Material made from citrus fruit peel could help clean up oil spills

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    Material made from citrus fruit peel could help clean up oil spills
    Pomelos are similar to grapefruits

    Pomelos are similar to grapefruits

    Moment RF/Getty

    By Chelsea Whyte

    Unwanted citrus fruit peel could be re-purposed into ultra-light sponges that can clean up oil spills, while also reducing food waste.

    Fengzhi Tan at Dalian Polytechnic University in China gathered the discarded peel of pomelos, a large citrus fruit similar to a grapefruit. They chipped off the yellow skin, leaving only the spongy pith, which they ground and dried into a powder.

    Then they added a liquid silicon-based compound and heated it to 80°C for 12 hours and then 60°C for 24 hours to turn it into an aerogel – …

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