Using nanotechnology to remove diesel fuel from water and soil

(Nanowerk News) Diesel fuel (DF)-contamination remediation has raised increasing concern in the environmental field. In water, DF distributes mainly on the surface, which could decrease oxygen concentration and inhibit the growth of aquatic organisms as a result.
In soil, underneath the surface, DF distributes mainly in the tillage layer (approximately 0-30 cm deep), causing harmful effects on soil permeability and growth of microorganisms, earthworms and crops.
Worse, DF contains approximately 35% aromatic hydrocarbons that are difficult to be degraded, thus it takes a very long time for natural remediation.
A new study (Science of The Total Environment, "Hydrophobic nanosponge for efficient removal of diesel fuel from water and soil") has tackled these problems by fabricating an environmentally-friendly, low cost, and simple-procedure adsorbent for DF.
In their work, the research team modified a nanosponge by silylation of amino silicon oil and aminopropyltriethoxysilane to obtain a hydrophobic nanosponge.
This modified nanosponge could effectively control DF migration and then remove DF from water and soil through a hydrophobic siloxane group.
With this ability, it could decrease the negative effects of DF on plant growth, earthworms, and fish. Importantly, DF could be easily desorbed from the nanosponge, which may facilitate the recycling of DF.
This work provides a promising approach to remediate DF contamination, making it potentially applicable in environmental and agricultural fields.
Source: CAS
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