Case 14336

Magnetic Colloid Petroleum Oil Clean-Up of Surface, Depth, and Shores


Petroleum oil clean-up, magnetic nanoparticles, oil spills


Petroleum oil clean-up, removing oil contamination


Oil spill contamination cannot be cleaned rapidly and completely from varied enviroments.


Ferrofluids are colloidal dispersions of magnetic nanoparticles that can be manipulated with an external magnetic field. This invention proposes to apply ferrofluidic principles to the mitigation of oil contamination of solids (wetlands), water surfaces and water sub-surfaces. The particle size, surfaces and dispersants can all be optimized for stabilizing oil removal, collectability and water purification.

  • This method has the potential for rapid development and deployment
  • Allows for the capture of oil from contaminated surfaces remotely, without direct contact with the surface.

  • Professor T. Alan Hatton (Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT)
  • Professor Markus Zahn (Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT)
  • Shahriar Rohinton Khushrushahi (Research Laboratory of Electronics, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

US Patent Application Number 13/369338, filed on February 9, 2012

PCT Patent Application Number PCT/US2012/024958, filed on February 14, 2012



Last revised: April 29, 2013

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