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‘Super-sponge’ to clean up oil spills

Scientists have created the ideal nontoxic ‘super-sponge’ for cleaning oil spills in the icy, turbulent waters of the Arctic, by chemically modifying sawdust to make it exceptionally oil-attracting and buoyant. 

“Most of today’s oil remediation materials are designed for warm water use,” said George Bonheyo, from the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The modified saw dust pulls double duty. It also enhances another approach to combatting oil spills - controlled burns.
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