The ROC Barrier (Murrenhil Corporation)

Funded by the Applied Research & Commercialization Initiative of Fed Dev Ontario

It’s one slick idea, and it signals a cost-effective shift in the way oil spills are managed.

Murrenhil Corporation’s product, a specialized laminate film called the ROC Barrier, uses a technology that has been around for many years, but in a new profile that Murrenhil has designed. “We developed a product that corrals and contains oil in open water, and we patented the buoy system that contains the barrier,” general manager Glenn Murray explains.

Not only does the barrier contain the oil, it does so economically and with great speed. At less than a dollar per foot, the barrier can be deployed using any sized watercraft in excess of 57 km/hr, preventing oil from contaminating shorelines and sensitive wetlands. It’s also portable—a standard 1,000-foot roll of product is only six inches in diameter and requires one-twentieth of the storage space required by similar materials currently used in the oil spill control industry. In addition to its compact storage capability, the film is capable of adsorbing the spilled oil it is intended to contain.

While the barrier could revolutionize marine emergency spill response, it could also be used on small and large scales to contain damage to marine environments all over the world. Murray sees applications for marinas, ships, watercraft, ports, harbours, shipping lanes, beaches, lakes, waterfront resorts, and water conservation areas. In the event of an oil spill, these clients could deploy the ROC Barrier quickly to contain the mess and prevent some of the potential consequences for animals, habitat, and property.

The company has plans to start developing the next generation of the barrier and get it on the market for everybody to use, not just big industry.

As part of our mandate to work closely with industry partners on innovative solutions, the CAWT is working with Murrenhil to further advance the product.

While Murray can’t divulge the specifics of the company’s R&D activities, he does say that the next step after containing a spill is to remove the oil from the water.

The CAWT team works closely with industry and technology companies to design, develop, test or improve products and services, prototype and test new technology and processes, commercialize innovative technologies, and access research funding and partners. Visit our Office of Applied Research section to learn more.