Canadian Consulting Engineer

New polymer found that could revolutionize water treatment

The New Brunswick Environmental Industry Association newsletter reports that a small New Brunswick company has foun...

October 3, 2003   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The New Brunswick Environmental Industry Association newsletter reports that a small New Brunswick company has found an almost instantaneous means of separating oil and other contaminants from water.
Sutherland Separation Systems, based at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, discovered a polymer that is non-toxic and inexpensive. It absorbs its weight in contaminants and is very efficient.
The polymer is called MFD for microencapsulating flocculating dispersion. It works by forcing oil, metals and other contaminants in water to precipitate into solids that can be easily removed.
Dr. George Sutherland, president of Sutherland Separation Systems, said that the polymer will clean 10,000 gallons of water to less than one part per million of contaminants. The technology could be used for water treatment, as well as for oil sands processing, and materials manufacturing.
There are also potential medical applications, and it can be used for cleaning up oil spills. “We’re especially excited about the potential of this technology for oil spill cleanup,” said Dr. Sutherland in the article in the newsletter. “We can formulate the polymer so that a sea bird landing in solidified oil can take off again without getting any oil on its feathers.”


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