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Texas Tech develops cotton that cleans chemicals

Texas Tech University researchers have recently discovered low-grade cotton made into an absorbent non-woven mat can collect up to 50 times its own weight in oil. The results strengthen the use of cotton as a natural absorbent for oil. Fibertect is a non-woven decontamination wipe developed by researchers at Texas Tech capable of cleaning chemical and biological agents.

In the four year project, scientists tried to create a fundamental understanding of the effect of fiber structure and basic characteristics of cotton on oil sorption capacity of unprocessed raw cotton. The work also examined the basic mechanisms behind oil absorption by non-woven cotton webs.

The conclusion is that non-woven cotton webs as oil absorbent have tremendous potential for application in real-time oil spill scenarios along with environmental sustainability and commercial acceptability. Fibertect is a nonwoven decontamination wipe. It is two non-woven cotton layers with the carbon in between. It is a three layer, inert, flexible, drapable, nonwoven composite substrate for absorbing and adsorbing chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals and pesticides.

Fibertect is self-contained and packaged for easy use, storage, and transport. Materials used in the outside layers may vary to provide both absorption and adsorption properties and multiple functional uses.