Modified sponge mops up oil but not water

In an effort to provide a cheap, reusable method to clean up water after oil and chemical spills, Tanmay Das and Debasish Haldar of the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Kolkata, coated a polystyrene sponge with a compound that allows it to absorb a wide range of oil and organic solvents but not water (ACS Omega 2017, DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.7b01379). Watch this video to see the oil-mopping sponge in action: blob:

Chemical & Engineering News, 27 November 2017 ;