Dewatering behavior of fine oil sands tailings

A summary of laboratory results

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Abstract

To evaluate the disposal technology for fine oil sands tailings, the appropriate engineering properties of the tailings should be ascertained. A laboratory study was conducted by Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands) on the geotechnical properties and dewatering behavior of the fine oil sands tailings (MFT, TT), obtained from Shell Canada’s Muskeg River Mine. In this program, the tailings were characterized by performing various laboratory tests including index property tests, flocculation tests, column settling tests, oedometer tests, shrinkage and swelling tests, water retention tests, cracking tests and air drying tests. In this paper, a summary of the main tests results is presented. The data obtained for the MFT and flocculated MFT are compared to identify the effects of flocculation on the dewatering behavior.