Scientists have manufactured a revolutionary material, which could save the earth from oil spills.
Above: This is a freestanding boron nitride membrane. Credit Deakin University
The ‘sponge,’ a the result of support from the Australian Research Council, after two years of refinement, is now ready to be trialed by industry.
Deakin Professor Ying (Ian) Chen, the lead author, said:
“The material was the most exciting advancement in oil spill clean-up technology in decades.
Oil spills are a global problem and wreak havoc on our aquatic ecosystems, not to mention cost billions of dollars in damage.
Everyone remembers the Gulf Coast disaster, but here in Australia they are a regular problem, and not just in our waters. Oil spills from trucks and other vehicles can close freeways for an entire day, again amounting to large economic losses.
But current methods of cleaning up oil spills are inefficient and unsophisticated, taking too long, causing ongoing and expensive damage, which is why the development of our technology was supported by the Australian Research Council.
“We are so excited to have finally got to this stage after two years of trying to work out how to turn what we knew was a good material into something that could be practically used.”
source Deakin University