Specific gravity of the oil sands slurry is typically reduced from 1.55 in the Hydrotransport line to about 1.40 t/m³ before entering the gravity separation vessel. Note that if froth is being recycled from the middlings flotation circuit, this flow needs to be taken into account in the density calculation, since the density of middlings flotation froth is just above 1 t/m³.
In 1941, Max Ball described a piece of machinery that was patented by J. M. McClave in the United States and Canada and used in the Abasand plant: Among the notable features of the separation plant are the quiet zone flotation
Flotation is one of the unit processes used to separate the bituminous component of oil sands as part of the process of oil extraction. Some of the bitumen is not recovered in the primary separation vessel and reports to the tailings. 41
Lab flotation in artificial sea water was used to separate sand oil mixtures prepared by mixing crude oil with quartz dominated beach sands. Major factors affecting the separation
The slurry from the hydro transport line dumps into a large vessel for gravity/flotation separation, commonly referred to as the primary separation cell . The PSC overflow, containing bitumen froth, reports to froth treatment. The other two PSC streams, the middlings and the coarse tailings , can be treated several ways.
Flotation testwork is carried out using Agitair and Denver cells and is performed by trained, experienced metallurgical technicians to ensure consistent, reliable results. Today froth flotation remains the separation process of choice for most sulphide deposits , and an increasing number of other minerals.