Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Cleaning up oil spills with graphene sponges

Absorption of dodecane marked with red dye from artificial seawater using the graphene sponge. The absorption process was complete in 80 seconds.
Absorption of dodecane marked with red dye from artificial seawater using the graphene sponge. The absorption process was complete in 80 seconds.

Abstract:
Since the discovery and isolation of graphene, physical scientists have been fascinated by the unique physics displayed by the truly two dimensional material, and materials scientists have been scrambling to harness these unique properties to develop its use in one or more "killer applications". Graphene has been proposed for a multitude of high-tech applications, including transparent conductors, fillers for polymeric composites, and electronic heat sinks, to take advantage of its exceptional electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties (for example). However, according to recent results by Professor Rodney Ruoff and co-workers, another more crude application may beat them all to the marketplace: oil spill cleanup.

Cleaning up oil spills with graphene sponges

Germany | Posted on August 10th, 2012

Many different types of materials have been proposed or tested for use in cleaning up oil spills, including zeolites, polymers, activated carbon, and even sawdust. Selective absorption capacity of the oil layer is of paramount importance in such an application, and the toxicity of the absorbent itself is also an important consideration.

In Ruoff's work, a sponge-like graphene structure was fabricated by reducing graphene oxide and then applying a hydrothermal molding procedure in order to achieve a morphology with a high surface area. The researchers then tested the absorbance properties of this material for removing various commercial petroleum products (including kerosene, pump oil, fats, and organic solvents) from artificial seawater.

The remarkable results showed that the graphene sponge absorbed up to 86 times its weight, which was higher than all other common absorbents. The absorbed hydrocarbons were then subsequently recovered from the sponge with a 99% yield using simple heating. Using this procedure, the graphene sponge could then be regenerated and reused up to 10 times without a drop in performance. These exciting results could mean new hope in the unfortunate case of an environmental oil spill, but this type of technology could also be applied in more routine wastewater treatment applications or with industrial separations. The high-tech applications of graphene will come, but, with continued development in this direction, graphene's first "killer application" may not be high-tech at all.

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Wiley-VCH Materials Science Journals

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Link to the original paper on Wiley Online Library

Related News Press

Graphene/ Graphite

Buckyballs on gold are less exotic than graphene July 22nd, 2022

News and information

Biology’s hardest working pigments and ‘MOFs’ might just save the climate: A range of processes that currently depend on fossil fuels but are really hard to electrify will depend on the development of genuinely clean fuels, and for that to happen, much more efficient catalysts wi July 22nd, 2022

Generating power where seawater and river water meet July 22nd, 2022

First electric nanomotor made from DNA material: Synthetic rotary motors at the nanoscale perform mechanical work July 22nd, 2022

At the water’s edge: Self-assembling 2D materials at a liquid–liquid interface: Scientists find a simple way to produce heterolayer coordination nanosheets, expanding the diversity of 2D materials July 22nd, 2022

Discoveries

HKU physicists found signatures of highly entangled quantum matter July 22nd, 2022

How different cancer cells respond to drug-delivering nanoparticles: The findings of a large-scale screen could help researchers design nanoparticles that target specific types of cancer July 22nd, 2022

The best semiconductor of them all? Researchers have found a material that can perform much better than silicon. The next step is finding practical and economic ways to make it July 22nd, 2022

Buckyballs on gold are less exotic than graphene July 22nd, 2022

Announcements

Quantum computer works with more than zero and one: Quantum digits unlock more computational power with fewer quantum particles July 22nd, 2022

Biology’s hardest working pigments and ‘MOFs’ might just save the climate: A range of processes that currently depend on fossil fuels but are really hard to electrify will depend on the development of genuinely clean fuels, and for that to happen, much more efficient catalysts wi July 22nd, 2022

Generating power where seawater and river water meet July 22nd, 2022

First electric nanomotor made from DNA material: Synthetic rotary motors at the nanoscale perform mechanical work July 22nd, 2022

Environment

Biology’s hardest working pigments and ‘MOFs’ might just save the climate: A range of processes that currently depend on fossil fuels but are really hard to electrify will depend on the development of genuinely clean fuels, and for that to happen, much more efficient catalysts wi July 22nd, 2022

Generating power where seawater and river water meet July 22nd, 2022

University of Strathclyde and National University of Singapore to co-ordinate satellite quantum communications May 13th, 2022

Lightening up the nanoscale long-wavelength optoelectronics May 13th, 2022

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project