Waste Paper Might be the New Oil Spill Cleaner
Each year, the United States alone gathers around 71.6 million tons of paper waste each year. Even though we know that there is a good portion of it that’s going to be reused and recycled, there is still a vast amount of discarded paper that is never recycled/reused.
So it’s really a good thing that a European research project team is finding another way to use paper waste as a whole. It might not be as green as direct recycling, but it sure is still “green” in another way. They are currently looking into the possibility of using paper waste as a material to clean oil spills.
Researchers from the Technology, Environmental and Logistics Centre (TEC Ltd.) in Slovenia have developed a special material from paper mill sludge that can be efficiently used to soak up oil spills. It is called as the CAPsorb, and this absorbent material is reported to be capable of extracting more than 99% of any liquid hydrophobic material that floats on top of water such as oil slicks. Development of the project became possible through the financing that is partly provided by the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) Eco-Innovation Project’s Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation.
According to the source article, Marko Lion, the former CEO of TEC already had in mind the important link that bound waste paper and oil spills together. The theme of the development idea for CAPsorb circled around the possibility of obtaining value from something that was largely considered as an end waste product. Indeed, by reusing paper waste in bulk quantities, not only are they able provide environmental benefit through recycling, but they have also achieved environmental safety by using it to lessen the ecological impact of an industrial tragedy (the oil spill).
Though the CAPsorb would be primarily used on ports and marinas like any other oil spill cleaning material, it can also actually be used on land. Like a regular sponge, you can lay it down on hard surfaces so that it can soak up various spilled substances. In addition, for every 1 kg of the material, you can absorb up to 4 kg of any spilled substance.
Most of the waste material coming from paper mills cannot be directly recycled, reused or reprocessed. That is why they usually go straight to the landfill when they are disposed. But when they are reused as oil spill absorbent material, not only are we able to find use for it, but we have also indirectly helped protect the environment and preserved a considerable amount of land space (that would have been used to dump the the paper mill sludge).
Reasons to JOIN US include:
- It's absolutely FREE!
- Get Green Tips You MUST know about.
- How to's on going green, saving money, and having fun.
- Keep up-to-date on our posts in cased you missed them.