One of the greatest environmental problems is water contamination from oil leakages and also ocean contamination resulting from the exploitation of offshore oil fields. Natural polymers, notably chitosan, are reportedly successful in absorbing oil and grease dispersed in water. In the process of chemical absorption of oils, chitosan encases oil or fat droplets, thereby trapping them. Chitosan is a natural polysaccharide composed of repeat units of glucosamine resulting from the deacetylation of chitin, which is found in the cell walls of fungi and in the exoskeletons of insects and crustaceans. The purpose of this project is to synthesize microspheres of chitosan to test the degradation of petroleum products.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: