of the tailings pond to the subsurface, potentially affecting the quality of groundwater. As a result, it is important to measure the thermodynamic and transport parameters of these chemicals in order to study the transport behavior of contaminants through the foundation as well as underground. In this study, batch adsorption studies and column experiments were performed. It was found that the transport parameters of these chemicals are related to their molecular structures and other properties. The computer program (CXTFIT) was used to further evaluate the transport process in the column experiments. The results from this study show that the transport of naphthenic acids in a glass column is an equilibrium process while the transport of process chemicals seems to be a non-equilibrium process. At the end of this paper we present a real-world case study in which the transport of the contaminants through the foundation of an external tailings pond is calculated using the lab-measured data. The results show that long-term groundwater monitoring of contaminant transport at the oil sand mining site may be necessary to avoid chemicals from reaching any nearby receptors. PMID:23736740

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Critical laminar shear-temperature effects on the nano- and mesoscale structure of a model fat and its relationship to oil binding and rheological properties.

    PubMed

    Acevedo, Nuria C; Block, Jane M; Marangoni, Alejandro G

    2012-01-01

    This article reports on the effect of laminar shear on structural and mechanical properties of physical mixtures of fully hydrogenated soybean oil (FHSO) in soybean oil (SO). Blends were crystallized statically and under laminar shear rates of 30 and 240 s(-1) at different wall temperatures (-10, 0, 20 degrees C). The micro- and nanocrystalline structures were characterized using Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM), and Cryogenic Transmission Electron Microscopy (Cryo-TEM). Rheological analysis was used to determine changes in mechanical properties. Oil-binding capacity was analyzed through the measurement of the oil lost from the fat samples (OL). Shearing greatly affected the structure at the nano- and mesoscale. At low shear rates, blends displayed the largest increase in crystal size with an increase in wall temperature at both the nano- and mesoscale. On the other hand, at shear rates of 240 s(-1), the effect of crystallization temperature was observed only at the nanoscale since no changes in meso-crystal sizes were observed at different temperatures. Crystallization under laminar shear promoted the growth of spherical crystalline particles at the mesoscale, called here "solid-lipid meso-particles". Crystallization under higher shear rates led to the formation of a weak network with low oil-binding capacity and promoted the asymmetric growth of nanoplatelets. In statically crystallized blends, nanoplatelets had an aspect ratio of -2, while in sheared blends this value increased significantly. These results revealed the existence of critical shear rate values above which strong alterations in the structure of the solid crystalline network took place. Shearing also affected the material's strength. Laminar shear induced a decrease in elastic modulus and yield stress values which was more pronounced at higher shear rate-temperature combinations. Shear-temperature combinations were successfully used to structure fats at the nano and mesoscale. PMID:23234167

  10. 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

  11. Relevance of the Sea Sand Disruption Method (SSDM) for the biometrical differentiation of the essential-oil composition from conifers.

    PubMed

    Dawidowicz, Andrzej L; Czapczyńska, Natalia B; Wianowska, Dorota

    2013-02-01

    Sea Sand Disruption Method (SSDM) is a simple and cheap sample-preparation procedure allowing the reduction of organic solvent consumption, exclusion of sample component degradation, improvement of extraction efficiency and selectivity, and elimination of additional sample clean-up and pre-concentration step before chromatographic analysis. This article deals with the possibility of SSDM application for the differentiation of essential-oils components occurring in the Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and cypress (Cupressus sempervirens L.) needles from Madrid (Spain), Laganas (Zakhyntos, Greece), Cala Morell (Menorca, Spain), Lublin (Poland), Helsinki (Finland), and Oradea (Romania). The SSDM results are related to the analogous - obtained applying two other sample preparation methods - steam distillation and Pressurized Liquid Extraction (PLE). The results presented established that the total amount and the composition of essential-oil components revealed by SSDM are equivalent or higher than those obtained by one of the most effective extraction technique, PLE. Moreover, SSDM seems to provide the most representative profile of all essential-oil components as no heat is applied. Thus, this environmentally friendly method is suggested to be used as the main extraction procedure for the differentiation of essential-oil components in conifers for scientific and industrial purposes. PMID:23418171

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. The impacts of ozonation on oil sands process-affected water biodegradability and biofilm formation characteristics in bioreactors.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Geelsu; Dong, Tao; Islam, Md Sahinoor; Sheng, Zhiya; Pérez-Estrada, Leónidas A; Liu, Yang; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2013-02-01

    To examine the effects of the ozonation process (as an oxidation treatment for water and wastewater treatment applications) on microbial biofilm formation and biodegradability of organic compounds present in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW), biofilm reactors were operated continuously for 6weeks. Two types of biofilm substrate materials: polyethylene (PE) and polyvinylchloride (PVC), and two types of OSPW-fresh and ozonated OSPWs-were tested. Endogenous microorganisms, in OSPW, quickly formed biofilms in the reactors. Without ozonation, the bioreactor (using endogenous microorganisms) removed 13.8% of the total acid-extractable organics (TAO) and 18.5% of the parent naphthenic acids (NAs) from fresh OSPW. The combined ozonation and biodegradation process removed 87.2% of the OSPW TAO and over 99% of the OSPW parent NAs. Further UPLC/HRMS analysis showed that NA biodegradability decreased as the NA cyclization number increased. Microbial biofilm formation was found to depend on the biofilm substrate type. PMID:23313671

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. Critical loads and H+ budgets of forest soils affected by air pollution from oil sands mining in Alberta, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Kangho; Chang, Scott X.; Ok, Yong Sik; Arshad, M. A.

    2013-04-01

    We investigated the critical load (CL) and exceedance (EX) of sulfur (S) deposition, temporal changes in soil chemistry, and H+ budget of soils in plots dominated by Pinus banksiana (jack pine) or Populus tremuloides (trembling aspen, aspen) in two acid-sensitive watersheds to assess the risk of soil acidification by S emissions from oil sands mining in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR), Canada. The CLs and EXs were determined by two methods: one was based on bulk deposition and the other based on total deposition (as a sum of bulk deposition and interception deposition). The CLs ranged from 223 to 711 molc ha-1 yr-1 based on bulk deposition. Those values were similar to that obtained based on total deposition. However, EXs based on bulk deposition were significantly lower (p < 0.001) than those based on total deposition due to the relative increase of SO concentrations in interception deposition, indicating that EXs based on bulk deposition only could underestimate the risk of soil acidification in the AOSR. The S deposition did not exceed CLs in the long-term for both methods. The pH in the forest floor increased and available SO (as the sum of soluble and adsorbed SO) in the forest floor and surface mineral soils increased in both jack pine and aspen stands between 2005 and 2010. The H+ budget ranged from -289 to -130 molc ha-1 yr-1 in jack pine stands and from -510 to -371 molc ha-1 yr-1 in aspen stands. Our results suggest that 1) soils in the studied forest stands have recovered from acidification based on the increasing soil pH over time and the negative H+ budget, and 2) the risk of soil acidification should be assessed by CL and EX calculated based on total deposition.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-15

    Oil sands tailings ponds harbor diverse anaerobic microbial communities capable of methanogenic biodegradation of solvent hydrocarbons entrained in the tailings. Mature fine tailings (MFT) from two operators (Albian and CNRL) that use different extraction solvents were incubated with mixtures of either two (n-pentane and n-hexane) or four (n-pentane, n-hexane, n-octane and n-decane) n-alkanes under methanogenic conditions for ~600 d. Microbes in Albian MFT began methane production by ~80 d, achieving complete depletion of n-pentane and n-hexane in the two-alkane mixture and their preferential biodegradation in the four-alkane mixture. Microbes in CNRL MFT preferentially metabolized n-octane and n-decane in the four-alkane mixture after a ~80 d lag but exhibited a lag of ~360 d before commencing biodegradation of n-pentane and n-hexane in the two-alkane mixture. 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing revealed Peptococcaceae members as key bacterial n-alkane degraders in all treatments except CNRL MFT amended with the four-alkane mixture, in which Anaerolineaceae, Desulfobacteraceae (Desulfobacterium) and Syntrophaceae (Smithella) dominated during n-octane and n-decane biodegradation. Anaerolineaceae sequences increased only in cultures amended with the four-alkane mixture and only during n-octane and n-decane biodegradation. The dominant methanogens were acetoclastic Methanosaetaceae. These results highlight preferential n-alkane biodegradation by microbes in oil sands tailings from different producers, with implications for tailings management and reclamation. PMID:26925736

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Effects of exposure to oil sands process-affected water from experimental reclamation ponds on Chironomus dilutus.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Julie; Wiseman, Steve B; Moustafa, Ahmed; El-Din, Mohamed Gamal; Liber, Karsten; Giesy, John P

    2012-04-15

    Effective detoxification of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is one issue associated with bitumen extraction in the Alberta oil sands. It has been suggested that reclamation ponds can be used to passively treat OSPW, potentially allowing for its safe return to the environment. In this study, OSPW was sampled in two batches (A and B) from the Syncrude Canada Ltd. West In-Pit (WIP) settling pond and from three experimental reclamation ponds - Big Pit, FE5, and TPW. Acute (10 d) and chronic (until adult emergence) exposures of Chironomus dilutus larvae to OSPW were conducted and survival, growth, development, and behavior were assessed. Masses of larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW were 64-77% less than the freshwater control (p < 0.001). Similarly, chronic exposure to WIP-OSPW resulted in significantly (p < 0.05) less pupation than in the freshwater control, with 31% (A) and 71% (B) less pupation of larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW. Rates of emergence were significantly less for larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW, with only 13% (A) and 8% (B) of larvae emerging as adults when exposed to WIP-OSPW, compared to 81% in the freshwater control (p < 0.0001). Pupation and emergence rates were significantly less in TPW than freshwater control (p < 0.05), but there were no differences observed in Big Pit or FE5. Lesser toxicity was observed in reclaimed OSPW compared to fresh OSPW and this coincided with lesser concentrations of NAs. The results presented are consistent with the hypothesis that an organic fraction is the cause of the toxicity of OSPW toward C. dilutus and that OSPW aged in reclamation ponds retains toxicity and therefore, more aggressive, targeted treatment of OSPW is required to accelerate decreases. PMID:22265614

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    Environmental exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in ambient air is one of a number of concerns that the First Nation Community of Fort McKay, Alberta has related to development of Canada's oil sands. An in-depth investigation of trends in ambient air VOC levels in Fort McKay was undertaken to better understand the role and possible significance of emissions from Alberta's oil sands development. A non-parametric trend detection method was used to investigate trends in emissions and ambient VOC concentrations over a 12-year (2001-2012) period. Relationships between ambient VOC concentrations and production indicators of oil sands operations around Fort McKay were also examined. A weak upward trend (significant at 90% confidence level) was found for ambient concentrations of total VOCs based on sixteen detected species with an annual increase of 0.64μg/m(3) (7.2%) per year (7.7μg/m(3) increase per decade). Indicators of production (i.e., annual bitumen production and mined oil sands quantities) were correlated with ambient total VOC concentrations. Only one of 29 VOC species evaluated (1-butene) showed a statistically significant upward trend (p=0.05). Observed geometric (arithmetic) mean and maximum ambient concentrations of selected VOCs of public health concern for most recent three years of the study period (2010-2012) were below chronic and acute health risk screening criteria of the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Thirty-two VOCs are recommended for tracking in future air quality investigations in the community to better understand whether changes are occurring over time in relation to oil sands development activities and to inform policy makers about whether or not these changes warrant additional attention. PMID:26909813

  3. Toxicity, Tunneling and Feeding Behavior of the Termite, Coptotermes vastator, in Sand Treated with Oil of the Physic Nut, Jatropha curcas

    PubMed Central

    Acda, Menandro N.

    2009-01-01

    Oil of the physic nut, Jatropha curcas L. (Malpighiales: Euphorbiaceae), was evaluated in the laboratory for its barrier and repellent activity against the Philippine milk termite Coptotermes vastator Light (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae). The study showed that J. curcas oil had anti-feeding effect, induced reduction in tunneling activity and increased mortality in C. vastator. Behavior of termites exposed to sand treated with J. curcas oil indicated that it is toxic or repellent to C. vastator. Toxicity and repellent thresholds, were higher than those reported for other naturally occurring compounds tested against the Formosan subterranean termite. PMID:20053119

  4. Effects of Building a Sand Barrier Berm to Mitigate the Effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Louisiana Marshes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lavoie, Dawn; Flocks, James G.; Kindinger, Jack G.; Sallenger, A.H., Jr.; Twichell, David C.

    2010-01-01

    The State of Louisiana requested emergency authorization on May 11, 2010, to perform spill mitigation work on the Chandeleur Islands and on all the barrier islands from Grand Terre Island eastward to Sandy Point to enhance the capability of the islands to reduce the movement of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the marshes. The proposed action-building a barrier berm (essentially an artificial island fronting the existing barriers and inlets) seaward of the existing barrier islands and inlets-'restores' the protective function of the islands but does not alter the islands themselves. Building a barrier berm to protect the mainland wetlands from oil is a new strategy and depends on the timeliness of construction to be successful. Prioritizing areas to be bermed, focusing on those areas that are most vulnerable and where construction can be completed most rapidly, may increase chances for success. For example, it may be easier and more efficient to berm the narrow inlets of the coastal section to the west of the Mississippi River Delta rather than the large expanses of open water to the east of the delta in the southern parts of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). This document provides information about the potential available sand resources and effects of berm construction on the existing barrier islands. The proposed project originally involved removing sediment from a linear source approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) gulfward of the barrier islands and placing it just seaward of the islands in shallow water (~2-m depth where possible) to form a continuous berm rising approximately 6 feet (~2 m) above sea level (North American Vertical Datum of 1988-NAVD88) with an ~110-yd (~100-m) width at water level and a slope of 25:1 to the seafloor. Discussions within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and with others led to the determination that point-source locations, such as Hewes Point, the St. Bernard Shoals, and Ship Shoal, were more suitable 'borrow

  5. Oil shales and tar sands: a bibliography. Supplement 2, Parts 1 and 2

    SciTech Connect

    Grissom, M.C.

    1984-07-01

    This bibliography includes 4715 citations arranged in the broad subject categories: reserves and exploration; site geology and hydrology; drilling, fracturing, and mining; oil production, recovery, and refining; properties and composition; direct uses and by-products; health and safety; marketing and economics; waste research and management; environmental aspects; regulations; and general. There are corporate, author, subject, contract number, and report number indexes.

  6. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-12-31

    Progress made in five research programs is described. The subtasks in oil shale study include oil shale process studies and unconventional applications and markets for western oil shale.The tar sand study is on recycle oil pyrolysis and extraction (ROPE) process. Four tasks are described in coal research: underground coal gasification; coal combustion; integrated coal processing concepts; and sold waste management. Advanced exploratory process technology includes: advanced process concepts; advanced mitigation concepts; and oil and gas technology. Jointly sponsored research covers: 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; shallow oil production using horizontal wells with enhanced oil recovery techniques; NMR analysis of sample from the ocean drilling program; and menu driven access to the WDEQ hydrologic data management system.

  8. High-shear, Jet-cooking, and Alkali Treatment of Corn Distillers' Dried Grains to Obtain Products with Enhanced Protein, Oil, and Phenolic Antioxidants

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Distillers dried grains (DDG) have potential to be a nutritionally important source of protein, oil, and phenolic antioxidants. DDG was subjected to high-shear and jet-cooking, with or without alkaline pH adjustment and autoclaving. Soluble and insoluble fractions were analyzed for protein, oil, a...

  9. Crude oil in a shallow sand and gravel aquifer-III. Biogeochemical reactions and mass balance modeling in anoxic groundwater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baedecker, M.J.; Cozzarelli, I.M.; Eganhouse, R.P.; Siegel, D.I.; Bennett, P.C.

    1993-01-01

    Crude oil floating on the water table in a sand and gravel aquifer provides a constant source of hydrocarbons to the groundwater at a site near Bemidji, Minnesota. The degradation of hydrocarbons affects the concentrations of oxidized and reduced aqueous species in the anoxic part of the contaminant plume that developed downgradient from the oil body. The concentrations of Fe2+, Mn2+ and CH4, Eh measurements, and the ??13C ratios of the total inorganic C indicate that the plume became more reducing ver a 5-a period. However, the size of the contaminant plume remained stable during this time. Field data coupled with laboratory microcosm experiments indicate that benzene and the alkylbenzenes are degraded in an anoxic environment. In anaerobic microcosm experiments conducted under field conditions, almost complete degradation (98%) was observed for benzene in 125 d and for toluene in 45 d. Concentrations of aqueous Fe2+ and Mn2+ increased in these experiments, indicating that the primary reactions were hydrocarbon degradation coupled with Fe and Mn reduction. Mass transfer calculations on a 40-m flowpath in the anoxic zone, downgradient from the oil body, indicated that the primary reactions in the anoxic zone are oxidation of organic compounds, precipitation of siderite and a ferroan calcite, dissolution of iron oxide and outgassing of CH4 and CO2. The major difference in the two models presented is the ratio of CO2 and CH4 that outgasses. Both models indicate quantitatively that large amounts of Fe are dissolved and reprecipitated as ferrous iron in the anoxic zone of the contaminant plume. ?? 1993.

  10. Characterization of trace gases measured over Alberta oil sands mining operations: 76 speciated C2-C10 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), CO2, CH4, CO, NO, NO2, NOy, O3 and SO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, I. J.; Blake, N. J.; Barletta, B.; Diskin, G. S.; Fuelberg, H. E.; Gorham, K.; Huey, L. G.; Meinardi, S.; Rowland, F. S.; Vay, S. A.; Weinheimer, A. J.; Yang, M.; Blake, D. R.

    2010-08-01

    Oil sands comprise 30% of the world's oil reserves and the crude oil reserves in Canada's oil sands deposits are second only to Saudi Arabia. The extraction and processing of oil sands is much more challenging than for light sweet crude oils because of the high viscosity of the bitumen contained within the oil sands and because the bitumen is mixed with sand and contains chemical impurities such as sulphur. Despite these challenges, the importance of oil sands is increasing in the energy market. To our best knowledge this is the first peer-reviewed study to characterize volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from Alberta's oil sands mining sites. We present high-precision gas chromatography measurements of 76 speciated C2-C10 VOCs (alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, cycloalkanes, aromatics, monoterpenes, oxygenates, halocarbons, and sulphur compounds) in 17 boundary layer air samples collected over surface mining operations in northeast Alberta on 10 July 2008, using the NASA DC-8 airborne laboratory as a research platform. In addition to the VOCs, we present simultaneous measurements of CO2, CH4, CO, NO, NO2, NOy, O3 and SO2, which were measured in situ aboard the DC-8. Methane, CO, CO2, NO, NO2, NOy, SO2 and 53 VOCs (e.g., halocarbons, sulphur species, NMHCs) showed clear statistical enhancements (up to 1.1-397×) over the oil sands compared to local background values and, with the exception of CO, were higher over the oil sands than at any other time during the flight. Twenty halocarbons (e.g., CFCs, HFCs, halons, brominated species) either were not enhanced or were minimally enhanced (< 10%) over the oil sands. Ozone levels remained low because of titration by NO, and three VOCs (propyne, furan, MTBE) remained below their 3 pptv detection limit throughout the flight. Based on their mutual correlations, the compounds emitted by the oil sands industry fell into two groups: (1) evaporative emissions from the oil sands and its products and/or from the diluent used to

  11. Sensitivity of walleye (Sander vitreus) and fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) early-life stages to naphthenic acid fraction components extracted from fresh oil sands process-affected waters.

    PubMed

    Marentette, Julie R; Frank, Richard A; Hewitt, L Mark; Gillis, Patricia L; Bartlett, Adrienne J; Brunswick, Pamela; Shang, Dayue; Parrott, Joanne L

    2015-12-01

    Unconventional oil production in Alberta's oil sands generates oil sands process-affected water (OSPW), which contains toxic constituents such as naphthenic acid fraction components (NAFCs). There have been few studies examining effects of NAFC exposure over long periods of early-life stage development in fish. Here we examined the effects of NAFCs extracted from OSPW to embryo-larval fathead minnow, exposed for 21 days. We compared the sensitivity of fathead minnow to walleye reared to 7 days post-hatch (18-20 days total). EC50s for hatch success, including deformities, and total survival were lower for walleye (10-11 mg/L) than fathead minnow (22-25 mg/L), with little post-hatch mortality observed in either species. NAFC exposure affected larval growth at concentrations below the EC50 in fathead minnow (total mass IC10 14-17 mg/L). These data contribute to an understanding of the developmental stages targeted by oil sands NAFCs, as well as their toxicity in a greater range of relevant taxa. PMID:26342575

  12. Next-Generation Sequencing of Microbial Communities in the Athabasca River and Its Tributaries in Relation to Oil Sands Mining Activities

    PubMed Central

    Yergeau, Etienne; Lawrence, John R.; Sanschagrin, Sylvie; Waiser, Marley J.; Korber, Darren R.

