Federal-provincial funding was announced today in St. John’s for research hoped to increase the efficiency of existing mechanical oil recovery systems for heavy oil products in harsh, cold environments.
St. John’s East MP Nick Whalen, on behalf of federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr, announced $1.39 million for two projects to enhance marine incident prevention and responsiveness in Canada’s oceans.
Siobhan Coady, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced provincial government funding of $428,500 toward the projects.
Whalen also said $400,000 will be provided to the University of Toronto for a project that will develop a foam filtration system for use in oil spills.
In St. John’s, research and development corporation C-CORE, will get $991,500 of the money.
“Through the Institute for Water Innovation (IWI), our professors and students are addressing the world’s most pressing challenges and commercializing their research,” said Mark MacLeod, president and CEO of C-CORE.
“Our forthcoming Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship, in which IWI will be housed, will further enable this work by providing a multidisciplinary, collaborative environment that will set a new standard for engineering research and education.
“This project leverages C-CORE’s expertise in analytical modeling, computer simulation and large-scale physical tests to assess and optimize technology performance in harsh environments.”
According to information on the Natural Resources Canada website, the C-CORE project aims at increasing the efficiency of existing mechanical recovery systems in collecting heavy oil dispersed in the water column below the surface.
Operating parameters such as temperature, oil density and oil-to-water ratios are among the parameters to be analyzed.
The challenging aspects of heavy crude and bituminous oil clean-up will be addressed by introduction of an advanced hybrid phase separation and spill collection system.
The project will improve the mechanical recovery processes for heavy oil clean up in marine and cold ocean environments and will provide an effective and practical solution for an oil spill incident.
Physical tests and state-of-the-art simulation techniques will be utilized in order to test, simulate and optimize the system for a wide range of spill scenarios.
The main intermediate outcome of the project consists of an improved oil spill collection and separation system that can be integrated in an efficient response technique including a specially designed vessel.