Green mango peel—a slick solution for oil contaminated soils

September 26, 2018, University of South Australia
Green mango peel—a slick solution for oil contaminated soils
Credit: University of South Australia

Nanoparticles derived from green mango peel could be the key to remediating oil sludge in contaminated soil according to new research from the University of South Australia.

For the petroleum industry remediating oil sludge is a costly and an ongoing challenge, particularly when 3-7 per cent of oil processing activities are irreversibly lost as oily or sludge waste.

Lead researcher, UniSA's Dr. Biruck Desalegn says without treatment oil contaminated soil presents a massive risk to ecosystems and the environment.

"Last year, global oil production reached a new record of 92.6 million barrels per day, but despite improvements in control technologies, oil refineries unavoidably continue to generate large volumes of oil sludge," Dr. Desalegn says.

"Oil contamination can present cytotoxic, mutagenic and potentially carcinogenic conditions for all living things, including people

"What's more, the toxicity and physical properties of oil change over time, which means the process of weathering can expose new, and evolved toxins."

The new , synthesized from green peel extract and chloride, provide a novel and effective treatment for oil contaminated soil. They work by breaking down toxins in oil sludge through chemical oxidation, leaving behind only the decontaminated materials and dissolved iron.

Dr. Desalegn says the new plant-based nanoparticles can successfully decontaminate oil-polluted soil, removing more than 90 per cent of toxins.

"Plant extracts are increasingly used to create nanomaterials," Dr. Desalegn says.

"In this study, we experimented with mango peel to create zerovalent iron nanoparticles which have the ability to breakdown various organic contaminants.

"With mango peel being such a rich source of bioactive compounds, it made sense that zerovalent iron made from mango peel might be more potent in the oxidation process.

"As we discovered, the mango peel iron nanoparticles worked extremely well, even outperforming a chemically synthesized counterpart by removing more of contaminants in the oil sludge."

Dr. Desalegn says this discovery presents a sustainable, green solution to address the significant pollution generated by the world's oil production.

"Ever since the devastation of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the has been acutely aware of their responsibilities for safe and sustainable production processes," Dr. Desalegn says.

"Our research uses the waste part of the mango – the peel – to present an affordable, sustainable and environmentally friendly treatment solution for oil .

"And while the world continues to be economically and politically reliant on oil industries as a source of energy working to remediate the impact of oil pollution will remain a serious and persistent issue."

Explore further: Mango peel helps you stay slimmer

Related Stories

Mango peel helps you stay slimmer

June 18, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- It might not be the tastiest part of the fruit, but for anyone wanting to look their best this summer they should think about new ways of eating mango.

Scientists target mango skin for fat reduction

June 1, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- Scientists have discovered that two common mango varieties contain natural compounds that may help to fight flab . . . in the part that most people throw away.

Protozoa detected in waste water even after treatment

April 18, 2018

A study carried out by the Water Chemistry and Microbiology group of the Universitat Politècnica de València shows that pathogenic protozoa Cryptosporidium and Giardia are present in the sludge generated by wastewater treatment ...

Recommended for you

Evidence of earliest life on Earth disputed

October 17, 2018

When Australian scientists presented evidence in 2016 of life on Earth 3.7 billon years ago—pushing the record back 220 million years—it was a big deal, influencing even the search for life on Mars.

Arctic ice sets speed limit for major ocean current

October 17, 2018

The Beaufort Gyre is an enormous, 600-mile-wide pool of swirling cold, fresh water in the Arctic Ocean, just north of Alaska and Canada. In the winter, this current is covered by a thick cap of ice. Each summer, as the ice ...

Antarctic ice shelf 'sings' as winds whip across its surface

October 16, 2018

Winds blowing across snow dunes on Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf cause the massive ice slab's surface to vibrate, producing a near-constant set of seismic "tones" scientists could potentially use to monitor changes in the ice ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.