Froth Treatment

Froth treatment plants further remove air, water and fine solids from bitumen froth produced in primary extraction. A variety of methods are utilized including inclined plate separators and centrifuges. Although the solids content is lower than the primary extraction process, the froth remains erosive, resulting in mechanical degradation of equipment. Optimizing plant performance by accurately measuring froth makeup to set feed rates and adjusting centrifuge performance are critical to ensuring maximum bitumen product quality while operating within regulatory compliance. 

Spartan controls offers a wide range of solutions to aid in the maintenance, reliability and performance of froth treatment facilities and their individual assets. From froth content make-up analyzers, pump and centrifuge monitoring and prediction, erosive flow control and measurement, to real time process optimization, Spartan has a large portfolio of solutions to address your froth treatment challenges.

Pressure control in the froth settling units was oscillatory and disturbances to these vessels would easily destabilize pressure controls causing pressure spikes. As a consequence, vapour recovery compressors frequently had to compress more vapour than designed, and excess vapour, composed of expensive hydrocarbons and solvent vapour, was sent to the flare stack.  

Spartan conducted a complete mass/energy input-output analysis and determined the largest source of disturbance was caused by unstable pressure controllers in the froth settling units. These controllers were retuned, resulting in savings of over $8.5 million and a reduction of 69,000  total CO2to date.

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