Yes, you heard it right, new range of bikinis and swimsuits that clean the ocean are on the way. You can now do your bit for the environment by cleaning the ocean as you swim. In a gesture to contribute towards keeping the environment clean, the University of California has developed a material known as “Sponge” that will absorb all the oil spills and harmful chemicals from the oceans hence, making it cleaner.
This technology has been developed by professors Mihri and Cengiz Ozkan of UCLA along with PhD students Daisy Patino and Hamed Bay. Dr.Mihri Ozkan is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and her core area of research is inventing ways to clean up oceans. Her husband, Cengiz, on the other hand is Professor of Electrical engineering.
The sponge material is a reusable material produced from heated sucrose which is porous component that also has hydrophobic properties. So it absorbs harmful wastes and repels water. And since the pollutants are trapped in the pores of this material, there is no threat to the person wearing it. And the other good news is this material is not only environment friendly but is also pocket-friendly.
This material was then taken up by the designers at Eray Carbajo (Design and architecture firm), for the manufacture of the first swim-suit. The sponge has been made into 3D printable designs and is made up of a strong and flexible elastomer. This material can also be used to make other swimming accessories like caps, wet suits and trunks for men. So now you can now look stunning as you contribute to a cause!
This sponge swimsuit can take in up to 25 times of its original mass. The absorbed pollutants are then released by heating it at 1000 degree Celsius. This swimsuit can be used up to 20 times after which it will have to be replaced. The oceans are full of pollutants and although the sponge bikini may not make a huge contribution towards cleaning them up, this product can make a small difference and can be considered as a stepping stone towards making the world a cleaner place.