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New Queen's study offers environmentally friendly solution to oil industry needs

p, non-toxic and environmentally benign: the CO2 can be recycled material from power plants.

"You can do this over and over, timing it for exactly when you want the switch to occur," Dr. Jessop notes. And when the surfactant is turned off, causing oil and water to separate, the now-clean water may be returned to its source or recycled.

The new surfactant builds on Dr. Jessop's discovery last year of "switchable solvents" that change their properties when alternately exposed to carbon dioxide and nitrogen, making it possible to re-use the same solvent for multiple steps in a chemical process.

"Right now there are big separation problems causing enormous headaches in the oil industry," says Dr. Jessop. "If 'green chemistry' can solve these problems, then the environment benefits and companies profit financially as well. It's very much a win-win situation."


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Contact: Nancy Dorrance
dorrance@post.queensu.ca
613-533-2869
Queen's University
17-Aug-2006


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