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Langmuir. 2016 Dec 20;32(50):13510-13516. Epub 2016 Dec 9.

Low-Cost Phase-Selective Organogelators for Rapid Gelation of Crude Oils at Room Temperature.

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Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology , 31 Biopolis Way, The Nanos, Singapore 138669, Singapore.
Division of Materials Science, Nanyang Technological University , 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore.


Frequent marine oil spills pose a significant threat to the environment and marine's ecosystem. We have recently reported a highly tunable molecular gelling scaffold, which enables us to identify a few first examples of phase-selective organogelators (PSOGs) that can instantly gel the crude oil of various types with room-temperature operation. In this study, we demonstrate the high robustness and reliability of this modular gelling scaffold in consistently and combinatorially producing high capacity PSOGs. Such a unique feature has allowed us to carry out a systematic study of 48 gelators via a two-step screening process and to discover another powerful carboxybenzyl-based gelator with comparable gelling properties but with a cost lowered by more than 300%, pointing to a good commercial potential for rapid cleanup of oil spills while effectively eliminating environmental pollution caused by the spilled oil.

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