The technology being developed involves a novel method to separate oil, bitumen or tar from sand or other types of mineral matter using ionic liquids (ILs). The processes presently used to separate or extract hydrocarbons from sand are expensive and result in environmental problems associated with the disposal of waste products and contaminated water. The intellectual merit of the proposed work lies in the ability of this class of solvents to obtain a very clean separation at ambient temperatures without the generation of waste process water, thus achieving large energy savings and alleviating major environmental problems.
The science and engineering involved in applying Ionic liquids to the separation of oil from sand or other minerals is not only a novel and potentially extremely effective way of cleaning sand and olis after an environmental disaster, but also applies to other areas, such as extracting bitumen and asphalt from tar sands, separating oil from drilling muds and cleaning sand from oil well operations. Thus, there are numerous potential benefits of the proposed activity to society, mostly related to energy and the environment. The interaction between science and engineering students and business interns should also instruct both in the art of innovation and the development of new companies.
|Effective start/end date||8/1/11 → 7/31/13|
- National Science Foundation: $208,000.00