Hyper-Absorbant Peat Moss Could Clean Up Oil Spills Like Louisiana’s

by , 04/30/10

green materials, pollution, pollution cleanup, peat moss, oil spills, sustainable design

A tiny Norwegian company has developed a super absorbent organic peat moss that is capable of cleaning up oil floating on water. The peat is scattered on the spill and absorbs the oil, and, because it doesn’t absorb water, it can then simply be scooped out — taking the toxic oil with it.

green materials, green design, sustainable design, oil spills, louisiana, pollution, pollution cleanup

Kallak Torvstrøfabrikk‘s three staff members work with peat moss for gardeners, but when they observed how absorbent this particular type was, they started looking for other uses. The Norwegian government then got interested and tried using the peat moss to clean up an oil spill that was washing up on protected land. It worked. The moss hasn’t undergone large-scale marine trials. But maybe we ought to give it — or some other organic material — a whirl before we light the coast of Louisiana on fire.

+ Kallak Torvstrøfabrikk

Via ScienceDaily

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  1. Uncle Green Thumbb October 12, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Peat Moss Re-Generates naturally at 60 times the rate that it is harvested annually from open bogs in Canada. These Bogs are Vacuum Harvested and in General have met Sustainability requirements set by Veriflora. Please don’t assume that Coco Fiber (Coir) has the same properties as Sphagnum Peat. Sphagnum is Hydro Phobic and will not initially absorb water but will absorb Hydro Carbons. These combined elements can be disposed of either in Land Fills due to the Ionic Bond formed with the chemicals/oil and the Peat. Or the Peat/Hydro Carbon “Mud” can be incinerated.

  2. mrspugh35 October 18, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I am doing research on this for a biology class. How should I dispose of the peat moss after the experiment?

  3. peatsorbtoo June 27, 2010 at 9:58 am

    @pattypeatmoss: We used to be a distributor for Peat Sorb until we sold our business. We still have a couple of pallets of different Peat Sorb stock and would love to make you a deal on it if you are interested.

  4. dr. browne June 8, 2010 at 11:03 am

    By the way, “weo” is BlackBerry-speak (the Alt key for digits doesn’t seem to get picked up by the site here) for “120” years for peat moss to grow back. PLEASE re-think the concept of harvesting one percent of peat moss as being okay: that’s akin to saying it’s okay for one percent of your body to have cancer.

  5. Dr. Browne June 7, 2010 at 10:34 am

    PLEASE consider sustainable coir (coconut fiber) \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\”peat\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\” instead of peat moss. Peat moss takes weo years to grow back, while coconut fiber is harvested from coconut shells which grow annually. Coir is so super-absorbent naturally. For more on peat bog education (no donations are solicited), see: http://www.green-usa.org.

  6. Pattypeatmoss May 22, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    There is already a product like this available called Peat Sorb.tm. With all the same characteristics. I have been a distrubutor for 13 years. It comes from a company called Zorbit Technologies, in Canada. So if you are going to use a peat product, use the best!

  7. Claude May 13, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Good day,

    First of all, peat that is harvested in Canada repredent less then 1% of what is naturaly growing. So, in Canada the peat is accumulaing.

    If you are interested to discuss the idea to use peat to absorb oil, just let me know there huge volume of dry peat available.

  8. esfera May 4, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Very interesting.
    But I do have a similar product, and I bet this one is not as effective, neither cheaper, neither easier to transport, neither environmentally friendly as mine. And can be produced EVERYWHERE, not jus on a factory.
    I’ve submitted the idea to be evaluated.
    Let’s see.

  9. metis May 4, 2010 at 12:41 am

    brilliant, use a resource that’s a finite resource (or at least generally harvested at rates faster than it regenerates for many kinds of peat moss) to clean up the mess from another non-renewable resource…

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