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magnets could pull oil out of ocean before wildlife is harmed

by:Newland     2019-08-30
This is an attractive idea.
With the help of iron oxide nanoparticles, magnets can be used to extract oil from spilled water.
The stickiness of Ofoil makes it difficult to remove from marine plants and animals once oil tankers and offshore drilling platforms leak, so finding a way to quickly remove leaks is essential to protect the marine environment
Now, Duy and his team at Wollongong University have found a way to do this using iron oxide particles that are tightly coupled with oil drops.
When added to a small tank contaminated with oil, these 25-nanometre-
The wide particles turn the oil into a magnetic liquid that can attract a simple bar magnet.
Du envisions sprinkling these particles on oil spills in the ocean, they stick to lighter oil floating on the surface and heavier oil sinking.
\"Then, ships with small magnets can move around the spill, and all the oil will be sucked into the magnet and collected,\" he said . \".
These particles are right
Toxic, says Du, anything extra can be collected and reused with magnets.
\"Iron oxide nanoparticles have been widely used in medical imaging, so we know they are safe,\" he said . \".
Sorsorlin Velevof at Raleigh North Carolina State University says the idea is promising, but how much it actually does in real ocean oil spills is uncertain.
\"A key issue is to ensure that water drops can be collected efficiently and completely,\" he said . \".
The team now plans to test magnetic nanoparticles in larger tank experiments and then test them in open water.
Journal reference: ACS Nano, DOI: 10. 1021/acsnano. 6b02318;
[Read more] Physical and Chemical Physics
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