The Science of the total environment

Prediction of naphthenic acid species degradation by kinetic and surrogate models during the ozonation of oil sands process-affected water.

PMID 24951886


Oil sands process-affected water (OSPW) is a complex mixture of organic and inorganic contaminants, and suspended solids, generated by the oil sands industry during the bitumen extraction process. OSPW contains a large number of structurally diverse organic compounds, and due to variability of the water quality of different OSPW matrices, there is a need to select a group of easily measured surrogate parameters for monitoring and treatment process control. In this study, kinetic and surrogate correlation models were developed to predict the degradation of naphthenic acids (NAs) species during the ozonation of OSPW. Additionally, the speciation and distribution of classical and oxidized NA species in raw and ozonated OSPW were also examined. The structure-reactivity of NA species indicated that the reactivity of individual NA species increased as the carbon and hydrogen deficiency numbers increased. The kinetic parameters obtained in this study allowed calculating the evolution of the concentrations of the acid-extractable fraction (AEF), chemical oxygen demand (COD), and NA distributions for a given ozonation process. High correlations between the AEF and COD and NA species were found, suggesting that AEF and COD can be used as surrogate parameters to predict the degradation of NAs during the ozonation of OSPW.