IIT Guwahati develops cotton to manage oil spills

IIT Guwahati develops cotton to manage oil spills

To address the environmental crisis caused by marine oil spills, the researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, have developed a highly porous and water repellent superhydrophobic cotton composite material that can selectively absorb oil from the oil-water mixture.

To address the
environmental crisis caused by marine oil spills, the researchers at the Indian
Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, have developed a highly porous and
water repellent superhydrophobic cotton composite material that can selectively
absorb oil from the oil-water mixture.

The material
containing Metal-Organic Framework (MOF) has excellent capabilities of
selective separation of oil from oil-water mixtures, with the separation
efficiency lying between 95% and 98%, irrespective of the chemical composition
and density of the oil. The MOF is a class of compounds containing metal ions
coordinated with organic ligands to form 3D structures. Their unique feature is
that they are often highly porous materials that act like sponges. Besides, the
MOF composite can also absorb large volumes of oil and can be reused a minimum
of ten times so that the sorbents can provide more recovery of the spilt oil.

Oil leakage and
oil spill accidents frequently happen during offshore oil exploitation and oil
transportation in the petroleum industry. The severe water contamination
threatens the health of humans as well as other living species.

Shyam P. Biswas,
an associate professor at the Department of Chemistry,
IIT-G, who led the team of
researchers, said that their goal was to develop a new material that could be
synthesised easily besides being cost-effective. He added that, they have grown
their new MOF material on the surface of medical cotton, which is
environment-friendly and cost-effective.

Source: The Times Of India

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