Characterization of Free/Bound Water of Mature Fine Tailings Using Differential Scanning Calorimetry

Oil sand tailings could take ages to naturally dewater enough to be reclaimed. Finding ways to accelerate dewatering fluid tailings is crucial to improving overall reclamation planning and performance. The goal of the proposed project is to establish a new thermoanalytical technique for quantification and analysis of free and bound water contents in both individual MFT clays and flocs using Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). These techniques will be beneficial in the study of the effectiveness of different concentrations of flocculant, coagulant or a mixture of both on the tailings settling rates. A higher grade of effectiveness of these substances results in a larger amount of water that could be reincorporated immediately into the recovery process. This work will also contribute to the design of novel water-soluble polymer compositions to achieve rapid flocculation and dewatering, therefore to increase the efficiency of tailings separation.

Faculty Supervisor:

Seyed Hossein Hejazi


Yalda Zamani Keteklahijani


Suncor Energy Inc


Engineering - chemical / biological



University of Calgary



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