India’s premier nuclear sector research organization Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai has transferred its highly efficient cotton-based biodegradable oil absorbent technology to a private company.

According to BARC, the cotton-based oil absorbent developed by it with radiation technology is – super oleophilic or oil liking and superhydrophobic or water disliking – can absorb floating oil on the water surface and also the sediment oil or underwater oil.

There is no absorbent that is currently available to absorb the floating and sediment oil simultaneously, said A.K.Mohanty, Director, BARC.

The atomic research center said one gram of absorbent material can take out a minimum of 1.5 kg of oil from water and can be recollected by squeezing it.

The biodegradable oil absorbent can be used 50-100 times, BARC said.

The cotton can be used to absorb toxic liquids like benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, chloroform, dichloromethane, tributyl phosphate, triphenyl phosphate, and others from industrial or municipal wastewater, the statement said.

According to BARC, this cotton oil absorbent does not result in secondary pollution, unlike the conventional oil removal techniques that lose oil either through burning or consumption by microorganisms.

On the other hand, BARC’s technology enables the recovery of oil.

During the Covid-19 pandemic period, BARC had also come out with a High-Quality Respiratory Face Mask, Engineered valve-less Transparent Face Mask, Nuclear Grade Half Face Mask, Electrolytic Medical Oxygen Generator, Air Plasma Incinerator for Mitigation of Human Biomass, Infrared Thermometer, and Radiation technology for making personal protective aprons reusable.

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