When oil spills onto bodies of land or water, you can use various materials for spill response. You can use absorbents, granular absorbents, a spill kit, silt curtain, and other equipment. A few months ago, however, scientists from a U.S. laboratory developed a new spill response device to efficiently and cost-effectively clean up oil spills.
The developed device is a foam sponge that has proven to be effective in absorbing spilt oil. In fact, it has been touted to soak up to 90 times its weight. Additionally, the sponge can squeeze out the absorbed oil, allowing for multiple hundreds of reuse. Such a feature defeats current absorbents that can only be used once.
Proven and Tested
Polyurethane-coated foam makes up the oil sponge. It comes with a layer of silane molecules which attracts the oil to the sponge. To measure the sponge’s effectiveness in large spills, the scientists conducted a controlled experiment. The sponges proved to be better oil-cleaning devices than untreated foam or the conventional absorbents.
Implications of Innovation
With the new oil spill clean-up device, rigs, shipping, and warehouses near offshore operations can store the foam to be ready for any oil spill. Hopefully, the foam can prove effective in cleaning up oil particularly near shores where clean-up usually face difficulty. The foam still has to be tested for deep sea applications as well.
The new sponge comes as a great innovation in the face of destructive oil spills all over the world. Even small isolated incidents here in Australia can do its fair share of damage to the environment. With the new sponge, you can quickly clean up oil spills the moment they happen, of course, provided you have the new sponge nearby.
Since the innovative sponge remains in further development, for now, you can still rely on commercial spill response consumables and equipment. An Australian supplier can easily provide you with the consumables and equipment you need to keep the environment safe from dangerous oil or chemical spills.