Cotton effective in cleaning up oil spills

Process Engineering- Scientists report that each pound of raw cotton may be able to sop up more than 30 pounds of crude oil. Seshadri Ramkumar and colleagues note that a particular need exists for oil-spill sorbents that are abundantly available at relatively low cost, sustainable and biodegradable. There have been extensive studies on fibers such as barley straw, kapok and wool — but big gaps in knowledge about their basic crude oil-uptake mechanisms and no data on unprocessed raw cotton.

Scientists report that each pound of raw cotton may be able to sop up more than 30 pounds of crude oil.

Seshadri Ramkumar and colleagues note that a particular need exists for oil-spill sorbents that are abundantly available at relatively low cost, sustainable and biodegradable.

There have been extensive studies on fibers such as barley straw, kapok and wool — but big gaps in knowledge about their basic crude oil-uptake mechanisms and no data on unprocessed raw cotton.

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