Development of Technologies for Treatment and Management of OTSG and Evaporator Blowdown Wastes from Oil Sands Operations

The steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is the most commonly employed process for extraction of oil or bitumen from oil sands reservoirs. This process involves injection of large quantity of steam into the oil reservoir. The injected steam is further recovered as produced water which constitutes high concentrations of hydrocarbons and mineral salts. Due to the large requirement of water for oil sands processing, the produced water is recycled for the production of steam to reduce fresh water intake. Continuous recycling of produced water leads to accumulation of inorganic salts and minerals and organics constituting production chemicals, natural soil organics and hydrocarbons. Of these contaminants, presence of high concentration of silica and its interaction with organics leads to numerous operational challenges in boilers and evaporators. Removal of silica from the produced water is also challenging due unreliable performance of silica removal processes practiced in the industry due to the complex interactions of silica with other constituents. This project will focus on improving the performance of silica removal process by enhancing the scientific understanding of the process.

Faculty Supervisor:

Gopal Achari;Anil K Mehrotra;Sathish Ponnurangam


Saheli Rao


Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance


Engineering - chemical / biological



University of Calgary



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