Menu

04 Oct 2012: New Cleanup Method Offers
Major Solution to Oil Spills, Study Claims

Scientists have developed a superabsorbent material they say offers a cost-effective way to remove, recover and clean up large oil spills. Writing in the journal Energy & Fuels, Pennsylvania State

Click to enlarge
Oil Spill Cleanup Method

NASA
The oil-SAP technology
University researchers Xuepei Yuan and T. C. Mike Chung describe a polymer material that they say can absorb 40 times its own weight in oil, transforming spilled material into a solid, oil-containing gel that is strong enough to be collected and transported to oil refineries for reprocessing. While many of the methods typically used to clean up oil spills — including booms, skimmers, burning, and the use of dispersants — waste most of the spilled oil and leave behind significant levels of environmental pollution, the scientists say their so-called polyolefin oil-SAP technology offers a potentially “complete solution” to dealing with oil spills. They say the material does not absorb water, is buoyant, and is relatively inexpensive. “Overall, this cost-effective new polyolefin oil-SAP technology shall dramatically reduce the environmental impacts from oil spills and help recover one of our most precious natural resources,” the authors wrote.


SEARCH


Donate to Yale Environment 360


ABOUT

Menu

SUPPORT E360

Menu

TOPICS

Menu

DEPARTMENTS

Menu

HOME PAGE

Menu