The release of vanadium from Athabasca oil sands cokes by leaching techniques

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 73, No. 817, 1980

T.R.JACK, Physical Sciences Division Scarborough College, University of Toronto, West Hill, Ontario E.A. SULLIVAN and J.E. ZAJIC, Faculty of Engineering Science, University of Western Ontario London, Ontario

The release of vanadium, iron, nickel and titanium from the cokes produced in the upgrading of Alberta oil sands bitumen has been assessed for simple chemical leaching processes. Flex-icoker coke (Exxon Engineering and Research) has been found to be quite amenable to the recovery of vanadium as well as nickel, iron and some titanium by these techniques, whereas fluid coker coke (Syncrude) and delayed coker coke (Great Canadian Oil Sands) are relatively intractable under the mild conditions employed. The factors affecting the extent of vanadium release are discussed in terms of the surface area accessible, the wettability of the material, and the chemical and physical composition of the coke particles in each case.A novel biologically assisted heap leaching procedure for flexicoker coke is also described, based on the growth of the chemolithotrophic bacteria, Thiobacillus thiooxidans A TCC 8085, on elemental sulphur added to the coke.
Keywords: Vanadium, Oil sands cokes, Athabasca oil sands, Leaching, Mineral processing, Cokes, Flexicoking, Heap leaching.