Author(s): Suni S, Kosunen AL, Hautala M, Pasila A, Romantschuk M
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Abstract The sorbents used to collect oil in case of oil-spills are mostly synthetic, which limits the possibilities of their disposal. We studied the absorption capacities and rates of cotton grass fibre, a by-product of peat excavation, and cotton grass mats for several oil types and compared them with a synthetic, commercially available oil sorbent. We found cotton grass fibre to have superior absorption properties: Cotton grass sorbent absorbed oil approximately two to three times as much, and two to three times as fast as the synthetic one. Cotton grass fibre absorbed no measurable amount of water in the conditions used in the tests making it ideal for absorbing oil from the surface of water. In removing diesel oil from the surface of water, the efficiency was over 99\% up to an absorbing factor of 20 times its own weight. The biodegradable cotton grass fibre proved to be an effective oil sorbent with low raw-material costs.
This article was published in Mar Pollut Bull
and referenced in Journal of Chemical Engineering & Process Technology