A limitation on the use of produced water as steam to assist oil recovery by gravity drainage (SAGD) from oilsands is the presence in the water of boiler foulants. Ordinary water clarification treatments were found to leave behind certain classes of organics that shorten boiler cycle times. Using molecular probes to compare produced water from SAGD processes having different rates of boiler fouling, an unstable class of organic colloid was identified, and a new chemical treatment developed to remove it.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.