    2012-01-01

    The Athabasca oil sands deposit is the largest reservoir of crude bitumen in the world. Recently, the soaring demand for oil and the availability of modern bitumen extraction technology have heightened exploitation of this reservoir and the potential unintended consequences of pollution in the Athabasca River. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate the potential impacts of oil sands mining on neighboring aquatic microbial community structure. Microbial communities were sampled from sediments in the Athabasca River and its tributaries as well as in oil sands tailings ponds. Bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA genes were amplified and sequenced using next-generation sequencing technology (454 and Ion Torrent). Sediments were also analyzed for a variety of chemical and physical characteristics. Microbial communities in the fine tailings of the tailings ponds were strikingly distinct from those in the Athabasca River and tributary sediments. Microbial communities in sediments taken close to tailings ponds were more similar to those in the fine tailings of the tailings ponds than to the ones from sediments further away. Additionally, bacterial diversity was significantly lower in tailings pond sediments. Several taxonomic groups of Bacteria and Archaea showed significant correlations with the concentrations of different contaminants, highlighting their potential as bioindicators. We also extensively validated Ion Torrent sequencing in the context of environmental studies by comparing Ion Torrent and 454 data sets and by analyzing control samples. PMID:22923391

  13. Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) satellite validations of ammonia, methanol, formic acid, and carbon monoxide over the Canadian oil sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shephard, M. W.; McLinden, C. A.; Cady-Pereira, K. E.; Luo, M.; Moussa, S. G.; Leithead, A.; Liggio, J.; Staebler, R. M.; Akingunola, A.; Makar, P.; Lehr, P.; Zhang, J.; Henze, D. K.; Millet, D. B.; Bash, J. O.; Zhu, L.; Wells, K. C.; Capps, S. L.; Chaliyakunnel, S.; Gordon, M.; Hayden, K.; Brook, J. R.; Wolde, M.; Li, S.-M.

    2015-09-01

    The wealth of air quality information provided by satellite infrared observations of ammonia (NH3), carbon monoxide (CO), formic acid (HCOOH), and methanol (CH3OH) is currently being explored and used for number of applications, especially at regional or global scales. These applications include air quality monitoring, trend analysis, emissions, and model evaluation. This study provides one of the first direct validations of Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) satellite retrieved profiles of NH3, CH3OH, and HCOOH through comparisons with coincident aircraft profiles. The comparisons are performed over the Canadian oil sands region during the intensive field campaign (August-September~2013) in support of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for the Oil Sands Monitoring (JOSM). The satellite/aircraft comparisons over this region during this period produced errors of: (i) + 0.08 ± 0.25 ppbv for NH3, (ii) + 7.5 ± 23 ppbv for CO, (iii) + 0.19 ± 0.46 ppbv for HCOOH, and (iv) -1.1 ± 0.39 ppbv for CH3OH. These values mostly agree with previously estimated retrieval errors; however, the relatively large negative bias in CH3OH and the significantly greater positive bias for larger HCOOH and CO values observed during this study warrant further investigation. Satellite and aircraft ammonia observations during the field campaign are also used in an initial effort to perform preliminary evaluations of Environment Canada's Global Environmental Multi-scale - Modelling Air quality and CHemistry (GEM-MACH) air quality modelling system at high-resolution (2.5 km × 2.5 km). These initial results indicate model under-prediction of ~ 0.6 ppbv (~ 60 %) for NH3, during the field campaign period. The TES-model CO comparison differences are ~ +20 ppbv (~ +20 %), but given that under these conditions the TES/aircraft comparisons also show a small positive TES CO bias indicates that the overall model under-prediction of CO is closer to ~ 10 % at 681 hPa (~ 3 km) during this

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Two moving bed biofilm reactors (MBBRs) were operated to treat raw (untreated) and 30 mg/L ozone-treated oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). After 210 days, the MBBR process showed 18.3% of acid-extractable fraction (AEF) and 34.8% of naphthenic acids (NAs) removal, while the ozonation combined MBBR process showed higher removal of AEF (41.0%) and NAs (78.8%). Biodegradation of raw and ozone treated OSPW showed similar performance. UPLC/HRMS analysis showed a highest NAs removal efficiency with a carbon number of 14 and a -Z number of 4. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) showed thicker biofilms in the raw OSPW MBBR (97 ± 5 μm) than in the ozonated OSPW MBBR (71 ± 12 μm). Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR) results showed higher abundance of gene copies of total bacteria and nitrogen removal relevant bacteria in the ozonated OSPW MBBR, but no significant difference was found. MiSeq sequencing showed Proteobacteria, Nitrospirae, and Acidobacteria were dominant. PMID:26038326

  15. Application of a solar UV/chlorine advanced oxidation process to oil sands process-affected water remediation.

    PubMed

    Shu, Zengquan; Li, Chao; Belosevic, Miodrag; Bolton, James R; El-Din, Mohamed Gamal

    2014-08-19

    The solar UV/chlorine process has emerged as a novel advanced oxidation process for industrial and municipal wastewaters. Currently, its practical application to oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) remediation has been studied to treat fresh OSPW retained in large tailings ponds, which can cause significant adverse environmental impacts on ground and surface waters in Northern Alberta, Canada. Degradation of naphthenic acids (NAs) and fluorophore organic compounds in OSPW was investigated. In a laboratory-scale UV/chlorine treatment, the NAs degradation was clearly structure-dependent and hydroxyl radical-based. In terms of the NAs degradation rate, the raw OSPW (pH ∼ 8.3) rates were higher than those at an alkaline condition (pH = 10). Under actual sunlight, direct solar photolysis partially degraded fluorophore organic compounds, as indicated by the qualitative synchronous fluorescence spectra (SFS) of the OSPW, but did not impact NAs degradation. The solar/chlorine process effectively removed NAs (75-84% removal) and fluorophore organic compounds in OSPW in the presence of 200 or 300 mg L(-1) OCl(-). The acute toxicity of OSPW toward Vibrio fischeri was reduced after the solar/chlorine treatment. However, the OSPW toxicity toward goldfish primary kidney macrophages after solar/chlorine treatment showed no obvious toxicity reduction versus that of untreated OSPW, which warrants further study for process optimization. PMID:25051215

  16. Performance of ectomycorrhizal alders exposed to specific Canadian oil sands tailing stressors under in vivo bipartite symbiotic conditions.

    PubMed

    Beaudoin-Nadeau, Martin; Gagné, André; Bissonnette, Cyntia; Bélanger, Pier-Anne; Fortin, J André; Roy, Sébastien; Greer, Charles W; Khasa, Damase P

    2016-07-01

    Canadian oil sands tailings are predominately sodic residues contaminated by hydrocarbons such as naphthenic acids. These conditions are harsh for plant development. In this study, we evaluated the effect of inoculating roots of Alnus viridis ssp. crispa and Alnus incana ssp. rugosa with ectomycorrhizal fungi in the presence of tailings compounds. Seedlings were inoculated with 7 different strains of Paxillus involutus and Alpova diplophloeus and were grown under different treatments of NaCl, Na2SO4, and naphthenic acids in a growth chamber. Afterwards, seedling survival, height, dry biomass, leaf necrosis, and root mycorrhization rate were measured. Paxillus involutus Mai was the most successful strain in enhancing alder survival, health, and growth. Seedlings inoculated with this strain displayed a 25% increase in survival rate, 2-fold greater biomass, and 2-fold less leaf necrosis compared with controls. Contrary to our expectations, A. diplophloeus was not as effective as P. involutus in improving seedling fitness, likely because it did not form ectomycorrhizae on roots of either alder species. High intraspecific variation characterized strains of P. involutus in their ability to stimulate alder height and growth and to minimize leaf necrosis. We conclude that in vivo selection under bipartite symbiotic conditions is essential to select effective strains that will be of use for the revegetation and reclamation of derelict lands. PMID:27170470

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    The acid-extractable organic compounds (AEOs), including naphthenic acids (NAs), present within oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) receive great attention due to their known toxicity. While recent progress in advanced separation and analytical methodologies for AEOs has improved our understanding of the composition of these mixtures, little is known regarding any variability (i.e., spatial, temporal) inherent within, or between, tailings ponds. In this study, 5 samples were collected from the same location of one tailings pond over a 2-week period. In addition, 5 samples were collected simultaneously from different locations within a tailings pond from a different mine site, as well as its associated recycling pond. In both cases, the AEOs were analyzed using SFS, ESI-MS, HRMS, GC×GC-ToF/MS, and GC- & LC-QToF/MS (GC analyses following conversion to methyl esters). Principal component analysis of HRMS data was able to distinguish the ponds from each other, while data from GC×GC-ToF/MS, and LC- and GC-QToF/MS were used to differentiate samples from within the temporal and spatial sample sets, with the greater variability associated with the latter. Spatial differences could be attributed to pond dynamics, including differences in inputs of tailings and surface run-off. Application of novel chemometric data analyses of unknown compounds detected by LC- and GC-QToF/MS allowed further differentiation of samples both within and between data sets, providing an innovative approach for future fingerprinting studies. PMID:27391053

  18. A novel solid-state fractionation of naphthenic acid fraction components from oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Mohamed, Mohamed H; Wilson, Lee D; Shah, Jaimin R; Bailey, Jon; Peru, Kerry M; Headley, John V

    2015-10-01

    Various sorbent materials were evaluated for the fractionation of naphthenic acid fraction components (NAFCs) from oil sand process-affected water (OSPW). The solid phase materials include activated carbon (AC), cellulose, iron oxides (magnetite and goethite), polyaniline (PANI) and three types of biochar derived from biomass (BC-1; rice husks, BC-2; acacia low temperature and BC-3; acacia high temperature). NAFCs were semi-quantified using electrospray ionization high resolution Orbitrap mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) and the metals were assessed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). The average removal efficacy of NAFCs by AC was 95%. The removal efficacy decreased in the following order: AC, BC-1>BC-2, BC-3, goethite>PANI>cellulose, magnetite. The removal of metals did not follow a clear trend; however, there was notable leaching of potassium by AC and biochar samples. The bound NAFCs by AC were desorbed efficiently with methanol. Methanol regeneration and recycling of AC revealed 88% removal on the fourth cycle; a 4.4% decrease from the first cycle. This fractionation method represents a rapid, cost-effective, efficient, and green strategy for NAFCs from OSPW, as compared with conventional solvent extraction. PMID:26042363

  19. Atmospheric deposition of nitrogen, sulfur and base cations in jack pine stands in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Fenn, M E; Bytnerowicz, A; Schilling, S L; Ross, C S

    2015-01-01

    Atmospheric deposition in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region decreased exponentially with distance from the industrial center. Throughfall deposition (kg ha(-1) yr(-1)) of NH(4)-N (.8-14.7) was double that of NO(3)-N (.3-6.7), while SO(4)-S ranged from 2.5 to 23.7. Gaseous pollutants (NO(2), HNO(3), NH(3), SO(2)) are important drivers of atmospheric deposition but weak correlations between gaseous pollutants and deposition suggest that particulate deposition is also important. The deposition (eq ha(-1)) of base cations (Ca + Mg + Na) across the sampling network was highly similar to N + S deposition, suggesting that acidic deposition is neutralized by base cation deposition and that eutrophication impacts from excess N may be of greater concern than acidification. Emissions from a large forest fire in summer 2011 were most prominently reflected in increased concentrations of HNO(3) and throughfall deposition of SO4-S at some sites. Deposition of NO(3)-N also increased as did NH(4)-N deposition to a lesser degree. PMID:25236261

  20. Estimates of Octanol-Water Partitioning for Thousands of Dissolved Organic Species in Oil Sands Process-Affected Water.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Kun; Pereira, Alberto S; Martin, Jonathan W

    2015-07-21

    In this study, the octanol-water distribution ratios (DOW, that is, apparent KOW at pH 8.4) of 2114 organic species in oil sands process-affected water were estimated by partitioning to polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) coated stir bars and analysis by ultrahigh resolution orbitrap mass spectrometry in electrospray positive ((+)) and negative ((-)) ionization modes. At equilibrium, the majority of species in OSPW showed negligible partitioning to PDMS (i.e., DOW <1), however estimated DOW's for some species ranged up to 100,000. Most organic acids detected in ESI- had negligible partitioning, although some naphthenic acids (O2(-) species) had estimated DOW ranging up to 100. Polar neutral and basic compounds detected in ESI+ generally partitioned to PDMS to a greater extent than organic acids. Among these species, DOW was greatest among 3 groups: up to 1000 for mono-oxygenated species (O(+) species), up to 127,000 for NO(+) species, and up to 203,000 for SO(+) species. A positive relationship was observed between DOW and carbon number, and a negative relationship was observed with the number of double bonds (or rings). The results highlight that nonacidic compounds in OSPW are generally more hydrophobic than naphthenic acids and that some may be highly bioaccumulative and contribute to toxicity. PMID:26098972

  1. Evaluating Function of a Constructed Fen in Alberta's Oil Sands Region Using Dissolved Organic Carbon Concentration and Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strack, M.; Khadka, B.

    2014-12-01

    Peatlands, mainly fens, account for close to 65% of the landscape in the oil sands region near Fort McMurray, Alberta. Since mine closure plans require landscape reclamation, methods for fen construction are being investigated. As reclamation goals include the return of ecosystem function, criteria for evaluation must be developed. In this study we compare soil concentrations and spectrophometric properties of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from a constructed fen during its first growing season with that collected from three diverse, undisturbed reference fens in the region. The constructed fen had lower DOC concentration than all the reference fens. Based on E2/E3, E4/E6 and specific UV absorbance of the DOC, the constructed fen had DOC with significantly greater humic content, aromatic nature, and larger molecular size than the reference fens. Results from laboratory DOC production studies indicate that these patterns are likely due to the limited DOC contribution from the newly planted vegetation at the constructed fen, resulting in DOC largely derived from humified peat placed during construction. These preliminary results suggest that DOC concentration and chemistry provide information about the ecological development of the constructed system that could be useful for evaluating reclamation success through time.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    The ability to mitigate toxicity of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) for return into the environment is an important issue for effective tailings management in Alberta, Canada. OSPW toxicity has been linked to classical naphthenic acids (NAs), but the toxic contribution of other acid-extractable organics (AEOs) remains unknown. Here, we examine the potential for in situ bioremediation of OSPW AEOs by indigenous algae. Phosphate biostimulation was performed in OSPW to promote the growth of indigenous photosynthetic microorganisms and subsequent toxicity and chemical changes were determined. After 12 weeks, the AEO fraction of phosphate-biostimulated OSPW was significantly less toxic to the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe than unstimulated OSPW. Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR-MS) analysis of the AEO fraction in phosphate-biostimulated OSPW showed decreased levels of SO3 class compounds, including a subset that may represent linear arylsulfonates. A screen with S. pombe transcription factor mutant strains for growth sensitivity to the AEO fraction or sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate revealed a mode of toxic action consistent with oxidative stress and detrimental effects on cellular membranes. These findings demonstrate a potential algal-based in situ bioremediation strategy for OSPW AEOs and uncover a link between toxicity and AEOs other than classical NAs. PMID:26448451

  3. Treatment of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) using ozonation combined with integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS).

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-15

    Two integrated fixed-film activated sludge (IFAS) reactors were operated continuously to treat raw (untreated) and ozonated (30 mg/L) oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). After 11 months, 12.1% of the acid extractable fraction (AEF) and 43.1% of the parent naphthenic acids (NAs) were removed in the raw OSPW IFAS, while 42.0% AEF and 80.2% of parent NAs were removed in the ozonated OSPW IFAS. UPLC/HRMS analysis showed that NA biodegradation significantly decreased as the NA cyclization number increased. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) results showed that the biofilm in the ozonated OSPW IFAS was significantly thicker (94 ± 1.6 μm) than the biofilm in the raw OSPW IFAS (72 ± 2.8 μm) after 283 days of cultivation. The quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR) revealed that the abundance proportions of both nitrifier genes (AomA, NSR and Nitro) and denitrifier genes (narG, nirS, nirK and nosZ) within total bacteria were significantly higher in biofilms than in flocs in the raw OSPW IFAS system, but a different trend was observed in the ozonated OSPW IFAS system. PMID:26318649

  4. Recent Warming, Rather than Industrial Emissions of Bioavailable Nutrients, Is the Dominant Driver of Lake Primary Production Shifts across the Athabasca Oil Sands Region.

    PubMed

    Summers, Jamie C; Kurek, Joshua; Kirk, Jane L; Muir, Derek C G; Wang, Xiaowa; Wiklund, Johan A; Cooke, Colin A; Evans, Marlene S; Smol, John P

    2016-01-01

    Freshwaters in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) are vulnerable to the atmospheric emissions and land disturbances caused by the local oil sands industry; however, they are also affected by climate change. Recent observations of increases in aquatic primary production near the main development area have prompted questions about the principal drivers of these limnological changes. Is the enhanced primary production due to deposition of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) from local industry or from recent climatic changes? Here, we use downcore, spectrally-inferred chlorophyll-a (VRS-chla) profiles (including diagenetic products) from 23 limnologically-diverse lakes with undisturbed catchments to characterize the pattern of primary production increases in the AOSR. Our aim is to better understand the relative roles of the local oil sands industry versus climate change in driving aquatic primary production trends. Nutrient deposition maps, generated using geostatistical interpolations of spring-time snowpack measurements from a grid pattern across the AOSR, demonstrate patterns of elevated total phosphorus, total nitrogen, and bioavailable nitrogen deposition around the main area of industrial activity. However, this pattern is not observed for bioavailable phosphorus. Our paleolimnological findings demonstrate consistently greater VRS-chla concentrations compared to pre-oil sands development levels, regardless of morphological and limnological characteristics, landscape position, bioavailable nutrient deposition, and dibenzothiophene (DBT)-inferred industrial impacts. Furthermore, breakpoint analyses on VRS-chla concentrations across a gradient of DBT-inferred industrial impact show limited evidence of a contemporaneous change among lakes. Despite the contribution of bioavailable nitrogen to the landscape from industrial activities, we find no consistency in the spatial pattern and timing of VRS-chla shifts with an industrial fertilizing signal. Instead

  5. Recent Warming, Rather than Industrial Emissions of Bioavailable Nutrients, Is the Dominant Driver of Lake Primary Production Shifts across the Athabasca Oil Sands Region

    PubMed Central

    Summers, Jamie C.; Kurek, Joshua; Kirk, Jane L.; Muir, Derek C. G.; Wang, Xiaowa; Wiklund, Johan A.; Cooke, Colin A.; Evans, Marlene S.; Smol, John P.

