Theme 5 - Innovative Treatment Technologies for Mine-Impacted Water

Theme goal: Treatment of mine-impacted waters remains a critical challenge for the Canadian mining industry. Oil-sands process-affected water (OSPW) is a key component of oil-sands surface mining operations and in situ extraction. While the oil-sands industry has invested heavily in water management practices to reduce the gross water withdrawal from the surrounding natural water sources, the continuous recycling and reuse of OSPW has led to increased salinity and elevated concentrations of organic compounds. The proposed network approach is designed to tackle this challenge by creating interdisciplinary collaboration and engagement with industry partners. The four research projects proposed within this theme will result in the development and translation of novel and emerging technologies to improve process-water quality, and will generate enhanced understanding of the fate of organic and inorganic components in process water.

Anticipated Outcomes: The proposed research will lead to the development of energy-efficient treatment systems that combine sunlight-activated technologies with bioremediation to remove dissolved constituents in process water, and provide an enhanced understanding of the short- and long-term fate of coagulants and flocculants used in oil-sands dewatering operations. Novel desalination strategies suitable for the treatment of OSPW will be developed.