Crude oil spillage has caused untold hardships to many communities. Cheap and effective treatment of these oil spills remains a challenge to environmentalists. The use of plant sorbent materials for cleanup has gained popularity as it is relatively cheap and renewable. Preliminary investigation into the efficacy of two plants; Sansevieria liberica and Urena lobata commonly found in Nigeria as oil sorbent materials were investigated. Parts of these plants have been utilized primarily as traditional herbal medicines and household decorations. The lignin content of these plants were determined. Sansevieria liberica had a lignin content of 12.46%, while Urena lobata had 8.93% as lignin content.The raw plant samples were treated with sodium hydroxide to remove lignin present in the fibers and a reduction in lignin content was observed for both fibers. The plants were bleached with sodium hypochlorite and then acetylated to induce hydrophobicity. X-Ray diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Thermogravimetric analysis, and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy were carried out on the fibers after acetylation. Sorption experiments revealed that Urena lobata acetylated at 70°C had sorption capacity of 210% while Sansevieria liberica, acetylated at 120°C had sorption capacity of 359% after 15 minutes.
- crude oil sorption
- sorbent materials
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science (miscellaneous)