This incredible sponge can soak up oil spills from the ocean
Scientists have created a sponge which can soak up oil spills and the best thing is, it’s reusable.
The research team at the Argonne National Laboratory in the US said the sponge can soak up over 90 times its weight in oil and petroleum products and can be wrung out after use to be used again. The recovered oil can also be used.
The Oleo Sponge also has the ability to collect oil under the surface, which could be a game-changer for clearing up after large-scale incidents like the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010.
The revolutionary new technology was tested successfully in a giant seawater tank at the National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility in New Jersey.
“The material is extremely sturdy. We've run dozens to hundreds of tests, wringing it out each time, and we have yet to see it break down at all,” said co-inventor Seth Darling, a scientist with Argonne's Centre for Nanoscale Materials.
Now the sponge is proven, the team is looking to commercialise it. The makers say it could have uses beyond cleaning up oil slicks, like keeping harbours clean of oil and diesel residue.