Research team develops material to separate oil and water for environmental remediation and wastewater treatment

Phys.org | March 22, 2019

It's a popular phrase used to describe people, things, and ideas that just don't mix "like oil and water." Except it's not entirely true. Oil and water can mix and can be very difficult to completely separate when brought together. Think of environmental oil spills or wastewater treatment, and you quickly realize that separating out unwanted oil to restore water to a natural or pure state can be a monumental task. In a research paper published on March 22, the United Nations-designated World Water Day engineers and physicists from Tufts describe how they devised a low-cost membrane capable of rapidly filtering oil from water and oil mixtures without the membrane getting fouled. The advance in material science could be a game changer in the battle against pollution. It's well known that oil-contaminated water can have long-term harmful effects on wildlife and the environment. Current strategies to mitigate that harm include burning the oil in place or using mechanical devices, such as booms, skimmers, or absorbent material, to help clean up the mess. In practice, these methods are expensive and not very effective, particularly for cleaning up large oil spills.

Spotlight

To promote sustainable development, the smart city implies a global vision that merges artificial intelligence, big data, decision making, information and communication technology (ICT), and the internet-of-things (IoT). The aging issue is an aspect that researchers, companies, and the government should devote efforts in developing smart healthcare innovative technology and applications.

Spotlight

To promote sustainable development, the smart city implies a global vision that merges artificial intelligence, big data, decision making, information and communication technology (ICT), and the internet-of-things (IoT). The aging issue is an aspect that researchers, companies, and the government should devote efforts in developing smart healthcare innovative technology and applications.

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