oil spill

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is investigating the source of oil discharged from a sewer pipe into the White River in Indianapolis. A fisherman contacted officials after seeing the oil along the river’s banks. 

Purdue Researchers: Sponges Can Soak Up Contaminants

Apr 5, 2016
Justin Weibel / Purdue University

Purdue University researchers have found a way to separate oil and other contaminants from water using materials you can find around the house. The discovery may lead to way to clean up environmental spills.

The scientists take melamine sponges similar to those found in cleaning pads or insulation then dip them into a solution of silicone rubber and hexane solvent. That creates a thin coating that repels water, and at the same time allows the sponges to absorb materials like oil, hydrocarbons, PCBs and some pesticides.