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IIT Guwahati develops cotton to manage oil spills

Sep 23, 2021
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 (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

Image Source: Google Images

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