Commercial sponges as a novel technology for crude oil removal from seawater and industrial wastewater: A review

M.-A. Gatou, N. Lagopati, D. Tsoukleris, E.A. Pavlatou

Biomedical Journal of Science & Technology Research (2020), 25 (5), 19426-19436

The global use of crude oil for energy applications has increased during the last decades, leading to an extensive release of oil into the environment as well. Thus, contamination deriving from oil spills and industrial wastewater has been recognized as one of the major environmental issues, imposing a serious threat to both human and marine ecosystem health. Treatment of contamination and pollution caused by crude oil constitutes a quite challenging and elaborate process. Among the conventional technologies applied for oil-water separation, oil absorption process has been widely examined in recent years. Commercial sponges, such as melamine and polyurethane sponges, have attracted great attention in the field of crude oil removal both from seawater and industrial wastewater, due to their low cost, high porous three-dimensional (3D) structure, low density, excellent mechanical properties and remarkable reusability. However, the amphipathic nature of commercial sponges limits their application for oil absorption treatment processes. In order to improve their oil absorption performance, several modification methods have been utilized. In the current manuscript, an overview of various methods used for the superhydrophobic/Superoleophilicity modification of commercially available sponges for oil-water separation, is provided, in order to highlight the potential use of these sponges as a novel, highly efficient, low-cost, recyclable and environmental friendly absorbent for the recovery of spilled crude oil both from seawater and industrial wastewater.

doi: 10.26717/BJSTR.2020.25.004251

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