Local personnel have been involved in the design of several generations of pilot plants with the aim of dewatering oilsands tailings with a cost-effective process that could be scaled up. Tailings are a mixture of sand, silt, clay, water and residual hydrocarbon which remain after the bitumen is extracted from the oil sand. As tailings are deposited, coarser components settle rapidly while the remaining components form fluid fine tailings (FFT) which consolidate slowly. For several years, our client has been developing technology which involves mixing FFT with a coagulant, followed by in-line flocculation with a polymer to produce flocullated fluid fine tailings (fFFT).
Local Engineering collaborated on the design of a temporary plant for summer operation which will be in place for several years while a permanent commercial-scale plant is in development. Major components include a dilution water system, polymer injection system, in-line mixers, and discharge pumps. Power is supplied by rental generators and several system components are rented, or re-used from previous pilot plants minimizing capital expenditure. Local assisted with process, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and control system design.