Hydrophobic / hydrophilic, oleophobic / oleophilous treatment
As we have seen, plasmochemical processing is a very versatile technology and can be used to modify the surface characteristics of innumerable materials.
In particular, in this case special absorbent sponges were treated in order to give them an oleophilic-oleophobic character.
The results of this treatment can be observed in the videos below (Courtesy of UNIBA).
Untreated sponge: It can be noted that the simple sponge allows the passage of both water and red oil.
Treatment 1: In this case, a surface modification treatment was carried out by means of plasma such as to allow the sponge only the passage of red oil and not water (hydrophobic and oleophilous).
Treatment 2: In this case a surface modification treatment was carried out via plasma to allow the sponge to absorb the oil. We can observe how in a mixture of water and red oil, the sponge is able to absorb only the oil.
This property can be very useful to clean the sea in case of spills of crude oil. In fact, in this way it is possible to attract a certain amount of hydrocarbons and impregnate them in the treated sponge, and then wring them out, making available the absorbed oil.