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Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2018 Abstracts

Designing a Carbon Infiltration-Carbon Nanotube Filtration Device to Separate Oil from Fracking Waste

Brian Jensen; Phillip Ng, Brigham Young University

The purpose of this project is to invent a device capable of filtrating oil from fracking waste using a system of Carbon Infiltrated Carbon Nanotubes (CI-CNT) and its passive filtration properties. Fracking produces harmful waste material that pollutes clean water. A large-scale CI-CNT device that can filter large amounts of the microscopic oil particles from the waste will offer drilling companies a viable option to reuse the fracking mixture collected from after the fracking process instead of burying their unusable waste material underground, thereby causing less environmental damage. Pyrolytic CI-CNT’s can isolate water and oil molecules due to their superhydrophobic and oleophilic properties, unique cylindrical nanostructure, and functional groups. The CI-CNT’s will be grown on a stainless steel substrate that will give us the robustness and material properties needed to withstand the forces from fluid flow. We have designed a long channel with unique mechanical features that we anticipate will effectively separate oil from fracking waste as it interacts with it by splashing, rolling, and flowing across its surface.