Scientists at the University of science and techno

2022-09-19
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Scientists at the University of science and technology of China have developed a large scientific device for continuous collection of leaked crude oil

recently, Hefei National Laboratory of micro scale material science of the University of science and technology of China and others have made a breakthrough in the design of high viscosity floating oil adsorption materials, and designed and developed a scientific device for continuous collection of leaked crude oil in the environment

Yu Shuhong, Professor of Hefei National Laboratory of micro scale material science and School of chemistry and materials science, University of science and technology of China, made a breakthrough in the design of high viscosity floating oil adsorption materials, and introduced Joule heat effect into porous hydrophobic lipophilic oil absorption materials for the first time, The graphene functionalized sponge assembly material that can quickly reduce the viscosity of crude oil on the water surface and the collection device that can continuously collect the leaked crude oil in the environment are designed and developed, which greatly improves the adsorption speed of the oil absorbing material on the high viscosity oil slick, and significantly reduces the utilization of bamboo fiber reinforced composites on automotive interior trim parts during oil slick cleaning. The achievement, titled joule heated graphene wrapped sponge enablers fast clean up of viscous crude oil spill, was published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology on April 3 (nat. nanotechnol. 2017, doi:10.1038/nnano.2017.33. front cover)

the offshore oil spill not only brings disastrous damage to the ecological environment, but also causes huge economic losses. However, the surface oil slick caused by crude oil leakage has the characteristics of large area, thin oil layer and high viscosity, which is difficult to be effectively treated by traditional technology and materials. The area of oil slick that can be treated by skimmer with the help of oil containment boom is very limited, and the water content in the recovered oil slick is large; Spreading dispersant to the oil spill area can only disperse part of the oil slick into the water, and the crude oil lotion particles formed will still threaten the living environment of marine organisms; Direct ignition of the oil slick will cause serious air pollution, and will cause hypoxia in the oil slick leakage area. In recent years, porous hydrophobic lipophilic materials have gradually attracted the attention of researchers because of their low cost, high oil-water separation efficiency, simple operation, environmental friendliness and many other advantages. However, porous hydrophobic lipophilic materials only have high adsorption efficiency for low viscosity oil products, and it is very difficult to clean up and recover oil spills on the water surface. Because the viscosity of crude oil is relatively large, even low viscosity crude oil will increase by hundreds of times in just a few hours after leakage, making it difficult for porous hydrophobic lipophilic materials to quickly adsorb the oil slick to the inside, reducing the utilization rate of porous hydrophobic lipophilic materials and the speed of oil slick cleaning. Therefore, in order to promote the wide application of porous hydrophobic lipophilic materials in the field of offshore oil slick cleaning, it is urgent to solve the problem of slow diffusion of high viscosity oil slick in porous hydrophobic lipophilic materials

since 2012, Yu Shuhong's team has continuously carried out research on the design and preparation methods of high-performance carbon based assembly oil absorbing materials. For the first time, they integrated the Joule heating effect of graphene and the hydrophobic lipophilic properties of graphene into the porous oil absorption material, and designed a graphene functionalized sponge with in-situ heating and oil-water separation functions, which greatly improved the adsorption rate of porous hydrophobic lipophilic material on high viscosity floating oil while maintaining a high oil-water separation efficiency (Fig. 1). First, they used centrifugal assisted impregnation coating technology to evenly coat the surface of commercial sponges with a graphene coating. The resulting graphene modified sponges are not only conductive, but also hydrophobic and lipophilic. Their research found that after reducing the dependence on petrochemical fuels and reducing the carbon footprint on this graphene functionalized sponge, the Joule heat generated will rapidly increase the temperature of the crude oil in contact with it, effectively reducing the viscosity of the crude oil in contact with it, thereby improving the diffusion coefficient of crude oil in the graphene functionalized sponge, Finally, the graphene functionalized sponge can quickly adsorb high viscosity crude oil on the water surface (Figure 2). In order to improve the utilization efficiency of electric energy, they limited the heating area to the bottom of the graphene functionalized sponge. The sponge on the top layer and the oil slick on the water surface are equivalent to thermal insulation layers, which alleviate the diffusion of heat into the air and water, and improve the efficiency of heat transfer to crude oil (Figure 3). Under this limited heating design, the power consumption is reduced by 65.6%, the amount of graphene is reduced by 50%, and the oil absorption time is only 5.4% of that of normal temperature graphene sponge. In addition, they also proposed the array electrode design, which proved that this Joule heat assisted porous hydrophobic lipophilic material oil absorption technology can realize industrial production. This array electrode design enables the large-area graphene modified sponge to be heated to a very high temperature under a low power on voltage. With the increase of experimental force, it is of great significance for the commercialization of this technology in the future

the reviewer of Nature Nanotechnology commented, "this story is very interesting, and there are several clever ideas, such as using heating to reduce the viscosity of crude oil and make the adsorption of crude oil feasible." the research results reported in the article ensure the application of Joule heat assisted graphene modified sponge, which is a novel and interesting work ", "This research uses the Joule heat effect of graphene to make the graphene modified sponge reduce the viscosity of crude oil in situ, so as to remove crude oil from the water. This idea is very original and innovative."

nature nanotechnology magazine's news views column is allocated with a comment entitled oil spill recovery: graphene heaters absorb fast, The evaluation said: "it is an original concept to adjust the rheology of oil in situ and finally realize the rapid cleaning of oil, opening a new era of rapid cleaning of high viscosity floating oil on the water surface. With similar strategies, we can imagine that the future intelligent composite materials can also adsorb emulsified high viscosity oil and underwater ultraheavy oil or asphalt." In the research highlights column of Nature magazine, the topic of hot graph sponge moves up oil fast was selected as the research highlight. The work will be officially published in the form of a cover paper in May

this research creates a new path for the design of oil slick adsorption materials, and solves the problem of slow adsorption of high viscosity oil slick by porous hydrophobic lipophilic materials in the past. The original technology of interfacial heating to reduce crude oil viscosity also has a broad application prospect in the field of oil-water separation in the petrochemical industry. The sponge assembly material that can be heated and functionalized by graphene proposed in this study can further reduce the cost and power consumption by optimizing the material and structure, and is expected to be widely used in dealing with offshore oil spill accidents in the future

the market control of this work is accurate to the innovation research group of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the key funds of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the key research projects of cutting-edge science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the science and technology service network program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the national major scientific research program, the Suzhou nanotechnology Collaborative Innovation Center, the nanotechnology excellence innovation center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the excellent user fund of Hefei University Science Center Special support for basic scientific research business fees of Central Universities

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