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Petroleum purification from sodium acetate

If you have Canadian tar sands or possibly oil shale you could grind it up with Ice during winter, then when it thaws the petroleum would rise to the surface of the melted water; Improving that is the Sodium acetate insta freeze STP crystal method
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Ok, lets say you have a bunch of oily tarry sand, and you would like to skip the energy to warm it up to liquefy it enough to extract (similar yet different than crack) it. I may have even read that about 1/5th of all petroleum energy goes to cracking.

What if you grind the oily sand up with ice crystals at naturally occurring temperatures at places like Canada or Russia? Then after the hydrocarbons transfer from the tar sand to the ice, you just melt the ice and collect the hydrocarbon product that floats to the top.

It might work, yet is it possible to to do this with a cheap material with a melting point near 32 C? That way you could use the slight natural day night variation to crystal concentrate your hydrocrabons daily (or use just a little solar thermal.)

Well, you might have seen supersaturated sodium acetate. At room temperature, just pinging the side of the flask causes the supersaturated fluid to become a bunch of crystals, at quite near 32C. Sodium acetate is the product of baking soda with vinegar, so it is eco friendly as well as bioproducible.

If you want greater engineering latitude rather than make a sodium acetate, you could make it a carbon longer, which I think I think might be sodium proprionate.

The main thing is to make the instantly meltable grimy oil soaked snowballs as near the temperature of the oilfield/tar sand field as possible, so they can adsorb,melt,refreeze as rapidly as possible, with the least energy effort.

The big benefit here is that it saves a much, although perhaps not all, of the 1/5th of oil energy used to make purified hydrocarbons (different than cracking I know)

beanangel, Dec 20 2016


       Hmm. So, this method would use less than the 20% of energy needed to crack the tar. But it isn't cracking, so that's not really relevant.   

       So, what proportion of the tar's energy is actually used to heat the tar sands in heat-based extraction methods? I would wager it's a lot less than 20%.   

       One question, though. You take your tar sand, and mix it up with ice crystals. So now you've got a slurry consisting of oily sand and oily ice crystals. Then you melt the ice. But surely this just leaves you with a wetter version of the oily sand you began with - what is the ice accomplishing?
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 21 2016

       when the ice melts, the oil accumulates at the top of the water, concentrating it.
beanangel, Dec 21 2016

       But it won't. You have a slurry of ice, sand and oil, all mixed together. When the ice melts, you'll just have a slurry of water, sand and oil. If the oil was going to float to the top, you wouldn't need to start with ice and then melt it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 21 2016

       hmmmm. I think the sand would accumulate at the botton, the water would tend towards the middle, and the oil would float up top. Also, you could have a centrifugal swirl cone to make it work better
beanangel, Dec 21 2016

       Yes, but my point is that the freezing/thawing business probably won't achieve anything. And if a centrifuge will work, economically, then just use a centrifuge.   

       As far as I can tell, the ice in your proposal is playing no useful role whatsoeveratall.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 21 2016

       I'd probably avoid using the ice for cocktails.
not_morrison_rm, Dec 21 2016

       There were some innocentive challenges about this. The useful fractions of petroleum are tangled up in very viscous asphaltlike heavy and mostly useless fractions. I proposed that the useless heavy stuff be burned on site for energy to cook loose the lighter good stuff - no prize. So Bean the way to think of it is a hydrophobic glop that happens to contain sand. I think the sand is less of an issue than the asphalt. You cannot use water to rinse one hydrophobic fraction loose from another.
bungston, Dec 23 2016


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