    2016-01-01

    Freshwaters in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region (AOSR) are vulnerable to the atmospheric emissions and land disturbances caused by the local oil sands industry; however, they are also affected by climate change. Recent observations of increases in aquatic primary production near the main development area have prompted questions about the principal drivers of these limnological changes. Is the enhanced primary production due to deposition of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) from local industry or from recent climatic changes? Here, we use downcore, spectrally-inferred chlorophyll-a (VRS-chla) profiles (including diagenetic products) from 23 limnologically-diverse lakes with undisturbed catchments to characterize the pattern of primary production increases in the AOSR. Our aim is to better understand the relative roles of the local oil sands industry versus climate change in driving aquatic primary production trends. Nutrient deposition maps, generated using geostatistical interpolations of spring-time snowpack measurements from a grid pattern across the AOSR, demonstrate patterns of elevated total phosphorus, total nitrogen, and bioavailable nitrogen deposition around the main area of industrial activity. However, this pattern is not observed for bioavailable phosphorus. Our paleolimnological findings demonstrate consistently greater VRS-chla concentrations compared to pre-oil sands development levels, regardless of morphological and limnological characteristics, landscape position, bioavailable nutrient deposition, and dibenzothiophene (DBT)-inferred industrial impacts. Furthermore, breakpoint analyses on VRS-chla concentrations across a gradient of DBT-inferred industrial impact show limited evidence of a contemporaneous change among lakes. Despite the contribution of bioavailable nitrogen to the landscape from industrial activities, we find no consistency in the spatial pattern and timing of VRS-chla shifts with an industrial fertilizing signal. Instead

  6. Pseudomonas Diversity in Crude-Oil-Contaminated Intertidal Sand Samples Obtained after the Prestige Oil Spill▿ †

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    The open pit oil sands mining operations north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, are accumulating tailings waste at a rate approximately equal to 4.9 million m(3) /d. Naphthenic acids are among the most toxic components within tailings to aquatic life, but structural components have largely remained unidentified. In the present study, electrospray ionization high-resolution mass spectrometry (ESI-HRMS) and synchronous fluorescence spectroscopy (SFS) were used to characterize fractions derived from the distillation of an acid-extractable organics (AEO) mixture isolated from oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). Mean molecular weights of each fraction, and their relative proportions to the whole AEO extract, were as follows: fraction 1: 237 Da, 8.3%; fraction 2: 240 Da, 23.8%; fraction 3: 257 Da, 26.7%; fraction 4: 308 Da, 18.9%; fraction 5: 355 Da, 10.0%. With increasing mean molecular weight of the AEO fractions, a concurrent increase occurred in the relative abundance of nitrogen-, sulfur-, and oxygen-containing ions, double-bond equivalents, and degree of aromaticity. Structures present in the higher-molecular-weight fractions (fraction 4 and fraction 5) suggested the presence of heteroatoms, dicarboxyl and dihydroxy groups, and organic acid compounds with the potential to function as estrogens. Because organic acid compositions become dominated by more recalcitrant, higher-molecular-weight acids during natural degradation, these findings are important in the context of oil sands tailings pond water remediation. PMID:25615406

  8. Identification of detoxification pathways in plants that are regulated in response to treatment with organic compounds isolated from oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Widdup, Ellen E; Chatfield-Reed, Kate; Henry, Darren; Chua, Gordon; Samuel, Marcus A; Muench, Douglas G

    2015-11-01

    Bitumen mining in the Athabasca oil sands region of northern Alberta results in the accumulation of large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). The acid-extractable organic (AEO) fraction of OSPW contains a variety of compounds, including naphthenic acids, aromatics, and sulfur- and nitrogen-containing compounds that are toxic to aquatic and terrestrial organisms. We have studied the effect of AEO treatment on the transcriptome of root and shoot tissues in seedlings of the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. Several genes encoding enzymes involved in the xenobiotic detoxification pathway were upregulated, including cytochrome P450s (CYPs), UDP-dependent glycosyltransferases (UGTs), glutathione-S-transferases (GSTs), and membrane transporters. In addition, gene products involved in oxidative stress, β-oxidation, and glucosinolate degradation were also upregulated, indicating other potential mechanisms of the adaptive response to AEO exposure. These results provide insight into the pathways that plants use to detoxify the organic acid component of OSPW. Moreover, this study advances our understanding of genes that could be exploited to potentially develop phytoremediation and biosensing strategies for AEO contaminants resulting from oil sands mining. PMID:26052061

  9. Beyond Naphthenic Acids: Environmental Screening of Water from Natural Sources and the Athabasca Oil Sands Industry Using Atmospheric Pressure Photoionization Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrow, Mark P.; Peru, Kerry M.; Fahlman, Brian; Hewitt, L. Mark; Frank, Richard A.; Headley, John V.

    2015-09-01

    There is a growing need for environmental screening of natural waters in the Athabasca region of Alberta, Canada, particularly in the differentiation between anthropogenic and naturally-derived organic compounds associated with weathered bitumen deposits. Previous research has focused primarily upon characterization of naphthenic acids in water samples by negative-ion electrospray ionization methods. Atmospheric pressure photoionization is a much less widely used ionization method, but one that affords the possibility of observing low polarity compounds that cannot be readily observed by electrospray ionization. This study describes the first usage of atmospheric pressure photoionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (in both positive-ion and negative-ion modes) to characterize and compare extracts of oil sands process water, river water, and groundwater samples from areas associated with oil sands mining activities. When comparing mass spectra previously obtained by electrospray ionization and data acquired by atmospheric pressure photoionization, there can be a doubling of the number of components detected. In addition to polar compounds that have previously been observed, low-polarity, sulfur-containing compounds and hydrocarbons that do not incorporate a heteroatom were detected. These latter components, which are not amenable to electrospray ionization, have potential for screening efforts within monitoring programs of the oil sands.

  10. A multi-isotope approach for estimating industrial contributions to atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the Athabasca oil sands region in Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Proemse, Bernadette C; Mayer, Bernhard; Fenn, Mark E; Ross, Christopher S

    2013-11-01

    Industrial nitrogen (N) emissions in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR), Alberta, Canada, affect nitrate (NO3) and ammonium (NH4) deposition rates in close vicinity of industrial emitters. NO3-N and NH4-N open field and throughfall deposition rates were determined at various sites between 3 km and 113 km distance to the main oil sand operations between May 2008 and May 2009. NO3 and NH4 were analyzed for δ(15)N-NO3, δ(18)O-NO3, Δ(17)O-NO3 and δ(15)N-NH4. Marked differences in the δ(18)O and Δ(17)O values between industrial emissions and background deposition allowed for the estimation of minimum industrial contributions to atmospheric NO3 deposition. δ(15)N-NH4 values also allowed for estimates of industrial contributions to atmospheric NH4 deposition. Results revealed that particularly sites within ~30 km radius from the main oil sands developments are significantly affected by industrial contributions to atmospheric NO3 and NH4 deposition. PMID:23896680

  11. Beyond Naphthenic Acids: Environmental Screening of Water from Natural Sources and the Athabasca Oil Sands Industry Using Atmospheric Pressure Photoionization Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Barrow, Mark P; Peru, Kerry M; Fahlman, Brian; Hewitt, L Mark; Frank, Richard A; Headley, John V

    2015-09-01

    There is a growing need for environmental screening of natural waters in the Athabasca region of Alberta, Canada, particularly in the differentiation between anthropogenic and naturally-derived organic compounds associated with weathered bitumen deposits. Previous research has focused primarily upon characterization of naphthenic acids in water samples by negative-ion electrospray ionization methods. Atmospheric pressure photoionization is a much less widely used ionization method, but one that affords the possibility of observing low polarity compounds that cannot be readily observed by electrospray ionization. This study describes the first usage of atmospheric pressure photoionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (in both positive-ion and negative-ion modes) to characterize and compare extracts of oil sands process water, river water, and groundwater samples from areas associated with oil sands mining activities. When comparing mass spectra previously obtained by electrospray ionization and data acquired by atmospheric pressure photoionization, there can be a doubling of the number of components detected. In addition to polar compounds that have previously been observed, low-polarity, sulfur-containing compounds and hydrocarbons that do not incorporate a heteroatom were detected. These latter components, which are not amenable to electrospray ionization, have potential for screening efforts within monitoring programs of the oil sands. PMID:26115966

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  13. Source and distribution of naturally occurring arsenic in groundwater from Alberta’s Southern Oil Sands Regions

    SciTech Connect

    Moncur, Michael C.; Paktunc, Dogan; Jean Birks, S.; Ptacek, Carol J.; Welsh, Brent; Thibault, Yves

    2015-11-01

    Arsenic (As) concentrations as high as 179 μg/L have been observed in shallow groundwater in the Alberta’s Southern Oil Sand Regions. The geology of this area of Alberta includes a thick cover (up to 200 m) of unconsolidated glacial deposits, with a number of regional interglacial sand and gravel aquifers, underlain by marine shale. Arsenic concentrations observed in 216 unconsolidated sediment samples ranged from 1 and 17 ppm. A survey of over 800 water wells sampled for As in the area found that 50% of the wells contained As concentrations exceeding drinking water guidelines of 10 μg/L. Higher As concentrations in groundwater were associated with reducing conditions. Measurements of As speciation from 175 groundwater samples indicate that As(III) was the dominant species in 74% of the wells. Speciation model calculations showed that the majority of groundwater samples were undersaturated with respect to ferrihydrite, suggesting that reductive dissolution of Fe-oxyhydroxides may be the source of some As in groundwater. Detailed mineralogical characterization of sediment samples collected from two formations revealed the presence of fresh framboidal pyrite in the deeper unoxidized sediments. Electron microprobe analysis employing wavelength dispersive spectrometry indicated that the framboidal pyrite had variable As content with an average As concentration of 530 ppm, reaching up to 1840 ppm. In contrast, the oxidized sediments did not contain framboidal pyrite, but exhibited spheroidal Fe-oxyhydroxide grains with elevated As concentrations. The habit and composition suggest that these Fe-oxyhydroxide grains in the oxidized sediment were an alteration product of former framboidal pyrite grains. X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy (XANES) indicated that the oxidized sediments are dominated by As(V) species having spectral features similar to those of goethite or ferrihydrite with adsorbed As, suggesting that Fe-oxyhydroxides are the dominant As carriers

  14. Improved Satellite Retrievals of NO2 and SO2 over the Canadian Oil Sands and Comparisons with Surface Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McLinden, C. A.; Fioletov, V.; Boersma, K. F.; Kharol, S. K.; Krotkov, N.; Lamsal, L.; Makar, P. A.; Martin, R. V.; Veefkind, J. P.; Yang, K.

    2014-01-01

    Satellite remote sensing is increasingly being used to monitor air quality over localized sources such as the Canadian oil sands. Following an initial study, significantly low biases have been identified in current NO2 and SO2 retrieval products from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) satellite sensor over this location resulting from a combination of its rapid development and small spatial scale. Air mass factors (AMFs) used to convert line-of-sight "slant" columns to vertical columns were re-calculated for this region based on updated and higher resolution input information including absorber profiles from a regional-scale (15 km × 15 km resolution) air quality model, higher spatial and temporal resolution surface reflectivity, and an improved treatment of snow. The overall impact of these new Environment Canada (EC) AMFs led to substantial increases in the peak NO2 and SO2 average vertical column density (VCD), occurring over an area of intensive surface mining, by factors of 2 and 1.4, respectively, relative to estimates made with previous AMFs. Comparisons are made with long-term averages of NO2 and SO2 (2005-2011) from in situ surface monitors by using the air quality model to map the OMI VCDs to surface concentrations. This new OMI-EC product is able to capture the spatial distribution of the in situ instruments (slopes of 0.65 to 1.0, correlation coefficients of greater than 0.9). The concentration absolute values from surface network observations were in reasonable agreement, with OMI-EC NO2 and SO2 biased low by roughly 30%. Several complications were addressed including correction for the interference effect in the surface NO2 instruments and smoothing and clear-sky biases in the OMI measurements. Overall these results highlight the importance of using input information that accounts for the spatial and temporal variability of the location of interest when performing retrievals.

  15. Transport of stable isotopes of water and sulphate within reclaimed oil sands saline-sodic mine overburden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Mingbin; Hilderman, Joel N.; Barbour, Lee

    2015-10-01

    The reclamation of shale overburden dumps from oil sands mining requires the placement of reclamation covers comprised of salvaged organic and mineral soils. The primary issues associated with the long-term performance of these covers are their ability to store sufficient water to meet transpiration demands and the potential threat of salt ingress into the cover from the underlying shale. The first issue has been addressed in previous studies, so the objective of this study was to evaluate controls on salt ingress through observations and modelling of the transport of the stable isotopes of water and salt within reclaimed profiles at the South Bison Hills overburden dump located north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. The water flow model was based on a dual porosity soil-vegetation-atmosphere model calibrated to observed field data. This model was then used to simulate deuterium and sulphate transport within the soil profiles. The optimized transport model for deuterium was used to estimate net percolation rates through the cover soil into the underlying shale. This model was then used to assess the controls on sulphate migration, including the rate of sulphate generation as a result of ongoing oxidation of the pyritic shale. The model results indicate that the average net percolation rate is a function of topographic location, ranging from 2.2 × 10-5 m/d at slope locations to 20.8 × 10-5 m/d at plateau locations during the unfrozen days. These rates of net percolation should have produced observable patterns of salt flushing from the cover and upper shale. However, the observed sulphate levels could only be simulated by including a production term related to pyrite oxidation of the shale. The simulated oxidation rates ranged from 0.4 to 5.65 mg/L/d, similar to those estimated from previous laboratory and field investigations.

  16. Anaerobic BTEX degradation in oil sands tailings ponds: Impact of labile organic carbon and sulfate-reducing bacteria.

    PubMed

    Stasik, Sebastian; Wick, Lukas Y; Wendt-Potthoff, Katrin

    2015-11-01

    The extraction of bitumen from oil sands in Alberta (Canada) produces volumes of tailings that are pumped into large anaerobic settling-basins. Beside bitumen, tailings comprise fractions of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) that derive from the application of industrial solvents. Due to their toxicity and volatility, BTEX pose a strong concern for gas- and water-phase environments in the vicinity of the ponds. The examination of two pond profiles showed that concentrations of indigenous BTEX decreased with depth, pointing at BTEX transformation in situ. With depth, the relative contribution of ethylbenzene and xylenes to total BTEX significantly decreased, while benzene increased relatively from 44% to 69%, indicating preferential hydrocarbon degradation. To predict BTEX turnover and residence time, we determined BTEX degradation rates in tailings of different depths in a 180-days microcosm study. In addition, we evaluated the impact of labile organic substrates (e.g. acetate) generally considered to stimulate hydrocarbon degradation and the contribution of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) to BTEX turnover. In all depths, BTEX concentrations significantly decreased due to microbial activity, with degradation rates ranging between 4 and 9 μg kg(-1) d(-1). BTEX biodegradation decreased linearly in correlation with initial concentrations, suggesting a concentration-dependent BTEX transformation. SRB were not significantly involved in BTEX consumption, indicating the importance of methanogenic degradation. BTEX removal decreased to 70-90% in presence of organic substrates presumptively due to an accumulation of acetate that lowered BTEX turnover due to product inhibition. In those assays SRB slightly stimulated BTEX transformation by reducing inhibitory acetate levels. PMID:26066083

  17. Temporal variation in the deposition of polycyclic aromatic compounds in snow in the Athabasca Oil Sands area of Alberta.

    PubMed

    Manzano, Carlos A; Muir, Derek; Kirk, Jane; Teixeira, Camilla; Siu, May; Wang, Xiaowa; Charland, Jean-Pierre; Schindler, David; Kelly, Erin

    2016-09-01

    Atmospheric deposition of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) via and onto snow, and their releasing during spring snowmelt has been a concern in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region of Alberta. This study was designed to evaluate the concentrations, loadings, and distribution of PACs in springtime snowpack and how they have changed since the first study in 2008. Snowpack samples were collected in late winters 2011-2014 at varying distances from the main developments. PAC concentration and deposition declined exponentially with distance, with pyrenes, chrysenes, and dibenzothiophenes dominating the distribution within the first 50 km. The distribution of PACs was different between sites located close to upgraders and others located close to mining facilities. Overall, PAC loadings were correlated with priority pollutant elements and water chemistry parameters, while wind direction and speed were not strong contributors to the variability observed. Total PAC mass deposition during winter months and within the first 50 km was initially estimated by integrating the exponential decay function fitted through the data using a limited number of sites from 2011 to 2014: 1236 kg (2011), 1800 kg (2012), 814 kg (2013), and 1367 (2014). Total loadings were estimated to have a twofold increase between 2008 and 2014, although the increase observed was not constant. Finally, kriging interpolation is presented as an alternative and more robust approach to estimate PAC mass deposition in the area. After a more intensive sampling campaign in 2014, the PAC mass deposition was estimated to be 1968 kg. PMID:27581009

  18. Assessing CO2 emissions from Canada's oil sands developments - an inversion approach combined with stable isotope data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, M. G.; Lin, J. C.; Huang, L.; Edwards, T. W.; Jones, J. P.; Polavarapu, S.; Nassar, R.

    2012-12-01

    Reducing uncertainties in the projections of atmospheric CO2 concentration levels relies on increasing our scientific understanding of the exchange processes between atmosphere and land at regional scales, which is highly dependent on climate, ecosystem processes, and anthropogenic disturbances. In order for researchers to reduce the uncertainties, a combined framework that mutually addresses these independent variables to account for each process is invaluable. In this research, an example of top-down inversion modeling approach that is combined with stable isotope measurement data is presented. The potential for the proposed analysis framework is demonstrated using the Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport (STILT) model runs combined with high precision CO2 concentration data measured at a Canadian greenhouse gas monitoring site as well as multiple tracers: stable isotopes and combustion-related species. This framework yields a unique regional scale constraint that can be used to relate the measured changes of tracer concentrations to processes in their upwind source regions. 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 understanding gained through the combined approach can also be used to verify reported emissions as part of regulatory regimes. The results indicate that changes in CO2 concentration is strongly influenced by regional sources, including significant fossil fuel emissions, and that the combined approach can be used to test reported emissions of the greenhouse gas from oil sands developments. Also, methods to further reduce uncertainties in the retrieved emissions by incorporating additional constraints including tracer-to-tracer correlations and satellite measurements are discussed briefly.

  19. Effects of shear-thinning fluids on residual oil formation in microfluidic pore networks.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez de Castro, Antonio; Oostrom, Mart; Shokri, Nima

    2016-06-15

    Two-phase immiscible displacement in porous media is controlled by capillary and viscous forces when gravitational effects are negligible. The relative importance of these forces is quantified through the dimensionless capillary number Ca and the viscosity ratio M between fluid phases. When the displacing fluid is Newtonian, the effects of Ca and M on the displacement patterns can be evaluated independently. However, when the injecting fluids exhibit shear-thinning viscosity behaviour the values of M and Ca are interdependent. Under these conditions, the effects on phase entrapment and the general displacement dynamics cannot be dissociated. In the particular case of shear-thinning aqueous polymer solutions, the degree of interdependence between M and Ca is determined by the polymer concentration. In this work, two-phase immiscible displacement experiments were performed in micromodels, using shear-thinning aqueous polymer solutions as displacing fluids, to investigate the effect of polymer concentration on the relationship between Ca and M, the recovery efficiency, and the size distribution of the trapped non-wetting fluid. Our results show that the differences in terms of magnitude and distribution of the trapped phase are related to the polymer concentration which influences the values of Ca and M. PMID:26998787

  20. In situ bioremediation of naphthenic acids contaminated tailing pond waters in the athabasca oil sands region--demonstrated field studies and plausible options: a review.

    PubMed

    Quagraine, E K; Peterson, H G; Headley, J V

    2005-01-01

    Currently, there are three industrial plants that recover oil from the lower Athabasca oil sands area, and there are plans in the future for several additional mines. The extraction procedures produce large volumes of slurry wastes contaminated with naphthenic acids (NAs). Because of a "zero discharge" policy the oil sands companies do not release any extraction wastes from their leases. The process-affected waters and fluid tailings contaminated with NAs are contained on-site primarily in large settling ponds. These fluid wastes from the tailing ponds can be acutely and chronically toxic to aquatic organisms, and NAs have been associated with this toxicity. The huge tailings containment area must ultimately be reclaimed, and this is of major concern to the oil sands industry. Some reclamation options have been investigated by both pioneering industries (Syncrude Energy Inc. and Suncor Inc.) with mixed results. The bioremediation techniques have limited success to date in biodegrading NAs to levels below 19 mg/L. Some tailing pond waters have been stored for more than 10 years, and it appears that the remaining high molecular weight NAs are refractory to the natural biodegradation process in the ponds. Some plausible options to further degrade the NAs in the tailings pond water include: bioaugmentation with bacteria selected to degrade the more refractory classes of NAs; the use of attachment materials such as clays to concentrate both the NA and the NA-degrading bacteria in their surfaces and/or pores; synergistic association between algae and bacteria consortia to promote efficient aerobic degradation; and biostimulation with nutrients to promote the growth and activity of the microorganisms. PMID:15756978

  1. Use of pre-industrial floodplain lake sediments to establish baseline river metal concentrations downstream of Alberta oil sands: a new approach for detecting pollution of rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiklund, Johan A.; Hall, Roland I.; Wolfe, Brent B.; Edwards, Thomas WD; Farwell, Andrea J.; Dixon, D. George

    2014-12-01

    In the Alberta oil sands region, insufficient knowledge of pre-disturbance reference conditions has undermined the ability of the Regional Aquatics Monitoring Program (RAMP) to detect pollution of the Athabasca River, because sampling began three decades after the industry started and the river naturally erodes oil-bearing strata. Here, we apply a novel approach to characterize pre-industrial reference metal concentrations in river sediment downstream of Alberta oil sands development by analyzing metal concentrations in sediments deposited in floodplain lakes of the Athabasca Delta during 1700-1916, when they were strongly influenced by Athabasca River floodwaters. We compared results to metal concentrations in surficial bottom sediments sampled by RAMP (2010-2013) at downstream sites of the Athabasca River and distributaries. When normalized to lithium content, concentrations of vanadium (a metal of concern in the oil sands region) and other priority pollutants (Be, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, Zn) in nearly all of the RAMP river sediment samples lie below the upper 95% prediction interval linearly extrapolated from the river-derived lake sediments. Assuming the RAMP protocols obtained recently deposited sediment, this indicates that the metal concentrations in downstream Athabasca River sediment have not increased above pre-disturbance levels. Reference conditions derived from the lake sediment data were used to develop profiles of metal residual concentrations versus time for the RAMP river sediment data, which provides an excellent tool for decision-makers to identify and quantify levels of metal pollution for any given sample, and to monitor for future trends. We recommend that the approach be applied to resurrect the utility of RAMP data at other river sampling locations closer to the development, and for ongoing risk assessment. The approach is also readily transferable to other rivers where insufficient pre-disturbance reference data impairs an ability to determine

  2. Shear rheology of hydrophobin adsorption layers at oil/water interfaces and data interpretation in terms of a viscoelastic thixotropic model.

