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Title: Lecithins - promising oil spill cleaner

Abstract

A new, non-polluting method of cleaning up oil spills at sea as well as on land has been developed by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Their technique is based on the use of lecithins, a byproduct of producing edible oils from plants. Lecithin molecules are hydrophyllic at one end and lipophilic at their tail ends. When they come into contact with water, they organize themselves into bilayers whose heads all face the water and whose tails are all directed towards each other. These bilayers form particles called liposomes that, when spread on water fouled by oil spills, change the properties of the oil thereby stopping the spreading and breaking it down into sticky droplets that continue to float on the surface and can be easily collected. The treatment is said to be effective in both fresh and salt water and is almost temperature and pH independent. Another beneficial effect is that the physical change generated by liposomes in the spilled oil improves the ability of oil-eating bacteria in the water to remove some of the spill by bioremediation.

Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
6637867
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 6637867
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Sea Technology; (United States)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 34:4; Journal ID: ISSN 0093-3651
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; LECITHINS; MOLECULAR STRUCTURE; OIL POLLUTION CONTAINMENT; OIL SPILLS; BIODEGRADATION; BACTERIA; DROPLETS; LAND POLLUTION CONTROL; LIPOSOMES; WATER POLLUTION CONTROL; CHEMICAL REACTIONS; CONTROL; DECOMPOSITION; ESTERS; LIPIDS; MICROORGANISMS; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; ORGANIC PHOSPHORUS COMPOUNDS; PARTICLES; PHOSPHOLIPIDS; POLLUTION CONTROL 020900* -- Petroleum-- Environmental Aspects; 540320 -- Environment, Aquatic-- Chemicals Monitoring & Transport-- (1990-)

Citation Formats

Not Available. Lecithins - promising oil spill cleaner. United States: N. p., 1993. Web.
Not Available. Lecithins - promising oil spill cleaner. United States.
Not Available. Thu . "Lecithins - promising oil spill cleaner". United States.
@article{osti_6637867,
title = {Lecithins - promising oil spill cleaner},
author = {Not Available},
abstractNote = {A new, non-polluting method of cleaning up oil spills at sea as well as on land has been developed by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Their technique is based on the use of lecithins, a byproduct of producing edible oils from plants. Lecithin molecules are hydrophyllic at one end and lipophilic at their tail ends. When they come into contact with water, they organize themselves into bilayers whose heads all face the water and whose tails are all directed towards each other. These bilayers form particles called liposomes that, when spread on water fouled by oil spills, change the properties of the oil thereby stopping the spreading and breaking it down into sticky droplets that continue to float on the surface and can be easily collected. The treatment is said to be effective in both fresh and salt water and is almost temperature and pH independent. Another beneficial effect is that the physical change generated by liposomes in the spilled oil improves the ability of oil-eating bacteria in the water to remove some of the spill by bioremediation.},
doi = {},
journal = {Sea Technology; (United States)},
issn = {0093-3651},
number = ,
volume = 34:4,
place = {United States},
year = {1993},
month = {4}
}