October 24, 2021

Researchers at IIT Guwahati have developed superhydrophobic cotton, can remove spilled oil from the water

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Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Guwahati have developed a new highly porous and water-repellent cotton composite material that contains an metal organic Framework (MOF), which can selectively absorb oil from a mixture of oil and water. The material has a separation efficiency of 95 to 98 percent, regardless of the chemical composition and density of the oil. The research aims to solve the problem of water pollution.

The practical applications of the research include cleaning up oil spills in river, sea or ocean waters. The material can effectively absorb both heavy and light oils. The institute said the materials are easy to prepare, cost-effective and recyclable.

The research team was led by Dr. Shyam P Biswas, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry. They published the results in the Applied Materials and Interfaces (ACS) journal of the American Chemical Society.

Dr. Biswas explained the motivation behind the research, saying: “In our work, we are focusing on a real environmental water pollution problem at this time. Our goal was to develop a new material that could be easily manufactured and should be cost effective.” We develop a new special MOF material. Built on the surface of medical cotton, it is environmentally friendly and cost-effective. This low-cost material will reduce the cost of producing the material for large-scale industrial synthesis for real applications, compared to materials currently available on the market. “

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“In a vast country like India, where petroleum hydrocarbons are the main source of fuel, oil spills frequently occur here during the transportation and storage of oils. Professor Biswas added that the materials developed in our laboratory will certainly be Beneficial to reduce environmental water pollution through absorbing spilled oil efficiently from ambient water.

IIT Guwahati said that MOFs are a class of compounds that contain metal ions coordinated with organic bonds to form three-dimensional structures, with the particular advantage that they are often highly porous materials that act like a sponge.

The team initially developed highly waterproof MOFs that can repel water and float on the surface of the water. Then they implanted the same MOFs on the surface of the medical cotton.

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Note that medial cotton changes from a hydrophilic material to one that is highly waterproof and can float on the surface of the water. The MOF-coated cotton fiber composite exhibits 163 ° water resistance at a water contact angle (WCA).

“MOF’s super-flexible and waterproof compound demonstrated an oil absorption capacity of over 2500% by weight. The team used motor oil, kerosene, and gasoline in this study to investigate the true potential of the materials used to clean a oil spill. The research team also demonstrated the separation of oil from the oil / water mixture by simple gravity-guided filtration, as well as anti-gravity underwater oil collection, “said IIT Guwahati.