New sponge for cleaning harbor oil leaks has a successful real world test

Enlarge / “Seth Darling, Jeff Elam, Ed Barry conduct research experiments with the Oleo Sponge in Santa Barbara, California.” (credit: Argonne National Laboratory) In March 2017, Ars wrote about a new material that could soak up oil like a sponge. The so-called Oleo Sponge could be wrung out, the oil could be collected, and the […]

Your kitchen sponge is even more gross than you thought — here’s how often you should replace it

Shutterstock/correct pictures Sponges are the most bacteria-covered objects in most homes (more so than toilets), according to microbiologists. One recent study found even more microbial diversity on sponges than researchers expected. Sponge-cleaning methods like boiling and microwaving are less effective than most people think. If the dishes are stacking up in the sink, you’re probably reaching […]

Enceladus heats up because its core is like a sponge

Enlarge (credit: NASA/JPL/Caltech) On Earth, the heat that drives geology is partly leftover from the planet’s formation and partly the result of radioactive decay. For the smaller bodies of our Solar System, neither of these should be big factors. Yet many of them are geologically active, thanks to heat generated by gravitational interactions. Uneven gravitational […]

China is building 30 ‘sponge cities’ that aim to soak up floodwater and prevent disaster

Turenscape The Chinese government is building water-absorbent projects in 30 cities as part of its “sponge city initiative.” To date, the cities have received more than $ 12 billion for sponge projects. The effort faces several challenges, including China’s burgeoning municipal debt crisis and its current urban planning system. Like many places around the world, Chinese cities are considering ways to combat […]

Cleaning your dirty kitchen sponge may actually make things worse — here’s why

asadykov/Shutterstock The INSIDER Summary: Kitchen sponges are really gross and microwaving them won’t make things better. A new study found that sponges that have been sanitized regularly are actually at more risk for bacteria growth. The solution? Just buy new sponges every couple of weeks. Kitchen sponges are pretty gross, since they do the hard work […]

Oleo sponge invented at Argonne National Laboratory can sop up oil in a spill

Mark Lopez/Argonne National Laboratory A group of researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory have developed a sponge that will collect oil from bodies of water, which could improve how harbors and ports are cleaned, as well as how oil spills are managed. The Oleo Sponge is made of a polyurethane foam whose interior surfaces are […]