Solidification of Hydrocarbon Liquids using Polymer Blends
Type of Degreethesis
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Solidifiers are composed of dry, high molecular weight polymers that have a porous matrix and a large oleophilic surface area. They bond with the hydrocarbon liquids by molecular interaction (hydrogen bonding, London forces, etc.) and are employed as a method of preventing spill propagation and dispersion in order to minimize the impact of hydrocarbon liquid spills. CIAgent© is a non-toxic, proprietary polymer blend listed in EPA National Contingency Plan Product Schedule as a “Solidifier” for use on oil spills in the navigable waterways of United States. CIAgent© can be used on oil, hydraulic fluid, transmission oil, or any petroleum-based fluids, solidifying the hydrocarbon liquid into a cohesive rubber-like, inert mass upon contact. Once solidified, the rubbery mass is easy to remove; keeping the spill contained and minimizing costs. The recovered solidified material can be reused as fuel or filler for other products or can be land filled. Solidifier effectiveness is defined as the amount of agent required to solidify the hydrocarbon liquid under standard conditions. Hence, the solidifier needs to be characterized with respect to the effectiveness for the extensive hydrocarbon liquids that could be encountered. This objective was achieved by measuring the heat of solidification using a solution calorimeter (Parr Instruments, Model No. 6755). Experiments were conducted at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. A Temperature–time plot was obtained, and the temperature difference upon solidification was determined. The temperature change was correlated with the solubility parameters (δd, δp, and δh) of the hydrocarbon liquids and a three-dimensional map was generated to represent CIAgent© solidification effectiveness. The ease with which the CIAgent© solidifies the hydrocarbon liquid was determined from the calculated heat of solidification value. The release or adsorption of heat during the solidification process thus has implications for how CIAgent© applications should be conducted.