Professor Yoke Khin Yap (Physics) was interviewed by the Columbus Dispatch to comment about a recent work reported by Ohio State University researchers. The recent work on water/oil separation filters was first pioneered by Yap in collaboration with Jaroslaw Drelich in 2011. The Columbus Dispatch is a daily newspaper based in Columbus, Ohio.
Ohio State researchers develop mesh that captures oil
Other scientists have explored how small particles could help deal with oil spills.
For example, a team of MIT engineers in 2012 devised a way to pull clean water and reusable oil from spills using nanoparticles. And two Michigan Tech University professors published research in 2011 about a fine mesh they coated with nanotubes to attract oil and repel water. Nanotubes are slightly larger than nanoparticles.
Yoke Khin Yap, a physics professor at Michigan Tech who co-wrote that study, said Bhushan and Brown’s findings could improve water-purification methods.
To work on large oil spills, though, the OSU mesh would have to be capable of performing on a much larger scale, Yap said. “We’re not talking about filtering 100 milliliters of liquid — we’re talking about a big volume for an oil spill in the oceans. So it really depends on the speed of this kind of separation process.”