Companies using synthetic materials to clean up oil spills on land have been barking up the wrong tree.
Scientists have found dog fur is much more effective at cleaning up crude oil.
In the first comparison of natural and synthetic sorbents for land-based oil spills, sustainable and biodegradable options have won the day.
Mats made of recycled human and dog hair are more effective in mopping up the mess left behind by spilled oil from trucks, storage tanks, or leaking oil pipelines.
University of Technology Sydney’s Dr Megan Murray said the study also found dog fur and human hair products were better than peat moss, another method commonly used to clean up spills on hard land surfaces like highway roads, pavement, and sealed concrete floors.
“Based on this research, we recommend peat moss is no longer used for this purpose,” she said.
“Given that peat moss is a limited resource and harvesting it requires degrading wetland ecosystems, we think this is a very important finding.”Want to support our universities? No need to tear your hair out – just sign the petition to #KeepItClever now.