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Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/05/2010 7:01 PM

Several years ago NASA tested human hair for cleaning up an oil spill. News articles said it worked very well. Why hasn't any government agency stockpiled hair pads for a spill emergency? Does hair deteriorate over a few years? Does hair need a special storage environment? Are there other problems that make it less effective than first announced. A nation wide hair collection drive is starting, so we will see first hand how good hair is at cleaning up an oil spill. I hope this effort helps the Gulf spill clean up.

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#1

Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/05/2010 10:57 PM

References?

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#2
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Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/06/2010 1:27 AM

Here's one. This is better.

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#3
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Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/06/2010 3:32 AM

Coooeeee.
Wondered where you wus.
Yeah, all well and good.
BTW. How do we get that damn oil off our fur?
Del

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#5
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Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/06/2010 4:21 AM

I dunno about you, but I mop it up with newborn kittens

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#7
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Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/06/2010 4:40 AM

Oh your in big trouble now
Del <scampers of to tell ER of you>

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#9
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Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/06/2010 6:31 AM

In my (vast) experience, newborn kittens have not a lot of hair and what they do have doesn't absorb very much of anything; good intelligent design* there to help the mums clean 'em up after that nasty messy birth thing.

I have found that the belly fur of most species of squirrel is remarkable effective at soaking up oil. I have a stock of squirrel-fur gloves for just this purpose.

Del-el....fresh salmon, kitty? Better than the tinned sort...

*Just for Roger...

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#10
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Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/06/2010 3:28 PM

It's so annoying when a hyphon slips to one side. I'm waiting on the couch (as usual), wiv my lickle hairless palms in the air

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#4

Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/06/2010 3:43 AM

So that explains where all my hair has been going. Gremlins steal it in the night and stockpile it and recycled pantyhose into oil booms. We baldies love to have our existence validated.

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#6
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Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/06/2010 4:25 AM

From 1st link I gave;

"The San Francisco-based environmental non-profit has been making the booms to clean up oil spills since 1998"

Yeah.....'somebody' is collecting DNA or checking for drug use. That's why they started in San Francisco

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#8
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Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/06/2010 6:27 AM

Has anyone warned vermin?

Mind you, they'd have to catch the little bouncer first...and Mo wold have something to say, I'm sure!

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#11

Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/06/2010 10:31 PM

Large amounts of various animal hair and feathers, even chitin from shrip and lobster waste are pretty much a waste byproduct. The biggest problem with human hair is the logistics of collection from barber shops at a few pounds per day. I feel human hair is not an economically viable absorbent for oil spills. They have synthetic fibers that are very lyophilic and fooating rollers of them mop up oil and they are then squeezed to remove the oil. They even use belts that loop in the water and absorb the oil and they get wrung out and re-immersed. clay basedSinking agents also work, they make the oil heavier than water and it goes to the bottom, they add trace nutrients to the clay to spur bacterial growth.

Slowest to degrade is anaerobic pockets of oil under rocks etc,

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#12

Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/06/2010 10:49 PM

Back in the sixties there was this slogan I remember. It was more aimed at us long haired beatniks and finds a new meaning today.

"Keep America clean, take a hair cut"

How it comes in waves, this funny life of hours.

Time to change the title of the painting above to:

"Focused under pressure"

Me missus still has a foot of my cut off Goldie locks somewhere, were do I send it?

Hope all goes well, no pun intended, Ky.

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#13

Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/06/2010 11:28 PM

There are are other absorbents that are cheaper, more readily available, available in much larger quantities, easier to use and to manufacture than collecting hair and using it. The most readily available and cheapest is the use of expanded polypropylene. see- http://images.newpig.com/wcsstore/NewPigUSCatalogAssetStore/Attachment/documents/msds/MSD016.pdf

This works much better since it doesn't absorb water, is available in many more configurations and doesn't need special handling. The booms are used to contain and absorb, the pads are used to absorb, etc.

Having worked with both human hair several times and the polypropylene type hundreds of times, it is my opinion that human hair just doesn't compare. The polyproplyene has a much higher absorbance rate per weight of absorbant and also a higher absorbance rate per volume or absorbant.

About the only oilbased product it doesn't do extremely well with is tar balls that contain a high amount of sand. For that the poly "pom poms" work better for shore line work.

Also the manufacturers of these products can make it much faster and in larger quantities than humans can grow hair.

For more information see- http://www.newpig.com

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#16
In reply to #13

Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/07/2010 11:45 AM

Very informative answer and a GA in my opinion. the engineered products usually work better because they are designed to do just that one job well. I have managed contractors performing a few small soil remediation projects for the mill I work at. These are usually done on soil dug from underneath oil tanks with small floor leaks that went un discovered for several years.

The basic remediation process of cleaning the oil from the soil was done by stacking layers of contaminated soil, sweet grass hay and nitrogen fertilizer and keep stacking in layers until all the bad soil is used and the whole thing is covered with a layer of thick black plastic with the circular attic vents installed to vent the process heat off while the bugs eat the oil out of the soil. I took about 10 -12 months before the soil tested to be oil free and reintroduced into the environment.

Is there a way to do remediation of water contaminated with oil without first getting the slick to shore and then remediating the contaminated sand onshore?

I was thinking about an adaptation of a device like we use for evaporating water from soap, black liquor and tall oil in the paper mill where I work. Distilling the water from the oil and salt would purify the water but it would also dry the oil so it could be used to fuel a boiler to supply steam for the process and reduce the cost of the project.

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#17
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Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/09/2010 10:21 PM

If the amount of oil on the water is small the best way to remove it is to place polyproplene pads (they float on water but absorb oil) on the mixture and let the poly absorb the oil. When they are saturated you remove them with the oil contained in them. If they become saturated you remove them and place fresh pads on the oil/water and continue on till you have removed all the oil off the water.

If the amount of oil is larger it is common to do what they are doing in the Gulf now. You use flotation booms (sometimes called "corraling booms") to contain the oil on the water and place a skimmer within the oil slick. This amounts to a continuous belt that is partially submerged in the oil/water. It lifts the oil off the water, squeezes the belt to remove the oil, places the removed oil in a container and rotates back down to the oil/water mixture to pick up some more. Small versions of this are used in machine shops to remove cutting oil off of water, large versions are boats several hundred feet long.

Another method is called "In-Situ" or "in-place" removal. This is usually done to remove oil from ground water located under dirt. It all depends what the parameters of the oil, water, soil, location, available services, etc. are. The EPA has alot of information on this. Their site for this is http://www.epa.gov/oswer/cleanup/science.htm and use the search term "in-situ". There are many listed methods including burning the oil off of the water but that isn't a very efficient method.

An example of the belt skimmer, small size, is at http://www.mcmaster.com/#oil-skimmers/=70s6ly

There are many methods available, just depends on the problem and the depth of the pocket book. Do some searches on the EPA web site to start your creative mind churning. If I can be of any further help don't hesitate to contact me.

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#14

Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/07/2010 4:00 AM

What about stockpiling sheep wool. They're trying to breed sheep that moult because it costs more to shear them than they get for the wool.

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#15

Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

05/07/2010 8:57 AM

It is already in the works.

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#18

Re: Absorb Oil with Human Hair

10/10/2010 5:33 PM

Matter of Trust is working on it. matteroftrust.org is where u can find info. Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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