Development of innovative products made of flax chaff for adsorption

Development of innovative products made of flax chaff for adsorption of oil spillage
Akobuije Stanley IGWE, MSC PID
Supervisor: Dr Elena Sazhina
Motivation: 2009 is the Year of Natural Fibres
•International Conference on Natural Fibres 2009
Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining,
To critically assess existing knowledge on products made of natural fibres,
London, UK
and in particular for adsorption of crude oil spillage
 To propose new products made of flax chaff and natural fibres and to
assess their manufacturing costs, environmental impact and marketing niche
Pasila (2004) Marine Pollution Bulletin 49 (2004) 1006–1012:
A brief description of the adsorption fliter technology developed in the paper:
 To design and manufacture working prototypes and to evaluate their
‘Oil residues can be cleaned from water by running it through a simple filter made from
freeze treated, dried, milled and then fragmented plant material. It is possible to
produce filters, which pass water but adsorb oil.Fine spring harvested hemp fibre
(diameter less than 1 mm) and reed canary grass fragments adsorb 2–4 g of oil per
Novelty of the product: An innovation to explore the economic and
commercial value of the flax chaff via
•Creating a product to solve urgent oil spill problem
•The product is based on flax chaff that is growing abundantly in many areas
Urgency of the problem under consideration: BP disaster in Mexican Gulf
gram of adsorption material compared to 1–3 g of water.
such as Northern France
Brainstorming of ideas and feedback:
•Flax chaff currently is a waste product.
presentation at the INTERREG FLAX workshop on 28 May 2010
The target market will be oil production industries, such as BP
Discussion and Conclusion
 The oil adsorption mat is easy to use. Its prime manufacturing cost
Business assessment:
Proposed product:
is low. Also flax chaff is a waste product and therefore will cost less.
•Production costs of flax chaff are low because this is a byproduct of flax fibres
The project aims at developing Oil Adsorption Mat using flax chaff.
Its transportation will add little cost because it is light and thin
•Processing costs are assessed against existing production procedure of straw Frogmat .
It is designed to utilize the oil-adsorption property of Flax chaff to clean up oil
compared with Frogmat
Links to Frogmat company at Isle of Wight are sought with the help of Business
spillage by placing the Adsorption Mat on top of oil and allow it to soak the oil
 It is environmentally friendly because it is biodegradable .
Development Manager of SET, UoB
Environmental impact and Life Cycle Analysis
Growing flax plants reduces carbon dioxide
The proposed adsorption mat is made up of chaff wrapped in a plastic bag
 Its unique selling price is
with openings to allow the adsorption process.
renewable materials
After the adsorption the oil can be recovered and processed.
 Its market niche is seen as open sea spills contrary to Frogmats for
cost efficiency and being made of
coastal areas
The flax products are biodegradable after useful life
 Its market size is big; there is daily occurrence of oil spillage.
 Its demand will be high because most of the existing product for
Alternative products for oil spill cleanup:
cleaning oil spillage are complex and expensive
 Recovering oil from the adsorption mat may follow Frogmat
 LCA options may include either reusable or disposable versions of
flax mat
The product is at the stage of developing a methodology
for effective adsorption of large-scale oil spillages.
Oil spillage absorbent granules
Joanna Lumley and the FROGMAT made of straw
Slick sack
Many thanks to the INTERREG FLAX team at the
School of Pharmacy and Bimolecular Sciences.
l thank Mr Bill Whitney for technical help,.
Dr Steve Plummer, Mrs Zoe Osmond the BDM of SET, UoB,
and the supervisor are thanked for their kind assistance.