Environment

Oleophilic Hydrophobic Magnetic (OHM) Sponge: A Revolutionary Oil Spill Removal Solution

Oil spill is a worldwide problem that cause great damage to the environment, especially marine life. The oil removal is an expensive and complicated process. Currently, there are three main approaches used to clean an oil spill: dispersants, skimmers, and in situ burning. All these approaches either harm marine life (dispersants), increase carbon emission (in situ burning), and/or are not efficient i.e.; they also absorb water along oil (skimmers). In some cases, oil can’t be recovered or recycled. All of them are expensive and none of them can be reused.

MFNS Tech has developed a revolutionary oil spill removal solution that is efficient, economic, and ecofriendly than the current available oil spill recovery solutions. By coating commercially available sponges (such as polyurethane, melamine) with a MFNS Tech composite material, we have developed a sponge that shows oleophilic, hydrophobic, and magnetic (OHM) properties. Due to its unique coating material, the OHM sponge attracts oil but repel water and responds to external magnetic field. Using a variety of characterization, we have shown that the OHM sponge is oleophilic and hydrophobic which present their potential in oil spill removal applications. The oil absorbed can be recovered by squeezing the sponge and recycled and the OHM sponge can be reused. In addition, due to its magnetic properties, it can be controlled using an external magnetic field that provides additional dimension of its use in oil removal applications.