    PubMed

    Radulova, Gergana M; Danov, Krassimir D; Kralchevsky, Peter A; Petkov, Jordan T; Stoyanov, Simeon D

    2014-08-21

    Here, we investigate the surface shear rheology of class II HFBII hydrophobin layers at the oil/water interface. Experiments in two different dynamic regimes, at a fixed rate of strain and oscillations, have been carried out with a rotational rheometer. The rheological data obtained in both regimes comply with the same viscoelastic thixotropic model, which is used to determine the surface shear elasticity and viscosity, E(sh) and η(sh). Their values for HFBII at oil/water interfaces are somewhat lower than those at the air/water interface. Moreover, E(sh) and η(sh) depend on the nature of oil, being smaller for hexadecane in comparison with soybean-oil. It is remarkable that E(sh) is independent of the rate of strain in the whole investigated range of shear rates. For oil/water interfaces, E(sh) and η(sh) determined for HFBII layers are considerably greater than for other proteins, like lysozyme and β-casein. It is confirmed that the hydrophobin forms the most rigid surface layers among all investigated proteins not only for the air/water, but also for the oil/water interface. The wide applicability of the used viscoelastic thixotropic model is confirmed by analyzing data for adsorption layers at oil/water interfaces from lysozyme and β-casein - both native and cross-linked by enzyme, as well as for films from asphaltene. This model turns out to be a versatile tool for determining the surface shear elasticity and viscosity, E(sh) and η(sh), from experimental data for the surface storage and loss moduli, G' and G''. PMID:24981289

  3. Influence of inorganic anions on metals release from oil sands coke and on toxicity of nickel and vanadium to Ceriodaphnia dubia.

    PubMed

    Puttaswamy, Naveen; Liber, Karsten

    2012-02-01

    In a previous study it was shown that pH significantly influences the release of metals from oil sands coke, particularly Ni and V which were identified as the cause of coke leachate toxicity. Coke comes in contact with oil sands process water (OSPW) during its transport to and long term storage in reclamation landscapes. However, the influence of dominant inorganic anions present in OSPW (i.e. HCO(3)(-), Cl(-) and SO(4)(2-)) on metals release from coke and on speciation and toxicity of Ni and V, has not been characterized before. Coke was subjected to a 15-d batch leaching process at four levels of HCO(3)(-), Cl(-) and SO(4)(2-) to determine the influence on metals release and speciation. Further, the effects of each of the three anions on Ni and V toxicity, as well as the mixture toxicity of Ni and V, were assessed using the three-brood Ceriodaphnia dubia test. Inorganic anions had a significant influence on the type and amount of metals released from coke. Specifically, sulfate increased the mobilization of cationic metals (e.g. Ni, Fe, Mn and Zn), whereas bicarbonate enhanced the release of oxyanion forming metals (e.g. Al, As, Mo and V) from coke. Chloride had no particular effect on the type and amount of metals released. With respect to toxicity, elevated bicarbonate levels decreased the 7-d Ni IC50 from 6.3 to 2.3 μg L(-1), whereas sulfate showed an ameliorative effect against V toxicity to C. dubia. In combination, Ni and V acted additively at their highest sub-lethal concentrations. Aqueous chemistry and toxicity of Ni and V are discussed with the goal of informing reclamation efforts at the Athabasca oil sands. PMID:22138340

  4. Shearing stability of lubricants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shiba, Y.; Gijyutsu, G.

    1984-01-01

    Shearing stabilities of lubricating oils containing a high mol. wt. polymer as a viscosity index improver were studied by use of ultrasound. The oils were degraded by cavitation and the degradation generally followed first order kinetics with the rate of degradation increasing with the intensity of the ultrasonic irradiation and the cumulative energy applied. The shear stability was mainly affected by the mol. wt. of the polymer additive and could be determined in a short time by mechanical shearing with ultrasound.

  5. Peroxycarboxylic Nitric Anhydrides as Markers of Anthropogenic and Biogenic VOC Photo-oxidation in the Alberta Oil Sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osthoff, H. D.; Huo, J. A.; Tokarek, T. W.; Odame-Ankrah, C. A.; Saowapon, M. T.; Chen, X.

    2014-12-01

    The peroxycarboxylic nitric anhydrides (molecular formula RC(O)O2NO2) are well-known byproducts of the photo-oxidation chemistry between NOx and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that produces ozone (O3) and photochemical smog. More than 43 different PAN species are known; their relative abundances are chemical markers of the types and quantities of the VOCs involved in the O3-formation process. For example, MPAN (R: CH2=C(CH3)-) is primarily derived from isoprene and thus a marker of biogenic VOC oxidation, whereas PPN (R: C2H5-) is a photo-oxidation byproduct of anthropogenic VOCs. In the summer of 2013 an intensive air quality measurement campaign was conducted to investigate the impacts of emissions from the Alberta oil sands mining operations on the chemical composition of ambient air. As part of this effort, several peroxycarboxylic nitric anhydrides, specifically PAN (R: CH3-), PPN, MPAN, APAN (R: CH2=CH-), and PiBN (R: iC3H7-), were quantified by gas chromatography with electron capture detection at the AMS13 ground site near Fort McKay, Alberta. Furthermore, total peroxyacyl nitrates (ΣPAN) were quantified by thermal dissociation cavity ring-down spectroscopy (TD-CRDS). PAN mixing ratios typically peaked in the mid-afternoon (maximum PAN mixing ratio of 0.85 ppbv), constituting up to 25% of total odd nitrogen (NOy), and were usually below detection limits at night. ΣPAN was generally greater than the amount calculated by summation of individually measured PANs (SPANi) suggesting the presence of PAN species not measured by GC. During times of active photo-oxidation chemistry, the PPN:PAN and MPAN:PAN ratios varied considerably between days, depending on air mass origin and VOC composition. A linear combination model (LCM) was used to assess regional O3 production from the oxidation of biogenic hydrocarbons (via MPAN) relative to that of anthropogenic hydrocarbons (via PPN). The relative contribution of anthropogenic VOCs to regional O3 production varied

  6. Water, Energy and Carbon Balance Research: Recovery Trajectories For Oil Sands Reclamation and Disturbed Watersheds in the Western Boreal Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrone, R. M.; Carey, S. K.

    2014-12-01

    The Oil Sand Region (OSR) of North-Central Alberta exists within the sub-humid Boreal Plains (BP) ecozone, with a slight long-term moisture deficit regime. Despite this deficit, the BP is comprised of productive wetland and mixed wood (aspen and conifer dominated) forests. Reclamation activities are now underway at a large number of surface mining operations in the OSR, where target ecosystems are identified, soil prescriptions placed and commercial forest species planted. Some watersheds have been created that now contain wetlands. However, recent work in the BP suggests that over time wetlands supply moisture for the productivity of upland forests. Thus, water use of reclaimed forests is going to be critical in determining the sustainability of these systems and adjacent wetlands, and whether in time, either will achieve some form of equivalent capability that will allow for certification by regulators. A critical component in the success of any reclamation is that sufficient water is available to support target ecosystems through the course of natural climate cycles in the region. Water Use Efficiency (WUE), which links photosynthesis (GEP) with water use (Evapotranspiration (ET)), provides a useful metric to compare ecosystems and evaluate their utilization of resources. In this study, 41 site years of total growing season water and carbon flux data over 8 sites (4 reclamation, 4 regeneration) were evaluated using eddy covariance micrometeorological towers. WUE shows clear discrimination among ecosystem types as aspen stands assimilate more carbon per unit weight of water than conifers. WUEs also change with time as ecosystems become more effective at transpiring water through plant pathways compared with bare-soil evaporation, which allows an assessment of ability to limit water loss without carbon uptake. In addition, clonal rooting systems allow aspen forests to recover quicker after disturbance than reclamation sites in terms of their WUE. For reclamation

  7. A new twist to a traditional approach to environmental monitoring: differentiation of oil sands process-affected waters and natural systems by comparison of individual organic acids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarlett, A.; Lengger, S.; West, C.; Rowland, S.

    2013-12-01

    Review panels of both the Canadian Federal and Alberta Provincial governments have recommended a complete overhaul of existing monitoring programs of the Athabasca oil sands industry and have called for a greater understanding of the potential impacts of mining activities to allow for future sustainable development. Due to the no release policy, it is critical that leakages of oil sands process-affected waters (OSPW) from tailings ponds can be differentiated from natural waters flowing through the McMurray formation into the Athabasca river system. Environmental monitoring of oil contamination usually entails profiling of known compounds, e.g. the US EPA list of priority Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, but until now a similar approach has not been possible for OSPW due to its extreme complexity. It has been estimated that the number of carboxylic acids, historically referred to as ';naphthenic acids' (NA) in OSPW, to be in excess of 10000 compounds. Until recently, individual structures of these NA were unknown but analyses by tandem gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCxGC-MS) have now begun to reveal the individual structures of alicyclic, aromatic and sulphur-containing acids within OSPWs stored in tailings ponds. Now that some individual structures present in OSPW are known and standards are available, a methodological approach similar to traditional oil monitoring can be developed using individual diamondoid NA and recently discovered diacids and applied to tailings pond OSPW and environmental waters. One obstacle to understanding whether the NA present in environmental groundwater samples are associated with particular tailings ponds is the lack of knowledge of the variability of OSPW within and between ponds. In the current study, GCxGC-MS analyses have been applied to statistically compare OSPWs of two industries, both temporally and spatially, using specific, known compounds as well as associated isomers. Although variation within individual ponds was

  8. Effects of canopy-deposition interaction on H+ supply to soils in Pinus banksiana and Populus tremuloides ecosystems in the Athabasca oil sands region in Alberta, Canada.

    PubMed

    Jung, Kangho; Chang, Scott X; Arshad, M A Charlie

    2011-05-01

    Soil acidification has been of concern in the oil sands region in Alberta due to increased acid deposition. Using the canopy budget model, and accounting for H(+) canopy leaching by organic acids, we determined sources and sinks of H+ in throughfall in jack pine (Pinus banksiana) and trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) stands in two watersheds from 2006 to 2009. In pine stands, H+ deposition was greater in throughfall than in bulk precipitation while the opposite was true in aspen stands. The annual H+ interception deposition was 148.8-193.8 and 49.7-70.0 molcha(-1) in pine and aspen stands, respectively; while the annual H+ canopy leaching was 127.1-128.7 and 0.0-6.0 molcha(-1), respectively. The greater H+ supply in pine stands was caused by greater interception deposition of SO4(2-) and organic acids released from the pine canopy. Such findings have significant implications for establishing critical loads for various ecosystems in the oil sands region. PMID:21310518

  9. DNA stable-isotope probing of oil sands tailings pond enrichment cultures reveals different key players for toluene degradation under methanogenic and sulfidogenic conditions.

    PubMed

    Laban, Nidal Abu; Dao, Anh; Foght, Julia

    2015-05-01

    Oil sands tailings ponds are anaerobic repositories of fluid wastes produced by extraction of bitumen from oil sands ores. Diverse indigenous microbiota biodegrade hydrocarbons (including toluene) in situ, producing methane, carbon dioxide and/or hydrogen sulfide, depending on electron acceptor availability. Stable-isotope probing of cultures enriched from tailings associated specific taxa and functional genes to (13)C6- and (12)C7-toluene degradation under methanogenic and sulfate-reducing conditions. Total DNA was subjected to isopycnic ultracentrifugation followed by gradient fraction analysis using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and construction of 16S rRNA, benzylsuccinate synthase (bssA) and dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dsrB) gene clone libraries. T-RFLP analysis plus sequencing and in silico digestion of cloned taxonomic and functional genes revealed that Clostridiales, particularly Desulfosporosinus (136 bp T-RF) contained bssA genes and were key toluene degraders during methanogenesis dominated by Methanosaeta. Deltaproteobacterial Desulfobulbaceae (157 bp T-RF) became dominant under sulfidogenic conditions, likely because the Desulfosporosinus T-RF 136 apparently lacks dsrB and therefore, unlike its close relatives, is presumed incapable of dissimilatory sulfate reduction. We infer incomplete oxidation of toluene by Desulfosporosinus in syntrophic association with Methanosaeta under methanogenic conditions, and complete toluene oxidation by Desulfobulbaceae during sulfate reduction. PMID:25873466

  10. Biogeochemical processes controlling the mobility of major ions and trace metals in aquitard sediments beneath an oil sand tailing pond: Laboratory studies and reactive transport modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holden, A. A.; Haque, S. E.; Mayer, K. U.; Ulrich, A. C.

    2013-08-01

    Increased production and expansion of the oil sand industry in Alberta are of great benefit to the economy, but they carry major environmental challenges. The volume of fluid fine tailings requiring storage is 840 × 106 m3 and growing, making it imperative that we better understand the fate and transport of oil sand process-affected water (OSPW) seepage from these facilities. Accordingly, the current study seeks to characterize both a) the potential for major ion and trace element release, and b) the principal biogeochemical processes involved, as tailing pond OSPW infiltrates into, and interacts with, underlying glacial till sediments prior to reaching down gradient aquifers or surface waters. Objectives were addressed through a series of aqueous and solid phase experiments, including radial diffusion cells, an isotope analysis, X-ray diffraction, and sequential extractions. The diffusion cells were also simulated in a reactive transport framework to elucidate key reaction processes. The experiments indicate that the ingress and interaction of OSPW with the glacial till sediment-pore water system will result in: a mitigation of ingressing Na (retardation), displacement and then limited precipitation of exchangeable Ca and Mg (as carbonates), sulfate reduction and subsequent precipitation of the produced sulfides, as well as biodegradation of organic carbon. High concentrations of ingressing Cl (~ 375 mg L- 1) and Na (~ 575 mg L- 1) (even though the latter is delayed, or retarded) are expected to migrate through the till and into the underlying sand channel. Trace element mobility was influenced by ion exchange, oxidation-reduction, and mineral phase reactions including reductive dissolution of metal oxyhydroxides — in accordance with previous observations within sandy aquifer settings. Furthermore, although several trace elements showed the potential for release (Al, B, Ba, Cd, Mn, Pb, Si, Sr), large-scale mobilization is not supported. Thus, the present

  11. Examination of mercury and organic carbon dynamics from a constructed fen in the Athabasca oil sands region, Alberta, Canada using in situ and laboratory fluorescence measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oswald, C.; Carey, S. K.

    2013-12-01

    In the Athabasca oil sands region, mined landscapes must be reclaimed to a functioning natural ecosystem as part of the mine closure process. To test wetland construction techniques on oil sands tailings, 55 ha of mined landscape on the Syncrude Canada Ltd. property is being reclaimed to a watershed containing a graminoid fen. The 18 ha constructed fen consists of an approximately 50 cm thick peat-mineral soil layer separated from underlying tailings sand by a thin layer of clay till. The water table in the fen is maintained by pumping water into the fen from a nearby lake and controlling outflow with under-drains. The objective of this study was to assess total mercury (THg) and methyl mercury (MeHg) concentration dynamics in water exported from the fen in relation to organic carbon quantity and composition. Water quality data from summer 2012 when the fen pumps were first turned on show that dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations are on average twice as high in water flowing through the underlying tailings sand aquifer (median: 42.0 mg/L) compared to DOC concentrations in water flowing through the fen peat package (median: 20.3 mg/L). Given these DOC concentrations, filtered THg concentrations are very low (median values are 0.81 ng/L and 0.17 ng/L for water flowing through the fen peat and sand tailings, respectively) compared to concentrations reported for other boreal wetlands. Although a relationship was identified between filtered THg and DOC (r2=0.60), its slope (0.06 ng Hg/mg C) is an order-of-magnitude smaller than the typical range of slopes found at other wetland sites potentially suggesting a small pool of mercury in the peat and/or limited partitioning of mercury into solution. Filtered MeHg concentrations in all water samples are near the limit of detection and suggest that biogeochemical conditions conducive to methylation did not exist in the fen peat or tailings sand at the time of sampling. In addition to these baseline THg and Me

  12. Characterization of trace gases measured over Alberta oil sands mining operations: 76 speciated C2-C10 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), CO2, CH4, CO, NO, NO2, NOy, O3 and SO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simpson, I. J.; Blake, N. J.; Barletta, B.; Diskin, G. S.; Fuelberg, H. E.; Gorham, K.; Huey, L. G.; Meinardi, S.; Rowland, F. S.; Vay, S. A.; Weinheimer, A. J.; Yang, M.; Blake, D. R.

    2010-12-01

    Oil sands comprise 30% of the world's oil reserves and the crude oil reserves in Canada's oil sands deposits are second only to Saudi Arabia. The extraction and processing of oil sands is much more challenging than for light sweet crude oils because of the high viscosity of the bitumen contained within the oil sands and because the bitumen is mixed with sand and contains chemical impurities such as sulphur. Despite these challenges, the importance of oil sands is increasing in the energy market. To our best knowledge this is the first peer-reviewed study to characterize volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from Alberta's oil sands mining sites. We present high-precision gas chromatography measurements of 76 speciated C2-C10 VOCs (alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, cycloalkanes, aromatics, monoterpenes, oxygenated hydrocarbons, halocarbons and sulphur compounds) in 17 boundary layer air samples collected over surface mining operations in northeast Alberta on 10 July 2008, using the NASA DC-8 airborne laboratory as a research platform. In addition to the VOCs, we present simultaneous measurements of CO2, CH4, CO, NO, NO2, NOy, O3 and SO2, which were measured in situ aboard the DC-8. Carbon dioxide, CH4, CO, NO, NO2, NOy, SO2 and 53 VOCs (e.g., non-methane hydrocarbons, halocarbons, sulphur species) showed clear statistical enhancements (1.1-397×) over the oil sands compared to local background values and, with the exception of CO, were greater over the oil sands than at any other time during the flight. Twenty halocarbons (e.g., CFCs, HFCs, halons, brominated species) either were not enhanced or were minimally enhanced (<10%) over the oil sands. Ozone levels remained low because of titration by NO, and three VOCs (propyne, furan, MTBE) remained below their 3 pptv detection limit throughout the flight. Based on their correlations with one another, the compounds emitted by the oil sands industry fell into two groups: (1) evaporative emissions from the oil sands and its

  13. Endocrine disruption and oxidative stress in larvae of Chironomus dilutus following short-term exposure to fresh or aged oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Wiseman, S B; Anderson, J C; Liber, K; Giesy, J P

    2013-10-15

    Understanding the toxicity of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is a significant issue associated with the production of oil from the Alberta oil sands. OSPW is acutely and chronically toxic to organisms, including larvae of Chironomus dilutus. In this study, fresh OSPW ('WIP-OSPW') was collected from the West In-Pit settling pond and aged OSPW ('FE5-OSPW') was collected from the FE5 experimental reclamation pond, both of which are located on the Syncrude Canada Ltd. lease site near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Larvae of C. dilutus were exposed to a freshwater control, WIP-OSPW, or FE5-OSPW for 4 or 7 days and survival, growth, and markers of oxidative stress and endocrine disruption were assessed. Survival was not significantly different among treatment groups. Compared to masses of larvae exposed to freshwater, masses of larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW were 49% lesser on day 4 and 62% lesser on day 7. However, organisms exposed to FE5-OSPW did not have significantly lesser masses than controls. Abundances of transcripts of glutathione-s-transferase (gst), catalase (cat), and glutathione peroxidase (gpx), which are important for the response to oxidative stress, were significantly altered in larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW, but not FE5-OSPW, relative to controls. Peroxidation of lipids was greater in larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW, but not FE5-OSPW. Exposure to fresh OSPW might have caused endocrine disruption because abundances of transcripts of the steroid hormone receptors, ultraspiricle protein (usp), ecysteroid receptor (esr), and estrogen related receptor (err) were greater in larvae exposed to WIP-OSPW for 7 days, but not FE5-OSPW. These results suggest that lesser growth of larvae of C. dilutus exposed to fresh OSPW might be due to oxidative stress and disruption of endocrine processes, and that aging of OSPW attenuates these adverse effects. PMID:24096237

  14. Removal of organic compounds and trace metals from oil sands process-affected water using zero valent iron enhanced by petroleum coke.

