Both jellyfish populations and the disposal of absorbent products are causing problems, so scientists have developed an interesting way to kill two birds with one stone- diapers made from jellyfish. Yes, you heard correctly.
Jellyfish are one of the few organisms that are thriving in our warming oceans, and their blooming populations have started to cause serious problems. Last year Sweden’s Oskarshamn nuclear power plant had to be temporarily shut down because a clump of jellyfish got sucked into a pipe, and they’re also causing problems for fishermen by clogging trawl lines. But what better way to make good out of a bad situation by using them to solve an environmental problem? Scientists certainly are imaginative these days, and a team based at Cine’al Ltd have started to develop an eco-friendly absorbent material out of these pests.
Back in the good old days people would use re-usable diapers, but a more convenient disposable diaper took its place many years ago. It seemed a great idea on the surface, but unfortunately these and many other absorbent products such as sanitary pads contain materials that are particularly difficult to degrade in landfills. This means that they’ve been accumulating in the environment for a long time. Cine’al think they’ve come up with a much better material for these products; Hydromash.
Hydromash is created by adding nano-materials to jellyfish flesh, and the result is a super-absorbent material that they hope can be made not only into diapers but sanitary products and paper towels too. The scientists claim that it’s much more absorbent than many paper towels currently on the market, and also bio-degrades in less than 30 days. They can also add other nano-particles that can bestow the material with other attributes such as anti-bacterial properties and flexibility. And for those pessimists out there- they also claim it can be produced at a competitive price.
At the moment it’s uncertain as to when these jelly diapers may appear on the market, but the team are hopeful that people will look past the strange ingredients and give these green products a go.