MSc. Yuqing Bai

Year of enrollment:2019
Publicationslist of publications
Study program: Economic Geology
Main scientific interests: oil sands, clay minerals, MFT

PhD. Topic

Mineralogy, chemcial composition and surface properties of mature fine tailings from Alberta, Canada

About 20 percent of Alberta oil sands resources and around 45 % of the bitumen production in Alberta can be accessed using surface mining techniques. The extraction of bitumen from these techniques (hot or warm water processes) produces a slurry waste that is hydraulically transported and stored within surface tailings ponds. The fast-settling sand particles segregate (mostly quartz) from the slurry upon deposition at the edge of the tailings ponds while the fine fraction (mostly clay minerals) accumulates in the center of the pond and settles to become mature fine tailings (MFT), a mixture of fines (<44 μm), residual organics (bitumen and solvents) and water. Although most of the water is released and recycled back into the process, over 86 % of the MFT volume consists of water. MFT settles to about 30 – 35 wt% of solids content after a few years of placement. By 2017, the tailings ponds held approximately 1.2 trillion liters of contaminated water and covered about 220 square kilometers. The large volume of MFT requiring safe containment and the vigilant management of capping waters represent a significant management challenge and liability for the industry. The aim of the PhD thesis was to invertiagte mineralogical, morphological and chemical characterization of the MFT in order to better understand the effect of mineralogical and geochemical factors on MFT settling and rheological behaviors.

Former studies

2019 – MSc. in Mining ((China University of Mining and Technology)
Topic of the thesis: “The Construction Method of PetroleumReservoir in Abandoned Coal Mine
2017 – Bc. in Economics and Management (Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology, China)
Topic of the thesis: “Preparation of bidding documents for projects of Ziyang County Agricultural Bureau