Extraction of Chemical Constituents of Bitumen Using a Mixed Solvent System


Several solvents had been used to extract the SARA (Saturate, Aromatic, Resin and Asphaltene) constituents of bitumen. The quantification of such extracts also abounds in open literature but in this work an attempt was made to determine the quality of extraction as a feed stock for processing bitumen using a mixed solvent system. A mixture of heptane and toluene was used to compare with the standard method using heptane. The components were analysed for functional groups of compound types presented in them using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometry technique (FTIR). The quality of bitumen component extract was not significantly affected by the method of extraction as recommended by the ASTM. The components are mixture of different class of hydrocarbons such as saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons which conformed to what had earlier been reported by other researchers.

Share and Cite:

Odebunmi, E. and Olaremu, A. (2015) Extraction of Chemical Constituents of Bitumen Using a Mixed Solvent System. Open Journal of Applied Sciences, 5, 485-494. doi: 10.4236/ojapps.2015.58047.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Sparks, B.D., Meadus, F.W., Kumar, A. and Woods, J.R. (1992) The Effect of Asphaltene Content on Solvent Selection for Bitumen Extraction by the SESA Process. Fuel, 71, 1350-1353.
[2] Kettle, A. and Voelker, P. (2014) Accelerated Solvent Extraction for Bitumen Extraction from Oil Sands. Thermo Fisher Scientific, Sunnyvale. www.thermoscintific.com/dionex
[3] Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (2014) Oil Sands. (Online) http://www.ptac.org/projects/59
[4] Speight, J.G. (2006) Chap. 8: The Chemistry and Technology of Petroleum. 4th Edition, CRC press, USA, 263.
[5] Coulson, G.R. (1958) Process for Separation Oil from Bitumenous Sands, Shales, Etc. US Patent No. 2,825,677.
[6] Wang, T., Zhang, C., Zhao, R.Y., Zhu, C.J., Yang, C.H. and Liu, C.G. (2014) Solvent Extraction of Bitumen from Oil Sands. Energy Fuel, 28, 2297-2304. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ef402101s
[7] Leary, T.S. and Cottrell, J.H. (1964) Recovery of Bitumen from Bitumenous Sand. US Patent No. 3,117,922.
[8] Benson, A.M. (1969) Filtration of Solvent-Water Extracted Tar Sand. US Patent No. 3,459,653.
[9] Hanson, D.O. and Sherk, F.T. (1979) Solvent Extraction of Tar Sand. US Patent 4,139,450.
[10] Gantz, D.E. and Hellwege, J.W. (1977) Solvent Extraction of Oil from Tar Sands Utilizing a Trichloroethylene Solvent. US Patent No. 4,046,669.
[11] Leung, H. and Phillip, C.R. (1985) Solvent Extraction of Mined Athabasca Oil Sands. Industrial & Engineering Che- mistry Fundamentals, 24, 373-379. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/i100019a015
[12] Sparks, B.D. and Meadus, F.W. (1988) Solvent Extraction Spherical Agglomeration of Oil Sands. US Patent No. 4,719,008.
[13] Sparks, B.D. and Meadus, F.W. (1979) A Combined Solvent Extraction and Agglomeration Technique for the Recovery of Bitumen from Tar Sand. Energy Processes Canada, 72, 55-61.
[14] Wu, J. and Dabros, T. (2012) Process for Solvent Extraction of Bitumen from Oil Sand. Energy & Fuels, 26, 1002- 1008. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ef201457m
[15] Hooshiar, A., Uhlik, P., Liu, Q., Etsell, T.H. and Ivey, D.G. (2012) Clay Minerals in Nonaqueous Extraction of Bitumen from Alberta Oil Sands. Fuel Processing Technology, 94, 80-85.
[16] Nikakhtari, H., Vagi, L., Choi, P., Liu, Q. and Gray, M.R. (2013) Solvent Screening for Non-Aqueous Extraction of Alberta Oil Sands. The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering, 91, 1153-1160.
[17] Nikakhtari, H., Wolf, S., Choi, P., Liu, Q. and Gray, M.R. (2014) Migration of Fine Solids into Product Bitumen from Solvent Extraction of Alberta Oil Sands. Energy & Fuels, 28, 2925-2932.
