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Hybrid sepiolite for bioremediation

COPenvironmental bioremediationenvironmental remediationESTECHmultifunctional hybrid materialssepiolitesustainability


Multifunctional hybrid material based on sepiolite for the recovery and bioremediation of contaminated sites. The innovative idea consists in the definition of an innovative nanohybrid or nanocomposite material, suitable for the absorption and/or degradation of oil, capable of responding in an eco-sustainable and effective way to the problems of sites subject to hydrocarbon spills.

Technical features

The present invention allows an in situ recovery of natural matrices (sea water and/or soil) contaminated by hydrocarbons. The invention thus developed solves the technical problems related to the removal, ex situ purification and in general to the elimination of polluting fractions. Furthermore, since this invention has no invasive impact on the environment in which it is applied, it is an alternative to the recovery methods used up to now.

A synthetic strategy was developed in order to:

  1. Appropriately functionalize the sepiolite with suitable polymeric precursors;
  2. Modify the solvent and the reaction conditions, in order to obtain a reaction environment with low environmental impact.

The hybrid material thus obtained was also used as a coating for suitable natural or synthetic supports; the material was deposited by spreading or dipping, and adhesion.

Possible Applications

  • Recovery of marine areas contaminated by hydrocarbons;
  • Recovery of marine port areas chronically polluted by hydrocarbons;
  • Recovery of soils contaminated by hydrocarbons;
  • Recovery of soils chronically polluted by hydrocarbons;
  • Abatement of wastewater from navigation.


  • Sustainable production;
  • High oil-absorbing capacity;
  • Versatile;
  • Induce the biodegradation of oil;
  • Easy recovery and regeneration.