Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Polymer-based filter successfully cleans water, recovers oil in Gulf of Mexico test

Date:
June 8, 2010
Source:
University of Pittsburgh
Summary:
In response to the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, an engineering professor has developed a technique for separating oil from water via a cotton filter coated in a chemical polymer that blocks oil while allowing water to pass through. The researcher reports that the filter was successfully tested off the coast of Louisiana and shown to simultaneously clean water and preserve the oil.

A piece of chemically treated cotton cloth is able to separate crude oil from sea water (both from the Gulf of Mexico) completely within seconds by using gravity alone. It can be developed into various effective tools for cleaning up the oil spill in Gulf of Mexico. The treated cloth allows water to path through but not oil. The novel surface chemical treatment method is developed by University of Pittsburgh.
Credit: Still image from video courtesy of YouTube

In response to the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, a University of Pittsburgh engineering professor has developed a technique for separating oil from water via a cotton filter coated in a chemical polymer that blocks oil while allowing water to pass through. The researcher reports that the filter was successfully tested off the coast of Louisiana and shown to simultaneously clean water and preserve the oil.

Related Articles


Di Gao, an assistant professor and William Kepler Whiteford Faculty Fellow in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering, created his filter as a possible method to help manage the spreading oil slick that resulted from the April 20 explosion of BP's "Deepwater Horizon" drilling platform. Gao has submitted his idea through the Deepwater Horizon Response Web site managed by the consortium of companies and government agencies overseeing the disaster response.

A video of Gao testing his filter with oil and water samples from the Gulf of Mexico spill is available on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfRKjiOXVWE

Gao's filter hinges on a polymer that is both hydrophilic -- it bonds with the hydrogen molecules in water -- and oleophobic, meaning that it repels oil. When the polymer is applied to an ordinary cotton filter, it allows water to pass through but not oil. The filter is produced by submerging the cotton in a liquid solution containing the polymer then drying it in an oven or in open air, Gao explained.

For the massive slick off the U.S. Gulf Coast, Gao envisions large, trough-shaped filters that could be dragged through the water to capture surface oil. The oil could be recovered and stored and the filter reused. Current cleanup methods range from giant containment booms and absorbent skimmers to controlled fires and chemical dispersants with questionable effects on human health and the environment.

Gao focuses his research in the development and application of chemical nanostructures, including liquid-resistant coatings. In 2009, Gao reported in the journal Langmuir his demonstration of a nanoparticle-based solution that can prevent the formation of ice on solid surfaces, from power lines to airport runways and roads. More information is available on Pitt's Web site at www.chronicle.pitt.edu/?p=4206


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Liangliang Cao, Andrew K. Jones, Vinod K. Sikka, Jianzhong Wu, Di Gao. Anti-Icing Superhydrophobic Coatings. Langmuir, 2009; 25 (21): 12444 DOI: 10.1021/la902882b

Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh. "Polymer-based filter successfully cleans water, recovers oil in Gulf of Mexico test." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607122446.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh. (2010, June 8). Polymer-based filter successfully cleans water, recovers oil in Gulf of Mexico test. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607122446.htm
University of Pittsburgh. "Polymer-based filter successfully cleans water, recovers oil in Gulf of Mexico test." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607122446.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Indictments in West Virginia Chemical Spill Case

Indictments in West Virginia Chemical Spill Case

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A grand jury indicted four former executives of Freedom Industries, the company at the center of the Jan. 9, 2014 chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia. The spill contaminated the Elk River and the water supply of 300,000 people. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uphill Battle to Tackle Indonesian Shark Fishing

Uphill Battle to Tackle Indonesian Shark Fishing

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Sharks are hauled ashore every day at a busy market on the central Indonesian island of Lombok, the hub of a booming trade that provides a livelihood for local fishermen but is increasingly alarming environmentalists. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
France's Sauternes Wine Threatened by New Train Line

France's Sauternes Wine Threatened by New Train Line

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) Winemakers in southwestern France's Bordeaux are concerned about a proposed high speed train line that could affect the microclimate required for the region's sweet wine. Duration: 01:06 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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