Oil-Contaminated Water Treatment System

Over the past 50 years, more than 40 million barrels of crude oil have been released into oceans in accidental oil spills. These spills can have significant impacts on the marine environment and local communities, and require a fast and efficient response method. The current methods of cleaning up an oil spill are either time consuming, labour intensive or hazardous to the environment. Low-cost Surface Engineered Sponges (SEnS) with high adsorption capacity and affinity for emulsified oil droplets have been developed to remove oil from oily water collected in oil spills. Immediate filtration of the oily water in a SEnS packed column system enables the clean water to be discharged, thereby increasing the amount of oily water that can be treated. This technology has the potential to minimize treatment cost, waste, and produce reusable oil and water upon subjecting to secondary treatment.

Our initial adsorption tests showed up to 30 g/g contamination mass uptake capacities with model oil-in-water emulsions, and up to 99.99% turbidity removal rates in 2 hrs for dilute emulsions.

Surface Engineered Sponge (SEnS) removing oil SEnS column system