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Oil Sands specialty Labs

Bitumen Saturations & Properties


In oil sands, oil (bitumen) saturations are described in terms of the bitumen weight percentage, which are measured (by closure) or calculated (by difference) based on Dean & Stark testing protocols.

Dean & Stark Testing can be done by weight difference, bitumen weight % is calculated by subtracting the measured dry sands weight, water weight from the total sample weight.

Bitumen weight % can also be measured directly using Dean & Stark Testing by Closure where diluted bitumen and toluene mixture is dripped onto a filter paper and after toluene on the filter paper dries out, bitumen is weighted.

Bitumen viscosity and density are two common ways in which to characterize bitumen properties of in-situ oil sands. An ultra-high speed centrifuge is the preferred method for bitumen extraction from the oil sands. This method produces an extraction recovery rate of over 90% from the oil sands.