    PubMed

    Pourrezaei, Parastoo; Alpatova, Alla; Khosravi, Kambiz; Drzewicz, Przemysław; Chen, Yuan; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2014-06-15

    The oil production generates large volumes of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW), referring to the water that has been in contact with oil sands or released from tailings deposits. There are concerns about the environmental impacts of the release of OSPW because of its toxicity. Zero valent iron alone (ZVI) and in combination with petroleum coke (CZVI) were investigated as environmentally friendly treatment processes for the removal of naphthenic acids (NAs), acid-extractable fraction (AEF), fluorophore organic compounds, and trace metals from OSPW. While the application of 25 g/L ZVI to OSPW resulted in 58.4% removal of NAs in the presence of oxygen, the addition of 25 g petroleum coke (PC) as an electron conductor enhanced the NAs removal up to 90.9%. The increase in ZVI concentration enhanced the removals of NAs, AEF, and fluorophore compounds from OSPW. It was suggested that the electrons generated from the oxidation of ZVI were transferred to oxygen, resulting in the production of hydroxyl radicals and oxidation of NAs. When OSPW was de-oxygenated, the NAs removal decreased to 17.5% and 65.4% during treatment with ZVI and CZVI, respectively. The removal of metals in ZVI samples was similar to that obtained during CZVI treatment. Although an increase in ZVI concentration did not enhance the removal of metals, their concentrations effectively decreased at all ZVI loadings. The Microtox(®) bioassay with Vibrio fischeri showed a decrease in the toxicity of ZVI- and CZVI-treated OSPW. The results obtained in this study showed that the application of ZVI in combination with PC is a promising technology for OSPW treatment. PMID:24681364

  15. Early Cretaceous to Paleocene North American Drainage Reorganization and Sediment Routing from Detrital Zircons: Significance to the Alberta Oil Sands and Gulf of Mexico Petroleum Provinces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blum, M. D.

    2014-12-01

    Detrital zircons (DZs) represent a powerful tool for reconstructing continental paleodrainage. This paper uses new DZ data from Lower Cretaceous strata of the Alberta foreland basin, and Upper Cretaceous and Cenozoic strata of the Gulf of Mexico passive margin, to reconstruct paleodrainage and sediment routing, and illustrate significance to giant hydrocarbon systems. DZ populations from the Lower Cretaceous Mannville Group of Alberta and Saskatchewan infer a continental-scale river system that routed sediment from the eastern 2/3rds of North America to the Boreal Sea. Aptian McMurray Formation fluvial sands were derived from a drainage sourced in the Appalachians that was similar in scale to the modern Amazon. Albian fluvial sandstones of the Clearwater and Grand Rapids Formations were derived from the same Appalachian-sourced drainage area, which had expanded to include tributaries from the Cordilleran arc of the northwest US and southwest Canada. DZ populations from the Gulf of Mexico coastal plain complement this view, showing that only the southern US and Appalachian-Ouachita cordillera was integrated with the Gulf through the Late Cretaceous. However, by the Paleocene, drainage from the US Western Cordillera to the Appalachians had been routed to the Gulf of Mexico, establishing the template for sediment routing that persists today. The paleodrainage reorganization and changes in sediment routing described above played key roles in establishment of the Alberta oil sands and Gulf of Mexico as giant petroleum provinces. Early Cretaceous routing of a continental-scale fluvial system to the Alberta foreland provided large and contiguous fluvial point-bar sand bodies that became economically viable reservoirs, whereas mid- to late Cretaceous drainage reorganization routed greatly increased sediment loads to the Gulf of Mexico, which loaded the shelf, matured source rocks, and drove the gravitational and salt tectonics that helped establish the working hydrocarbon

  16. Sand reinforced with shredded waste tires

    SciTech Connect

    Foose, G.J.; Benson, C.H.; Bosscher, P.J.

    1996-09-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using shredded waste tires to reinforce sand. Direct shear tests were conducted on mixtures of dry sand and shredded waste tires. The following factors were studied to evaluate their influence on shear strength: normal stress, sand matrix unit weight, shred content, shred length, and shred orientation. From results of the tests, three significant factors affecting shear strength were identified: normal stress, shred content, and sand matrix unit weight. A model for estimating the strength of reinforced soils was also evaluated to determine its applicability to mixtures of sand and tire shreds. When the model is calibrated using results from one shred content, it may be useful for estimating the friction angle for other shred contents. In all cases, adding shredded tires increased the shear strength of sand, with an apparent friction angle ({phi}{prime}) as large as 67{degree} being obtained. Shred content and sand matrix unit weight were the most significant characteristics of the mixes influencing shear strength. Increasing either of these variables resulted in an increase in {phi}{prime}. Tests were also conducted on specimens consisting of only shredded tires (no sand), and the friction angle obtained was 30{degree}.

  17. An omic approach for the identification of oil sands process-affected water compounds using multivariate statistical analysis of ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry datasets.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuan; McPhedran, Kerry N; Perez-Estrada, Leonidas; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2015-04-01

    Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is a major environmental issue due to its acute and chronic toxicity to aquatic life. Advanced oxidation processes are promising treatments to successfully degrade toxic OSPW compounds. This study applied high resolution mass spectrometry to detect over 1000 compounds in OSPW samples after treatments including general ozonation, and ozone with carbonate, tert-butyl-alcohol, carbonate/tert-butyl-alcohol, tetranitromethane, or iron. Hierarchal clustering analysis showed that samples clustered based on sampling time and principal component analysis corroborated these results while also providing information on significant markers responsible for the clustering. Some markers were uniquely present in certain treatment conditions, while others showed variable behaviors in two or more treatments due to the presence of scavengers/catalysts. This advanced approach to monitoring significant changes of markers by using multivariate analysis can be invaluable for future work on OSPW treatment by-products and their potential toxicity to receiving environment organisms. PMID:25546461

  18. Evidence of low toxicity of oil sands process-affected water to birds invites re-evaluation of avian protection strategies.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Exposure to water containing petroleum waste products can generate both overt and subtle toxicological responses in wildlife, including birds. Such exposure can occur in the tailings ponds of the mineable oil sands, which are located in Alberta, Canada, under a major continental flyway for waterfowl. Over the 40 year history of the industry, a few thousand bird deaths have been reported following contact with bitumen on the ponds, but a new monitoring programme demonstrated that many thousands of birds land annually without apparent harm. This new insight creates an urgent need for more information on the sublethal effects on birds from non-bitumen toxicants that occur in the water, including naphthenic acids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals and salts. Ten studies have addressed the effects of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW), and none reported acute or substantial adverse health effects. Interpretive caution is warranted, however, because nine of the studies addressed reclaimed wetlands that received OSPW, not OSPW ponds per se, and differences between experimental and reference sites may have been reduced by shared sources of pollution in the surrounding air and water. Two studies examined eggs of birds nesting >100 km from the mine sites. Only one study exposed birds directly and repeatedly to OSPW and found no consistent differences between treated and control birds in blood-based health metrics. If it is true that aged forms of OSPW do not markedly affect the health of birds that land briefly on the ponds, then the extensiveness of current bird-deterrent programmes is unwarranted and could exert negative net environmental effects. More directed research on bird health is urgently needed, partly because birds that land on these ponds subsequently migrate to destinations throughout North America where they are consumed by both humans and wildlife predators. PMID:27293723

  19. A hybrid froth flotation-filtration system as a pretreatment for oil sands tailings pond recycle water management: Bench- and pilot-scale studies.

    PubMed

    Loganathan, Kavithaa; Bromley, David; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2015-09-15

    Through sustainable water management, oil sands companies are working to reduce their reliance on fresh water by minimizing the amount of water required for their operations and by recycling water from tailings ponds. This study was the first pilot-scale testing of a hybrid technology consisting of froth flotation combined with filtration through precoated submerged stainless steel membranes used to treat recycle water from an oil sands facility. The results indicated that the most important factor affecting the performance of the hybrid system was the influent water quality. Any rise in the levels of suspended solids or total organic carbon of the feed water resulted in changes of chemical consumption rates, flux rates, and operating cycle durations. The selections of chemical type and dosing rates were critical in achieving optimal performance. In particular, the froth application rate heavily affected the overall recovery of the hybrid system as well as the performance of the flotation process. Optimum surfactant usage to generate froth (per liter of treated water) was 0.25 mL/L at approximately 2000 NTU of influent turbidity and 0.015 mL/L at approximately 200 NTU of influent turbidity. At the tested conditions, the optimal coagulant dose was 80 mg/L (as Al) at approximately 2000 NTU of influent turbidity and <40 mg/L (as Al) at approximately 200 NTU of influent turbidity. Precoat loading per unit membrane surface area tested during the pilot study was approximately 30 g/m(2). The results of this study indicated that this hybrid technology can potentially be considered as a pre-treatment step for reverse osmosis treatment of recycle water. PMID:26164269

  20. Evidence of low toxicity of oil sands process-affected water to birds invites re-evaluation of avian protection strategies

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Exposure to water containing petroleum waste products can generate both overt and subtle toxicological responses in wildlife, including birds. Such exposure can occur in the tailings ponds of the mineable oil sands, which are located in Alberta, Canada, under a major continental flyway for waterfowl. Over the 40 year history of the industry, a few thousand bird deaths have been reported following contact with bitumen on the ponds, but a new monitoring programme demonstrated that many thousands of birds land annually without apparent harm. This new insight creates an urgent need for more information on the sublethal effects on birds from non-bitumen toxicants that occur in the water, including naphthenic acids, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals and salts. Ten studies have addressed the effects of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW), and none reported acute or substantial adverse health effects. Interpretive caution is warranted, however, because nine of the studies addressed reclaimed wetlands that received OSPW, not OSPW ponds per se, and differences between experimental and reference sites may have been reduced by shared sources of pollution in the surrounding air and water. Two studies examined eggs of birds nesting >100 km from the mine sites. Only one study exposed birds directly and repeatedly to OSPW and found no consistent differences between treated and control birds in blood-based health metrics. If it is true that aged forms of OSPW do not markedly affect the health of birds that land briefly on the ponds, then the extensiveness of current bird-deterrent programmes is unwarranted and could exert negative net environmental effects. More directed research on bird health is urgently needed, partly because birds that land on these ponds subsequently migrate to destinations throughout North America where they are consumed by both humans and wildlife predators. PMID:27293723

  1. Biogeochemical processes controlling the mobility of major ions and trace metals in aquitard sediments beneath an oil sand tailing pond: laboratory studies and reactive transport modeling.

    PubMed

    Holden, A A; Haque, S E; Mayer, K U; Ulrich, A C

    2013-08-01

    Increased production and expansion of the oil sand industry in Alberta are of great benefit to the economy, but they carry major environmental challenges. The volume of fluid fine tailings requiring storage is 840×10(6) m(3) and growing, making it imperative that we better understand the fate and transport of oil sand process-affected water (OSPW) seepage from these facilities. Accordingly, the current study seeks to characterize both a) the potential for major ion and trace element release, and b) the principal biogeochemical processes involved, as tailing pond OSPW infiltrates into, and interacts with, underlying glacial till sediments prior to reaching down gradient aquifers or surface waters. Objectives were addressed through a series of aqueous and solid phase experiments, including radial diffusion cells, an isotope analysis, X-ray diffraction, and sequential extractions. The diffusion cells were also simulated in a reactive transport framework to elucidate key reaction processes. The experiments indicate that the ingress and interaction of OSPW with the glacial till sediment-pore water system will result in: a mitigation of ingressing Na (retardation), displacement and then limited precipitation of exchangeable Ca and Mg (as carbonates), sulfate reduction and subsequent precipitation of the produced sulfides, as well as biodegradation of organic carbon. High concentrations of ingressing Cl (~375 mg L(-1)) and Na (~575 mg L(-1)) (even though the latter is delayed, or retarded) are expected to migrate through the till and into the underlying sand channel. Trace element mobility was influenced by ion exchange, oxidation-reduction, and mineral phase reactions including reductive dissolution of metal oxyhydroxides - in accordance with previous observations within sandy aquifer settings. Furthermore, although several trace elements showed the potential for release (Al, B, Ba, Cd, Mn, Pb, Si, Sr), large-scale mobilization is not supported. Thus, the present

  2. Modeling and mapping the effects of heat and pressure outside a SAGD steam chamber using time-lapse multicomponent seismic data, Athabasca oil sands, Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeigler, Loren Michelle

    The field of study is a bitumen producing reservoir within the McMurray Formation. The deposit is a part of the Athabasca oil sands trend in Northeastern Alberta, Canada. This field contains 16 well pads that are, combined, producing more than 41,000 BOPD. Bitumen reservoirs are unique as a result of their high viscosity, low API gravity oil. This oil in this field has been produced by means of a method called Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), since 2007. In this method, two vertically stacked, horizontal wells are drilled. The upper well injects high temperature, high pressure steam and as the viscosity of the bitumen decreases it will begin to flow, via gravity, down to the lower producing well. Reservoir monitoring in this field is very important for multiple reasons, including the shallow depth and the large velocity changes that result from SAGD production. In order to map these changes, time-lapse multicomponent data were incorporated with rock physics modeling in order to map and interpret changes in Vp/Vs with production. When fluid substitution results and pressure estimations are combined, the resulting velocities are consistent with the core sample modeling done by Kato et al. (2008). These results were then compared with the seismic data in order to identify areas affected by steam, heat, and pressure within the reservoir through time-lapse Vp/Vs. PP time-lapse results show the location of the steam chamber within the reservoir, however these data do not give any information about the effects of pressure or heat. Converted-wave (PS) data can be used to image pressure and viscosity changes in the reservoir. When these data are combined into a Vp/Vs volume, the effects of steam, heat and pressure can be identified. Vp/Vs areas of little to no difference indicate steamed zones while the surrounding areas with large differences indicate heated and pressured zones.

  3. Biodegradation of subsurface oil in a tidally influenced sand beach: Impact of hydraulics and interaction with pore water chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geng, Xiaolong; Boufadel, Michel C.; Lee, Kenneth; Abrams, Stewart; Suidan, Makram

    2015-05-01

    The aerobic biodegradation of oil in tidally influenced beaches was investigated numerically in this work using realistic beach and tide conditions. A numerical model BIOMARUN, coupling a multiple-Monod kinetic model BIOB to a density-dependent variably saturated groundwater flow model 2-D MARUN, was used to simulate the biodegradation of low-solubility hydrocarbon and transport processes of associated solute species (i.e., oxygen and nitrogen) in a tidally influenced beach environment. It was found that different limiting factors affect different portions of the beach. In the upper intertidal zone, where the inland incoming nutrient concentration was large (1.2 mg N/L), oil biodegradation occurred deeper in the beach (i.e., 0.3 m below the surface). In the midintertidal zone, a reversal was noted where the biodegradation was fast at shallow locations (i.e., 0.1 m below the surface), and it was due to the decrease of oxygen with depth due to consumption, which made oxygen the limiting factor for biodegradation. Oxygen concentration in the midintertidal zone exhibited two peaks as a function of time. One peak was associated with the high tide, when dissolved oxygen laden seawater filled the beach and a second oxygen peak was observed during low tides, and it was due to pore oxygen replenishment from the atmosphere. The effect of the capillary fringe (CF) height was investigated, and it was found that there is an optimal CF for the maximum biodegradation of oil in the beach. Too large a CF (i.e., very fine material) would attenuate oxygen replenishment (either from seawater or the atmosphere), while too small a CF (i.e., very coarse material) would reduce the interaction between microorganisms and oil in the upper intertidal zone due to rapid reduction in the soil moisture at low tide. This article was corrected on 22 JUN 2015. See the end of the full text for details.

  4. Development of CFD-Based Simulation Tools for In-Situ Thermal Processing of Oil Shale/Sands

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2012-02-01

    In our research, we are taking the novel approach of developing and applying high performance computing, computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-based simulation tools to a modified in-situ process for production of oil from oil shale. The simulation tools being developed capture the relevant physical processes and data from a large-scale system. The modified in-situ application is a pilot-scale heat transfer process inside Red Leaf Resources EcoShale capsule. We demonstrate the need to understand fluid flow behavior in the convective channels of the rubblized shale bed as convective heating greatly decreases the time required to heat the oil shale to the production temperature when compared with conductive heating alone. We have developed and implemented a geometry creation strategy for a representative section of the EcoShale capsule, developed a meshing approach to deal with the complicated geometry and produce a well-behaved mesh, analyzed the effects of boundary conditions on the simulation results, and devised a new operator splitting solution algorithm that reduces computational costs by taking advantage of the differing convective and conductive time scales occurring in the simulation. These simulation tools can be applied to a wide range of processes involving convective fluid flow heating in rubblized beds.

  5. Vertical Profiles of SO2 and NO2 in the Alberta Oil Sands: MAX-DOAS Measurements and Comparison to in-situ Instrumentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, Zoe; Lobo, Akshay; McLaren, Robert

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the levels of industrially emitted gas pollutants in the Alberta oil sands is essential to making quality environmental management decisions but is currently limited due to scarcity of top-down quantification studies. Multi-Axis Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) measurements of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) , important tropospheric trace gas pollutants, contributes to improved knowledge of these pollutants' levels, vertical distributions and chemical transformations. A mini-MAX-DOAS instrument measured spectra at multiple viewing elevation angles in order to retrieve NO2 and SO2 differential slant column densities (dSCDs) at an Environment Canada research site north of Fort McMurray, Alberta in the fall of 2013. For the first time in the oil sands, tropospheric vertical profiles of NO2 and SO2 were retrieved by applying the optimal estimation technique to the MAX-DOAS measurements. The DOAS fit retrievals of SO2 dSCDs were validated by comparison with retrievals obtained with a quartz calibration cell with known SO2 SCD placed in front of the MAX-DOAS telescope at multiple elevation angles on a clean day. Retrieved SO2 dSCDs varied significantly from the true value depending on the chosen wavelength fitting interval. At the lowest wavelength intervals, interference by stray light and O3 differential structures significantly reduced dSCDs and caused an elevation angle dependence. These results indicate that MAX-DOAS dSCD retrieval settings, particularly for weak absorbers with differential absorption structures in low-intensity spectral regions, must be chosen carefully in order to achieve the most accurate results. Tropospheric vertical column densities (VCDs) and vertical profile retrievals of NO2, SO2 and aerosol extinction during significant pollution events will be illustrated. Trace gas vertical profiles exhibited significant variability between days and at different times of day and were often spatially

  6. Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) satellite observations of ammonia, methanol, formic acid, and carbon monoxide over the Canadian oil sands: validation and model evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shephard, M. W.; McLinden, C. A.; Cady-Pereira, K. E.; Luo, M.; Moussa, S. G.; Leithead, A.; Liggio, J.; Staebler, R. M.; Akingunola, A.; Makar, P.; Lehr, P.; Zhang, J.; Henze, D. K.; Millet, D. B.; Bash, J. O.; Zhu, L.; Wells, K. C.; Capps, S. L.; Chaliyakunnel, S.; Gordon, M.; Hayden, K.; Brook, J. R.; Wolde, M.; Li, S.-M.

    2015-12-01

    The wealth of air quality information provided by satellite infrared observations of ammonia (NH3), carbon monoxide (CO), formic acid (HCOOH), and methanol (CH3OH) is currently being explored and used for a number of applications, especially at regional or global scales. These applications include air quality monitoring, trend analysis, emissions, and model evaluation. This study provides one of the first direct validations of Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) satellite-retrieved profiles of NH3, CH3OH, and HCOOH through comparisons with coincident aircraft profiles. The comparisons are performed over the Canadian oil sands region during the intensive field campaign (August-September, 2013) in support of the Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring (JOSM). The satellite/aircraft comparisons over this region during this period produced errors of (i) +0.08 ± 0.25 ppbv for NH3, (ii) +7.5 ± 23 ppbv for CO, (iii) +0.19 ± 0.46 ppbv for HCOOH, and (iv) -1.1 ± 0.39 ppbv for CH3OH. These values mostly agree with previously estimated retrieval errors; however, the relatively large negative bias in CH3OH and the significantly greater positive bias for larger HCOOH and CO values observed during this study warrant further investigation. Satellite and aircraft ammonia observations during the field campaign are also used in an initial effort to perform preliminary evaluations of Environment Canada's Global Environmental Multi-scale - Modelling Air quality and CHemistry (GEM-MACH) air quality modelling system at high resolution (2.5 × 2.5 km2). These initial results indicate a model underprediction of ~ 0.6 ppbv (~ 60 %) for NH3, during the field campaign period. The TES/model CO comparison differences are ~ +20 ppbv (~ +20 %), but given that under these conditions the TES/aircraft comparisons also show a small positive TES CO bias indicates that the overall model underprediction of CO is closer to ~ 10 % at 681 hPa (~ 3 km) during this period.

  7. Toxicity of untreated and ozone-treated oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) to early life stages of the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas).

