Oilsands - Mature Fine Tailings

SONARtrac Solutions for Mature Fine Tailings


During the oil sands extraction process, the slurry that reaches the tailings pond forms three layers of materials with the heaviest settling at the bottom and the lightest rising to the top. The middle layer is referred to as mature fine tailings and is comprised of fine clay particles suspended in water that can take centuries to solidify. In order to speed up the reclamation process, the oilsands industry accelerates the separation of the MFT with polymer flocculants, thus enhancing reclamation performance. MFT measurements have been a challenge for plant operators as traditional intrusive slurry flow meters experience reliability and performance issues, as well as require constant maintenance due to the wear from the abrasive slurry. Unlike venturi or electromagnetic meters, CiDRA’s sonar flow meter is the only non-contact technology to provide accurate and reliable volumetric flow and entrained air measurements. In addition, the SONARtrac sonar flow and entrained air measurement system requires zero process downtime and maintenance, thereby significantly reducing the cost of ownership.

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Application Note