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Novel Technology for Spilled Oil Recovery Developed
Seawater Cleaning Tech
Novel Technology for Spilled Oil Recovery Developed
  • By Cho Jin-young
  • April 13, 2016, 03:45
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Professor Kim Yong-hyup at the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering of Seoul National University.
Professor Kim Yong-hyup at the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering of Seoul National University.

 

Professor Kim Yong-hyup at the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering of Seoul National University announced on April 12 that his research team developed an improved technology for the recovery of spilled oil from contaminated seawater by means of a graphene structure.

“We focused on the properties of graphene, that is, its tendency to adsorb oil and push out water,” the professor explained, continuing, “When brought into contact with a thin oil layer on the sea, the graphene structure we developed at this time quickly absorbs only the oil by using a capillary action.”

According to the research team, its technology and structure can absorb up to 20,000 liters of oil per hour in an area of 1 m2 and the recovered oil can be used as it is, without any refinement, because it has a purity level of 99.9%.

“We have already successfully tested the new technology in high-wave environments and the structure requires no external power because it makes use of a capillary phenomenon and gravity,” the professor mentioned, adding, “Its performance has been maintained at 99.9% or higher in experiments using different organic solvents such as crude oil, diesel, gasoline, benzene and hexane.”

Details of the research are available on the online edition of Scientific Reports.