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Article
Publication date: 25 August 2021

Viju Subramoniapillai and Govindharajan Thilagavathi

In recent years, oil spill pollution has become one of the main problems of environmental pollution. Recovering oil by means of sorbent materials is a very promising…

Abstract

Purpose

In recent years, oil spill pollution has become one of the main problems of environmental pollution. Recovering oil by means of sorbent materials is a very promising approach and has acquired more attention due to its high cleanup efficiency. Compared to synthetic fibrous sorbents, the use of natural fibers in oil spill cleanups offers several advantages including environmental friendliness, degradable features and cost-effectiveness. Therefore, studies on developing sorbents using natural fibers for oil spill cleanup applications have become a research hotspot.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews the work conducted by several researchers in developing oil sorbents from fibers such as cattail, nettle, cotton, milkweed, kapok, populous seed fiber and Metaplexis japonica fiber. Some featured critical parameters influencing the oil sorption capacity of fibrous substrates are discussed. Oil sorption capacity and reusability performance of various fibers are also discussed. Recent developments in oil spill cleanups and test methods for oil sorbents are briefly covered.

Findings

The main parameters influencing the oil sorption capacity of sorbents are fiber morphological structure, fiber density (g/cc), wax (%), hollowness (%) and water contact angle. An extensive literature review showed that oil sorption capacity is highest for Metaplexis japonica fiber followed by populous seed fiber, kapok, milkweed, cotton, nettle and cattail fiber. After use, the sorbents can be buried under soil or they can also be burned so that they can be vanished from the surface without causing environmental-related issues.

Originality/value

This review paper aims to summarize research studies conducted related to various natural fibers for oil spill cleanups, fiber structural characteristics influencing oil sorption and recent developments in oil spill cleanups. This work will inspire future researchers with various knowledge backgrounds, particularly, from a sustainability perspective.

Details

Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1560-6074

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2021

Viju Subramoniapillai and G. Thilagavathi

The most widely recycled plastic in the world is recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET). To minimize the environmental related issues associated with synthetic fibers…

Abstract

Purpose

The most widely recycled plastic in the world is recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET). To minimize the environmental related issues associated with synthetic fibers, several researchers have explored the potential use of recycled polyester fibers in developing various technical textile products. This study aims to develop needle-punched nonwoven fabrics from recycled polyester fibers and investigate its suitability in oil spill cleanup process.

Design/methodology/approach

According to Box and Behnken factorial design, 15 different needle-punched nonwoven fabrics from recycled polyester fibers were prepared by changing the parameters, namely, needle punch density, needle penetration depth and fabric areal weight. Several featured parameters such as oil sorption, oil retention, oil sorption kinetics, wettability and reusability performance were systematically elucidated.

Findings

The maximum oil sorption of recycled nonwoven polyester is found to be 24.85 g/g and 20.58 g/g for crude oil and vegetable oil, respectively. The oil retention is about 93%–96% in case of crude oil, whereas 87%–91% in case of vegetable oil. Recycled polyester nonwoven possesses good hydrophobic–oleophilic properties with static contact angle of 138° against water, whereas 0° against crude oil and vegetable oil. The reusability test results indicate that recycled polyester nonwoven fabric can be used several times because of its reusability features.

Originality/value

There is no detailed study on the oil sorption features of needle-punched nonwoven fabrics developed from recycled polyester fibers. This study is expected to help in developing fabrics for oil spill cleanups.

Details

Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1560-6074

Keywords

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