Did you know that Canada has many issues that need to be solved as soon as possible. So we can have a better Canada in the future. But what are these issues and how will we solve them, by the end of this you will found out what we can do to fix these issues and make Canada better by 2041!
Alberta oil Sands
What are the Alberta Oil Sands?
Oil Sands are a naturally occurring mixture of sand, clay, water, and bitumen, which is a heavy and extremely viscous oil that must be treated before it can be used by refineries to produce usable fuels such as gasoline and diesel. The Canadian oil sands are the second largest oil reserve in the world, most of our oil sands are located in Alberta Canada, we can extract around 175 billion barrels of oil. Oil sands industry creates an economic benefit for Canada. As oil sands development increase many have concerns about the negative impacts that it causes. BUt oil sands are also giving the chance for many job opportunities. This shows you what oil sands are and some of the good and bad impacts it has on us.
How do we extract oil sands?
There are 2 major oil sand extraction methods: Surface mining and deep drilling which is call the situ method. Surface mining first strips the area of the overburden and creates a large open-pit mines from which the bitumen is removed from with shovels and trucks to be chemically and physically processed.Oil sand operators use surface mining when the bitumen is 70-100 m below the surface. When the bitumen is deeper they us situ drilling instead. The tech that made this method become possible was steam-assisted gravity drainage and also cyclic steam simulation. The oil can also be extracted by underground heating.
1.Hot water is used to separate the bitumen from the sands. This step is called extraction and is not mandatory for in situ bitumen method.
2.Bitumen is heated and sent to drums where excess carbon is removed.
3.The heated hydrocarbon vapours from the coke drums are then sent to fractionators where vapour condenses into naphtha, kerosene and gas oil.
4.The end product is the synthetic crude oil. It is shipped by underground pipelines to refineries across North America to be refined into jet fuels, gasoline and other fossil fueled products.
Issues of Resource & INDUSTRY
The oil sands are affecting our resources in a big way. We know that water is a big part of the physical environment but the oil sands consume 652 million cubic meters of our it. Fresh water is a very important resource that we have in our country Canada, and only 7% of the 20% of the world's fresh water we have is able to be extracted from the earth which leaves 13% unable to be reached. The oil sands production requires a large amount of water and most of its obtained from the Athabasca River which is located in Alberta Canada. To give you a look of how much water that is, the Alberta oil sands use more water per year than the entire city of Calgary does. There may not be enough water to complete all the the oil sands plans while keeping the regular stream flow.
You may be wondering what the role of water is in the extracting process of the oil sands? Water is used in the oil sands to separate the extra-heavy crude oil, which is also known as bitumen, from the sand, clay, and water which makes the oil sands. Water is also used up in the hydrogen production, where the steam reacts with the natural gas to produce hydrogen, which is then used in upgrading processes to convert the bitumen into synthetic crude oil.
What do we use the fuel which we extract from the oil sands for? We use fuel as a daily use we use it for to fuel cars, airplanes, power electricity plants. Fuel is also used to make medicines, cosmetics, plastics, synthetic fabrics and lubricants. There are so many different uses of fuel that it has become needed for a normal daily life style.
Not only does the Alberta oil sands affect the water industry it also affects the fishing industry. As a result of the oil sands affecting our water source it also affects the fish in the water. The pollution cause the fish to get tumours, deformities, and signs of disease or infection. If someone ends up eating one of those contaminated fish it could lead to being very sick and even death.