Our mixer is essentially off the shelf. It was patented in 1876. It's very robust, it's proven, and it does the job extremely well, and 100% mixing efficiency is obtained in less than 60 seconds. The company that manufactures it, the OEM, is over 485 years old, so they know what they're doing.
We've tested it on that unit, and essentially, you have very thorough mixing to ensure that you have many contacts between the beads and the clay particles or the fine particles that have the bitumen coating so that you have the migration of the bitumen onto the bead.
At the end of this mixer, it goes into a settling compartment. The beads are extremely buoyant and they float to the top. Your water and your solids sink to the bottom, so they come up from your settling compartment in the bottom. That can be sent to the tailings disposal pit for reclamation, and your water can go ahead and be recycled back into the primary extraction sector.
Your beads are transported into what we call the bead washer. The bead washer is essentially a bath which has dilbit on the top that come in and they are transported into a rotating, perforated drum, like a trommel. There's a shower head, and they get sprayed with naphtha and everything gets washed off. They come up to the top with a very fine film of naphtha, which is a hydrocarbon, and which displaced all of the bitumen because it dissolved it. And that goes into a dryer, which is under partial vacuum. Naphtha has a boiling point between 40° and 65° Celsius at one atmosphere. When it's under partial vacuum, the temperature is lower so you use less energy.
You recover and recycle that naphtha that was on the bead, so you have a dry bead that is back at its natural surface state. The surface energetics of the bead are not changed and they're able to refunction back in another cycle.