The Tailings Recovery System (TRS) technology has been developed by Technika Engineering Ltd. for the purpose of recovering Mature Fine Tailings from Oil Sands Ponds.
The technology is designed to enable effective and economical year-round MFT recovery operations. It addresses operating limitations of the technologies currently utilized for this purpose.
Commercial scale TRS units have been placed into operations at a major oil sands operating site in northern Alberta.
Main operating advantages of the TRS technology:
- Enables collection of MFT from the free surface level inside the TRS caisson;
- Prevents MFT dilution at suction point due to coning;
- Mitigates issues caused by debris found in MFT deposits;
- Enables MFT recovery operation from a single location for extended periods of time;
- Provides means to target and maintain MFT density;
- Enables automation of MFT density selection to match the process requirements;
- Enables remote operations of MFT supply systems.
Modular design and construction of the system facilitates its effective shipping, site assembly and deployment.
The TRS technology – patented and proprietary to Technika Engineering Ltd. – utilizes the principle of hydraulic pressure balance in a caisson-type structure which is located at the pond surface and placed at sufficient depth into the MFT deposit to:
- Obtain direct access to MFT of the required density by bringing MFT to the surface level within the caisson; and
- Achieve continuous recovery of MFT from within the caisson at the design recovery rate.
These objectives are achieved through a system that relies on a balance of design parameters that include the system geometry, MFT recovery rate and MFT rheology.
Movement of MFT into the caisson is achieved by the action of the hydraulic pressure differential that is caused by the MFT removal process.
An additional advantage of the TRS technology is its ability to access and recover high density MFT (solids content greater than 40% by weight). This presents a significant opportunity for future development and implementation of the technology.