U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Date of this Version



Published in Chem. Eng. Technol. (2011) 34:12, 1989–1996. DOI: 10.1002/ceat.201100353


Sugarcane bagasse was partially acetylated to enhance its oil-wicking ability in saturated environments while holding moisture for hydrocarbon biodegradation. The water sorption capacity of raw bagasse was reduced fourfold after treatment, which indicated considerably increased hydrophobicity but not a limited capability to hold moisture for hydrocarbon biodegradation. Characterization results by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and surface area analyzer suggested that treated bagasse exhibited enhanced hydrophobicity and surface area. Oil wicking test results indicate that treated bagasse is more effective in wicking oil from highly saturated environments than raw bagasse and suggest that application of this material in remediation of oil spills in highly saturated wetlands is promising.