NOV 01, 2018 8:00 AM PDT

Oil Absorbing Sponge Made from Wood

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

 

It has been eight years since the crude oil spill in the Mexico Gulf, but the shadow of aquatic petroleum contamination has never been far away. To battle this hard-to-clean-up environmental mess, scientists in China have come up with a novel wood-based material that can sponge away oil.

A piece of wood is nothing like a sponge. But using a light-weight, tropical wood material, the researchers removed its lignin and hemicellulose content via a chemical treatment and obtained a flexible, hollow, and lamella cellulose structure. After coating the interior of the wood sponge with hydrophobic molecules,  the grease magnet can selectively absorb 41 gram of oil versus 1 gram of water. Also, the sponge is highly reusable-- simply apply compression, the trapped content would be squeezed out and it is ready to soak up more oil.

Source: ACS via Youtube

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
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