Are Smart Oil Water Filters the Solution to Oil Spills?

oil spills

IMAGE CREDIT: www.katu.com

Out of all the environmental dangers that affect us, one of the most alarming are oil spills. Environmental tragedies such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill that occurred in 1989 and the more recent BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, exposed just how serious the consequences of these disasters can be. Oil spills often result in immediate and long-term environmental damage. Some of the damage caused can last for decades after the initial spill occurs. The long-term damage from such a disaster can affect beaches, Marshlands, eco systems and wildlife habitats. Once the oil stops floating on the surface of the water and begins to sink, it can kill or contaminate fish and smaller organisms that are critical links in the global food chain.

During the on-going oil spill cleanup, one major development has come to light as a potentially useful source. The introduction of a “smart filter” could be beneficial in cleaning up environmental oil spills. It is designed with a shape-shifting surface that has the ability to separate oil from water through the use of gravity alone.

The coating on the filter not only repels oil, but attracts water. Most natural substances absorb oil, and the few that repels it also repels water because of the higher surface tension of water. The coating on the filter is a blend of rubbery, commercially available polymer and a nano-particle. This material ensures that water spreads on its surface, while the oil beads up allowing it easier to separate the oil from the water. This new development also shows potential for other applications such as wastewater treatment, oil purification for fuel applications and technology relevant to the cosmetics industry.

As we continue to learn more about this filter in the coming months, let’s make a commitment to create a more positive impact on our environment through recycling and reducing energy consumption. Do you think the Smart Filter is a viable solution to cleaning up oil spills and other applications? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

National Beach Clean Up Month: Save Our Beaches & Coasts

National Beach Cleanup MonthOver 14 billion pounds of cardboard boxes, tires, bottles, cans, plastic cups and other trash are dumped into the world’s oceans every year. Some of this eventually sinks, and some is eaten by marine life. However, most of this trash floats and is carried by ocean waves and currents to our beaches. This not only distorts the beautiful view we have come to expect at beaches, but also pollutes the environment, causing problems for people and marine life. As this problem worsens, recycling has become more important. We often hear the three R’s of recycling: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, but how much do we really know about it?

Reduce. Reducing waste not only means reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfills but also means changes in our daily lifestyles. Reducing consumption, buying less and consuming less electricity are all ways we can reduce in our own lives.

Reuse. This involves extending the usage of most items in our house by either reusing or donating these items. It is important to use reusable products to cut down on the amount of waste we create in the environment. Reusable water bottles, such as Kor and Vapur water bottles, provide a safer and more economic alternative than bottled water, which accounts for 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year.

Recycle. Throwing your can or bottle into the recycling bin instead of the garbage bin goes a long way. Many filters, such as Brita and ZeroWater, offer recycling programs for their filters, which is a great way to cut waste. Read this article from FiltersFast.com for more information on recycling water filters.

This is National Beach Clean Up Month, so do not let this month pass without making a conscientious effort to step up and do our part in cleaning up the world’s beaches and our environment.

National Parks Month: Experience What Nature Has to Offer

Camping, hiking, fishing, grand vistas and horseback riding are just some of the possibilities in our country’s national parks. Every year, millions experience these great activities while taking in the beautiful sights of nature that our parks have to offer. National park sites are chosen and preserved because they are unique natural resources. These parks are home to the most wonderful sights and spectacular land life. The first national park was Yellowstone National Park, which was established in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant. Today, over 50 national parks are located in the United States, each with their own unique experience.

National Parks are more than just beautiful sights. They provide a safe habitat for native plants and animals. They also play an important role in creating a healthier environment by keeping air and water clean. How? The leaves of plants make fresh air, while their roots hold the soil together. This stops erosion while helping to keep our waterways clean.

They provide a place for you to learn about native plants and animals and the way they rely on each other to survive. National parks help you learn how important protecting nature is while giving you a sense of amazement that will last forever.

While you can visit many parks in one day, planning an overnight trip will give you and your family more time to enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds that nature has to offer. With August being National Parks Month, now is a great time to find a local national park near you and go for a visit. The memory will last a lifetime.