Effective and sustainable adsorbent materials for oil spill cleanup based on a multistage desalination process

Ameera F. Mohammad, Aya A.H.I. Mourad, Emmanuel Galiwango, Essa G. Lwisa, Ali H. Al-Marzouqi, Muftah H. El-Naas, Bart Van der Bruggen, Mohamed H. Al-Marzouqi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Oil spills, which are often caused by crude oil transportation accidents, contaminate coastal waters and land and can harm aquatic life, seabirds, humans, and the entire ecosystem. Ocean currents and wind complicate oil spill cleanup and extend the oil spill area. This study proposes a new approach to control oil spills using solids recovered from the treatment of reject brine through a novel multistage desalination process. The aim is to produce applicable adsorbent for oil spill cleanup especially in the final cleaning stages. The multistage desalination process is based on the electrochemical treatment of high-salinity reject brine and Solvay and modified Solvay liquid effluents in a closed Plexiglas electrocoagulation cell. After the electrochemical treatment, the collected solids were dried and ground for utilization as adsorbents in oil spill cleanup. Results were promising for the adsorbent produced from the electrochemical treatment of the modified Solvay effluent. A maximum adsorption capacity of 2.8 g oil/g adsorbent was achieved, with an oil recovery of 98%. In addition, the regenerated solids after toluene extraction process were recycled and achieved an adsorption capacity of 2.1 g oil/g adsorbent in the second oil spill clean-up cycle. The structural and chemical characteristics of the adsorbents produced from the multistage desalination process were investigated using X-ray powder diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. Results support the adoption of the collected solids as effective oil-adsorbent materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113652
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2021


  • Adsorbent material
  • Electrocoagulation treatment
  • Multistage desalination
  • Oil recovery
  • Oil spill

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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