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Posted: Aug 30, 2013

Researchers design robust nanoparticles for crude oil recovery

(Nanowerk News) Researchers from Texas A&M University report the development of magnetic shell cross-linked knedel-like nanoparticles (MSCKs) for removal of environmental pollutants have been prepared and their loading capabilities were determined ("Robust Magnetic/Polymer Hybrid Nanoparticles Designed for Crude Oil Entrapment and Recovery in Aqueous Environments").
crude oil entrapment with nanoparticles
These well-defined nanoparticles showed efficient oil sorption capacity of 10-fold their initial dry weight when introduced into an aqueous environment polluted with a complex crude oil.
Compared to materials that are typically employed in the field currently, which have capacities of ca. 4-fold oil uptake to their dry mass, MSCKs offer distinct improvement.
Moreover, the recyclability of the robust MSCK material was also proven to be highly effective, despite some apparent chemical changes experienced during the recycling process.
Furthermore, this type of material has high potential for additional applications in environmental remediation. The amphiphilic nature of the MSCK system expands the potential use of these materials to other applications such as the removal of submerged oil, groundwater remediation, and cleanup of contaminated soils.
Modern advances in polymer science hold the promise of fine-tuning the complex composition of the polymer components, for a more targeted design to meet the demands of particular applications.
Source: American Chemical Society
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