Oil spills happen all over the world, both on land and in the ocean. Although the oil comes from a natural source, it's considered pollution and wreaks havoc on the ecosystem it leaks into and the wildlife that inhabits it.
Cleaning up oil spills is often a challenging task because many spread quickly and cover a vast region. There are several cleanup methods, ranging from burning to dispersing to skimming, but another way we can clean them up is through materials known as sorbents.
This 14-year-old has been working on an environmentally-friendly sorbent to replace some of the not-so-environmentally-friendly options that get used today, and her research led her to test varying types of biodegradable pieces of fruit that are often discarded after the sweets get eaten.
Among those, banana peels, citrus peels, and even pomegranate husks were tested. Both orange peels and pomegranate husks proved to be the most efficient, capable of absorbing as much as three times their weight in oil.
More interestingly, these materials could be reusable, which means not only are they environmentally friendly, but they're cost-effective too.
From our point of view, it looks like she might be onto something!