Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Frozen Smoke:' Ultimate Sponge For Cleaning Up Oil Spills

Date:
February 17, 2009
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Scientists in Arizona and New Jersey are reporting that aerogels, a super-lightweight solid sometimes called "frozen smoke," may serve as the ultimate sponge for capturing oil from wastewater and effectively soaking up environmental oil spills.

Aerogels, a super-lightweight solid sometimes called "frozen smoke," may capture oil from wastewater and soak up environmental oil spills.
Credit: NASA/JPL

Scientists in Arizona and New Jersey are reporting that aerogels, a super-lightweight solid sometimes called “frozen smoke,” may serve as the ultimate sponge for capturing oil from wastewater and effectively soaking up environmental oil spills.

In the new study, Robert Pfeffer and colleagues point out that the environmental challenges of oil contamination go beyond widely publicized maritime oil spills like the Exxon Valdez incident.

Experts estimate that each year people dump more than 200 million gallons of used oil into sewers, streams, and backyards, resulting in polluted wastewater that is difficult to treat. Although there are many different sorbent materials for removing used oil, such as activated carbon, they are often costly and inefficient. Hydrophobic silica aerogels are highly porous and absorbent material, and seemed like an excellent oil sponge.

The scientists packed a batch of tiny aerogel beads into a vertical column and exposed them to flowing water containing soybean oil to simulate the filtration process at a wastewater treatment plant. They showed that the aerogel beads absorbed up to 7 times their weight and removed oil from the wastewater at high efficiency, better than many conventional sorbent materials.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Quevedo et al. Removal of Oil from Water by Inverse Fluidization of Aerogels. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2009; 48 (1): 191 DOI: 10.1021/ie800022e

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "'Frozen Smoke:' Ultimate Sponge For Cleaning Up Oil Spills." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090213102721.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2009, February 17). 'Frozen Smoke:' Ultimate Sponge For Cleaning Up Oil Spills. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090213102721.htm
American Chemical Society. "'Frozen Smoke:' Ultimate Sponge For Cleaning Up Oil Spills." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090213102721.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Over 53 tons of rotting fish have been removed from Lake Cajititlan in western Jalisco state. Authorities say that the thousands of fish did not die of natural causes. (Sep. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Iceland Volcano Spewing Smoke

Raw: Iceland Volcano Spewing Smoke

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — The alert warning for the area surrounding Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano was kept at orange on Tuesday, indicating increased unrest with greater potential for an eruption. Smoke is spewing from the volcano, and lava is spouting nearby. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins