Magnetic Scaffolds in Oil Spill Applications
The discharge of liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment is coined as oil spill and is identified as a major form of 'ocean pollution'. There are seven major proposed techniques to selectively remove spilled oil from water surfaces, and the choice of a technique depends on the types of crude oil, temperature of water, and other environmental conditions. After the proposal by Nicolaides et at. that magnetic nanocomposite based oil recovery method can be 30% less costly than available other methods, high surface area magnetic materials have received tremendous attention. Many interesting laboratory scale approaches have been reported so far on magnetic nanomaterials-based oil recovery. Most of the techniques use synergistic activities of engineered superhydrophobic scaffolds which are functionalized with magnetic particles either inherently or by external means. In this review article, the advancements in magnetic materials-based oil spill clean-up are discussed by narrating the literature from last ten years. The review ends with the plausible future direction of this field and also discusses the commercial viability of some of these techniques.