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View Diary: What Exactly is in Dilbit? It is a Secret. (242 comments)

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  •  Well, since regular old heavy crude (12+ / 0-)

    is filled with carcinogens,  it's a safe bet that this stuff is worse.

    •  Actually (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      catwho, Roadbed Guy, LakeSuperior

      this type of crude apparently has less benzene in it at .13%, that lots of other types of crude, which run up to 4.9% benzene.

      Its still an awful stinking mess.

      Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

      by 6412093 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 09:35:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed, I honestly don't get the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093

        benzene fixation - it's not like people at this site don't have access to the internet and could easily look up the price of benzene and instantly realize that it is a valuable industrial chemical that would * not * be used as a diluent considering that much less expensive alternative are available . ..

        •  I feel obligated (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bisbonian, ivote2004

          to point out, as you noted, that benzene is not an added diluent but an inherent fraction of the Tar Sands.

          However I well understand why its presence bothers people since it causes cancer. And in a oil spill of this size, there would be a measurable discharge of airborne benzene from the spilled crude.  Since the crude was running down folks' driveways and their curbs, some folks got a good whiff of it.

          Since I used to wash my grimy hands in the toulene parts bath at the shop, I'm painfully aware how all of these seemingly trivial lifetime exposures can add up.

          Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

          by 6412093 on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 03:17:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Since Benzene is a constituent of natural gas (0+ / 0-)

          liquids in the form of condensate that is used as a diluent for tar sands synthetic crude....benzene is thus being used as a diluent.   However, of the liquid hydrocarbons in the diluent added, benzene is present in concentrations that are greatly exceeded by the other C2-C6 hydrocarbons present in the diluent as applied and added.

          In hot water/steam-assisted recovery of bitumen from natural deposits, both in situ and as a mined material feedstock, there will be virtually no benzene present in that material.   Bitumen present in the tar sands primarily and overwhelmingly consists of high boiling point, high molecular weight long chain hydrocarbons....meaning that benzene is not present in the bitumen as low molecular weight material.

          In addition, the hydrocarbon chemical compounds contained in the natural bitumen deposits will not have any significant human or environmental toxicity.   The metals contained in the bituminous deposits, which are not volatilized (except for mercury inside of high temperature thermal processing unit),
          will pose the principle environmental toxicant threat in Canada from leaching and subsequent surface water and groundwater contamination.  

          Once bitumen is processed in an upgrading operation or placed in a coker in Alberta, only then does the potential exist for high temperature/high pressure thermal processing to cause the formation of benzene from naturally occurring bitumen.

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