The sponge is 97% effective at separating water and oil
Chinese researchers have developed an artificial sponge that can separate oil and water, a tool that can likely be used to treat industrial wastewater.
The sponge itself is comprised of nano-crystalline cellulose and graphene composite. Liu Dongyan, a researcher from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, claims the invention is 97% effective at separating water and oil, and also feels the sponge can be an affordable alternative for industrial wastewater treatment.
Liu claims the base material for the polyurethane sponge is cost-effective, and only the graphene found in the coating will pose financial issues that can be remedied.
“With the increase in graphene production, the price will gradually decrease,” she said.
The research was published in Advanced Material Interfaces, and follows another progressive discovery by Chinese scientists in October involving an electricity-based method of wastewater cleaning.