A new material can absorb up to 90 times its own weight in oil

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and then be squeezed out like a sponge and reused


A new material can absorb up to 90 times its own weight in spilled oil and then be squeezed out like a sponge and reused, raising hopes for easier clean-up of oil spill sites.

This contrasts with most commercial products for soaking up oil, called “sorbents”. These are generally only good for a single use, acting like a paper towel used to mop up a kitchen mess and then tossed away. The discarded sorbents and oil are then normally incinerated.

But what if the oil could be recovered and the sorbent reused? The new material, created by Seth Darling and his colleagues at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, seems to allow for both of these processes, cutting waste.

The oil sponge consists of a simple foam made of polyurethane or polyimide plastics and coated with “oil-loving” silane molecules with a sweet spot for capturing oil. Too little chemical attraction would render the sponge useless as an absorber, whereas too much would mean the oil could not be released.

In laboratory tests (external - login to view), the researchers found that when engineered with just the right amount of silane, their foam could repeatedly soak up and release oil with no significant changes in capacity.

But to determine whether this material could help sort out a big spill in marine waters, they needed to perform a special large-scale test.


https://www.newscientist.com/article...tent=OILSPONGE (external - login to view)

https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0308092505.htm (external - login to view)
What a grand discovery, Loc...........hope it fulfills its promise. Good share.
Useful for those messy spills at the dinner table. Just don't let it get near a glass of water or it'll suck it dry.
Curious Cdn
Float little spheres of it on marine oil spills, then scoop them up in nets, when they're full. You could drop the stuff from helicopters onto big slicks.
lone wolf
I can think of a few grease balls I'd like to try it on.....
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