Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New smart coating could make oil-spill cleanup faster and more efficient

14.05.2014

In the wake of recent off-shore oil spills, and with the growing popularity of "fracking" — in which water is used to release oil and gas from shale — there's a need for easy, quick ways to separate oil and water.

Now, scientists have developed coatings that can do just that. Their report on the materials, which also could stop surfaces from getting foggy and dirty, appears in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

J.P.S. Badyal and colleagues point out that oil-spill cleanup crews often use absorbents, like clays, straw and wool to sop up oil, but these materials aren't very efficient because they also sop up a lot of water. Extra steps and equipment also are needed to remove the oil from the absorbent, which is difficult to do on a ship.

Recently, researchers have turned their attention to new smart materials called "oleophobic-hydrophilic" coatings that instead let the water through and repel the oil.

However, the films that have been reported so far take several minutes to do the separation, are complicated to make or aren't very good at repelling oil. So, Badyal's team set out to improve these materials.

They developed oleophobic-hydrophilic coatings that they applied to pieces of metal mesh, just like what's used in screen doors. When they poured an oil-water mixture onto it, the water dripped through into the container below, while the oil remained perched atop the mesh surface.

Then, they simply tilted the mesh so the oil went into another container. The separation was instantaneous and more efficient than existing films, and it only took one step to make the coating. The team also demonstrated that it could serve as an anti-fogging and self-cleaning film.

###

The authors acknowledge funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 161,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us: Twitter Facebook

Michael Bernstein | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: ACS Interfaces anti-fogging coatings coating materials mixture oil-spill cleanup surfaces

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Watching the structure of glass under pressure
29.08.2014 | University of California - Davis

nachricht Materials: Cubic cluster chills out
28.08.2014 | The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

IT security in the digital society

27.08.2014 | Event News

Understanding the brain—neuroscientists meet in Göttingen

27.08.2014 | Event News

MEDICA EDUCATION CONFERENCE: Bessere Behandlung dank Biomarker

21.08.2014 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study finds marine protected areas inadequate for protecting fish and ocean ecology

29.08.2014 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Trash Burning Worldwide Significantly Worsens Air Pollution

29.08.2014 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Watching the structure of glass under pressure

29.08.2014 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>