The physical and chemical processes that occur typically within and around an oil sand fragment are considered when the fragment is suddenly introduced into a hot, low-uniform velocity, gaseous oxidizing stream. In this analytical study, the extent of bitumen volatilization was obtained from a consideration of the simultaneous heat and mass transfer within spherical oil sand fragments combined with a simplified cracking scheme of the heavy oil and asphaltene into coke and distillate. The resulting system of equations together with the boundary conditions arising from subjecting the fragments to hot convective streams were solved using Laplace transformation. The transient concentrations of bitumen and temperature within the fragments were then obtained under a wide range of operating conditions. The similarity of the expression obtained for the extent of bitumen volatilization to the expression derived from simplified analysis, based on a dropletlike model, was demonstrated for cases where the transient effects within the fragments were considered to be negligible. The results of the theoretical analysis show relatively good agreement with their corresponding experimental values at high stream temperatures, while they showed relatively inferior agreement at low temperatures.

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