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Home > History of Development > Technology Through Time > Oil Sands > Divide and Conquer

Technology Through Time

Divide and Conquer

Bitumount Sand Plant. First Dehydrator, 1930.The Tenth Annual Report gave an account of progress with the separation work during 1929. The Research Council overhauled its existing plant at Edmonton, bringing its design up to date. The plant was then dismantled, shipped north and re-erected beside the quarry on the Clearwater River. It was given a trial run before winter stopped further work. In the meanwhile an intensive laboratory study was being carried out to devise new operations to supplement former separation procedures and produce clean, dry, separated bitumen. The crude bitumen from the trial runs of the separation plant was shipped to the laboratory at Edmonton for work during the winter on the new cleaning and drying operations. 

The laboratory work was completed during the winter and a procedure for eliminating water and mineral matter from the crude bitumen was decided upon. Equipment for installation at the separation plant was designed. The equipment was shipped north in the spring and was built into the plant. The plant was ready for operation by the first of June. It was operated during June, July and August. Data and observation regarding practical separation were secured. Fifteen thousand gallons of finished separated bitumen were produced and shipped to Edmonton. Part was used by the mixing plant; part was used by the Provincial Department of Public Works for rural road surfacing experiments; and part is in storage.

Alberta Research Council. [1930] Annual Report. With permission from the Alberta Research Council.

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