KuzSTU’s Researchers Elaborated a Reusable Technology for Cleaning up Oil Spills

© Пресс-служба КузГТУ

A sorbent researchers from the T. Gorbachyov Kuzbass State Technical University (KuzSTU) came up with exceeds by far the rest of the materials for absorbing oil slicks on the water's surface. The solution can be used in the least favourable climatic conditions - for instance, in the Arctic.

In contrast to existing sorption technologies using magnetite, the KuzSTU's development does not require spreading lodestone all over the sorbent but allows for lumping it in the nucleus. Thus the mineral can be extracted from the depleted shell to be reused.

The magnetic properties enable the sorbent to move along the water's surface whilst controlling the oil slick's movements. A hydrocarbon material produced from coal, wood, and animal wastes serves as a catcher. Active sludge used in waste treatment facilities is another additive.

The innovative oil sorbent was called Magnesorb. According to Elena Ushakova, Associate Professor of KuzSTU's Chemical Solid Fuel Chair, the head of the research team, to make one kilogram of Magnesorb, 280 grammes of biomass, 900 grammes of coal dust, and 50 grammes of magnetite are needed.

An electromagnetic unit controls the sorbent. The absorber should be placed either on the water reservoir's surface or underneath the oil film. There have been technical solutions developed for this purpose - devices installed on the shore or a motorboat. In case of extensive oil spills, it is possible to drop the air-delivered sorbent into the water.

The technology is patent protected; it also received a first-class certificate at the International Forum for Occupational Safety and Health, which concluded on January 15.

It is to be reminded that the M.I. Platov South-Russian State Polytechnic University (NPI) developed a technology for processing agricultural waste into biodegradable plastic. Its possible uses include packaging, making antibacterial medical dressings and highly efficient adhesives.