Cleaning up oil sands tailings has just gotten a lot greener thanks to a novel technique developed by University of Alberta civil engineering professors that uses solar energy to accelerate tailings pond reclamation efforts by industry.
Instead of using UV lamps as a light source to treat oil sands process affected water (OSPW) retained in tailings ponds, professors Mohamed Gamal El-Din and James Bolton have found that using the sunlight as a renewable energy source treats the OSPW just as efficiently but at a much lower cost.
“We know it works, so now the challenge is to transfer it into the field,” says Gamal El-Din, who also worked on the project with graduate students Zengquan Shu, Chao Li, post doctorate fellow Arvinder Singh and biological sciences professor Miodrag Belosevic.
“This alternative process not only addresses the need for managing these tailings ponds water, but it may further be applied to treat municipal wastewater as well. Being a solar-driven process, the cost would be minimal compared to what’s being used in the field now.”
Oilsands tailings ponds contain a mixture of suspended solids, salts, and other dissolvable compounds like benzene, acids, and hydrocarbons. Typically, these tailings ponds take 20 plus years before they can be reclaimed. The solar UV/chlorine treatment process when applied to the tailings ponds water would make OSPW decontamination and detoxification immediate.
The sun’s energy will partially remove these organic contaminants due to the direct sunlight. But, when the sunlight reacts with the chlorine (or bleach) added to the OSPW, it produces hydroxyl radicals (powerful oxidative reagents) that remove the remaining toxic organics more efficiently. The chlorine leaves no residuals as the sunlight causes it to decompose.
In laboratory-scale tests the solar UV/chlorine treatment process was found to remove 75 to 84 per cent of these toxic organics.
The Latest on: Oil sands
via Google News
The Latest on: Oil sands
- North American integrated oil & gas operators with highly diversified portfolios have better chances to navigate COVID-19 crisis, says GlobalDataon June 24, 2020 at 2:27 pm
A combination of asset type and geographical diversification can determine the impact COVID-19 has on North American oil and gas companies. Other characteristics such as debt-to-equity ratio, cashflow ...
- Canada’s oil transport shortage solved by new pipelines, reduced demandon June 23, 2020 at 5:02 am
The pandemic-induced oil crash prompted Canadian companies to cut about 1 million barrels of daily crude output, freeing up space on the country’s previously congested pipelines. With that production ...
- Commentary: Low oil prices make Enbridge's tunnel a bad financial beton June 23, 2020 at 3:58 am
Which of the controversial new oil pipeline projects are going to go — away? Let's start with Enbridge's antiquated Line 5 oil pipeline with its new safety-related problems, and its proposed costly ...
- After Years of Angst, Canada’s Oil Pipeline Problem May Be Overon June 23, 2020 at 3:00 am
The shortage of pipeline space that has hamstrung Canada’s oil producers for years may finally be over -- just not in the way they had hoped.
- Why Big Oil Won’t Be Buying Up Struggling Companieson June 20, 2020 at 5:01 pm
While oil price downturns typically create the perfect environment for major mergers and acquisitions, this time may be different ...
- 3 Oil Stocks to Buy in a Long-Term Portfolioon June 17, 2020 at 9:40 am
It has been a rough year for oil, as a crude price war and a pandemic sent the commodity falling. But these oil stocks are worth a look here.
- TomCo Energy: Oil sands project moving forwardon June 17, 2020 at 3:33 am
TomCo (LON:TOM) is an oil & gas exploration and production company which, operates in the Uinta basin in Utah. The company has announced a joint venture (JV) to unlock the potential for oil sands ...
- Chevron, Shell top oil industry's resilience at $30/bbl, WoodMac sayson June 16, 2020 at 2:59 pm
Chevron (CVX +3.3%) and Royal Dutch Shell's (RDS.A +1.8%) upstream portfolios are the most resilient at $30/bbl Brent crude, while Exxon Mobil (XOM +2.6%) is least resilient, among the seven global oi ...
- Hours from death, these birds survived a tarry encounter with Alberta's oil sandson June 16, 2020 at 2:26 pm
When dozens of aquatic birds landed in an oil sands tailings pond, saving their lives wasn’t easy. But an Edmonton rehab agency managed to send some back into the wild.
- RPT-FOCUS-Canada's oil patch cuts back climate efforts under pandemicon June 15, 2020 at 3:00 am
Canadian oil sands companies have shelved nearly C$2 billion in green initiatives in a cost-cutting drive to weather the coronavirus pandemic, a reversal in some of their commitments to reduce ...
via Bing News