Jeremie Asks PERM:
I have one question regarding the Dean Stark Analysis for my oil sands core.
After the analysis, can I get the clean sand, and the oil and the water, so I can perform measurements on them? Or do we loose some fluids in the process?
Dr. Jonathan Bryan from PERM Answers:
Yes, we can certainly give you the clean sands, the oil and the water that are collected from the Dean Stark process. Please keep in mind the Dean Stark process both heats the fluids and core and added a solvent to the system, so there are some changes to be aware of.
For the core, if there are facies/minerals/clays/etc that have reaction or change when heated or come in contact with toluene, it is something to keep in mind.
For a bitumen bearing system like yours, not too many light ends will be lost in the oil, but this can be a problem for other oil systems. Toluene is a good solvent because it dissolves everything, ie., you haven’t lost asphaltenes or anything like we would in a paraffinic solvent. The only challenge is that the final oil is mixed with toluene. So, if you want to measure properties of the oil, it can be challenging. Not so much because the solvent necessarily changes the oil properties, but it is really hard to get all the solvent out without something like a rotary evaporation system. But yes, it can certainly be provided to you
For the water, the thing to remember in the Dean Stark process is that water is collected by boiling it and then re-condensing it. So the water that is captured is fresh water, it no longer has the salts from the original brine. But yes, you can have it as well.
Dr. Jonathan Bryan