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SMU – Biodegradable Ionic Liquids For Cleaning Up Oil Spills

Institution: Saint Mary’s University
Researcher: Dr. Jason Clyburne
Funded $10,000 by GreenCentre Canada

Invented by Dr. Jason Clyburne of Saint Mary’s University, this technology is a new method to disperse oil using ionic liquids. These are unique compounds that are ionic in nature, but remain liquid at ambient temperatures.  In initial testing, Dr. Clyburne’s biodegradable compounds show promise for their ability to disperse an industrial sample of crude oil.

Through a Proof-of-Principle grant, GreenCentre is supporting further development and testing of these dispersants.  Working with industrial partners, these compounds will be tested both for their ability to clean up general oil spills and in more specialized applications such as the cleaning of cooling towers, engines, and truck components.  If successful, these compounds could effectively compete with currently used methods by offering a means to disperse oil with minimal damage to the environment.