A New Reusable Sponge to combat ocean oil spill
Oleo Sponge, a newly created absorbent for cleaning up oil spills, ensures the environmental damage caused by Deepwater Horizon is never repeated.
The technology, designed by scientists at Argonne National Laboratory, is based on low-cost materials and processing and can capture 90 times its own weight in oil from both above and below the water’s surface, and is also reusable.
“What’s special about our technology is that we can extract the oil, either from the surface or from the water column, without creating any waste,” explained Seth B. Darling, the director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering at Argonne National Laboratory and the project lead on Oleo Sponge, in an interview with R&D Magazine.
It soaks up the oil, and then the oil can be recovered, which is also added value because that can be used and you can also reuse the sponge. This enables the industry to address a much larger spill incident with a small amount of the absorbent.
Pilot-scale tests of the Oleo Sponge were performed and it showed improved absorption capacity, selectivity, absorption rate and reusability.