[18] Pal, K., da Paz Nogueira Branco, L., Heintz, A., Choi, P., Liu, Q., Seidl, P.R. and Gray, M.R. (2015) Performance of Solvent Mixture for Non-Aqueous Extraction of Alberta Oil Sands. Energy & Fuels, 15, 2261-2267. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ef502882c
[19] Adegoke, O.S and Ibe, E.S. (1982) The Tar Sands and Heavy Crude Resources of Nigeria. Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on Heavy Crude and Tar Sands, Caracas, 1982, 280-285.
[20] Adebiyi, F.A. and Omode, A.A. (2007) Organic, Chemical and Elemental Characterization of Components of Nigerian Bituminous Sands Bitumen.
[21] Association of Official Analytical Chemists (1980) Report of Subcommittee A on Recommendation for Official Methods. Journal of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists, 63, 2.
[22] Ekwezor, C.M. (1985) Nigerian Tar Sands, Bitumen Chemical Properties and Their Application to Origin, Production, and Processing. Proceedings of the 21st Annual Conference of Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society, Jos, 11-15 March 1985, 26-40.
[23] Oshinowo, T.A.B. and Adediran, A.S. (I982) Bituminous Tar Sands of Nigeria. Journal of the Nigerian Society of Che- mical Engineering, 1, 44-48.
[24] Oderinde, R.A. and Olanipekun, E.O. (1990) Composition Analysis of the Oil Component of the Nigerian Bitumen. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 12, 453-487.
[25] Ells, E.C. (1914) Preliminary Report on the Bituminous Sands of Northern Alberta. Canada Department of Mines, Report 281, 86-90.
[26] Clarke, P. and Pruden, B. (1998) Asphaltene Precipitation from Cold Lake and Athabasca Bitumen. Petroleum Science and Technology, 16, 287-305. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10916469808949784
[27] Liu, C., Zhu, C., Jin, L., Shen, R. and Liang, W. (1999) Step by Step Modeling for Thermal Reactivities and Chemical Compositions of Vacuum Residues and Their SFEF Asphalt. Fuel Processing Technology, 59, 51-67. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-3820(99)00010-7
[28] Moschopedis, S.E., Hawkin, R.W. and Speight, J.G. (1981) Identification of Nitrogen Functional Groups in Athabasca Bitumen. Fuel, 60, 397-400. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0016-2361(81)90276-3
[29] Obiajunwa, E.I. and Nwachukwu, J.I. (2000) Simultaneous PIXE and PIGME Analysis of a Nigerian Tar Sand Sample from a Deep Borehole. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, 245, 659-661.
[30] Ipinmoroti, K.O. and Aiyesanmi, A.F. (2001) Trace Metals in the Bituminous Sands of Ondo State, Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Science, 35, 63-68.
[31] Chung, K.H., Xu, C., Hu, Y. and Wang, R. (1997) Supercritical Fluid Extraction Reveals Resid Properties. Oil & Gas Journal, 95, 66-69.
[32] Pearson, C.D. and Green, J.B. (1989) Comparison of Processing Characteristics of Mayan and Wilmington Heavy Residues. 2. Characterization of Vanadium and Nickel Complexes in Acid-Base-Neutral Fractions. Fuel, 68, 456-464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0016-2361(89)90267-6
[33] Speight, J.G. (1990) Fuel Science and Technology Handbook. Chap. 3, Marcel Dekker, New York, 80.
[34] Quann, R.J. and Ware, R.A. (1988) Catalytic Hydrodemetallation of Petroleum. Advances in Chemical Engineering, 14, 95-259. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0065-2377(08)60101-5
[35] Franceskin, P.J., Gonzalez-Jiminez, M.G., Darosa, F., Adams, O. and Katan, L. (1986) First Observation of an Iron Porphyrin in Heavy Crude Oil. Hyperfine Interactions, 28, 825-828.
[36] Biggs, J.C., Brown, R.J. and Fetzer, W.R. (1987) Elemental Profiles of Hydrocarbon Materials by Size Exclusion Chromatography/Inductive Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy. Energy & Fuels, 1, 257-262. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ef00003a006
[37] Ware, R.A. and Wei, J. (1985) Catalytic Hydrodemetallation of Nickel Porphyrins: I. Porphyrin Structure and Reactivity. Journal of Catalysis, 93, 100-121.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.