Published: 26th September 2023
IIT Guwahati researchers develop material that can separate oil from water
The material made out of charred rice husk would not only curb air pollution but also can be used in tackling marine pollution
The researchers at IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Guwahati, have achieved a feat by developing a fabric that can separate oil from water, and might help in tackling marine pollution that is caused by oil spills, according to a PTI report.
Vaibhav Goud, a professor in the IIT Guwahati's Department of Chemical Engineering, said that the silica nanoparticles-coated cotton fabric has been developed using rice husk, an agricultural waste, as the primary source material.
The researchers aim to turn agricultural waste into a sustainable value-added product to curb marine oil pollution.
Speaking on how tonnes of agricultural waste is burnt unscientifically causing air pollution, teh professor said that with their developed technique, this waste rice husk is converted into 3D sorbents that mitigate oil contamination by following a selective active-filtration process.
When the risk husk is gradually heated, it turns into charcoal, also known as bio-char and subsequently, this bio-char is subjected to further heating to transform it into silica nanoparticles.
These particles are coated over a cotton material, creating an efficient barrier that blocks oil particles and also retains its functionality even after being exposed to harsh environments, the professor added.
"The developed superhydrophobic material has shown a remarkable 98 per cent efficiency," Professor Goud said.
The paper has been published in the international journal, Biomass and Bioenergy.