Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 10, pp 9981–9991 | Cite as

Ecologically friendly ways to clean up oil spills in harbor water areas: crude oil and diesel sorption behavior of natural sorbents

  • Tatjana Paulauskiene
Research Article


This work aimed to evaluate the sorption capacity of natural sorbents (wool, moss, straw, peat) and their composites during the sorption of crude oil and of diesel overspread on the water surface. The work presents the research results of the maximum sorption capacity of the sorbents/their composites using crude oil/diesel; the sorption capacity of the sorbents/their composites when crude oil/diesel is spilled on the water surface; and the research results of the unrealized part of the crude oil/diesel in the sorbents. The results of the analysis showed that all the sorbents and their composites have their selectivity to crude oil less than 50%. Also the results showed that the distribution of diesel and water in the sorbents and their composites is very different compared with the distribution of crude oil during the sorption analyses. In total, the diesel in the liquid mass absorbed by the straw and the peat amounted to 17 and 20%, respectively. This shows that these sorbents are much more selective for water but not for diesel. A larger part of the diesel was in the liquid amount absorbed by the composites—up to 33%. Accordingly, the use of these composites in watery environments is much more effective than the use of individual sorbents. The composition of sorbents in the composite enhanced both the hydrophobic and the oleophilic properties; as a result, a more effective removal of the diesel and oil from the water surface was achieved.


Crude oil and diesel fuel cleanup Natural sorbents Sorbent composites Maximum sorption capacity Water sorption capacity Sorption capacity 


Funding information

This work is supported by Lithuanian National Science project “Technological and environmental research development in Lithuanian marine sector”, grant no. VP1-3.1-ŠMM-08-K-01-019.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Klaipeda University Faculty of Marine Technology and Natural SciencesKlaipedaLithuania

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