Log 9 Materials, a Bangalore-based nanotechnology start-up is using graphene for industrial clean up, including oil leaks and oil spills. They have developed oil sorbent pads that can absorb up to 86 times their own weight. They are using graphene for oil clean up.
“Log 9 Materials, a Bangalore-based nanotechnology start-up, has been chasing the graphene dream since it was founded in 2015 by IIT-Roorkee graduates Akshay Singhal and Kartik Hajela. It has been trying to tame the material in many avatars — cigarette filters, batteries for electronic vehicles and coatings for aircraft. Their latest foray is into industrial clean up, including oil leaks and oil spills. Liquid petroleum often gets accidentally released into oceans, bays and rivers during transport and the spill does irreparable damage to aquatic life.
“The oil sorbent pads (LSP 20) innovated by us help contain and absorb off-shore and on-shore [oil] spills as well as spills of other chemicals,” says Akshay Singhal, co-founder and chief executive officer of Log 9 Materials. “LSP 20 is able to absorb spills up to 86 times its own weight. It has been tested against British Standards by third party laboratories and has also been certified safe to incinerate and dispose,” he adds.
There is always a risk of spillage during exploration, transportation and storage of oil. Spills have the potential to cause irreparable ecological damage in sea and on land. In situ combustion, oil booms and oil skimmer vessels are used to clean up such spills but are not very efficient. The products and particulates emitted through oil combustion pollute the atmosphere while booms and skimmers, which are meant to confine the spill to a specific location for collection, do not work well in turbulent water.
One of the most economical and efficient means of removing oil spills is to use sorbents that repel water (hydrophobic) but absorb oil (oleophilic).
While graphene has countless potential applications, Log 9’s focus is on two main areas: filtration and energy. Apart from the oil sorbent pad, they are currently working on a metal-air battery which could replace the current lithium ion batteries.
Says Singhal, “This battery makes use of the interaction of air, water and aluminium. The air cathode made of graphene generates electricity, thus making it lighter in weight compared to lithium ion batteries.” Moreover, these batteries can run about 1,000km on a single charge compared to 100-150km of the current ones.
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Source: Telegraph India
Image: Akshay Singhal (Pic: Living Media India Limited)