July 2008

Bonus Report: Alternative Energy Sources

Accurately predict viscosity of syncrude blends

An evaluation for mixing rules uncovers potential errors in fluid transportation of bitumen-based feeds

Ha, H. Z., Koppel, P., Fluor Canada Ltd.

As crude oil prices remain elevated, more refiners are considering oil-sands (bitumen) as possible feedstocks. As with any feedstock change, there will be differences that should be addressed. Bitumen is a hydrocarbon resource with unique physical characteristics. The mixing rules and predictive models, such as API methods—Procedures 11A3.1, 11A4.1 and 11A4.5—are widely used. These methods work satisfactorily for conventional crudes, but fail to predict rheological behavior of oil sands-derived bitumen and its blends. Better predictions can be achieved using a model after reviewing mixing rules that are not available in engineering manuals and industry standards. In the presented

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