Infrared Spectrometer

Infrared Spectrometer (BioRad FTS 6000)
Measure the absorption of infrared (IR) radiation by the materials of interest. The IR absorption bands identify specific molecular components, structures and bindings with solids.

   
Langmuir Interfacial Trough

Langmuir Interfacial Trough (KSV M1200)
Probe interfacial behaviour of surface active molecules, such as asphaltenes, surfactants, frother, collector and nano particles at the air/water and oil/water interfaces (stability of emulsions, air bubbles and reactive oily bubbles).

   
Optical Microscope with fluorescence imaging

Optical Microscope with fluorescence imaging (Ziess AXIOSKOP 40A)
Study particle aggregation (morphology, textures), and emulsion stabilization (drop size), molecular adsorption and aggregation using florescence imaging.

   
Zeta Potential and Particle size Analyzer

Zeta Potential and Particle size Analyzer (Brookhaven ZetaPALS)
Determine charge characteristics of fine particles, oil droplets and air bubbles in aqueous and non-aqueous solutions using Phase Analysis Light Scattering.

   
Zetasizer Nano

Zetasizer Nano (Nano ZS)
Determine particle size distributions and zeta potential of fine particles range from 6 um to 0.6 nm, reaction of chemicals with fine minerals probed by surface charges.

   
Induction Timer

Induction Timer (U of A)
Determine bitumen/air, bitumen/bitumen and air/air attachment time under different water environments and temperatures.

   
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Atomic Absorption (Varian 220FS)
Atomic-absorption (AA) spectroscopy uses the absorption of light by atoms in gas-phase to determine their concentrations. Since samples are usually liquids or digested in liquids if they are solids, the analyte atoms or ions must be vaporized in a flame or graphite furnace. The atoms absorb ultraviolet or visible light and make transitions to higher electronic energy levels. The analyte concentration is determined from the amount of absorption. The AAS allows us to accurately determine concentrations of metal ions in process water to ppm to ppb concentration.

   
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Carbon Sulpher Analyzer (Horiba EMIA 320V)
The Elemental Metal Infrared Analyzer (EMIA) measures gases extracted during combustion in a programmable High Frequency (HF) furnace directly with no conversion. It directly analyzes concentration of carbon and sulphur contained in solids sample. We use this instrument to determine the organic content of solids extracted from oil sands.

   
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Density Meter (Anton Parr DMA 38)
The DMA 38 density meter is a compact, easy-to-use laboratory density meter for accurate determination of liquid density with digital output.

   
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FBRM (Mettler Toledo Lasentec FBRM s400)
Focussed Beam Reflectance Measurement determines particle size distribution in situ and in real time. It is based on the measurement of focused laser beam reflected from particles passing across a sapphire window under agitation. It measures cord length of particles ranging from 1m to 1000m in diameter, based on the duration of reflected beam. The FBRM enables us to study in situ and in real time emulsion stability and precipitation/flocculation phenomena encountered in heavy oil processing and tailings management.

   
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Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (Varian CP-388 / Saturn 2200)
Gas chromatography (GC), is a common type of chromatography used in analytic chemistry for separating and analysing compounds that can be vaporised without decomposition. Typical uses of GC include testing the purity of a particular gas substance, or separating the different components of a gas mixture (the relative amounts of such gas components can also be determined). In some situations; GC may help in identifying a compound. In preparative chromatography, GC can be used to prepare pure compounds from a mixture. The MS detector allows accurate determination of molecular species at much higher sensitivity for qualitative identification and quantitative determination of gas species. Our GC-MS is equipped with a pyrolyzer which allows decomposition of organic compounds on solids surfaces, which allows us to determine binding mechanism of organic species on solids and hence its role in oil sands extraction.

   
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HPLC (Dionex Ultimate 3000)
High-performance liquid chromatography (or high-pressure liquid chromatography) is a chromatographic technique that can separate a mixture of organic compounds (surfactants) for their quantitative analysis. It is used mainly to identify and quantify surface active organic compounds in process and tailings water, aiming at understanding their roles in oil sands extraction

   
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IC (Dionex ICS-3000)
Ion-exchange chromatography (or ion chromatography) is a process that allows the separation of ions and polar molecules based on their charges. It can be used for almost any kind of charged molecules including large proteins, small nucleotides, amino acids and inorganic ionic species such as Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+ and K+ as well as Cl-, Br-, SO2-4 and CO32-. Such analysis allows us to study critical role of water chemistry in bitumen extraction and tailings management. It also allows us to study potential in recycle of process water.

   
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Karl Fischer (Cou-Lo 2000)
Karl Fischer titration employs standard titration principles in analytical chemistry that uses coulometric or volumetric titration to determine trace amounts of water in an organic sample. It is used to evaluate stability of water-in-diluted bitumen emulsions encountered in oil sands extraction.

   
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Ultracut Ultramicrotome (Leica EM UC7)
A microtome is a sectioning instrument that allows for the cut of extremely thin slices of material, known as sections. Microtomes are an important device in preparation of samples for microscopy investigation. The ultracut ultramicrotome we have allows us to section clay edge surfaces to close to molecular smoothness for investigation of anisotropic properties of clay surfaces using atomic force microscope.

