Bio-inspired Nano-CarboScavengers for rehabilitation of petroleum contaminated water

Santosh Misra, Enrique Daza, John Scott, Christine Promisel, Brajendra K. Sharma, Indu Tripathi, Jacek Topczewski, Satanu Chaudhuri, Dipanjan Pan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Increasingly frequent petroleum contamination in oceans continues to threaten our ecosystem. Current nanomaterial and dispersant remediation methods neglect to investigate their adverse environmental and biological impact. A highly efficient, bio-inspired and biocompatible nano-dispersant has been developed comprising a multi-shelled nanoparticle termed ‘Nano-CarboScavengers’ (NCS) with facile recovery via booms and mesh tools. Bushy extensions of milkweeds with water repellent properties inspired us to generate hydrophobic extensions using amphiphilic polymers around crosslinked agave nector based carbon core during synthesis of NCS. NCS were able to treat different forms of petroleum oil (raw and distillate) with remarkable efficiency (80% and 91% respectively) utilizing sequestration and dispersion abilities in tandem with a 10:1 (oil:NCS) loading capacity. In major contrast with chemical dispersants, the NCS was found to be remarkably benign in in vitro and in vivo assays. Additionally, the carboneous nature of NCS broke down via human myeloperoxidase and horseradish peroxidase enzymes, revealing that incidental biological uptake can enzymatically digest the sugar-based core.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 Emerging Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment Conference
StatePublished - 2017


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