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H&P Process Spotlight: Oil Sands Processing

Oil Sands Bitumen Processing2 resized 600

Canada's oil sand deposits contain the world’s second largest oil resource, after Saudi Arabia.  Surface mining can extract around 20% of the oil and currently covers about 342 square miles in the province of Alberta, roughly two-thirds the size of the city of Los Angeles.  In their natural state, oil sands are loose particles that are a combination of clay, sand and water saturated with bitumen.  Processing of this material fundamentally separates oil-bearing bitumen from the sand itself, and can also be referred to as bituminous sands.

Materials and Applications for Rotary Calciners

Rotary Calcination Reactor

Calcination is loosely defined as thermal processing done at elevated temperatures to change the properties of a given material.  Calcining is often applied to ores and other solid materials to bring about a thermal decomposition, phase transition or removal of a volatile fraction.  The calcination process normally takes place at temperatures below the melting point of the material being calcined.

Algae Processing is Fueling the Aviation Industry


The search is on for alternative sources of fuel.  Social and political instability in the vicinity of major oil producing regions has led to rising prices, which hampers a slow economic recovery as consumers are forced to spend more of their limited incomes on gasoline.  Major spills in waterways and in the Gulf of Mexico provide dramatic reminders of the risks inherent in oil exploration and production, and their effect on the environment.

Rotary Coolers Optimize the Potential of Bulk Materials

Rotary Cooler

Sand is one of many bulk mateials, and is a vital component in a variety of industrial applications.  From simple molding to its use as a crucial ingredient in concrete and asphalt, much of the world we know would be substantially different without sand.  A problem that those in the industry face, however, is that part of the process for treating sand for some applications heats it up considerably, requiring it to be cooled before further use.

Heyl & Patterson Relocates to New Headquarters

400 Lydia Street

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Pittsburgh, PA – Heyl & Patterson Inc., a world leader in thermal processing and bulk materials handling equipment, today announced its relocation to a new base of operations at 400 Lydia Street in Carnegie, PA, in a move to accommodate growth.

The Roles of Coal and Coke in Steelmaking

Steel Mill

Since 1875, the United States has been one of the world's main steel producers.  Steel has been an important factor in the American economy for over 100 years, providing jobs to many generations of American families, and it continues to be a booming industry today.  Production of steel takes place in two different ways.  One method uses integrated smelting involving a blast furnace, followed by a basic oxygen furnace, and the other involves an electric arc furnace.

Drying Waste Materials From Tailing Ponds

Rotary Dryer

A tailings pond is a temporary storage area for the leftover by-product materials from oil sands, shale gas and coal ash operations, and is often a discontinued mine pit that has been re-engineered with a dam and dyke system.  The contents of the pond is a slurry, with large volumes of water, sand, clay, residual hydrocarbons, heavy metals, naphtha diluents and naphthenic acids, which are known as tailings.  The various materials settle to different depths, but they can all be dredged and dried to reduce their volume and eliminate moisture.

Bulk Material Handling Equipment Keeps Products Moving

Coal CBU

Bulk material handling equipment has evolved over many years.  Some of the materials being transported have changed, such as specialized sands used in the oil and gas industry and new potential energy sources such as biomass, plus the volumes have increased and the terminals have become much more sophisticated.  Even so, many of the basics in the industry have remained the same over the years.

H&P Process Spotlight: Activated Carbon

Activated Carbon from Wood resized 600

Activated carbon is a material that is riddled with tiny pores that increase its surface area, making more of it available for chemical reactions.  It is used for water filtration, gas purification, sewage treatment and metal extraction.  More precisely, it removes color and impurities from liquids and gases, and separates and extracts chemical compounds.  Activated carbon is most commonly found in aquarium filters, respirators and gas masks, and is used to treat poison following oral ingestion.

A Guide to Frac Sand Drying For Use in Hydraulic Fracturing

Frac Sand Mine

Frac sand is used in hydraulic fracturing for the recovery of gas and oil from previously inaccessible deposits and dormant wells.  In order to be used, it must first be dried and refined after it is mined.  Specifically, in order for the desirable sand to be separated from unusable impurities, it must be washed and then dried using specialized thermal processing equipment before it is transported to the sifting process.

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