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Development of In-Situ Foam Filtration System for Oil Spill Recovery

Lead Proponent:   University of Toronto      
Location:  Toronto, ON
OSRS Contribution: $ 400,000
Project Total: $ 807,000
Strategic Area:  Oil Spill Response Science

Project Objectives:

The project will develop a sorbent-based direct oil collector (called In-Situ Foam Filtration System or ISFFS). This system will be capable of directly reclaiming the dissolved, emulsified, dispersed, and free oil from marine spill sites. To meet this objective, the development of advanced functional foams (sorbents), implementing a bench-top system, and design and optimization of in-situ filtration process as a proof-of-concept will be undertaken.

The ISFF will directly collect the oil from the spill site by pumping through oil sorbent bed, which serves as the filtration media. For this type of foam, there is no need for high oil-sorption capacity thus, functionalizing the foam with toxic and expensive elements can be avoided along with minimizing material costs. Moreover, the in-situ filtration will make the oil sorption process continuous, simplifies oil collection, making oil spill response quicker and more cost effective.

Expected Results:

The project will result in the development of a prototype in-situ foam filtration system prototype for speedy, safe, and sustainable oil recovery in marine environments.  The research findings and models would develop a pilot-scale sorbent-based oil-spill remediation system and perform on-site performance testing and optimization. Overall, the project will strengthen marine oil spill preparedness and response by improving Canada’s ability to plan and prepare appropriately to limit the impacts of spills including bitumen-based products, clean them up quickly and effectively, and accelerate recovery processes.

Project Partners:

Tetra Tech
Polaris Applied Sciences Inc.
Dr. Foam Canada
Gracious Living Innovations Inc.
ShawCor Ltd.   

Find out more:

Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto

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