Oil can be derived from “oil sand” that is actually semi-solid petroleum, or bitumen. Once the oil sand is mined and sent to an extraction plant, it is placed in a separation vessel that separates the sand from the bitumen. The bitumen is then purified, removing water and clay solids, before it is processes into crude oil.
Soil sits on top of oil sand deposits, which are literally sand containing semi-solid petroleum or bitumen. This oil sand is then poured into a processor which breaks up any lumps, as well as removing any rocks. This substance is combined with water and sent to an extraction plant, where it enters a separation vessel. The sand settles to the bottom, the water to the middle, and a froth to the top containing bitumen. This froth is combined with a solvent, and spun to remove any clay solids. Then, it can be processed into crude oil. This method outlines the mining method of sand oil extraction.
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