1999 Winner: Innovation In Oil Sands Research Sponsored By Syncrude Canada Ltd.
Profoundly Shaping The Oil Sands Industry Through New Technology
Over the past 20 years, Waldemar Maciejewski has been directly responsible for or involved in the development of novel processes and new equipment that have profoundly changed the oil sands industry. Most recently, he has developed the “cycloseparator,” which is currently being patented.
This is a compact, co-current cyclonic device that separates bitumen from oil sands. It can potentially replace the massive and extremely expensive bitumen separation vessels that are currently used throughout the industry. Despite the fact that nothing has been published on this work, it is already receiving international attention because it has yielded improvements in the fundamental understanding of the process.
This past year, he also developed and patented a technology for hydraulic transport slurry systems that will be first implemented in Syncrude’s new Aurora project that will begin in 2000. Another achievement was the development of an oil sands crushing technology, an important part of hydro-transport, as well as new standards for lubricants, so they can withstand the demanding conditions of the oil sands industry and the northern Alberta climate. This resulted in less equipment downtime.
He has also been active in the area of oil sand transport, developing several technologies that enable transport by the more economical pipeline rather than conveyor. And since the hydraulic behaviour of oil sand in a pipeline is different from other materials, he was required to developing new operating parameters. His publications on this subject clearly establish him as a world authority.