Dr. William Belisle, Director for Grants and Sponsored Programs at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO), has received his third patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The invention, entitled “Gulf Oil Spill Underwater Oleophilic Hydrophobic Oil-capturing Water Permeable Drag-net,” is made of a porous oil-capturing, water-repelling and water-permeable net that can be dragged vertically through oil spills to remove oil.
The mesh-like material is made from threads and wires knotted, twisted and woven to form a pattern with fine spaces between the threads. Each strand of the metal, plastic, wire and fiber net-type material is made and covered with organic and inorganic Oleophilic hydrophobic and superhydrophobic, oil-attracting and oil-bonding molecules, materials or sorbents. The drag-net collects large amounts of oil from spill areas and reduces the negative impact on the water and its shores.
“This is another patent-protected product to be marketed for procurement through the State of Louisiana and private companies in the near future,” Dr. Belisle said. “We envision this new ‘green’ technology to be considered for use in future oil-spill related situations. It will also be used in research and development, student training, and contribute to Louisiana economic development.”
Dr. Belisle previously received patents for the first patented motorcycle airbag system in 2000, and a device used to magnetically elevate and then manipulate floating objects in 2004.