Modeling and experimental testing of the impedance of oil sands tailings during electrokinetic separation

Tailings produced by oil sands mining operations are a long-term liability. Separation of water from fine solids is a critical operational and environmental challenge for tailings management and reclamation. Current methods have ongoing challenges to meet geotechnical performance criteria, and require expensive processes and movement of very large amounts of fluids and solids. Electrokinetic Solutions (EKS) has developed a process for electrical stimulation of oil sands tailings that dewaters and strengthens the resulting soil with simple electrodes and no moving parts. He process is not well understood, with only a simple one-dimensional model of how electrical characteristics relate to the dewatering process. This internship has two objectives: to develop a higher-order model relating solids concentration in two dimensions with electrical impedance of the medium, and to verify the model at a larger scale through participation in a medium-scale testing program under development by EKS

Reza Sabbagh
Superviseur universitaire: 
Dr. Michael Lipsett
Project Year: