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Portable Oil System (2017)

University of Toronto, Dept. of Mech Eng, Toronto, Canada

Custom Scientific Research Equipment

Conceptual Design, Detailed Design, Prototyping, Integration


A research team in the Mechanical Engineering department at the University of Toronto was working on a proprietary process to potentially clean up oil spills in rivers, lakes and other waterways. The team reached out to EDL to design and build a prototype that could be used for the validation of lab experiments and field testing of a proof-of-concept mobile system.


Due to the nature of the cutting-edge research and technologies being tested, the system required a high vacuum pressure at a low flow rate. Additionally, an airtight enclosure and high degree of instrumentation were needed to allow for safe operation and controllability of various experimental parameters. EDL worked closely with the University of Toronto scientists to define the engineering requirements. We then leveraged our local vendor network to specify, source and build the required pumps, heaters and sensors. Modifications to off-the-shelf parts were used where possible to deliver the system at a cost well below that of a commercial unit.


The system met all the client’s requirements and included additional features usable for further field testing. The unit is currently being tested in the lab and is planned to enter field trials in 2023.

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