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Application of functionalized coir fibre as eco-friendly oil sorbent

Teli, Mangesh D., Valia, Sanket P., Mifta, Jelalu
The journal of the Textile Institute 2017 v.108 no.7 pp. 1106-1111
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, absorption, accidents, aquatic organisms, cleaning, coconuts, coir, disasters, equipment, fabrics, hydrophobicity, oil spills, oils, petroleum, polymers, raw materials, rivers, scanning electron microscopy, sorbents, surface water, temperature, transportation, wastes
Synthetic polymers are based on the use of crude oil as their raw material. Oil spillage takes place during production, storage, transportation and usage at the water bodies and land surfaces. This may be due to tanker disasters, wars, operation failures, equipment breaking down, accidents and natural disasters. The spilled oil into land, river or ocean imposes a major threat to the environment and endangers the aquatic life. To overcome this problem, oil sorbents are commonly used for cleaning the oil spills. In this paper, coir fibre which was obtained as a waste from coconut fruit was functionalized to increase its hydrophobicity and oil sorption capacity. The product so formed was characterized by FT-IR, TGA and SEM which confirmed grafting of butyl acrylate monomer onto the coir fibres. The effects of time, temperature and monomer concentration on the grafting of coir fibre and oil absorption capacity have also been investigated. Results demonstrated that the modified coir fibre absorbed fair amount of crude oil and studies also indicate that a simple squeezing was sufficient to remove most of the oil sorbed by the fibres so that the sorbents can be reused several times for oil spill clean-up.