Document Type


Publication Date

October 2015

Patent Number



E02B 15/00(20130101), B01J 20/24(20130101), C02F 1/286(20130101), C02F 1/682(20130101), B01J 2220/485(20130101), B01J 2220/4825(20130101), C02F 2101/32(20130101), C02F 2103/007(20130101)


Despite advances in off-shore oil exploration and drilling technology, accidental oil spills do occur. Depending on their magnitude and location, irreparable damage may be inflicted on marine and coastal ecosystems. Emulsification of a water/surfactant/oil system results in the production of oil droplets and this depends on the formulation and composition variables, mixing characteristics and system preparation. Thus, research is ongoing on improving methods of cleaning up oil spills. Cactus mucilage was used to disperse and absorb oil from a simulated oil slick in different salt concentrations. Results show correlations between emulsion properties and interfacial characteristics of mucilage as function of aqueous phase salinity. Mucilage powder added to the oil floating on the water dispersed the oil film and absorbed the oil while remaining afloat, facilitates removal of the oil-mucilage aggregate. This invention is a competitive treatment for oil spill remediation with the added advantage of being more environmentally friendly.

Application Number



University of South Florida

Filing Date