Sciencescience

Tue Mar 7, 2017, 09:10 AM

Sponge can soak up and release spilled oil hundreds of times

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, 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.

More interesting info at link: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2123391-sponge-can-soak-up-and-release-spilled-oil-hundreds-of-times/

Science, man..dig it. What a wonderful invention. I hope they can get in out there for use, successfully.

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Reply Sponge can soak up and release spilled oil hundreds of times (Original post)
Daves Not Here Man Mar 2017 OP
rampartb Mar 2017 #1

Response to Daves Not Here Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 7, 2017, 09:55 AM

1. looks like another victory for our federally funded scientists and the department of energy

now we can give it to a political donor who can sell it back to us.

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