A group of University of Central Florida students has developed super high-tech sponges to clean up ocean oil spills. The sponges soak up oil but repel water, leaving behind no toxic byproduct.

It’s a green solution with a bonus – the oil could be recycled for future use.

The students will showcase their invention at the National Sustainable Design Expo, which is part of the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., on April 7-8.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded UCF one of only 31 national student-design competition awards for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3). Students submit their designs, and those selected get $15,000 to prepare an exhibit to showcase their work. Only the best student designs from around the nation are showcased. While there, the teams also compete for an additional $75,000, which would allow them to further develop their inventions.

Read more at UCF Today

Read EPA News release about our EPA P3 project. 

Our EPA P3 team was in the WFTV Channel 9 

UCF Professor Woo Hyoung Lee and the team of students who developed the sponge. (Photo by Karen Norum)