New Deployment Method for Use of Nanotechnology for Oil Remediation


Reference #: 01235


The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for the use of a new nanotechnology-related deployment method for oil remediation.




Oil spills are environmental disasters that have the potential to cause catastrophic damage to aquatic ecosystems and negatively impact humans, plants, and wildlife. These spills, usually containing crude oil and its water-accommodated fractions (WAF), can be highly toxic. It is required by law in various jurisdictions that spills prepared for, and a response plan is expected to be deployed in the event of a spill. This response usually involves some type of remediation plan involving the reversal or stoppage of environmental damage.

Current remediation techniques include (a) physical, (b) chemical, (c) thermal, and (d) biological options. Most of these methods have disadvantages that disqualify them from effective use in specific situations, and this new deployment method is proposed as a more effective alternative.


Invention Description:


The subject invention is a simple method that can be deployed in environmental systems for oil remediation. The method uses polymer coated iron oxide nanoparticles which are dispersed appropriately and never retrieved. The nanoparticles stimulate naturally occurring bacteria, which enhance degradation and reduce toxicity.


Potential Applications:


Remediation in oil spill scenarios.


Advantages and Benefits:

1.       This technique/method addresses the significant problems (e.g. high cost, low efficiency, non-scalability etc.) typical of other methods.

2.       Increased effectiveness and reduced costs. The method reduces oil toxicity and stimulates rapid oil degradation.


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Jamie Lead
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