    PubMed

    He, Yuhe; Patterson, Sarah; Wang, Nan; Hecker, Markus; Martin, Jonathan W; El-Din, Mohamed Gamal; Giesy, John P; Wiseman, Steve B

    2012-12-01

    Due to a policy of no release, oil sands process-affected water (OSPW), produced by the surface-mining oil sands industry in North Eastern Alberta, Canada, is stored on-site in tailings ponds. Currently, ozonation is considered one possible method for remediation of OSPW by reducing the concentrations of dissolved organic compounds, including naphthenic acids (NAs), which are considered the primary toxic constituents. However, further work was needed to evaluate the effectiveness of ozonation in reducing the toxicity of OSPW and to ensure that ozonation does not increase the toxicity of OSPW. This study examined effects of untreated, ozone-treated, and activated charcoal-treated OSPW (OSPW, O3-OSPW, and AC-OSPW) on the early life stage (ELS) of fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). Success of hatching of eggs, spontaneous movement, and incidences of hemorrhage, pericardial edema, and malformation of the spine of embryos were examined. To elucidate the mechanism of toxicity, concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured, and the abundances of transcripts of genes involved in biotransformation of xenobiotics, response to oxidative stress, and apoptosis were quantified by real-time PCR. Compared to the control group, which had an embryo survival rate of 97.9 ± 2.08%, survival was significantly less when exposed to OSPW (43.8 ± 7.12%). Eggs exposed to untreated OSPW exhibited a significantly greater rate of premature hatching, and embryos exhibited greater spontaneous movement. Incidences of hemorrhage (50.0 ± 3.40%), pericardial edema (56.3 ± 7.12%), and malformation of the spine (37.5 ± 5.38%) were significantly greater in embryos exposed to OSPW compared to controls. These effects are typical of exposure to dioxin-like compounds, however, abundance of transcripts of cyp1a was not significantly greater in embryos exposed to OSPW. Significantly greater concentrations of ROS, and greater abundances of transcripts cyp3a, gst, sod, casp9, and apopen

  8. Imaging of sand production in a horizontal sand pack by X-ray computed tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Tremblay, B.; Sedgwick, G.; Forshner, K.

    1996-06-01

    A laboratory experiment was performed to better understand how sand production can increase heavy oil recovery. A horizontal sand pack with an orifice at one end modeled the production of oil and sand into a perforation in a vertical well. The sand pack was scanned using X-ray computed tomography (CT). The CT images revealed that a high-porosity channel (wormhole) formed in the pack while sand was produced. The wormhole followed regions within the pack where the porosity was higher, and, consequently, the unconfined compressive strength of the sand was lower. This experiment suggests that wormholes will form within the weaker sands of a formation. The development of these high-permeability channels increases the drainage of the reservoir, which leads to higher oil recovery.

  9. Sands-on Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vandervoort, Frances S.

    1989-01-01

    Provides information for the development of a lesson which teaches students about sand, discusses facts about sands, sand studies, life in the sands, and sand activities. Includes diagrams showing the range in sand grain shape, formation of sand ripples, and sand samples from around the world. (RT)

  10. Effect of ozonation on the naphthenic acids' speciation and toxicity of pH-dependent organic extracts of oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Klamerth, Nikolaus; Moreira, Jesús; Li, Chao; Singh, Arvinder; McPhedran, Kerry N; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; Belosevic, Miodrag; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2015-02-15

    The presence of naphthenic acids (NAs) and other organic constituents in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) stored in tailings ponds, poses a serious environmental threat due to their potential toxicity to aquatic organisms and wild life. In this work, four fractions of OSPW, extracted by dichloromethane at different pHs, were ozonated to determine the ozone impact on NAs degradation. Extracts distributions showed that high carbon number NAs (14-22) were associated with higher pH fractions (pH>7) and smaller carbon number NAs (7-13) with lower pH fractions (pH≤7). Extracts showed similar hydrogen deficiency (Z-number) patterns centered on Z=6. Analysis of the speciation of NAs and oxidized NAs in the four fractions showed that ozonation degraded most NAs (55% to 98%). Despite the high degradation levels, there was still significant toxicity of the fractions toward goldfish macrophages and measurable toxicity toward Vibrio fischeri. The toxicity of such a complex matrix as OSPW may be attributed to other organic compounds and degradation by-products not currently detected. Thus, there is a need to elucidate which compounds are responsible for the remaining OSPW toxicity and to determine if combined processes, such as ozonation followed by biological treatment, are able to completely detoxify OSPW. This work is taking the first steps into this direction, narrowing down the range of compounds which might be responsible for the toxicity. PMID:25460940

  11. Impact of ozonation pre-treatment of oil sands process-affected water on the operational performance of a GAC-fluidized bed biofilm reactor.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    Treatment of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) using biodegradation has the potential to be an environmentally sound approach for tailings water reclamation. This process is both economical and efficient, however, the recalcitrance of some OSPW constituents, such as naphthenic acids (NAs), require the pre-treatment of raw OSPW to improve its biodegradability. This study evaluated the treatment of OSPW using ozonation followed by fluidized bed biofilm reactor (FBBR) using granular activated carbon (GAC). Different organic and hydraulic loading rates were applied to investigate the performance of the bioreactor over 120 days. It was shown that ozonation improved the adsorption capacity of GAC for OSPW and improved biodegradation by reducing NAs cyclicity. Bioreactor treatment efficiencies were dependent on the organic loading rate (OLR), and to a lesser degree, the hydraulic loading rate (HLR). The combined ozonation, GAC adsorption, and biodegradation process removed 62 % of chemical oxygen demand (COD), 88 % of acid-extractable fraction (AEF) and 99.9 % of NAs under optimized operational conditions. Compared with a planktonic bacterial community in raw and ozonated OSPW, more diverse microbial communities were found in biofilms colonized on the surface of GAC after 120 days, with various carbon degraders found in the bioreactor including Burkholderia multivorans, Polaromonas jejuensis and Roseomonas sp. PMID:25104220

  12. Bioconcentration of Dissolved Organic Compounds from Oil Sands Process-Affected Water by Medaka (Oryzias latipes): Importance of Partitioning to Phospholipids.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Kun; Wiseman, Steve; Giesy, John P; Martin, Jonathan W

    2016-06-21

    The complex mixture of dissolved organics in oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is acutely lethal to fish at environmentally relevant concentrations, but few bioconcentration factors (BCFs) have been measured for its many chemical species. Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) were exposed to 10% OSPW, and measured BCFs were evaluated against predicted BCFs from octanol-water distribution ratios (DOW) and phospholipid membrane-water distribution ratios (DMW). Two heteroatomic chemical classes detected in positive ion mode (SO(+), NO(+)) and one in negative mode (O2(-), also known as naphthenic acids) had the greatest DMW values, as high as 10 000. Estimates of DMW were similar to and correlated with DOW for O(+), O2(+), SO(+), and NO(+) chemical species, but for O2(-) and SO2(-) species the DMW values were much greater than the corresponding DOW, suggesting the importance of electrostatic interactions for these ionizable organic acids. Only SO(+), NO(+), and O2(-) species were detectable in medaka exposed to OSPW, and BCFs for SO(+) and NO(+) species ranged from 0.6 to 28 L/kg, lower than predicted (i.e., 1.4-1.7 × 10(3) L/kg), possibly because of biotransformation of these hydrophobic substances. BCFs of O2(-) species ranged from 0.7 to 53 L/kg, similar to predicted values and indicating that phospholipid partitioning was an important bioconcentration mechanism. PMID:27224302

  13. Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor γ is a Sensitive Target for Oil Sands Process-Affected Water: Effects on Adipogenesis and Identification of Ligands.

    PubMed

    Peng, Hui; Sun, Jianxian; Alharbi, Hattan A; Jones, Paul D; Giesy, John P; Wiseman, Steve

    2016-07-19

    Identification of toxic components of complex mixtures is a challenge. Here, oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) was used as a case study to identify those toxic components with a known protein target. Organic chemicals in OSPW exhibited dose-dependent activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) at concentrations less than those currently in the environment (0.025× equivalent of full-strength OSPW), by use of a luciferase reporter gene assay. Activation of PPARγ-mediated adipogenesis by OSPW was confirmed in 3T3L1 preadipocytes, as evidenced by accumulation of lipids and up-regulation of AP2, LPL, and PPARγ gene expression after exposure to polar fractions of OSPW. Unexpectedly, the nonpolar fractions of OSPW inhibited differentiation of preadipocytes via activation of the Wnt signaling pathway. Organic chemicals in OSPW that were ligands of PPARγ were identified by use of a pull-down system combined with untargeted chemical analysis (PUCA), with a recombinant PPARγ protein. Thirty ligands of PPARγ were identified by use of the PUCA assay. High resolution MS(1) and MS(2) spectra were combined to predict the formulas or structures of a subset of ligands, and polyoxygenated or heteroatomic chemicals, especially hydroxylated carboxylic/sulfonic acids, were the major ligands of PPARγ. PMID:27340905

  14. 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.

  15. Treatment of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) using a membrane bioreactor with a submerged flat-sheet ceramic microfiltration membrane.

    PubMed

    Xue, Jinkai; Zhang, Yanyan; Liu, Yang; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2016-01-01

    The release of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) into the environment is a concern because it contains persistent organic pollutants that are toxic to aquatic life. A modified Ludzack-Ettinger membrane bioreactor (MLE-MBR) with a submerged ceramic membrane was continuously operated for 425 days to evaluate its feasibility on OSPW treatment. A stabilized biomass concentration of 3730 mg mixed liquor volatile suspended solids per litre and a naphthenic acid (NA) removal of 24.7% were observed in the reactor after 361 days of operation. Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography/High Resolution Mass Spectrometry analysis revealed that the removal of individual NA species declined with increased ring numbers. Pyrosequencing analysis revealed that Betaproteobacteria were dominant in sludge samples from the MLE-MBR, with microorganisms such as Rhodocyclales and Sphingobacteriales capable of degrading hydrocarbon and aromatic compounds. During 425 days of continuous operation, no severe membrane fouling was observed as the transmembrane pressure (TMP) of the MLE-MBR never exceeded -20 kPa given that the manufacturer's suggested critical TMP for chemical cleaning is -35 kPa. Our results indicated that the proposed MLE-MBR has a good potential for removing recalcitrant organics in OSPW. PMID:26454665

  16. Effect of Lipid Partitioning on Predictions of Acute Toxicity of Oil Sands Process Affected Water to Embryos of Fathead Minnow (Pimephales promelas).

    PubMed

    Morandi, Garrett D; Zhang, Kun; Wiseman, Steve B; Pereira, Alberto Dos Santos; Martin, Jonathan W; Giesy, John P

    2016-08-16

    Dissolved organic compounds in oil sands process affected water (OSPW) are known to be responsible for most of its toxicity to aquatic organisms, but the complexity of this mixture prevents use of traditional bottom-up approaches for predicting toxicities of mixtures. Therefore, a top-down approach to predict toxicity of the dissolved organic fraction of OSPW was developed and tested. Accurate masses (i.e., m/z) determined by ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry in negative and positive ionization modes were used to assign empirical chemical formulas to each chemical species in the mixture. For each chemical species, a predictive measure of lipid accumulation was estimated by stir-bar sorptive extraction (SBSE) to poly(dimethyl)siloxane, or by partitioning to solid-supported lipid membranes (SSLM). A narcosis mode of action was assumed and the target-lipid model was used to estimate potencies of mixtures by assuming strict additivity. A model developed using a combination of the SBSE and SSLM lipid partitioning estimates, whereby the accumulation of chemicals to neutral and polar lipids was explicitly considered, was best for predicting empirical values of LC50 in 96-h acute toxicity tests with embryos of fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). Model predictions were within 4-fold of observed toxicity for 75% of OSPW samples, and within 8.5-fold for all samples tested, which is comparable to the range of interlaboratory variability for in vivo toxicity testing. PMID:27420640

  17. Silver-Ion Solid Phase Extraction Separation of Classical, Aromatic, Oxidized, and Heteroatomic Naphthenic Acids from Oil Sands Process-Affected Water.

    PubMed

    Huang, Rongfu; Chen, Yuan; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2016-06-21

    The separation of classical, aromatic, oxidized, and heteroatomic (sulfur-containing) naphthenic acid (NA) species from unprocessed and ozone-treated oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) was performed using silver-ion (Ag-ion) solid phase extraction (SPE) without the requirement of pre-methylation for NAs. OSPW samples before SPE and SPE fractions were characterized using ultra performance liquid chromatography ion mobility time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-IM-TOFMS) to corroborate the separation of distinct NA species. The mass spectrum identification applied a mass tolerance of ±1.5 mDa due to the mass errors of NAs were measured within this range, allowing the identification of O2S-NAs from O2-NAs. Moreover, separated NA species facilitated the tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) characterization of NA compounds due to the removal of matrix and a simplified composition. MS/MS results showed that classical, aromatic, oxidized, and sulfur-containing NA compounds were eluted into individual SPE fractions. Overall results indicated that the separation of NA species using Ag-ion SPE is a valuable method for extracting individual NA species that are of great interest for environmental toxicology and wastewater treatment research, to conduct species-specific studies. Furthermore, the separated NA species on the milligram level could be widely used as the standard materials for environmental monitoring of NAs from various contamination sites. PMID:27183033

  18. The extraction of bitumen from western tar sands. Annual report, July 1990--July 1991

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-04-01

    Contents of this report include the following: executive summary; characterization of the native bitumen from the Whiterocks oil sand deposit; influence of carboxylic acid content on bitumen viscosity; water based oil sand separation technology; extraction of bitumen from western oil sands by an energy-efficient thermal method; large- diameter fluidized bed reactor studies; rotary kiln pyrolysis of oil sand; catalytic upgrading of bitumen and bitumen derived liquids; ebullieted bed hydrotreating and hydrocracking; super critical fluid extraction; bitumen upgrading; 232 references; Appendix A--Whiterocks tar sand deposit bibliography; Appendix B--Asphalt Ridge tar sand deposit bibliography; and Appendix C--University of Utah tar sands bibliography.

  19. Natural and anthropogenic variations in the N cycle - A perspective provided by nitrogen isotopes in trees near oil-sand developments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savard, M. M.; Bégin, C.; Marion, J.; Smirnoff, A.

    2011-12-01

    Nitrogen stable isotopes of tree-ring series have been recently used to detect past air pollution effects on forests in the contexts of point sources, highways or peri-urban regions. Here, we want to assess their potential to understand changes in soil processes and reveal perturbations of the N cycle. Our approach involves combining tree-ring N, C and O stable isotope series with statistical modelling to distinguish the responses of trees due to natural (climatic) conditions from the ones potentially caused by emissions from the Athabasca oil-sand developments where truck fleets, oil upgraders, desulphurization and hydrogen plants, boilers, heaters and turbines have been active since 1967. Three white spruce trees [Picea glauca (Moench)] 165 years or older, were selected in a well drained brunisolic site, at 55 km from the heart of the development operations (white and black spruce trees from other sites are currently being investigated). Their growth rings were dated and separated at a time resolution of 1 or 2 years for the 1880-2009 period. The average oxygen isotope ratios of cellulose do not show long-term anomalies and reflect climatic conditions. The average C isotope ratios of cellulose covering the 1880-1965 period show short-term variations mostly explained by local climatic conditions, whereas the 1966-1995 series presents similar short-term variations superimposed on a long-term isotopic increase significantly departing from the oxygen isotope curve. Most importantly, the nitrogen isotope series of treated wood shows an average decrease of 1.0% during the 1970-2009 period. The statistical links between the variations of the regional drought index and the isotopic C and N responses during the pre-operation period allows to develop predictive climatic models. When we apply these models to predict the natural isotopic behaviour of the recent period, the measured isotopic trends of the operation period depart from the modelled curves. In contrast, using

  20. The influence of size, structure and hydrophilicity of model surfactants on the adsorption of lysozyme to oil-water interface--interfacial shear measurements.

    PubMed

    Baldursdottir, Stefania G; Jorgensen, Lene

    2011-10-01

    The flexibility and aggregation of proteins can cause adsorption to oil-water interfaces and thereby create challenges during formulation and processing. Protein adsorption is a complex process and the presence of surfactants further complicates the system, in which additional parameters need to be considered. The purpose of this study is to scrutinize the influence of surfactants on protein adsorption to interfaces, using lysozyme as a model protein and sorbitan monooleate 80 (S80), polysorbate 80 (T80), polyethylene-block-poly(ethylene glycol) (PE-PEG) and polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PG-PR) as model surfactants. Rheological properties, measured using a TA AR-G2 rheometer equipped with a double wall ring (DWR) geometry, were used to compare the efficacy of the surfactant in hindering lysozyme adsorption. The system consists of a ring and a Delrin® trough with a circular channel (interfacial area=1882.6 mm(2)). Oscillatory shear measurements were conducted at a constant frequency of 0.1 Hz, a temperature of 25°C, and with strain set to 1%. The adsorption of lysozyme to the oil-water interface results in the formation of a viscoelastic film. This can be prevented by addition of surfactants, in a manner depending on the concentration and the type of surfactant. The more hydrophilic surfactants are more effective in hindering lysozyme adsorption to oil-water interfaces. Additionally, the larger surfactants are more persistent in preventing film formation, whereas the smaller ones eventually give space for the lysozyme on the interface. The addition of a mixture of two different surfactants was only beneficial when the two hydrophilic surfactants were mixed, in which case a delay in the multilayer formation was detected. The method is able to detect the interfacial adsorption of lysozyme and thus the hindering of film formation by model surfactants. It can therefore aid in processing of any delivery systems for proteins in which the protein is introduced to oil

  1. Next-Generation Pyrosequencing Analysis of Microbial Biofilm Communities on Granular Activated Carbon in Treatment of Oil Sands Process-Affected Water

    PubMed Central

    Islam, M. Shahinoor; Zhang, Yanyan; McPhedran, Kerry N.

    2015-01-01

    The development of biodegradation treatment processes for oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) has been progressing in recent years with the promising potential of biofilm reactors. Previously, the granular activated carbon (GAC) biofilm process was successfully employed for treatment of a large variety of recalcitrant organic compounds in domestic and industrial wastewaters. In this study, GAC biofilm microbial development and degradation efficiency were investigated for OSPW treatment by monitoring the biofilm growth on the GAC surface in raw and ozonated OSPW in batch bioreactors. The GAC biofilm community was characterized using a next-generation 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing technique that revealed that the phylum Proteobacteria was dominant in both OSPW and biofilms, with further in-depth analysis showing higher abundances of Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria sequences. Interestingly, many known polyaromatic hydrocarbon degraders, namely, Burkholderiales, Pseudomonadales, Bdellovibrionales, and Sphingomonadales, were observed in the GAC biofilm. Ozonation decreased the microbial diversity in planktonic OSPW but increased the microbial diversity in the GAC biofilms. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed similar bacterial gene copy numbers (>109 gene copies/g of GAC) for both raw and ozonated OSPW GAC biofilms. The observed rates of removal of naphthenic acids (NAs) over the 2-day experiments for the GAC biofilm treatments of raw and ozonated OSPW were 31% and 66%, respectively. Overall, a relatively low ozone dose (30 mg of O3/liter utilized) combined with GAC biofilm treatment significantly increased NA removal rates. The treatment of OSPW in bioreactors using GAC biofilms is a promising technology for the reduction of recalcitrant OSPW organic compounds. PMID:25841014

  2. Development and testing of an index of biotic integrity based on submersed and floating vegetation and its application to assess reclamation wetlands in Alberta's oil sands area, Canada.

    PubMed

    Rooney, Rebecca C; Bayley, Suzanne E

    2012-01-01

    We developed and tested a plant-based index of biological integrity (IBI) and used it to evaluate the existing reclamation wetlands in Alberta's oil sands mining region. Reclamation plans call for >15,000 ha of wetlands to be constructed, but currently, only about 25 wetlands are of suitable age for evaluation. Reclamation wetlands are typically of the shallow open water type and range from fresh to sub-saline. Tailings-contaminated wetlands in particular may have problems with hydrocarbon- and salt-related toxicity. From 60 initial candidate metrics in the submersed aquatic and floating vegetation communities, we selected five to quantify biological integrity. The IBI included two diversity-based metrics: the species richness of floating vegetation and the percent of total richness contributed by Potamogeton spp. It also included three relative abundance-based metrics: that of Ceratophyllum demersum, of floating leafed species and of alkali-tolerant species. We evaluated the contribution of nonlinear metrics to IBI performance but concluded that the correlation between IBI scores and wetland condition was not improved. The method used to score metrics had an influence on the IBI sensitivity. We conclude that continuous scoring relative to the distribution of values found in reference sites was superior. This scoring approach provided good sensitivity and resolution and was grounded in reference condition theory. Based on these IBI scores, both tailings-contaminated and tailings-free reclamation wetlands have significantly lower average biological integrity than reference wetlands (ANOVA: F(2,59) = 34.7, p = 0.000000000107). PMID:21484300

  3. Devonian salt dissolution-collapse breccias flooring the Cretaceous Athabasca oil sands deposit and development of lower McMurray Formation sinkholes, northern Alberta Basin, Western Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Broughton, Paul L.

