US new technology can separate oil and war, environmental cl
May 5, 2010, the US Gulf of Mexico oil spill caused great concern in the international community. After the oil spill, a wide range of water quality near the spill contaminated many fish, birds, marine life and even plants have been severely affected, such as illness and death. There is no doubt that the oil spill damage to the environment is enormous, today, the damage or mitigate available, the United States has developed a new technology that can separate oil and water, environmental cleanup of the oil spill will be very useful.
US Gulf of Mexico oil spill (picture from the network)
University of Michigan developed a surface-deformable intelligent filter coating using only gravity to separate the oil from the water, to clean up the oil spill pollution, sewage treatment, fuel oil purification applications and cosmetics industries will play a very useful role.
Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Michigan Anish says the system without the use of additional chemical cleaners, nor is the addition of a detergent after use, but to create a filter coating, repel oil However attracts water, reversing the traditional material properties, provides a more effective method of eliminating crude oil from the sea.
The coating has hydrophilic and oil-repellent effect, which is made of a rubber mix, and on the market a new type of polymer constituting the nanoparticles. Wherein the polymer can be easily formed a hydrogen bond with water; nanoparticles lack of surface energy, oil will not be wet. By microscopic observation, it became apparent that deformation of the filter surface of the coating when in contact with water, the coating becomes smoother, the polymer can be combined with the water in the coating, and allowed to pass the filter, and oil will remain in the top.
In the experiment, the researchers produced four different types of oil-in-water emulsions, oil-in-water emulsion and other oil / water mixture, the mixture is passed through these filters, free oil and water separation efficiency 99.9%. The researchers explain that, when the coating in contact with water, the polymer composition thereon and nanoparticles of different structures may be formed quickly, with the polymer causes water molecules. When the coating surface deformation of the structure, the polymer relies on capillary action to bring more water through the filter, and the oil remains in the top of the filter.
The researchers said that the coating creates a smart filter, withWhen using only gravity and capillary action through the water. In the non-blocking condition, such coatings can be used a filter over 100 hours, this is a great step forward in the technology available today.
It is one of the most expensive, energy-efficient method of separating oil-water mixtures. Such a surface shape of a deformable intelligent filtering coatings, oil and water can be separated in the oil spill clean-up in the environment. In addition, this technique can also be used in sewage treatment, petroleum fuel applications purification and cosmetics industries.
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