Bitumen extraction efficiency is increased in oil sands ore-water slurry based extraction process by increasing solubility of naturally occurred asphaltic acids by addition of CaO (lime) and/or by oxidation of bitumen asphaltenes by Ozone (O3) to surfactant species, at as low as 35 °C temperature. Experimental findings suggest that a non-caustic bitumen extraction process (i.e. without using NaOH as extraction process aid) could be used commercially by conditioning the oil sands ore-water slurry with CaO and/or Ozone, which would allow high extraction efficiencies at about 35 °C temperature, reduce energy consumption and CO2 emission for the extraction of bitumen and eliminate the accumulation of Na+ ions in the recycled release water. Further tests are on-going to provide sufficient data for the commercial implementation of the use of CaO and/or Ozone at oil sands-ore water slurry based extraction plants.

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