Oil Sands Tailings Treatment Technology

Conventional practices for extracting bitumen from the oil sands create a large amount of waste tailings which need to be extensively treated before the water can be released safely into the environment. The common practices are costly and often times nonreliable due to the inherent tailings feed variability. As a result, the accumulations of tailings has caused a large land footprint covering the area of approximately 220 square kilometers in the Northern Alberta, and holding an estimated 1.3 trillion liters of otherwise recyclable water.

To reduce tailings footprint, EnviCore has developed a cost-effective treatment technology while still preserving a strong component of sustainability. The technology is centered around the inexpensive commodity chemicals and a simple mixing procedure combined in an innovative way that ensures easy and flexible retrofit and fast sediment fortification. The uniqueness of the treatment is in its ability to produce a brick-like strong sediment (up to 70 wt% solids) upon the aggregates’ sedimentation, entrapping the residual wastewater organics and dissolved ionic impurities within its structure in addition to releasing a recyclable-ready water. Additionally, the technology enables the extraction of valuable nanoparticles that can be sold as commodity in multiple industrial sectors such as Construction, Asphalt Emulsion, Enhanced Oil Recovery, and Polymer Nanocomposites. 

Key Advantages


The tailings variability and material management following treatment are non-detrimental to the sediment fortification

sludge Solids Content

The technology can produce sludge with >70 wt% of solids content 

Promoting circular economy

Recovery of valuable minerals/nanoparticles from tailings would enable incremental value creation

ANNUAL SAVINGS for Oil sands operator

Millions of dollars in savings on tailings treatment and management

EnviCore’s Technology Retrofit