Scientists develop sawdust into super sponge for oil spills

| Updated: Dec 13, 2016 20:31 IST

Washington.D.C [US], Dec. 13 (ANI): In a recent research, scientist have chemically modified sawdust to make it exceptionally oil-attracting and buoyant, characteristics that are ideal for cleaning oil spills in the icy, turbulent waters of the Arctic. Conducted at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the research shows that the nontoxic material absorbs up to five times its weight in oil and stays afloat for at least four months. "Most of today's oil remediation materials are designed for warm water use," said lead researcher George Bonheyo. "But as ice retreats in the Arctic Sea, fossil fuel developers are looking north, and we need new oil spill response methods that perform well in extreme conditions," added Bonheyo. "The chance of an oil spill in the Arctic is real," said fellow researcher Robert Jeters, adding, "We hope materials like our modified sawdust can help if an accident happens." (ANI)