Directa Plus plc, a producer of graphene-based products for use in consumer and industrial markets, has entered into a collaboration with GSP SA, a Romanian oil and gas company, to evaluate the use of the company's Grafysorber® graphene-based product in the removal of hydrocarbons from contaminated water emanating from oil and gas activities. 

The companies have signed a binding letter of intent to conduct field trials with a view to entering into a commercial agreement during the first half of 2018.

Grafysorber’s 3D structure, made by graphene sheets, acts as a sponge to capture the hydrocarbons that contaminate the water. It has been demonstrated to be at least five times more effective than the technologies presently used for water decontamination, adsorbing more than 100 times its own weight of oily pollutant, Directa Plus reports.

Grafysorber is also said to be eco-sustainable: it is derived from a natural raw material (graphite), it is produced in a chemical-free process, the absorbed oil can be easily recovered to be recycled or disposed of separately, and Grafysorber is itself reusable and recyclable. 

Grafysorber can be used as loose material or within booms.

Under the terms of the agreement, GSP will commence on-field trials in early 2018 to explore multiple applications for Grafysorber across its range of activities in the oil and gas industry, which includes offshore drilling and construction, shipping, engineering, aviation, onshore facilities, logistics and catering. This will involve testing the absorbent capabilities of Grafysorber in decontaminating hydrocarbons from seawater and in the treatment of industrial water. 

The letter of intent also includes the potential purchase or renting by GSP of Directa Plus's Mobile Production Unit for the on-site production of Grafysorber.