Researchers develop super-hydrophobic cotton for oil-spill cleanup

What is the news? 

Recently, researchers of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati, have developed a new class of super-hydrophobic cotton composite with Metal-Organic Framework (MOF) that promise marine oil-spill clean-up in near future. 

What are the features of the new cotton material developed? 

First, this is a novel, highly porous and water-repellent super-hydrophobic cotton composite material containing MOF, which can absorb oil selectively from an oil-water mixture. 

Second, the MOF composite has great capability for selective separation of the oils from oil / water mixtures. The separation efficiency is very high irrespective of the chemical composition and density of the oils. 

Third, the MOF composite is also able to absorb large volumes of oils and can be reused for a minimum of 10 times so that the sorbents can provide more recovery of the spilled oil. 

Fourth, the new cotton will help in cleaning the spilled oil from environmental water (river, sea or ocean water) during oil transportation, thus reducing environmental water pollution. 

Fifth, both heavy and light oils can be effectively absorbed by the material. 

Sixth, the material is easy to prepare, cost-effective and recyclable. 

Seventh, MOFs are a class of compounds containing metal ions coordinated to organic ligands to form 3D structures. They are often highly porous materials that act like a sponge. 

Eighth, the medical cotton changes from hydrophilic to super-hydrophobic material and can float on the water surface.   

Source: This post is based on the article ” Researchers develop super-hydrophobic cotton for oil-spill cleanup ” published in the Down to Earth on 20th September 2021. 

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