Energy and Natural Resources

Environmentally Safe Oil Sands Extraction Technology

09 April 2018

Source: Petroteq Energy Inc. Source: Petroteq Energy Inc. A unique method utilizes proprietary solvent to recover up to 99 percent of heavy oil and bitumen contained in oil sands feedstocks. The process incorporates a patent-pending liquid fluidized bed to continuously mix the solvent and crushed ore at mild temperatures ranging from 50 to 60 degrees Celsius.

Petroteq’s patented oil sands extraction process presents an economically favorable recovery method for producing oil from an otherwise costly feedstock, such as Utah tar sands. These deposits contain heavy oil with an American Petroleum Institute (API) gravity of 14 and low sulphur content that would mix well with lighter feedstocks being produced through fracking methods.

The proprietary solvent used is an azeotropic mixture composed of hydrophobic, hydrophilic and polycyclic hydrocarbons. The proportional constituents in each phase allow for exceptionally high recovery rates up to 99.5 percent. It also exhibits a relatively low boiling point between 70 and 75 degrees Celsius resulting in mild process temperatures.

The closed-loop system produces two process streams; a solvent/hydrocarbon mixture that is fed through an evaporator and distillation column, and purified sands that can be sold for industrial uses or returned to its place of origin.

Petroteq has perfected its oil extraction technology over the past five years, and now after favorable results were released by a reputable independent consulting firm they will begin phase two of their development plan and begin production with a larger capacity extraction unit. The technology is seen as an environmentally friendly, scalable, commercially viable option for producing oil from oil sands feedstocks.

To contact the author of this article, email shawn.martin@ieeeglobalspec.com


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