   
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QCM-D (Q-Sense)
The Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation Monitoring determines mass change on sensors in situ and in real time. The active component of a QCM-D is a thin quartz crystal disk sandwiched between a pair of electrodes. The application of an AC voltage over the electrodes causes the crystal to oscillate at its acoustic resonance frequency. When the AC voltage is turned off, the decay of oscillation due to the presence of the adsorbed materials on the sensor surfaces is determined by a special data acquisition system. Current QCM-D equipment enables measuring of more than 200 data points per second. By monitoring this decay, the instrument is capable of determining the resonance frequency and the energy dissipation factor. The QCM-D works in situ and in real-time without need of labelling. It is used to study molecular adsorption/desorption, binding kinetics of polymers to various types of surfaces, and deposition of fine particles in sensor surfaces.

   
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Rheometer (TA Instuments ARES-2G)
The ARES-G2 is a rotational rheometer. It employs a unique separate motor and transducer technology for rheological measurements, capable of measuring stress independently of the applied shear deformation. It is used to determine rheology of bitumen and fine solids suspensions encountered in oil sands extraction and tailings management.

   
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Process Tensiometer (Kruss K-12)
The K-12 is used for measuring surface and interfacial tensions of liquids. Surface and interfacial tension measurements allow us to determine surface concentration of surfactant at the various types of interfaces (solid-liquid, solid-vapour and liquid-vapour). With proper design of sampling cells, K-12 also allows us to determine wettability of solid particles by determining liquid penetration kinetics and analysis of the results using Washburn equation.

   
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UV-VIS-NIR (Shimadzu UV-3600)
UV-Vis-NIR Spectrophotometer determines absorption of ultraviolet, visible and near infrared radiation by samples. This state-of-the-art instrument allows us to determine chromophores of organic compounds in aqueous solutions, air or on solids. It measures attenuation of a beam of light after it passes through a sample or after reflection from a sample surface. UV-Vis spectroscopy is usually applied to molecules or inorganic complexes in solution. In addition to identification of complex molecules, the concentration of an analyte in solution can be determined by measuring the absorbance at some wavelength and applying the Beer-Lambert Law .

   
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Zeta Phoremeter (CAD)
The zetaphoremeter is an instrument used to determine the zeta potential (electric potential at the shear plane of the electrostatic double layer) of particles/droplets dispersed in an aqueous or non-aqueous phase. The instrument operates on the principle of electrophoresis. As an electric field is applied to the suspensions contained in measuring cell, the particles contained in the fluid inside the cell move. Since the net volumetric flow rate inside the closed cell is zero, there exist two stationary layers where the fluid velocity is zero. Particle motion at the stationary layer is captured with a microscope and CCD camera. Image analysis software is used to determine the electrophoretic mobilities of suspended particle population, which is then used to determine the zeta potential distribution. This instrument allows us to determine interactions of dispersed phases, such as solid particles, oil droplets and air bubbles based on zeta potential distribution measurements.

   
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Stereomicroscope (Olympus SZX-10)
This instrument is equipped with a DP-72 digital camera (also from Olympus). This setup allows for the capture of high quality images and videos. With custom-designed flow cells, the microscope is being currently utilized for the visualization of bitumen liberation from different oil sands ores.

   
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X-Ray Fluorescence Microscope (Orbis PC Micro-EDXRF Elemental Analyzer)
X-Ray Fluorescence Microscope allows non-destructive, both qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis or elemental imaging analysis of solid samples. Compared with SEM/EDS, Orbis PC Micro-EDXRF offers a much higher sensitivity for many elements. It provides a powerful analytical tool in a variety of analytical applications such as materials, geology, non-destructive testing, process control, criminal forensics, and so on. This instrument can be applied to analyzing type of clays and impurities in clays in oil sands without need for solids digestion.

   
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Acoustic & ElectroAcoustic Spectrometer (DT-1200)
Acoustic & ElectroAcoustic Spectrometer characterizes both particle size and zeta potential of concentrated suspensions. The instrument contains both acoustic and electroacoustic sensors. As a result, it is capable of measuring attenuation spectra (for particle size measurement) as well as colloid vibration current (for zeta potential measurement) simultaneously. This instrument allows us to measure particle sizes and zeta potential in highly concentrated slurries and does not require the slurry to be conductive and transparent. Therefore it can be applied to dark and nonaqueous system as in water-in-diluted bitumen emulsion systems, i.e., studying water drop sizes and emulsion stabilization mechanisms.

   
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Atomic Force Microscope (Agilent 5500)
This specialized atomic force microscope is capable of measuring molecular adsorption on minerals, mineral oxidation at atomic resolution, binding forces between molecules and solid surfaces, colloidal forces in both aqueous and nonaqueous solutions for understanding selective agglomeration and slime coating. It also provides a convenient means to image gas nucleation and solid morphology in both inorganic and organic liquids.

