New Reusable Sponge Material Can Absorb And Release Spilled Oil

Posted: Mar 14 2017, 2:57am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

New Reusable Sponge Material can Absorb and Release Spilled Oil
  • A Special Sponge-Like Material can Hold a Lot of Oil
  • It could revolutionize spill cleanup
 

Scientists have made a special sponge-like material that can hold onto a lot of oil. In fact, it can absorb 90 times its weight in oil which is amazing.

The experts have managed to construct a sponge which can take in 90 times its weight in oil. Thus a piece of this sponge can be used again and again for a 100 times. This may have future applications in the mopping up of oil spills. Oil spills, as everyone knows, are pesky and problematic to clean up. 

The issue is the separation of oil from water. This is a costly and tiring process that is tedious to boot. Usually a sorbent boom is employed. Sorbent booms can hold from 3 to 70 times their weight in the oil that has been spilled, according to NewScientist.

Yet they have a drawback which is that they can only be utilized once after which they are defunct for all purposes. Large quantities of these sorbent booms are required whenever there is an oil spill. Yet this novel material is a miracle in the making. It is not only more efficient but can be reused again and again. 

Made of polyurethane foam, the foam is in turn coated in silane which is a material that has an affinity for oil. The ratio of polyurethane to silane has to be very micro-measured in its nature. If the slightest mistake occurs, the effect is the opposite and the process is botched up in the end.

Research is still taking place regarding stabilizing this material so that it could be mass-produced in the future. With a bit of tweaking, this special and super-sensitive sponge could be the only thing needed to clean up oil spills in the times to come.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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