3 Future Oil-Spill Fighters: Sponges, Superbugs, and Herders
Sponges that sop up oil, "superbugs" that devour crude, and high-efficiency chemical herders are among emerging tech for battling spills.
Nearly four million gallons of oil have already spewed into the Gulf since the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig sank last month.
Amid efforts to cap the seafloor leak, cleanup workers have been using boat-based skimmers to pick up the oil, booms to gather the slick for burning, and chemical dispersants to break the crude into smaller droplets—all parts of the oil-fighting toolkit for decades.
(See pictures of the huge containment domes built to try and cap the oil leak.)
But options for cleaning up oily disasters may soon be more cutting-edge. New sponges, microbes, and chemicals are in development that could change the ways we