Skip to main content

Biopolymer-based membranes: green technologies for the separation of oil–water mixtures and the reduction of oil pollution


Purification of water resources from petroleum products is one of the most important ways of preserving the environment on Earth. Green technologies and eco-friendly materials have received increased interest from researchers. Here, we describe aerogel and textile biopolymer-based membranes for the separation of different oil–water mixtures. Methods of obtaining, the properties of hydrophilic and hydrophobic membranes are presented. Hydrophilic textile membranes can separate oil–water mixtures according to the principles of water filtration and are characterized by a higher water flux than aerogel membranes. The properties of cotton textile membranes with high hydrophilicity modified by polysaccharide microgels (Biomicrogels®) under the trademark Spilltex® are presented. The flow of purified water through the membrane is more than 4 times higher than that for similar membranes. The ecological impact of oil utilization technologies in oil–water mixtures is described. The influence of decomposition, evaporation, biodegradation, and combustion of petroleum products on environmental pollution is considered. The use of membranes in oil production via water purification from hydrocarbons can reduce the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Graphical abstract

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14
Fig. 15
Fig. 16
Fig. 17
Fig. 18
Fig. 19
Fig. 20
Fig. 21
Fig. 22


Download references


The authors thank senior process engineer Kudryavtsev MD from SPC BioMicroGeL Lls company for conducting of industrial tests of Spilltex® membranes, process engineer Yakovleva EA from SPC BioMicroGeL Lls company for conducting laboratory tests of membrane regeneration, designer Khrushcheva KO from SPC BioMicroGeL Lls company, senior designer Bulatova AM and art Director Ozornin IV from Biomicrogel company Ltd their help in preparing illustrations.


The authors declare that no funds, grants, or other support were received during the preparation of this manuscript.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Vladimir M. Kuimov.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kuimov, V.M., Kryazhov, A.N., Yagupov, A.I. et al. Biopolymer-based membranes: green technologies for the separation of oil–water mixtures and the reduction of oil pollution. Clean Techn Environ Policy (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI:


  • Biopolymer-based membranes
  • Water treatment
  • Polysaccharide microgels (Biomicrogels®)
  • Spilltex®