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A demonstration unit can be used for investigating the removal of hydrocarbons (e.g., bitumen, heavy oil, drilling oils, etc.) from sand/mineral matter using a newly developed ionic liquids (ILs) technology. The unit consists of a mixing tank, two gravity separation tanks to remove coarse sand from liquids, and a coalescing unit to separate oil or diluted bitumen from IL. The system also consists of a centrifuge for oil/IL separation.