Investigation of Thermal Conductivity and Heat Characteristics of Oil Sands Using Ultrasound Irradiation for Shortening the Preheating Time
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Oil sands are attractive as an energy resource. Bitumen, which is found in oil sands, has high viscosity, so that it does not flow. Most oil sands areunderground and are developed with a method called steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD). Hot steam is injected underground to fluidizebitumen and promote its recovery. However, the preheating time is too long. One way of reducing running costs is by shortening the preheatingtime. Previous studies have found that bitumen can be extracted from oil sands efficiently by applying ultrasonic irradiation, but SAGD was notapplied directly in these cases. Thus, the purpose of this study is to apply ultrasonic irradiation to SAGD, thereby shortening the preheating time ofoil sands. As a model experiment for SAGD, heat transfer experiments in a sand layer made with Toyoura sand and silicone oil were conductedand the thermal effect with ultrasound was investigated.
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