    2013-01-01

    The sub-Cretaceous paleotopography underlying giant Lower Cretaceous Athabasca oil sands, northern Alberta, has an orthogonal lattice pattern of troughs up to 50 km long and 100 m deep between pairs of cross-cutting lineaments. These structures are interpreted to have been inherited from a similar pattern of dissolution collapse-subsidence troughs in the underlying Middle Devonian salt beds. Removal of more than 100 m of halite salt fragmented the overlying Upper Devonian strata into fault blocks and collapse breccias that subsided into the underlying dissolution troughs. The unusually low 1:2 to 1:3 thickness ratios of halite salts to the overlying strata resulted in the Upper Devonian strata collapse-subsidence into underlying salt dissolution troughs being more cataclysmic during the first phase of salt removal. The second phase of slower but complete salt removal between the earlier troughs resulted in a more gradual subsidence of the overlying strata. This obliterated the earlier pattern of giant cross-cutting dissolution troughs bounded by major lineaments. The collapse breccia fabrics underlying the earlier troughs differ from those from areas between the troughs. Collapse breccias underlying the large troughs often have crushed fabrics distributed in zones that rapidly pinched out between fault blocks. Breccias between troughs developed as giant mosaics of detached carbonate blocks that formed breccia pipe complexes. Multiple sinkholes up to 100 m deep aligned along multi-km linear valley trends that dissected the sub-Cretaceous paleotopography. These sinkhole trends formed orthogonal patterns inherited from underlying lattice of NW-SE and NE-SW salt structured lineaments. These cross-cutting sinkhole trends have a smaller 5 km scale reticulate pattern similar to the giant 50 km scale pattern of collapse-subsidence troughs. Other sinkholes developed as lower McMurray strata sagged when underlying Devonian fault blocks and breccia pipes differentially

  4. Next-generation pyrosequencing analysis of microbial biofilm communities on granular activated carbon in treatment of oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-15

    The development of biodegradation treatment processes for oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) has been progressing in recent years with the promising potential of biofilm reactors. Previously, the granular activated carbon (GAC) biofilm process was successfully employed for treatment of a large variety of recalcitrant organic compounds in domestic and industrial wastewaters. In this study, GAC biofilm microbial development and degradation efficiency were investigated for OSPW treatment by monitoring the biofilm growth on the GAC surface in raw and ozonated OSPW in batch bioreactors. The GAC biofilm community was characterized using a next-generation 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing technique that revealed that the phylum Proteobacteria was dominant in both OSPW and biofilms, with further in-depth analysis showing higher abundances of Alpha- and Gammaproteobacteria sequences. Interestingly, many known polyaromatic hydrocarbon degraders, namely, Burkholderiales, Pseudomonadales, Bdellovibrionales, and Sphingomonadales, were observed in the GAC biofilm. Ozonation decreased the microbial diversity in planktonic OSPW but increased the microbial diversity in the GAC biofilms. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed similar bacterial gene copy numbers (>10(9) gene copies/g of GAC) for both raw and ozonated OSPW GAC biofilms. The observed rates of removal of naphthenic acids (NAs) over the 2-day experiments for the GAC biofilm treatments of raw and ozonated OSPW were 31% and 66%, respectively. Overall, a relatively low ozone dose (30 mg of O3/liter utilized) combined with GAC biofilm treatment significantly increased NA removal rates. The treatment of OSPW in bioreactors using GAC biofilms is a promising technology for the reduction of recalcitrant OSPW organic compounds. PMID:25841014

  5. Fractionation of oil sands-process affected water using pH-dependent extractions: a study of dissociation constants for naphthenic acids species.

    PubMed

    Huang, Rongfu; Sun, Nian; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; McPhedran, Kerry N; Changalov, Mohamed; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2015-05-01

    The fractionation of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) via pH-dependent extractions was performed to quantitatively investigate naphthenic acids (NAs, CnH2n+ZO2) and oxidized NAs (Ox-NAs) species (CnH2n+ZO3 and CnH2n+ZO4) using ultra-performance liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-TOFMS). A mathematical model was also developed to estimate the dissociation constant pKa for NAs species, considering the liquid-liquid extraction process and the aqueous layer acid-base equilibrium. This model provides estimated dissociation constants for compounds in water samples based on fractionation extraction and relative quantification. Overall, the sum of O2-, O3-, and O4-NAs species accounted for 33.6% of total extracted organic matter. Accumulative extracted masses at different pHs revealed that every oxygen atom added to NAs increases the pKa (i.e., O2-NAs

  6. Coagulation/flocculation process with polyaluminum chloride for the remediation of oil sands process-affected water: Performance and mechanism study.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chengjin; Alpatova, Alla; McPhedran, Kerry N; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2015-09-01

    This study investigated the application of polyaluminum chloride (PACl) for the treatment of the oil sands process-affected water (OSPW). These coagulants are commonly used in water treatment with the most effective species reported to be Al13. PACl with 83.6% Al13 was synthesized using the slow base titration method and compared with a commercially available PACl in terms of aluminum species distribution, coagulation/flocculation (CF) performance, floc morphology, and contaminant removal. Both coagulants were effective in removing suspended solids, achieving over 96% turbidity removal at all applied coagulant doses (0.5-3.0 mM Al). The removal efficiencies of metals varied among different metals depending on their pKa values with metal cations having pKa values (Fe, Al, Ga, and Ti) below OSPW pH of 6.9-8.1 (dose dependent) being removed by more than 90%, while cations with higher pKa values (K, Na, Ca, Mg and Ni) had removals of less than 40%. Naphthenic acids were not removed due to their low molecular weights, negative charges, and hydrophilic characteristics at the OSPW pH. At the highest applied coagulant dose of 3.0 mM Al, the synthetic PACl reduced Vibrio fischeri inhibition effect to 43.3 ± 3.0% from 49.5 ± 0.4% in raw OSPW. In contrast, no reduction of toxicity was found for OSPW treated with the commercial PACl. Based on water quality and floc analyses, the dominant CF mechanism for particle removal during OSPW treatment was considered to be enmeshment in the precipitates (i.e., sweep flocculation). Overall, the CF using synthesized PACl can be a valuable pretreatment process for OSPW to create wastewater that is more easily treated by downstream processes. PMID:26119332

  7. Effects of different pretreatments on the performance of ceramic ultrafiltration membrane during the treatment of oil sands tailings pond recycle water: a pilot-scale study.

    PubMed

    Loganathan, Kavithaa; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; El-Din, Mohamed Gamal

    2015-03-15

    Membrane filtration is an effective treatment method for oil sands tailings pond recycle water (RCW); however, membrane fouling and rapid decrease in permeate flux caused by colloids, organic matter, and bitumen residues present in the RCW hinder its successful application. This pilot-scale study investigated the impact of different pretreatment steps on the performance of a ceramic ultrafiltration (CUF) membrane used for the treatment of RCW. Two treatment trains were examined: treatment train 1 consisted of coagulant followed by a CUF system, while treatment train 2 included softening (Multiflo™ system) and coagulant addition, followed by a CUF system. The results indicated that minimum pretreatment (train 1) was required for almost complete solids removal. The addition of a softening step (train 2) provided an additional barrier to membrane fouling by reducing hardness-causing ions to negligible levels. More than 99% removal of turbidity and less than 20% removal of total organic carbon were achieved regardless of the treatment train used. Permeate fluxes normalized at 20 °C of 127-130 L/m(2) h and 111-118 L/m(2) h, with permeate recoveries of 90-93% and 90-94% were observed for the treatment trains 1 and 2, respectively. It was also found that materials deposited onto the membrane surface had an impact on trans-membrane pressure and influenced the required frequencies of chemically enhanced backwashes (CEBs) and clean-in-place (CIP) procedures. The CIP performed was successful in removing fouling and scaling materials such that the CUF performance was restored to baseline levels. The results also demonstrated that due to their low turbidity and silt density index values, permeates produced in this pilot study were suitable for further treatment by high pressure membrane processes. PMID:25596922

  8. Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography Ion Mobility Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry Characterization of Naphthenic Acids Species from Oil Sands Process-Affected Water.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    Ultraperformance liquid chromatography ion mobility time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-IM-TOFMS), integrating traveling wave ion mobility spectrometry (TWIMS) with negative electrospray ionization (ESI) mode, was used to achieve two-dimensional (2D) separation (drift vs retention times) of naphthenic acids (NAs). Unprocessed and ozonated commercial NAs were used for method development. Only O2-NAs were found in unprocessed NAs with ozonation creating O3-NAs and O4-NAs. Unprocessed and ozonated oil sands process-affected waters (OSPW) were examined to validate the method for complex matrix NAs. Ozonation increased the x number for Ox-NAs (2 ≤ x ≤ 5) and also impacted the -Z number distribution. OSPW extracted using dichloromethane removed the potential for sample matrix impacts and was used for MS/MS NAs characterization. The Ox-NAs (2 ≤ x ≤ 6) were identified with O2-NAs separated into three clusters indicating isobaric and isomeric species. MS/MS was used to verify compounds, while also indicating the presence of CH3CH2S- NAs groups. This result may be useful for future studies of sulfur-NAs fate, toxicity, and treatment. Overall, the value-added information provided by UPLC-IM-TOFMS makes it a promising analytical technique for analysis of NAs in complex OSPW samples. Moreover, this methodology can be used for other matrices to investigate relative molecular sizes and to separate complex species (e.g., fatty acids, lipids), making it beneficial for environmental and bioanalytical applications. PMID:26322530

  9. Modelling Effects of Cover Material and Cover Depth on Hydrological Regime and Salt Redistribution in Reclaimed Oil Sand Landscapes in Northern Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welegedara, N.; Grant, R. F.; Quideau, S.; Lloret, E.

    2014-12-01

    Large-Scale surface mining is continuing in the Athabasca oil sands region in northern Alberta, Canada, causing significant ecosystem disturbances and changes in hydrology. Reclamation efforts in this region require understanding processes that control water, nutrient and salt fluxes through reclaimed landscapes which is critical to restoring their productivity. These processes were tested in a comprehensive mathematical model, ecosys, which was used to determine the effect of different cover thicknesses on water balance, water buffering capacity, salinity and the productivity in the South Bison Hills reclamation site of Syncrude Canada (SCL). This site was constructed in 1999 by capping peat mineral mix and secondary (glacial till) soil over saline sodic overburden. The site was constructed with three different soil cover thicknesses: 35 cm (thin), 50 cm (intermediate) and 100 cm (thick) along a 20% north facing slope. Model outputs were validated with field measured volumetric water content, runoff, snow data, electrical conductivity (EC) and plant productivity data recorded from 1999 to 2013. Model and field results show differences in horizontal and vertical water transport among the three reclaimed prototype covers. Lower water retention capacity in the 35 cm cover compared to the 50 cm and 100 cm covers caused greater soil moisture variation so that permanent wilting point was reached during dry years, decreasing plant growth due to water stress. In addition, the modeled and field-measured EC values indicated some upward salt movement from overburden to cover material over the time. This movement caused higher EC values (6 - 8 dS m-1) to be reached in the shallow rooting zone of the 35 cm and 50 cm covers than of the 100 cm cover several years after the covers were established. The determination of cost effective but ecologically sustainable cover depth is a challenge and will be a focus in future simulations.

  10. Investigation of the impact of organic solvent type and solution pH on the extraction efficiency of naphthenic acids from oil sands process-affected water.

    PubMed

    Huang, Rongfu; McPhedran, Kerry N; Sun, Nian; Chelme-Ayala, Pamela; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2016-03-01

    Naphthenic acids (NAs) from oil sand process-affected water (OSPW) were liquid-liquid extracted using six organic solvents (n-pentane, n-hexane, cyclohexane, dichloromethane, ethyl ether, and ethyl acetate) at three pHs (2.0, 8.5, and 12.0). The NAs exist in ionic (ions) and non-ionic (molecules) forms in the water phase depending on their dissociation constants and the solution pH. Results showed the extractability of NA molecules depends on the solvent polarity and the extractability of NA ions on the water solubility in solvent. The organic solvent type and solution pH were found to not only impact the extracted amounts of each NA species, but also the NAs distribution in terms of molecule carbon number and hydrogen deficiency. Overall, it is concluded that ethyl ether can be used as an alternative to dichloromethane (DCM) given their similar extraction efficiencies and extracted NA profiles. This is important since DCM is known to have metabolic toxicity and transitioning to the safer ethyl ether would eliminate laboratory DCM exposures and risk to human health. Despite the higher extraction efficiency of NAs at pH 2.0, extraction at pH 12.0 could be useful for targeted extraction of low-concentration nonpolar organic compounds in OSPW. This knowledge may assist in the determination of the specific NAs species that are known to have chronic, sub-chronic and acute toxicity to various organisms, and the potential targeting of treatment to these NAs species. PMID:26741553

  11. Isotope-based hydrograph separation in large rivers: assessing flow sources and water quality controls in the oil sands region, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibson, John; Yi, Yi; Birks, Jean

    2016-04-01

    Hydrograph separation using stable isotopes of water is used to partition streamflow sources in the Athabasca River and its tributaries in the oil sands region of northern Alberta, Canada. Snow, rain, groundwater and surface water contributions to total streamflow are estimated for multi-year records and provide considerable insight into runoff generation mechanisms operating in six tributaries and at four stations along the Athabasca River. Groundwater, found to be an important flow source at all stations, is the dominant component of the hydrograph in three tributaries (Steepbank R., Muskeg R., Firebag R.), accounting for 39 to 50% of annual streamflow. Surface water, mainly drainage from peatlands, is also found to be widely important, and dominant in three tributaries (Clearwater R., Mackay R., Ells R.), accounting for 45 to 81% of annual streamflow. Direct runoff of precipitation sources including rain (7-19%) and snowmelt (3-7%) account for the remainder of sources. Fairly limited contributions from direct precipitation illustrate that most snow and rain events result in indirect displacement of pre-event water (surface water and groundwater), due in part to the prevalence of fill and spill mechanisms and limited overland flow. Systematic shifts in the groundwater:surface-water ratios, noted for the main stem of the Athabasca River and in its tributaries, is an important control on the spatial and temporal distribution of major and minor ions, trace elements, dissolved organics and contaminants, as well as for evaluating the susceptibility of the rivers to climate and development-related impacts. Runoff partitioning is likely to be a useful monitoring tool for better understanding of flow drivers and water quality controls, and for determining the underlying causes of climate or industrial impacts.

  12. Comparison of UV/hydrogen peroxide, potassium ferrate(VI), and ozone in oxidizing the organic fraction of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW).

    PubMed

    Wang, Chengjin; Klamerth, Nikolaus; Messele, Selamawit Ashagre; Singh, Arvinder; Belosevic, Miodrag; Gamal El-Din, Mohamed

    2016-09-01

    The efficiency of three different oxidation processes, UV/H2O2 oxidation, ferrate(VI) oxidation, and ozonation with and without hydroxyl radical (OH) scavenger tert-butyl alcohol (TBA) on the removal of organic compounds from oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) was investigated and compared. The removal of aromatics and naphthenic acids (NAs) was explored by synchronous fluorescence spectra (SFS), ion mobility spectra (IMS), proton and carbon nuclear magnetic resonance ((1)H and (13)C NMR), and ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC TOF-MS). UV/H2O2 oxidation occurred through radical reaction and photolysis, transforming one-ring, two-ring, and three-ring fluorescing aromatics simultaneously and achieving 42.4% of classical NAs removal at 2.0 mM H2O2 and 950 mJ/cm(2) UV dose provided with medium pressure mercury lamp. Ferrate(VI) oxidation exhibited high selectivity, preferentially removing two-ring and three-ring fluorescing aromatics, sulfur-containing NAs (NAs + S), and NAs with high carbon and high hydrogen deficiency. At 2.0 mM Fe(VI), 46.7% of classical NAs was removed. Ozonation achieved almost complete removal of fluorescing aromatics, NAs + S, and classical NAs (NAs with two oxygen atoms) at the dose of 2.0 mM O3. Both molecular ozone reaction and OH reaction were important pathways in transforming the organics in OSPW as supported by ozonation performance with and without TBA. (1)H NMR analyses further confirmed the removal of aromatics and NAs both qualitatively and quantitatively. All the three oxidation processes reduced the acute toxicity towards Vibrio fischeri and on goldfish primary kidney macrophages (PKMs), with ozonation being the most efficient. PMID:27232992

  13. The effect of oil sands process-affected water and model naphthenic acids on photosynthesis and growth in Emiliania huxleyi and Chlorella vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Beddow, Jessica; Johnson, Richard J; Lawson, Tracy; Breckels, Mark N; Webster, Richard J; Smith, Ben E; Rowland, Steven J; Whitby, Corinne

    2016-02-01

    Naphthenic acids (NAs) are among the most toxic organic pollutants present in oil sands process waters (OSPW) and enter marine and freshwater environments through natural and anthropogenic sources. We investigated the effects of the acid extractable organic (AEO) fraction of OSPW and individual surrogate NAs, on maximum photosynthetic efficiency of photosystem II (PSII) (FV/FM) and cell growth in Emiliania huxleyi and Chlorella vulgaris as representative marine and freshwater phytoplankton. Whilst FV/FM in E. huxleyi and C. vulgaris was not inhibited by AEO, exposure to two surrogate NAs: (4'-n-butylphenyl)-4-butanoic acid (n-BPBA) and (4'-tert-butylphenyl)-4-butanoic acid (tert-BPBA), caused complete inhibition of FV/FM in E. huxleyi (≥10 mg L(-1)n-BPBA; ≥50 mg L(-1)tert-BPBA) but not in C. vulgaris. Growth rates and cell abundances in E. huxleyi were also reduced when exposed to ≥10 mg L(-1)n- and tert-BPBA; however, higher concentrations of n- and tert-BPBA (100 mg L(-1)) were required to reduce cell growth in C. vulgaris. AEO at ≥10 mg L(-1) stimulated E. huxleyi growth rate (p ≤ 0.002), yet had no apparent effect on C. vulgaris. In conclusion, E. huxleyi was generally more sensitive to NAs than C. vulgaris. This report provides a better understanding of the physiological responses of phytoplankton to NAs which will enable improved monitoring of NA pollution in aquatic ecosystems in the future. PMID:26692519

  14. The Effect of Veneer Layers on the Bending Shear Strength and Delamination of Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) from Oil Palm Trunk (OPT)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jamaludin, M. A.; Nordin, K.; Bahari, S. A.; Ahmad, M.

    2010-03-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the number of veneer layers on the bending shear strength and delamination of Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) from oil palm trunk (OPT). Five (5), Six (6) and Seven (7) veneer layers of OPT LVL were manufactured. The dimension of the boards was 45 cm by 45 cm by 1.9 cm. The boards were hot pressed for 13 minutes at a pressure of 31 kgf per m2. Urea formaldehyde (UF) supplied by a local adhesive manufacturer was used as the binder for the boards. The bending shear tests consisted of the edgewise and flatwise tests, whereas the delamination test consisted of the cold and hot water boil tests. The preparation of the test specimens and tests set-up was in accordance to the Japanese Standards, JAS-1991 [1]. Six replications were used for each test. The results were analyzed by Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) using the Duncan's Multiple Range Test to test for significant differences. The results indicated that as the number of layers increased the strength also increased. All the boards passed the standard. The difference in strength between the different types of samples was significant at 95 percent confidence level. Bending shear failures were primarily in the veneers. It is possible to use the boards as light weight interior building and furniture components. Over the years, the supply of quality timber resources from the natural forest has decrease as the wood-based industry experienced rapid growth. The supply of rubberwood for the furniture industry is also decreasing as a result of increase latex price. Accordingly, OPT LVL can be an alternative or supplementary raw material for the wood-based industry.

  15. Measurement of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in epiphytic lichens and from PM 2.5 filters for receptor modeling in the Alberta Oil Sands Region (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Studabaker, W. B.; Jayanty, J.; Raymer, J. H.; Krupa, S.

