Gelator Current Affairs

Enter your Email address to receive updates in your inbox

IISER Researchers develop Gelator to scoop out marine oil spills

Researchers from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Thiruvananthapuram have developed a compound named gelator to scoop out marine oil spills.

They had produced gelators using glucose as a starting material and through several other chemical reactions.

How it works?

  • The gelator molecule is partly hydrophilic and partly hydrophobic. The hydrophilic part helps in self-assembling to form gelator fibres, while the hydrophobic part is responsible for its diffusion into oil layer.
  • Since outer part of the fibre is hydrophobic, oil tends to gets into spongy network made of fibres. Once inside the fibre network, oil loses fluidity and becomes a gel. The gel was strong enough to be scooped with a spatula.

What are the advantages?

  • Gelator has ability to selectively congeal oil, including crude oil from an oil-water mixture. It makes the process of recovering marine oil spills simple, efficient and cost-effective.
  • It is in a powder form and can be easily applied over oil-water mixture. It does not cause any environmental damage.
  • It can be recovered oil from oil-water mixture and can be reused several times. But in the case of crude oil, the gelator can’t be recycled.