IDEAS oil sands surface plant

The solution for achieving faster start-up, reducing risk, and increasing profit

Working with our oil sand customers, ANDRITZ has developed IDEAS libraries that enable users to effectively simulate a conventional centrifuge-based oil sand process and also the paraffinic process.


Processing equipment at an oil sands facility in Northern Alberta, Canada.

These libraries feature a flexible and easily customized database that contains the material properties for components commonly used in the oil sands industry. Using IDEAS during the design phase will allow the minimization of capital costs and the design of a plant that is easier to operate.

Steady-state simulation

IDEAS performs steady-state mass and energy balances, tracks components, compounds and element flow and concentration, handles particle size distributions, and calculates specific gravity and excess enthalpy. IDEAS also has the flexibility to define chemical reactions. IDEAS has been used to model key process areas, including truck and shovels, hydro transport, primary separation, flotation, and tailings. Depending on user needs, process reactions can either be user-defined (for most process analyses) or performed separately by a first principle model (for example, VMG OLI vapor-liquid equilibrium engine).

Dynamic simulation

Steady-state models created in IDEAS can be easily converted to a dynamic environment to include detailed dynamic specifications and process control logic. By using IDEAS for control logic verification, plants can reduce costly design errors that could otherwise delay start-up. In fact, studies have shown that using simulation to help with start-up can correct up to 82% of control logic problems before field implementation.

The dynamic simulator can also be used for operator training. Working just like a flight simulator, IDEAS allows trainees to gain realistic, hands-on experience without inflicting harm on themselves, the environment, or the plant.

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    Simulation solutions for oil sand operations

    IDEAS is a leading dynamic simulator for oil sands operations in the north, as well as for potash and hard rock mining operations. IDEAS helps with process design, control logic verification, and operator training.

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