The importance of oil-water separation processes is rapidly increasing in the modern industry. This family of processes, in fact, is of fundamental importance in solving problems in several industrial sectors, among which, for instance, are the management of oil spills, accidental industrial waste water dispersions, water treatment industry, engine fuel filtration and oil sand tailing technology. This paper, firstly, presents and discusses a biologically inspired design approach, based on biomimicry thinking (BT). Besides integrating linguistic tools and brainstorming within the BT approach, the importance of a stricter integration with the engineering context is also discussed. Secondly, the paper presents a practical application of this approach: design an innovative and sustainable oil-water separation device. In particular, the application of the proposed approach allowed identifying a bioinspired solution capable to improve the process performances in a device based on a known strategy. More in detail, the adopted bioinspired solution consists of a superoleophobic surface that mimics the microstructure of the filefish scale surface and eases the oil-water separation process by hindering oil drops deposition on some surfaces. The cost and resource effectiveness of the practical realisation of this surface greatly benefited by the latest advancements in the additive manufacturing field.

Biomimicry thinking: Methodological improvements and practical implementation

CREDI, CATERINA;LEVI, MARINELLA;ROSA, FRANCESCO;
2017

Abstract

The importance of oil-water separation processes is rapidly increasing in the modern industry. This family of processes, in fact, is of fundamental importance in solving problems in several industrial sectors, among which, for instance, are the management of oil spills, accidental industrial waste water dispersions, water treatment industry, engine fuel filtration and oil sand tailing technology. This paper, firstly, presents and discusses a biologically inspired design approach, based on biomimicry thinking (BT). Besides integrating linguistic tools and brainstorming within the BT approach, the importance of a stricter integration with the engineering context is also discussed. Secondly, the paper presents a practical application of this approach: design an innovative and sustainable oil-water separation device. In particular, the application of the proposed approach allowed identifying a bioinspired solution capable to improve the process performances in a device based on a known strategy. More in detail, the adopted bioinspired solution consists of a superoleophobic surface that mimics the microstructure of the filefish scale surface and eases the oil-water separation process by hindering oil drops deposition on some surfaces. The cost and resource effectiveness of the practical realisation of this surface greatly benefited by the latest advancements in the additive manufacturing field.
Bioinspired; Low-dimensional structures; Oleophobic; Biomaterials; Engineering (all)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1033064
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