4 07 2010

An excerpt from a Globe and Mail article on how peat moss could be used to clean up the Gulf oil spill, with bold-face emphasis added by me:

Earth Care [a firm based in Edmonton] makes something called “Sphag Sorb,” which is basically a dehydrated type of peat called sphagnum moss. Some of the largest concentrations of sphagnum moss in Canada are found in marshes and bogs located around Vilna, Alta., about 150 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.

The moss acts as a remarkable absorbent, capable of soaking up everything from crude oil to gasoline, anti-freeze and some acids, Mr. Greaves said. And, once the moss is saturated, the oil doesn’t leak out and is broken down by microbes inside the moss. One pound of Sphag Sorb can soak up about four pounds of oil.


But so far, the product hasn’t been put to much use in the cleanup effort. Mr. Greaves blames bureaucratic hold-ups and BP’s insistence on selling as much of the leaked oil as possible. “BP contacted us and wanted to know if they can retrieve the oil once our product has absorbed it,” Mr. Greaves said. “Unfortunately, they cannot.”

If BP could have cleaned up the oil spill faster, but is holding back because they want to try to actually sell all the oil they have spilled, well… words fail me.




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