SR-16 resin beads are derived from a macroporous polymer specially engineered to selectively capture surfactant molecules used to form stable oil emulsions and detergent cleaners. Surfactants bind in such a way that the pore walls become hydrophobic and adsorb the destabilized oil droplets from the surrounding liquid phase. This two step process removes both emulsifier and oil components from the emulsion mixture leaving clean water behind.
An unprecedented level of control at the molecular level is achieved by now having the capability to activate "switch on" or deactivate "switch off" an adsorbent substrate with the "flip of a switch." This opens up a number of possibilities for separations, remediation, and recycling of surfactant-containing mixtures. Furthermore, this reversible adsorption strategy may be applied to any chemical of interest capable of incorporating into its structure the handle required to interact with the Surfanetix adsorbent system.