New polymer sponge will one day clean up oil spills in the...

New polymer sponge will one day clean up oil spills in the ocean

Local residents carry baskets full of retrieved crude oil that spreded over a beach following the Friday's oil tanker accident in Mallipo beach, west of Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007. Some 2.7 million gallons of oil gushed Friday from a 146,000-ton Hong Kong-registered supertanker after a barge carrying a crane slammed into it about seven miles off Mallipo beach. The spill was the country's largest, involving twice as much oil as a spill in 1995. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

There is a new tool to clean up environmental damage thanks to Seth Darling at the Argonne National Laboratory Illinois. He has developed a material that absorbs up to 90 times its own weight in oil. This marvel can be reused over and over, which makes it a cheaper alternative to current solutions.

Current solutions can’t be reused after clean up and that is what makes this new innovation so spectacular. The Darling, which is made out of polyurethane, is also coated with silane molecules, which allows the sponge-like material to soak up oil with ease. The oil can then be squeezed out allowing you to use the sponge again.

The Darling is currently undergoing testing with the hope that it will be an alternative solution to cleaning up oil spills in the environment.