International Year of Chemistry, 2011

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International Year of Chemistry 2011

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Oil Sands Water Management

Activity by Frances Sutherland   |   added on Apr 20, 2011   |   Canada Official_iyc_logo

Sponsor(s): Edmonton Section of the Chemical Institute of Canada

A public lecture presented by Dr. Randy Mikula of Natural Resources Canada (Devon), Thursday May 12 at Grand Salon, Pavillion Lacerte, Campus Saint-Jean, 8406 91St. Edmonton


CIC Edmonton AGM dinner meeting


Thursday, May 12

Campus Saint Jean, Grand Salon, Pavillon Lacerte 8406 – 91 Street


Cocktails: 5:30 p.m., dinner: 6:00 p.m.

AGM: 6:30 p.m.

Presentation: 7:00 p.m.


Speaker: Dr. Randy Mikula, Natural Resources Canada (Devon)

“Oil Sands Water Management”



The Future of Tailings Management in Surface Mined Oil Sands

Approximately 12 barrels of water are used for the production of each barrel of bitumen in surface mined oil sands operations.  Typically, about 70% of this water is recycled, leaving a net trade-off of about 4 barrels of water per barrel of bitumen production.  This water is tied up in the pore spaces of the mineral sand, silt, and clay left after the bitumen is extracted from the oil sands.  Currently a wide variety of technologies are available that promise to create a dry stackable tailings from the fluid fine tailings substrate.  The availability of dry stackable tailings will create options for reclamation strategies that end with the original wetlands or boreal forest.  Commercialization of these technologies, driven in part by Directive 74 which mandates that a significant fraction of the fluid fine tailings be treated in order to form dry stackable tailings, will substantially reduce the surface mined oil sands’ environmental footprint.



Dr. Randy Mikula received a BSc in chemistry from the University of Saskatchewan and a PhD from the University of British Columbia.  He has been at CANMET for over 20 years researching oil sands processing fundamentals from extraction through to tailings behaviour.  Dr. Mikula was elected as a Fellow of the Chemical Society of Canada in 2003, and his current research program is focused on mitigating the environmental impacts of oil sands development.

Topic: celebrating chemistry, chemistry education Audience: students, professional chemists, research scientists, industrial chemists, graduate students
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