Novel natural sorbent for oil spill cleanup

Vinitkumar Singh, Sudheer Jinka, Kater Hake, Siva Parameswaran, Ronald J. Kendall, Seshadri Ramkumar

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64 Scopus citations


A novel sorbent was developed using the aligning of raw unprocessed cotton fibers leading to low-density, hydrophobic, oleophilic, and sustainable cotton batt. Cotton batting developed using immature cotton exhibited oil sorption capacity of 50.27 g/g, which is significantly higher than the oil sorption capacity of many commercial sorbents reported in the literature. Fundamental mechanisms such as adsorption, absorption, and capillary action govern the oil sorption phenomenon, which were verified using environmental scanning electron micrographs. In addition, optical microscopy was used to understand the difference in the longitudinal cross section of the mature (base range) and immature (low micronaire) cotton, which was determined quantitatively using Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area analysis. Effect of cotton characteristics such as fineness and maturity on the oil sorption capacity was also investigated. Nonwoven cotton batts consisting of immature and finer cotton fibers showed oil sorption capacity that was 7% higher than that of cotton batts developed using mature and coarser fibers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11954-11961
Number of pages8
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 30 2014


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