   
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Peak Force Microscope (Bruker MultiMode 8)
This most updated atomic force microscope allows us to effectively mapping surface features in solution in situ. With new technology advances such as ScanAsyst and Peak Force QNM, this instrument offers us the ultimate in resolution, flexibility, and reliability. Long range and adhesion forces can now be measured at a location of great interest and mapped out rapidly

   
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Dimension Icon Atomic Force Microscope (Bruker Dimension Icon-PT)
This state-of-the-art atomic force microscope allows determination of molecular adsorption on minerals, mineral oxidation at atomic resolution, binding forces between molecules and solid surfaces, colloidal forces in complex systems, gas nucleation, and solid morphology in liquids. As one of the latest AFM systems, it provides extremely low noise, high accuracy, easy and customer-friendly operation interface and superior versatility to many standard and customized experiments with much restriction in sample sizes.   

   
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Thin Liquid Film - Pressure Balance (TLF-PB)
Thin liquid film technique is conveniently used in model studies of emulsion and foam stability. This updated version of TLF-PB is modified for application to water-in-oil emulsion films. Surface forces that govern film stability (disjoining pressure vs. thickness isotherms) and equilibrium thicknesses can be measured for stable films. Kinetics of film thinning, film lifetimes, and critical thicknesses are measured for rupturing films. Additionally, video registration and image analysis are used for characterisation of film behaviour.

   
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Langmuir Trough with Brewster Angle Microscope (EP3-BAM)
Brewster Angle Microscopes enable observation of monolayers, typicall at the air-water interface using a Langmuir Trough. It provides in-situ information on homogeneity, phase behaviour and film morphology. 

   
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Langmuir Trough with Interfacial Shear Rheometer (ISR400)
Interfacial Shear Rheometer (ISR) provides an accurate and quantitative method to measure the shear properties of different kinds of film at interface (gas/liquid or liquid/liquid). The ISR can be combined with a KSV NIMA Langmuir trough, allowing measurement on both soluble and insoluble films.

   
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Micropipette
Micropipette technique is utilized to investigate the stability of water-in-oil emulsions. It allows manipulating two micron-sized water droplets and studying the interactions between them, e.g, the probability of coalescence and the occurrence of flocculation or adhesion with and without demulsifiers. The water/oil interfacial properties such as interfacial tension and film rigidity can also be determined. 

   
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Centrifuge (Hettich Rotanta 460R)
ROTANTA 460 R with connection for nitrogen flushing, cooling/ heating -20°C to +60 °C, 24,400 RCF, 15,000 RPM.

   
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Ultra Centrifuge (Sorvall WX80)
Maximum speed of 80,000 rpm (with current T-865 rotor; 65,000 rpm, 430,000 RCF)
cooling /heating  0°C to +40 °C.

   
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Dean-Stark Apparatus
This extraction reflux method determines the bitumen, water and mineral weight percentage in oil sand, petroleum products and bituminous materials.

   
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Denver Cell D12 Lab Flotation Machine
The laboratory flotation machine incorporates the same principle of operation as the commercial size flotation machines.  It is used with varying cell sizes, air control and agitation speeds.

   
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Laser Particle Sizer (Malvern Mastersizer 3000)
Used to determine particle size distributions from 3mm to 100nm range.  It is also equipped with the Hydro EV dispersion unit which features an ultrasonic probe.

   
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FTIR Spectrometer (Cary 670 - Agilent technologies)
For characterizing and identifying organic materials.  It can be fitted with our following accessories to provide extra capabilities:

  • Diffuse Reflectance Accessory:  Designed to analyze a wide variety of solid samples
  • Variable angle specular reflectance accessory:  Enables samples to be analyzed in the specular reflectance sampling mode over a range of incident angles
  • ATR accessory:  For analysis of solids, liquids, pastes, and gels materials
  • TGA/FTIR Accessory:  For evolved gas analysis from a thermo gravimetric analyzer (TGA)
   
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Thermo Gravimetric Analyzer (Q-500- TA instruments)
Measures weight changes in a material as a function of temperature (or time) under a nitrogen controlled atmosphere.  Its principal uses include measurement of a material's thermal stability and composition.

   
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Ultrasonic Dismembrator (Fisher Model 500)
This device is used for programmable homogenization applications.  Equipped with both the flat ½ inch probe and ⅛ inch micro-tip.

   
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SurPASS Electrokinetic Analyzer (Anton Paar)
Used in surface analysis to investigate the zeta potential of macroscopic solids based on a streaming potential and streaming current measurement.  The zeta potential is related to the surface charge at a solid/liquid interface and is an indicator for the surface chemistry (pH titration) and liquid phase adsorption processes.

   
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Theta Optical Tensiometer (T200 Biolin Sci)
This instrument is used to characterize material surface properties and interfacial interactions between gas, liquid and solid phases.  It is also known as a goniometer or a contact angle meter to measure wettability and is equipped with a tilting cradle, pulsating drop module and automatic single liquid dispenser.

   
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ZetaView PMX 100 (Particle Metrix GmbH)
Electrophoresis & Brownian Motion Laser Scattering Video Microscope for the direct and automated measurement of the electrophoretic mobility and the Brownian motion with analysis of the Zeta potential and size distributions.