IIT Guwahati researchers develop superhydrophobic cotton to remove oil-spill from marine water

IIT Guwahati researchers have created cost-effective superhydrophobic cotton that will clean marine water by absorbing spilled oil from water.

IIT Guwahati researchers develop superhydrophobic cotton to remove oil-spill from marine water IITG researchers develop cotton to treat oil-spilled marine water
Vagisha Kaushik | Sep 20, 2021 - 10:35 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati Researchers have developed water repellent superhydrophobic cotton composite containing Metal-Organic Framework (MOF), which can absorb oil selectively from oil-water mixture.

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“The MOF composite has great capability for selective separation of the oils from oil/water mixtures, and the separation efficiency lies between 95% and 98%, irrespective of the chemical composition and density of the oils,” a statement from IIT Guwahati said.

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The composite is also able to absorb large volumes of oils and can be reused for at least 10 times. The research team was led by Shyam P Biswas, associate professor, Department of Chemistry, IIT Guwahati.

The practical applications of this research included cleaning the spilled oil from environmental water (river, sea or ocean water) during oil transportation with high efficiency and large absorption capacity. Both heavy and light oils can be effectively absorbed by the material which is easy to prepare, economical and recyclable, the IIT Guwahati statement said.

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Shyam P Biswas said: “In our work, we focused on a real problem in environmental water pollution in current time. Our goal was to develop a new material which could be synthesized easily and should be cost effective. Such low-cost material will reduce the production cost of the material for large scale industrial synthesis for real applications, compared to currently available materials in the market”.

““In a vast country like India where petroleum hydrocarbons are the major sources of fuel, accidental oil spills occur frequently here during transportation and storage of oils. The material developed in our laboratory will certainly be beneficial to reduce the environmental water pollution by efficiently absorbing the spilled oil from environmental water,” Biswas added.

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In the petroleum industry, oil leakage and oil spill accidents occur frequently during offshore oil exploitation and oil transportation. This severe water contamination threatens the health of human beings including other living species. Therefore, the treatment of industrial oily wastewater and the separation of oil spill from water has become a worldwide challenging task.

The IIT Guwahati research aims to overcome this problem with the help of this superhydrophobic cotton that will absorb

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