Separation of oil water mixtures using nanotechnology


Reference #: 01077

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for low-cost nanoparticles for pollutant and waste removal.


Rapid removal of oil from the water surface is important to mitigate the harmful environmental effect of fast spreading oil spills. Different oil spill cleanup techniques like physical sorption via porous sorbents, mechanical recovery with skimmers, in situ burning, dispersant mediated physical diffusion, and biodegradation have been used to this effect. However, cost, and time are challenges for the existing cleanup methods. Furthermore, some methods like the dispersants and floating booms made from nonrenewable materials pose an additional burden to the environment.

To minimize negative environmental impact and facilitate an easy scale-up for oil remediation applications, a facile synthetic route is required to directly generate stable, water soluble nanoparticles.

Invention Description:

The subject invention uses nanoparticles to quantitatively remove oil from oil-water mixtures and is useful for oil recovery after spills and discharges.

Potential Applications:

This technology has significant economical applications in oil spill cleanup as well as other oil discharges (from bilge and storm waters) and contamination (e.g. fracking).

Advantages and Benefits:

This technology is more absorbent and cost-effective than standard methods of oil removal.


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