A lot of the difficulty surrounding the separation of hydrocarbons from sand and soil lies in its attachment to the substrate. Typically, a siliciclastic material such as quartz sand has a “wetted” surface, meaning the hydrocarbon is not in direct contact with the particles of substrate material; a layer coats the surface of the particle which is then further enveloped by a layer of oil. When the oil sand agglomerate contains weathered crude, including bituminous material, the process becomes even more difficult.
Recovered Earth Technologies Hydrocarbon Recovery and Remediation System breaks these bonds, recovers the hydrocarbons and separates the sand, liquid and chemical catalysts, without incurring the high energy costs associated with other processes. At ambient temperatures above 15°C, the process does not require an external heat source.
The recovered hydrocarbons are removed from the process train and sent to a liquid processing unit to upgrade the material to pipeline quality, while the sand substrate is processed and ultimately remediated to remove any stray hydrocarbon contamination.
The System uses a combination of mechanical and chemical technologies that have succeeded in extracting 100% of the hydrocarbons from most substrates with a significant reduction in operating costs and environmental discharges.
The ability to completely remove hydrocarbons is unmatched in the industry, and the relatively low operating cost of the process make it an economically viable solution.