Purdue Technology May Aid in Oil Spills

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., June 3 (UPI) — U.S. engineers say they’ve developed a membrane that can separate oil from water and which might be used to clean up oil spills.

Purdue University Assistant Professor Jeffrey Youngblood said the technology his team has created might eventually be used to help with environmental cleanups, such as the current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He said the technology might be beneficial in a variety of other applications, including water purification and industrial uses.


The scientists said their new technology lasts longer than conventional filters for separating oil from water. They said it works by attracting water while beading oil — traits that are usually mutually exclusive.

Youngblood said oil dispersed in water and then run through the filters results in a 98 percent separation.

The technology is being licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization.

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