Gardeners team up with scientists to market moss as 'oil sponge'

A Norwegian compost company has changed its tack after teaming up with scientists to exploit the super-absorbent qualities of its peat moss mixture.

moss - the perfect sponge?

moss - the perfect sponge?

The firm, Kallak Torvstrøfabrikk, is now marketing its peat moss mixture as a clean-up tool, pushing the value of its unusually good absorbent qualities for soaking up oil.

The moss was deployed to good effect last summer, when the Panama-registered Full City ran aground on the south-east coast of Norway, causing a major oil spill.

The project came about after the gardening products firm through a programme run by SINTEF, Scandanavia's biggest independent research organisation, which matches companies that have an idea but limited R&D experience with technical experts who can help them develop their products for market.

In this case, Kallak teamed up with scientists from SINTEF's Marine Environmental Technology department with the aim of testing different types of peat moss and documenting their properties.

The conclusions drawn from the testing programme were quite clear: the peat moss had excellent potential, as since its ability to take up oil was as good as, or in some cases even considerably better than, other products already available on the market.

Sam Bond


composting | oil spill


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