Sustainable Polysulfides for Oil Spill Remediation: Repurposing Industrial Waste for Environmental Benefit

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Worthington, Max J H
Shearer, Cameron
Esdaile, Emma
Campbell, Jonathan Andrew
Gibson, Christopher
Legg, Stephanie K
Yin, Yanting
Lundquist, Nicholas A
Gascooke, Jason
Albuquerque, Ines S
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© 2018 The Authors.
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The Authors.
Crude oil and hydrocarbon fuel spills are a perennial threat to aquatic environments. Inexpensive and sustainable sorbents are needed to mitigate the ecological harm of this pollution. To address this need, this study features a low‐density polysulfide polymer that is prepared by the direct reaction of sulfur and used cooking oils. Because both sulfur and cooking oils are hydrophobic, the polymer has an affinity for hydrocarbons such as crude oil and diesel fuel and can rapidly remove them from seawater. Through simple mechanical compression, the oil can be recovered and the polymer can be reused in oil spill remediation. The polysulfide is unique because it is prepared entirely from repurposed waste: sulfur is a by‐product of the petroleum industry and used cooking oil can be used as a comonomer. In this way, sulfur waste from the oil industry is used to make an effective sorbent for combatting pollution from that same sector.
© 2018 The Authors. Published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Crude oil, hydrocarbon, fuel spills, Oil spill, aquatic environments, inverse vulcanization,, oil spills, polysulfides,, sulfur,, waste valorization
Worthington, M. J. H., Shearer, C. J., Esdaile, L. J., Campbell, J. A., Gibson, C. T., Legg, S. K., … Chalker, J. M. (2018). Sustainable Polysulfides for Oil Spill Remediation: Repurposing Industrial Waste for Environmental Benefit. Advanced Sustainable Systems, 1800024.