Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

Levelling Latin America
Mining innovation can bring more sustainable and inclusive growth, especially across the Americas…

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All headlines
  • A mystery source is producing banned ozone-destroying chemicals
  • Water filter inspired by Alan Turing passes first test
  • Scientists transplant memory from one snail to another
  • In an interplanetary first, NASA to fly a helicopter on Mars
  • Facebook privacy: Europe to press Zuckerberg
  • Israeli researchers abuzz about orgasmic fruit flies
  • New oil spill clean-up 'sponge' created from waste
    A new floating material that acts like a 'sponge' with the potential to soak up oil spills has been developed by a team of researchers led by Flinders University in Australia. The polymer is made from used cooking oil and sulphur, a by-product of the petroleum industry, and can absorb oil floating on the ocean's surface.

    The researchers say the polymer can be added directly to the oil where it aggregates and allows cleaners to scoop it up with a net. The polymer can also be packed into a filter and pump the oil-water mixture through it. The clean water is returned to the sea and the oil remains on the polymer.

    The water-repelling properties of the polymer give it great potential to be deployed in ocean clean-ups. Moreover, because of its sponge-like properties, the material can be reused numerous times, the researchers say. Because the material is made from waste products, it has the added benefit of being relatively cheap to produce.

    ABC News / Advanced Sustainable Systems    April 19, 2018