Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.80, 91-99, 2012
Al-PAM assisted filtration system for abatement of mature fine tailings
With its potential to produce stackable solids for backfill (land reclamation) and the highest quality and quantity of water (filtrate) for recycle, filtration for treating mature fine tailings (MFT) using an in-house synthesized, organic-inorganic hybrid polymer (flocculant), Al-PAM, as a filtration aid was developed and tested on a MFT from oil sands operations. After proper dilution of the MFT from 30 wt% to 10 wt% solids, Al-PAM was found to be an effective filtration aid. A two-step process: Al-PAM flocculation and thickening of diluted MET, followed by filtration of thickener underflow to produce a stackable filter cake and virtually solids-free filtrate was found to be the most appealing. This study clearly showed that Al-PAM assisted filtration is a viable solution to reduce the inventory of MET and associated liability while maximizing recovery (recycle) of process-affected water. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.