Speed up the absorption of viscous crude oil spill by Joule-heated sorbent design

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Prof. Shu-Hong Yu’s group at University of Science and Technology of China has recently proposed a Joule-heated sorbent design for the high speed absorption of viscous crude oil spill. They wrapped commercial sponge with graphene nanosheets which has the collective properties of hydrophobicity and electric conductivity. By applying an electric current to the graphene coating, they have for the first time introduced Joule-heating to oil sorbent. The Joule heating warmed up the sponge and thereafter transferred to the surrounding crude-oil spill. Because of its temperature dependent viscosity, the crude oil became thinner when it was heated up and passed through the pores into the graphene wrapped sponge quickly. With the aid of the Joule heating, it is amazing that the oil sorption time can be dramatically decreased by 94.6%. What is more exiting is the realization of the in-situ continuous connection of the viscous crude-oil spill by pumping through the graphene wrapped sponge, and the oil recovery speed is 29 time higher than graphene wrapped sponge at room temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1114
Number of pages2
JournalScience China Chemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

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