The primary separation cell separates bitumen froth from the solids and water that make up slurry.
Many operators utilize the interface between the bitumen and the water or solids to control the production input/output of the cell. Reliable measurement is difficult due to rag layers between the bitumen and the water or solids. Rag layers are comprised of varying densities and bitumen, water, solids, or air contents which make it very difficult to distinguish an accurate interface measurement. This difficulty in measuring an accurate interface makes it increasingly challenging to run the process in closed loop control with any level of accuracy and consistency.