Decontaminating terrestrial oil spills: A comparative assessment of dog fur, human hair, peat moss and polypropylene sorbents

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Environments, 2020, 7, (7), pp. 52-52
Issue Date:
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Terrestrial oil spills have severe and continuing consequences for human communities and the natural environment. Sorbent materials are considered to be a first line of defense method for directly extracting oil from spills and preventing further contaminant spread, but little is known on the performance of sorbent products in terrestrial environments. Dog fur and human hair sorbent products were compared to peat moss and polypropylene sorbent to examine their relative e ectiveness in adsorbing crude oil from di erent terrestrial surfaces. Crude oil spills were simulated using standardized microcosm experiments, and contaminant adsorbency was measured as percentage of crude oil removed from the original spilled quantity. Sustainable-origin absorbents made from dog fur and human hair were equally e ective to polypropylene in extracting crude oil from nonand semi-porous land surfaces, with recycled dog fur products and loose-form hair showing a slight advantage over other sorbent types. In a sandy terrestrial environment, polypropylene sorbent was significantly better at adsorbing spilled crude oil than all other tested products.
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