Patent number 8765660 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "One or more of the embodiments described herein relate to methods for removing a surfactant from a surfactant-containing polar solid.
"Surfactants are commonly used for a variety of applications, including being used as, for example, cleaning agents, biocides, and chemical processing agents for the creation of mesoporous solids. Surfactants, particularly cationic surfactants, are known to strongly adhere to polar solid surfaces, especially solid surfaces having cation exchange capacity. As a result, surfactants can be particularly difficult to remove from polar solids. Even though advances have been made in the art of surfactant removal, improvements are still needed to more effectively remove surfactants from polar solids."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "One embodiment of the present invention concerns a method for removing a surfactant from a polar solid. This particular method comprises contacting a surfactant-containing porous polar solid with an initial extraction agent under conditions sufficient to remove at least a portion of the surfactant from the pores of the surfactant-containing polar solid. In such an embodiment, the initial extraction agent can comprise water and a salt.
"Another embodiment of the present invention concerns a method for removing a surfactant from a mesoporous zeolite. This particular method comprises: (a) contacting a surfactant-containing mesoporous zeolite with an initial extraction agent under conditions sufficient to remove at least a portion of a cationic surfactant from the pores of the surfactant-containing mesoporous zeolite to thereby provide a treated mesoporous zeolite and a surfactant-containing extraction agent, wherein the initial extraction agent comprises water, a salt, and a polar organic compound and is capable of at least partially solubilizing the cationic surfactant, wherein the surfactant-containing extraction agent comprises at least a portion of the water, at least a portion of the salt, at least a portion of the polar organic compound, and at least a portion of the cationic surfactant initially present in the pores of the surfactant-containing mesoporous zeolite; and (b) separating the treated mesoporous zeolite from the surfactant-containing extraction agent to thereby provide a recovered mesoporous zeolite and a spent extraction agent, wherein the weight ratio of the amount of the cationic surfactant present in the pores of the recovered mesoporous zeolite to the amount of the cationic surfactant present in the pores of the surfactant-containing mesoporous zeolite is not more than 0.9:1."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Li, Kunhao; Speronello, Barry. Separation of Surfactants from Polar Solids. U.S. Patent Number 8765660, filed
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