Friday March 24, 2017
  • Beta Version
intellect logo

Home Greenovation SCIENTISTS MIGHT HAVE FINALLY FOUND THE ANSWER TO TACKLING MASSIVE OIL SPILLS!

SCIENTISTS MIGHT HAVE FINALLY FOUND THE ANSWER TO TACKLING MASSIVE OIL SPILLS!

INTELLECT DESK
SCIENTISTS MIGHT HAVE FINALLY FOUND THE ANSWER TO TACKLING MASSIVE OIL SPILLS!
Argonne postdoctoral researcher Ed Barry wrings out a sheet of Oleo Sponge during tests at Argonne.

Oil spills have always been a source of huge concern for the global ecosystem, ever since 1901. With the BP oil spill having only left the headlines, leaving behind a depressing trail of damaged marine life, scientists have been trying to develop ways of tackling these costly mishaps for ages. 

The Oleo Sponge, formulated by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, has the ability to soak up oil from water – not just the surface, but also pockets of oil underwater – a characteristic that is particularly useful because of phenomenon observed during the Deepwater Horizon spill: after the oil spill, instead of travelling to the surface of the water as bubbles where it can be burned and discarded, large pockets of oil were seen to be travelling underwater, damaging the ecosystem all the same. 

Moreover, the Oleo Sponge is re-useable. The absorbed oil can be wrung out, making both the oil and the sponge fit for use again – so with proper scaling of this revolutionary invention, not only can the spills be reversed, but the losses from spilled oil can also be recovered to some extent. 

On a smaller and more scalable scope, this sponge can also be used to routinely clean harbors and shipyards where oil and grease from passing ships regularly accumulate, polluting the water bit by bit. 

While oil spill sponges are not entirely new to the market, the scientists at Argonne coated the Oleo sponge with a thin layer of metal oxide primer near the foam's interior surfaces, an oil-loving molecule, allowing the sponge to soak up all oil in the vicinity, but not water. This automatically makes Oleo more efficient in the process. 

With further research, the scientists are confident that the same procedure can be used to develop sponges that can soak up almost any substance, depending on the kind of primer used for coating. The possibilities within laboratories itself for these products are endless. 

 

March 14, 2017
Kazifarms Kitchen

Recent Posts


DeNA FACES PLAGIARISM AND COPYRIGHT ALLEGATIONS

The Tokyo-based content distributor fails to “Delight” and “Impact the World”.

ALPHABET SUES UBER INC. FOR PATENT INFRINGEMENT

If the world needed to see more battles between corporate titans, Uber and Waymo had to start a row.

LETTUCE FROM LABS – THE FUTURE IS HERE

We stand in a time when manufacturing vegetables in bulk inside laboratories, devoid of soil sun and wind, is reality. But the question is, is this the future we...

5 HOUSING PROBLEMS THAT 3D PRINTED BUILDINGS CAN SOLVE!

In the 1980s, Chuck Hull of 3D Systems printed the first ever 3D object, an eye-wash cup. Today, you can opt to live in a full-fledged 3D printed house!

SCIENTISTS MIGHT HAVE FINALLY FOUND THE ANSWER TO TACKLING MASSIVE OIL SPILLS!

Argonne National Laboratory comes to the rescue with their revolutionary oil absorbent sponge.