Crude oil sorption by raw cotton

Vinitkumar Singh, Ronald J. Kendall, Kater Hake, Seshadri Ramkumar

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123 Scopus citations


Since the recent Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the need for environmentally friendly oil sorbents has intensified. This study deals with the sorption of crude oil by raw cotton, a biodegradable sorbent. To our best knowledge, the data related to crude oil sorption by unprocessed raw cotton and correlation with cotton characteristics such as micronaire, fineness, and maturity are unavailable. More importantly, our work quantifies the oil sorption (g/g) of low micronaire (immature) cotton. Results showed at the minimum level, low micronaire raw cotton has 30.5 g/g crude oil sorption capacity. Furthermore, the crude oil sorption capacity of low micronaire cotton was significantly higher than the sorption capacity of high micronaire cotton. Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area and environmental scanning electron microscopy analyses support the correlation between the quality characteristics of raw cotton and its oil sorption capacity. In contrast to synthetic sorbents, raw cotton with its high crude oil sorption capacity and positive environmental footprint make it an ecologically friendly sorbent for oil spill cleanups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6277-6281
Number of pages5
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 8 2013


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