At a time when the world is exploring all means to tackle oil spills and water contamination, a team of researchers from National Institute of Technology, Kozhikode has developed eco-friendly nano fibre sheets from beewax to effectively tackle the menace.  

 

 This is a new idea to fabricate oil–water separation membranes from beeswax, which have potential in industrial oily waste water and oil spill cleanup, said an   article published in the latest issue of RAC Advances, the prestigious journal of Royal Society of Chemistry.  The membrane can separate oil from contaminated water with high separation efficiency and good recyclability. 


The membrane exhibited high oil sorption capacity in different oils and it also showed great potential for gravity driven oil–water separation with 98.1% separation efficiency, the article stated. Besides this, it also shows  reusability after 15 cycles of oil sorption and gravity driven oil–water separation. 

 

It took a year of explorations for the team of researchers comprising Reshmi C R, Suja P. Sundaran, Juraij A and Sujith Athiyanathil to come out with the eco-friendly material that could be used in oil spills and in industries. Most of the oil cleaning technologies need energy, but this new find do not use power for the process.