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Sorbents for Oil Products


Development and Study of New High-Perfomance Hybrid Sorbents for Sorption of Oil Products from the Water Surface and Soil

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-RED/Remediation and Decontamination/Environment
  • MAT-COM/Composites/Materials

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Sukhumi Institute of Physics and Technology, Georgia, Tbilisi

Supporting institutes

  • Georgian Academy of Sciences / P. Melikishvili Institute of Physical and Organic Chemistry, Georgia, Tbilisi


  • Premier Polymers & Processing Consultants, Inc., USA, OH, Bay Village\nChemtura, USA, CT, Middlebury

Project summary

The purpose of the project is the development and studying of new organic and mineral hybrid materials on the basis of various classes of polymers and natural modified sorbents with high selective sorption ability and physical-mechanical properties.

Every year all over the world the scales of oil extraction and processing, as well as production of various organic substances increase, which causes a danger of environment pollution. Therefore the measure directed on the development of efficient methods or removing of these substances from the polluted surface are of primary importance.

Numerous methods and technological devices applied for removal of oil and oil products from the water surface and ground are known. Among them the most widely spread method is an absorbtion one. Nearly 200 sorbents used for this purpose are known.

The quality of sorbents is mainly determined by their ability to absorb oil products (capacity), regeneration, sorbent utilization, floodability, cheapness, etc.

At present due to the cheapness and possibility of large-scale productions, nonorganic sorbents are widely used. They are clays of different kinds, zeolites, diatomites, etc. However they have comparatively low oil-absorbting capability (capacity) to keep light fractions and sink together with the absorbed products which stipulates intensive pollution of water reservoirs, seas and oceans bottoms.

The present project aims to develop the sorbents of a new type using various classes of polymers (as a basic material) and natural modified nonorganic sorbents (as main component). Special technology of their synthesis and processing allow to obtain high-filled hybrid foam plastics with high sorption ability and selectivity. This material will be floodable in water, it can be fabricated of various configuration and removed by mechanical way together with absorbed oil products from the water surface and ground.

The proposed type of sorbent is first being developed and can solve the above-mentioned problems.

The actuality of the project is that the problem of environment protection requires the creation of a new unique, available, non-deficit and cheap sorbents having high selective ability to absorb oil, oil products and other toxic organic substances.

The new and distinguishing feature of the Project approach is that high-filled (80% and higher) hybrid foam plastics with natural modified absorbents using different classes of polymers as base material are developed.

Scientific value of the Project in case of its realization consists in the following:

  • Scientific fundamentals of water-repellence treated and activated natural sorbents technology with high sorption (capacity over 10 g/g) and selective properties;
  • High-filled hybrid foam plastics technology on the basis of water-repellency treated natural sorbents and modified thermal reactive sorbents having ability to be operated at high temperatures and in corrosive mediums will be developed;
  • Conditions of hybrid sorbents formation with open cells and the dynamics of absorption and absorption processes will be investigated.

The practical value of Project A new type of high-effective floodable together with absorbed substances, sorbent of various configurations, high absorption selectivity, fire-resistance, ability to vary properties in a wide range depending on the structure and ratio of the initial components will be obtained.

Economic benefit of the Project:

  • the proposed sorbent is distinguished by cheapness, simplicity of manufacturing, efficiency (purification degree reaches almost 100%), possibility to regenerate absorbed oil products more than 10 times and further use them for other purposes; in construction, asphalt concrete production, etc.
  • the use of sorbent makes possible prevention of economic damage caused by destruction of flora and fauna as a result of water and ground pollution.

The project meets the purposes and tasks of ISTC because the scientists of the institute of military-industrial complex of the former Soviet Union participate in it. The participants of the projects are the scientists having great experience of working in the corresponding project areas.

Potential role of foreign collaborators is in the information exchange during the realization of the Project and application of the obtained results for the environment protection problems solving.