Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Cotton to clean oil spills
Cotton to clean oil spills
Mar '17
Courtesy: Texas Tech University
Courtesy: Texas Tech University
Cotton appears to have found a new role - as oil spill cleaner. Oil spills damage both human health and environment. Scientists at the Texas Tech University have investigated cotton as oil spill cleaner. A team from the university's Institute of Environmental and Human Health found that finer raw cotton in loose form is best suited for absorbing oil.
"So far, most oil sorbents are synthetic-based, which also leads to problems in marine environments. Our goal is to enable a biodegradable and natural product to be an efficient and cost-effective oil sorbent," Seshadri Ramkumar, lead author of the study and a professor in the institute's Nonwovens & Advanced Materials Laboratory, where the research was conducted, explained.
Scientists compared the oil absorption characteristics of finer and coarser cotton in loose, needle-punched nonwoven and hydroentangled nonwoven forms. Finer cotton in loose forms was found to be superior for oil absorbency. The research shows the importance of cotton micronaire, a measure based on cotton's air permeability which indicates its   fineness and maturity, for oleophilic applications such as spill remediation. 
The research also involved two high school students besides scientists from the Texas Tech Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Nonwovens & Advanced Materials Laboratory and the Southern Regional Research Center of the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service in New Orleans, where samples were prepared. 
According to Ramkumar, who is also the creator of FiberTectTM, a nonwoven decontamination wipe capable of cleaning toxic chemical agents, the goal is to find industrial as well as new and value-added technical applications for cotton. He has been instrumental in introducing cotton as technical textile. 
"It is vital that we continue to explore new markets for cotton, and Dr Ramkumar's research has contributed greatly to the advancement of cotton, especially in the nonwovens sector," said Steve Verett, executive vice president of Plains Cotton Growers, which supports research in the Nonwovens & Advanced Materials Laboratory. 
Ramkumar said it was important to work with the young generation from the producer community. 
"One of the strengths of cotton research at Texas Tech is the connection with the local economic engine that cotton provides. Not only do researchers address local challenges and opportunities, but some such as Dr Ramkumar take this connection to the next level by engaging local students and communities in the research," said Kater Hake, vice president of agricultural research at Cotton Incorporated, which funded the research. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

Interviews View All

Nitin Soni, Dolphin Jingwei Machines

Nitin Soni
Dolphin Jingwei Machines

Taxation policies need to be made simpler

Top executives, Textile industry

Top executives
Textile industry

The new deal is better than NAFTA for the US textile industry

Top executives, Textile & apparel bodies

Top executives
Textile & apparel bodies

The mid-term review of FTP is progressive, growth oriented

Harsh Shah,

Harsh Shah

Fynd is the central online shopping destination for fashion, offering...

Rajat Jaipuria,

Rajat Jaipuria

Activewear brand Soul Space promotes organic cotton farming and...

Sandip Bhojani, Manthan Patel,

Sandip Bhojani, Manthan Patel

Krypthm Tradelink LLP is a Surat-based manufacturer of westernwear....

Kerem Durdag, Biovation II LLC

Kerem Durdag
Biovation II LLC

Kerem Durdag, CEO, Biovation II LLC, provides an insight into future...

Alfonso Marra, Klopman

Alfonso Marra

It was in 1968 that Klopman introduced the concept of poly/cotton workwear ...

Lynda Kelly, Suominen Corporation

Lynda Kelly
Suominen Corporation

Suominen Corporation is a manufacturer of nonwovens as roll goods for...

Seema Agrawal, Artisan Saga

Seema Agrawal
Artisan Saga

Artisan Saga, founded by Kaushik Rajani and Seema Agrawal, is an online...

Jay Ramrakhiani, Occasions Elegance Wear

Jay Ramrakhiani
Occasions Elegance Wear

It is believed that by early 19th century, Varanasi weavers had moved away ...

Akta Adani, India Boulevard

Akta Adani
India Boulevard

India Boulevard is a San Francisco-based curated fashion marketplace that...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies


Leave your Comments

November 2019

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

Follow us on instagram


Follow Fibre2Fashion On

Advanced Search