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.
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.