Current Events: Oleo Sponge

A group of scientists at the Argonne National Laboratory located in Chicago, Illinois has created a sponge where its purpose is to clean up oil from an oil spill.

This sponge is made of polyurethane foam, while the interior surfaces are made up of oleophilic molecules to draw out oil from the water. (polyurethane foam is most commonly used in furniture, bedding and carpet underlay, and oleophilic means having a stronger attraction to oil than water.)

The Oleo Sponge was tested rigorously in a New Jersey saltwater research tank and tested the sponge against diesel and crude oil, both of the oils being under water, and on the surface. The sponge worked perfectly picking up all the oil.