UNBC professor, Dr Jianbing Li, is seeking to discover a solution to marine oil spills.
Li, an environmental engineering professor at UNBC is leading part of a national project to investigate improved methods to separate oil from water to make it more efficient and less costly to clean up marine oil spills, as per a Jan. 22 news release.
The professor has received $1.9 million in funding from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, to fund the next stage of Li’s research through the multi-partner oil spill research initiative. The project, which started in the fall of 2018, saw Li and his collaborators spend the first year reviewing regulation technologies and developing experiments.
Current techniques for clearing up marine oil spills involve collecting oily wastewater from the ocean and transporting it to the shore for processing or disposal.
“Li’s research will explore ways to separate the oil from water while the response ships are still at sea,” said the release.
UNBC president Dr. Daniel Weeks said Li is investigating techniques to reduce the time it takes to clean up a marine oil spill, while at the same time ensuring more of the oil can be used again for other purposes.
“This research will not only help protect Canada’s environment and coastal communities, it will also inform oil response approaches around the world,” Weeks added.
Federal funding through fisheries will help support eleven scientific trainee positions at UNBC, ranging from post-doctoral researchers and PhD candidates, to graduate and senior undergraduate researchers. The $1.9 million, will assist Li’s project but also provide valuable training opportunities.
“Through the multi-partner oil spill research initiative, we will enhance Canada’s response toolbox in the unfortunate event of a marine spill,” Li says.
The multi-partner oil spill research initiative is a $45.5 million project that has collaboration with oil response experts around the world, advancing oil spill research in Canada, in order to minimize the environmental impacts of oil spills.