14-17 May 2018
New Orleans
US/Central timezone

Microfluidics for Solvent-based Bitumen Recovery: Pore-Scale and Fluid Property Measurements

15 May 2018, 10:26
15m
New Orleans

New Orleans

Oral 20 Minutes MS 2.04: Transport phenomena in solvent-aided thermal recovery of heavy oil and bitumen Parallel 3-C

Speaker

Mr ZhenBang Qi (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Institute for Sustainable Energy, University of Toronto)

Description

Steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is the main technologically and economically feasible method for in situ bitumen extraction. While SAGD is effective, the steam generation process is a major source of CO2 emissions, and many strategies are currently under test to improve both the environmental and economic performance. Solvent-based processes – either pure solvent injection or coinjection of solvent with steam – have proposed to improve SAGD performance. The addition of solvent, however, complicates an already complex multicomponent thermal-chemical process. Microfluidics is well suited to quantify the pore-scale of solvent-based recovery processes as well as rapidly determine the fluid properties with a tight control over experimental parameters. Here, we developed a suite of microfluidic platforms with relevant reservoir and fluid characteristics combined with optical-thermal imaging to (1) study pore-scale transport in solvent-based processes (e.g., recovery rate, emulsification, and precipitation) using both pure solvents and industrial diluents; and (2) measure fluid properties relevant to solvent-bitumen systems (e.g., solvent solubility and diffusivity). With strong potential to inform oil sand operators, microfluidics is faster (minutes instead of hours/days) and significantly cheaper than conventional methods; all stemming from small fluid sample required for experiments.

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Primary author

Dr Ali Abedini (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Institute for Sustainable Energy, University of Toronto)

Co-authors

Mr ZhenBang Qi (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Institute for Sustainable Energy, University of Toronto) Mr Soheil Talebi (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Institute for Sustainable Energy, University of Toronto) Mr Lining Xu (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Institute for Sustainable Energy, University of Toronto) Ms Adriana Guerrero (Suncor Energy Inc.) Prof. David Sinton (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Institute for Sustainable Energy, University of Toronto)

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