    2013-12-01

    As mining and refinery operations in the Alberta Oil Sands Region (AOSR) have expanded, there has been increasing concern for the impacts of air pollution generated by those operations on both human and ecosystem health. The inaccessibility of much of the AOSR makes it difficult to establish conventional air quality monitoring stations to the extent needed to model long-range impacts of emissions from the AOSR operations. Epiphytic lichens are important markers of ecosystem health, are well-established bioaccumulators of trace metals, and are potentially useful biomonitors of air pollution. However, their ability to take up organic pollutants has not been extensively explored, and only recently have they been used for biomonitoring of pollution by PAHs. Here we describe the determination of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in lichens, collected from sites throughout the AOSR, for modeling emissions associated with mining and oil extraction operations. We also describe preliminary results of the determination of PAHs in PM 2.5 filters from dichotomous samplers stationed in the AOSR, in the context of the biological sample data. Lichens (Hypogymnia physodes) were collected on two separate occasions. During the summer of 2009, single samples were taken from 200 sites in the AOSR; a subset of 20 of these was selected for determination of PAHs. During the summer of 2011, triplicate samples (from separate trees within a site) were collected from 20 sites representing similar locations to the 2008 sites. Lichens were milled in a cryogenic impactor, then were extracted with cyclohexane. Extracts were purified on silica gel using automated solid phase extraction and analyzed by gas chromatography with mass selective detection. Method detection limits for individual PAHs were 2-4 ng/g. Total PAHs in the samples from both collection events ranged from 50 ng/g to 350 ng/g, and declined with increasing distance from the mining and refinery operations. The relative

  16. Defrosting Sand

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    19 June 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows dark spots formed in carbon dioxide frost that covers the surfaces of patches of sand in the south polar region. As spring arrived this year in the martian southern hemisphere, so began the annual defrosting process. The fact that sand dunes begin to defrost earlier than other surfaces, and that the defrosting process involves the formation of spots like these, has been known since the earliest days of the MGS mission.

    Location near: 66.8oS, 15.7oW Image width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: upper left Season: Southern Spring

  17. Ten Years of Growing Season Water, Energy and Carbon Exchange From an Oil sands Reclamation Site, Fort McMurray, Alberta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carey, S. K.; Drewitt, G. B.

    2013-12-01

    The oil sands mining industry in Canada has made a commitment to restore disturbed areas to an equivalent capability to that which existed prior to mining. Certification requires successful reclamation, which can in part be evaluated through long-term ecosystem studies. A reclamation site, informally named South Bison Hill (SBH) has had growing season water, energy and carbon fluxes measured via the eddy covariance method for 10 years since establishment. SBH was capped with a 0.2 m peat-glacial till mixture overlying 0.8 m of reworked glacial till soil. The site was seeded to barley cultivar (Hordeum spp.) in the summer of 2002 and later planted to white spruce (Picea glauca) and aspen (Populus spp.) in the summer/fall of 2004. Since 2007, the major species atop SBH has been aspen, and by 2012 was on average ~ 4 m in height. Climatically, mean growing temperature did not vary greatly, yet there was considerable difference in rainfall among years, with 2012 having the greatest rainfall at 321 mm, whereas 2011 and 2007 were notably dry at 180 and 178 mm, respectively. The partitioning of energy varied among years, but the fraction of latent heat as a portion of net radiation increased with the establishment of aspen, along with concomitant increases in LAI and growing season net ecosystem exchange (NEE). Peat growing season ET was smallest in 2004 at 2.3 mm/d and greatest in 2010 at ~3.9 mm/d. ET rates showed a marked increase in 2008 corresponding with the increase in LAI attributed to the aspen cover. Since the establishment of a surface cover and vegetation in 2003, SBH has been a growing season sink for carbon dioxide. Values of NEE follow similar patterns to those of ET, with values gradually becoming more negative (greater carbon uptake) as the aspen forest established. Comparison with other disturbed and undisturbed boreal aspen stands show that SBH exhibits similar water, energy and carbon flux patterns during the growing season.

  18. Effect of oil sands process-affected water on toxicity of retene to early life-stages of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes).

    PubMed

    Alharbi, Hattan A; Morandi, Garrett; Giesy, John P; Wiseman, Steve B

    2016-07-01

    Toxicity of oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) to aquatic organisms has been studied, but effects of co-exposure to OSPW and polycyclic-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are an important class of chemicals in tailings ponds used to store OSPW, has not been investigated. The goal of the current study was to determine if organic compounds extracted from the aqueous phase of relatively fresh OSPW from Base-Mine Lake (BML-OSPW) or aged OSPW from Pond 9 experimental reclamation pond (P9-OSPW) modulated toxic potency of the model alkyl-PAH, retene, to early life-stages of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes). Embryos were exposed to retene by use of a partition controlled delivery (PCD) system made of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) until day of hatch. Incidences of pericardial edema and expression of CYP1A were not significantly greater in larvae exposed only to dissolved organic compounds from either OSPW but were significantly greater in larvae exposed only to retene. Expression of CYP1A and incidences of pericardial edema were significantly greater in larvae co-exposed to retene and 5×equivalent of dissolved organic compounds from BML-OSPW compared to retene alone. However, there was no effect of co-exposure to retene and either a 1×equivalent of dissolved organic compounds from BML-OSPW or 5×equivalent of dissolved organic compounds from P9-OSPW. While there was evidence that exposure to 5×equivalent of dissolved organic compounds from BML-OSPW caused oxidative stress, there was no evidence of this effect in larvae exposed only to retene or co-exposed to retene and a 5×equivalent of dissolved organic compounds from BML-OSPW. These results suggest that oxidative stress is not a mechanism of pericardial edema in early-life stages of Japanese medaka. Relatively fresh OSPW from Base Mine Lake might influence toxicity of alkylated-PAHs to early life stages of fishes but this effect would not be expected to occur at current concentrations of OSPW and is attenuated by

  19. The Analysis of Goldfish (Carassius auratus L.) Innate Immune Responses After Acute and Subchronic Exposures to Oil Sands Process-Affected Water

    PubMed Central

    Belosevic, Miodrag

    2014-01-01

    We examined the immunotoxic effects of acute and subchronic exposures of goldfish to aged, fresh, and ozonated oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) using a flow-through exposure apparatus. We measured the expression of proinflammatory cytokine genes, the antimicrobial responses of primary macrophages isolated from OSPW-exposed fish, and the ability of the goldfish to control infection with a protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma carassii. After acute (1 week) exposure to aged OSPW, we observed upregulation in the expression of interferon gamma (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor alpha-2 (TNF-α2) in the kidney and spleen but not in gills of the fish. After subchronic (12 weeks) exposure to aged OSPW, we observed significant increases in mRNA levels of proinflammatory genes in the gill (IFN-γ, interleukin-1 beta 1 [IL1-β1], TNF-α2), kidney (IL1-β1, TNF-α2), and spleen (IL1-β1). An upregulation of immune gene expression in the gill and kidney (IFN-γ, IL1-β1, TNF-α2) and spleen (IL1-β1, TNF-α2) was observed after acute exposure of fish to diluted fresh OSPW. Following subchronic exposure to diluted fresh OSPW, we observed high mRNA levels of IL1-β1 in all tissues examined. However, there were significant decreases in the mRNA levels of IFN-γ and TNF-α2 in the kidney and spleen and gill and spleen (IL-12p35 and IL-12p40) of exposed fish. There were no changes in the expression of anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 after both acute and subchronic exposures to diluted fresh OSPW. In fish exposed to ozonated fresh OSPW, immune gene expression was similar to nonexposed control fish in all organs examined, with exception of IL1-β1. The ability of primary kidney macrophages to generate reactive oxygen and nitrogen intermediates was significantly reduced in fish exposed to fresh OSPW. The enhanced proinflammatory response after acute exposure to diluted fresh OSPW was confirmed by the parasite challenge experiments, where OSPW-exposed fish controlled the infection

  20. Wind profiles on the stoss slope of sand dunes: Implications for eolian sand transport

    SciTech Connect

    Frank, A.; Kocurek, G. . Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1993-04-01

    Starting with the work of R.A. Bagnold it has been recognized that the shear stress exerted by the wind on sand grains is the driving force for eolian sand transport. Calculation of accurate rates of sand transport is essential for prediction of migration rates of sand dunes in modern environments as well as reconstructing paleoclimates (wind speed and direction) from eolian deposits. Because a sand dune is a streamlined obstacle in the path of the wind, continuity necessitates that the flow field is compressed over the windward side of a dune and shear stress should progressively increase up the slope as the flow accelerates. However, airflow measurements over 14 dunes (at White Sands, New Mexico; Algodones, CA; and Padre Island, TX) show that compression of the flow field occurs very close to the surface and as a consequence, the overlying flow actually shows an overall decrease in shear stress up the slope. Measurements commonly collected in the overlying zone are not representative of the near-surface, sand-driving wind. Furthermore, near-surface compression of the flow field implies that a pressure gradient exists that would render the current transport models inappropriate for sloping surfaces that dominate natural sandy desert terrains.

  1. Process for separating high viscosity bitumen from tar sands

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, J.D.; Misra, M.

    1983-10-18

    A novel process is disclosed for separating high viscosity bitumen from tar sand. The process includes grinding the tar sand to obtain phase disengagement of the bitumen phase from the sand phase and thereafter using flotation techniques to obtain phase separation of the bitumen phase from the sand phase. Phase disengagement is assisted by using a suitable wetting agent during the crushing step while the phase separation step is assisted by the inclusion of a promoter oil for the flotation step.

  2. Process for separating high viscosity bitumen from tar sands

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, J.D.; Misra, M.

    1983-10-18

    A process is described for separating high viscosity bitumen from tar sand. The process includes grinding the tar sand to obtain disengagement of the bitumen from the sand phase and thereafter using flotation techniques to obtain phase separation of the bitumen phase from the sand phase. Phase disengagement is assisted by using a suitable wetting agent during the crushing step, while the phase separation step is assisted by the inclusion of a promoter oil for the flotation step. 6 claims.

  3. Industrial sand and gravel

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dolley, T.P.

    2011-01-01

    Domestic production of industrial sand and gravel in 2010 was about 26.5 Mt (29.2 million st), a 6-percent increased from 2009. Certain end uses of industrial sand and gravel, such as sand for container glass, golf course sand, recreational sand, specialty glass and water filtration, showed increased demand in 2010.

  4. Federal Register, Volume 60, Number 5, Monday, January 9, 1995 notices. Final NPDES general permits for produced water and produced sand discharges from the oil and gas extraction point source category to coastal waters in Louisiana (LAG290000) and Texas (TXG290000)

    SciTech Connect

    1995-01-09

    Region 6 of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues final NPDES General Permits regulating discharges of produced water and produced sand derived from oil and gas point source facilities. The permits prohibit the discharge of produced water and produced sand derived from Coastal Subcategory to any water subject to EPA jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. Discharges to coastal waters of Louisiana and Texas of produced water and produced sand derived from most Stripper Subcategory and all Offshore Subcategory (40 CFR part 435, subpart A) facilities covered by these permits are prohibited.

  5. Shear flow behaviour and emulsion-stabilizing effect of natural polysaccharide-protein gum in aqueous system and oil/water (O/W) emulsion.

    PubMed

    Amid, Bahareh Tabatabaee; Mirhosseini, Hamed

    2013-03-01

    The main objective of the current work was to characterize the shear rheological flow behaviour and emulsifying properties of the natural biopolymer from durian seed. The present study revealed that the extraction condition significantly affected the physical and functional characteristics of the natural biopolymer from durian seed. The dynamic oscillatory test indicated that the biopolymer from durian seed showed more gel (or solid) like behaviour than the viscous (or liquid) like behaviour (G'>G″) at a relatively high concentration (20%) in the fixed frequency (0.1 Hz). This might be explained by the fact that the gum coils disentangle at low frequencies during the long period of oscillation, thus resulting in more gel like behaviour than the viscous like behaviour. The average droplet size of oil in water (O/W) emulsions stabilized by durian seed gum significantly varied from 0.42 to 7.48 μm. The results indicated that O/W emulsions showed significant different stability after 4 months storage. This might be interpreted by the considerable effect of the extraction condition on the chemical and molecular structure of the biopolymer, thus affecting its emulsifying capacity. The biopolymer extracted by using low water to seed (W/S) ratio at the low temperature under the alkaline condition showed a relatively high emulsifying activity in O/W emulsion. PMID:23261563

  6. Sand Diver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, Alan J.

    2005-01-01

    A few years ago, I was preparing to teach a summer enrichment program for middle school students at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. With swimming on the minds of most kids during the summer, I thought buoyancy would be a fun topic to discuss. An interesting way to introduce this concept is by discussing the beer-drinking balloonist who, in a lawn chair, floated to 11,000 feet above Los Angeles in 1997. However, I needed a hands-on project and was not about to go purchase some lawn chairs to duplicate this experiment. A simple submersible called the "Sand Diver" was designed and is now used as a hands-on activity for my introductory physics course.

  7. Aeolian sand transport: a wind tunnel model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Zhibao; Liu, Xiaoping; Wang, Hongtao; Wang, Xunming

    2003-09-01

    Wind sand transport is an important geological process on earth and some other planets. Formulating the wind sand transport model has been of continuing significance. Majority of the existing models relate sand transport rate to the wind shear velocity based on dynamic analysis. However, the wind shear velocity readapted to blown sand is difficult to determine from the measured wind profiles when sand movement occurs, especially at high wind velocity. Moreover, the effect of grain size on sand transport is open to argument. Detailed wind tunnel tests were carried out with respect to the threshold velocity, threshold shear velocity, and transport rate of differently sized, loose dry sand at different wind velocities to reformulate the transport model. The results suggest that the relationship between threshold shear velocity and grain size basically follow the Bagnold-type equation for the grain size d>0.1 mm. However, the threshold coefficient A in the equation is not constant as suggested by Bagnold, but decreases with the particle Reynolds number. The threshold velocity at the centerline height of the wind tunnel proved to be directly proportional to the square root of grain diameter. Attempts have been made to relate sand transport rate to both the wind velocity and shear velocity readapted to the blown sand movement. The reformulated transport model for loose dry sand follows the modified O'Brien-Rindlaub-type equation: Q= f1( d)(1- Ru) 2( ρ/ g) V3, or the modified Bagnold-type equation: Q= f2( d)(1- Rt) 0.25( ρ/ g) U*3. Where Q is the sand transport rate, the sand flux per unit time and per unit width, in kg m -1 s -1; ρ is the air density, 1.25 kg m -3; g is the acceleration due to gravity, 9.81 m s -2; Ru= Vt/ V; Rt= U*t/ U*; V is the wind velocity at the centerline of the wind tunnel, in m s -1; Vt is the threshold velocity measured at the same height as V, in m s -1; U* is the shear velocity with saltating flux, in m s -1; U*t is threshold shear

  8. Isotopic characterization of nitrate, ammonium and sulfate in stack PM2.5 emissions in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proemse, Bernadette C.; Mayer, Bernhard; Chow, Judith C.; Watson, John G.

    2012-12-01

    Stable isotope techniques may be a suitable tool for tracing industrial emissions in the atmosphere and the environment provided that the isotopic compositions of industrial emissions are distinct. We determined the isotopic compositions of nitrate, ammonium and sulfate in PM2.5 emitted from two industrial stacks at a large upgrader site in the Athabasca oil sands region (AOSR), northeastern Alberta, Canada, and compared them to the nitrogen and sulfur isotopic compositions of source materials and upgrading by-products. We found distinct isotopic compositions of nitrate and ammonium in PM2.5 compared to those reported for atmospheric nitrate and ammonium in the literature. Nitrate in PM2.5 had δ15N values of 9.4‰ (Stack A) and 16.1 ± 1.2‰ (Stack B) that were significantly enriched in 15N compared to the feedstock materials (˜2.5‰), by-products of upgrading (-0.3-1.3‰), and atmospheric N2 (0‰). δ15N of ammonium in PM2.5 showed a large range with values between - 4.5 to +20.1‰ (Stack B). We report the first measurements of the triple oxygen isotopic composition of industrial emitted nitrate. Nitrate emitted as PM2.5 is not mass-independently enriched in 17O resulting in Δ17O = 0.5 ± 0.9‰ (Stack B) and is therefore distinct from atmospheric nitrate, constituting an excellent indicator of industrial derived nitrate. δ18O values of nitrate in PM2.5 (36.0 and 17.6 ± 1.8‰ for Stack A and B, respectively) were also significantly lower than δ18O values of atmospheric nitrates and hence isotopically distinct. δ34S values of sulfate in PM2.5 were with 7.3 ± 0.3‰ (Stack A) and 9.4 ± 2.0‰ (Stack B) slightly enriched in 34S compared to δ34S in bitumen (4.3 ± 0.3‰) and coke (3.9 ± 0.2‰). δ18O values of sulfate in PM2.5 were 18.9 ± 2.9‰ and 14.2 ± 2.8‰ for Stack A and Stack B, respectively. The isotopic composition of sulfate in PM2.5 was not sufficiently different from δ34S and δ18O values of sulfate in long-range atmospheric

  9. Boron in tree-ring as an indicator of forest disturbances in the Lower Athabasca Oil Sands region, Northeastern Alberta, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bégin, Christian; Savard, Martine M.; Marion, Joëlle; Thiffault, Évelyne; Pinno, Brad

    2016-04-01

    Industrial activities related to oil sands (OS) extraction in northeastern Alberta (Canada) have generated, since 1967, important quantities of NOx and SO2 emissions that can lead to several negative effects on forest ecosystems including the potential for soil acidification. In addition, mining processes, tailing pond treatments and heavy transport (haul roads) in mining areas are considered important sources of air contaminants that have the potential to impair forest health by affecting the nutrient balance and physiology of trees. In this study, we analysed micronutrients (B, Fe, Zn, Na, Cu) and macronutrients (Ca, Mg, Mn, K) in the tree-ring series of jack pine (Pinus banksiana) and spruce (Picea glauca and Picea mariana) trees growing at different distances from the heart of mining operations (two sites for each species). Based on tree-ring records, our aims were to provide a historical perspective on the nutritional status of forest ecosystems and to identify temporal changes in tree-ring chemistry that can be attributed to OS activities. One of the key findings of this research is the direct and immediate response of boron (B) in woody tissues of all studied species to mining operations. During the pre-mining period (prior to 1967) [B] variations in tree-rings of the three species covary with other elements such as Na and Fe and are likely controlled by environmental factors, namely climatic conditions. After 1970, [B] increases and strongly departs from trends of other elements. In jack pine trees (54 km NNE of the centre of industrial operations) the increasing trend is abrupt with mean [B] increasing from 11.7 mg/kg during the pre-industrial period to 14.3 mg/kg during mining period. In spruce trees at the proximal site (14 km NE), [B] increases gradually and nicely reproduces the historical pattern of industrial emissions with mean pre-mining [B] of 29.5 mg/kg increasing to 92.1 mg/kg during the mining period. At the four spruce sites, the increasing

  10. Textural characteristics of the Nigerian tar sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enu, E. I.

    1985-05-01

    Extensive tar sands with reserves of about 41 billion barrels of oil are known to occur in Cretaceous terrigenous sediments in Ondo and Ogun States of Nigeria. The hydrocarbon occurs in two predominantly sandy zones separated by an 8 m thick oil shale. The lower (Horizon Y) is mostly quartz sand, 3-26 m thick. It shows an upward fining of grains and increased consolidation updip. The upper Horizon X is 10-22 m of sandstone with interbedded shales and siltstones. The sands are loosely consolidated. Cementing material is lacking, the grains being held together largely by the tarry oil. Porosity is about 30% and mean oil saturation in both zones is 12%. The recorded clay content (2-7%) is considerably lower than the average for Athabasca, Canada (10-25%) and may enhance the settling properties of the tailing ponds. The sands are water-wet, fine- to medium-grained, moderately well sorted, mesokurtic and positively skewed to near symmetrical. The Nigerian tar sands compare closely with the Athabasca sands in all the above textural parameters. They would thus be expected to show identical response to mining processing, except for the influence of higher ground-water table and the high humidity and ambient temperatures in Nigeria.

  11. EFFECTS OF OIL AND GAS WELL-DRILLING FLUIDS ON THE BIOMASS AND COMMUNITY STRUCTURE OF MICROBIOTA THAT COLONIZE SANDS IN RUNNING SEAWATER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Well-drilling fluid and a number of the known components (barite, clay, Aldacide, Surflo, and Dowicide, were tested for effects on the biomass and community structure of the microbiota that colonize marine sands exposed for eight weeks to running ambient seawater. Shading the mic...

  12. Sand resistance of sunscreens.

    PubMed

    Caswell, Michael; Wood, Caryl; Martinez, Alexa

    2012-01-01

    Like water resistance in sunscreens, sand resistance in sunscreens is the ability of the sunscreen to retain its effectiveness while undergoing sand treatment. The influence of the type of sand on the sand resistance of sunscreens has not been described. The sand resistance of a control standard sunscreen, P2, and data on three grades of Quickrete commercial grade sand, #1961, #1962, and #1152, are described. These sands represent a fine sand, a medium sand, and an all-purpose sand. Using the methodology described in the 2007 proposed amendment of the Final Monograph (1) with one exception, we obtained an SPF of 16.5 (1.6) for the control standard, compared to the expected SPF of 16.3 (3.4). After a five-minute treatment of sand #1961, #1962, or #1151, the SPF of the control standard was 18.3 (1.6), 18.4 (2.0), and 17.5 (2.2), respectively. Thus, all three sands exhibited a similar sand-resistance response. Thus, there was no significant difference in the