Process turns icky jellyfish into super absorbent paper towels

In many parts of the world, jellyfish are considered to be a dangerous pest. Last year, it got so bad in Sweden that a nuclear reactor had to be shut down when a swarm of the gooey creatures blocked the plant's cooling pipes. Unfortunately, the problems are likely to get worse as warming sea temperatures has caused their numbers to multiply dramatically.

To put a dent in the problem, an Israeli company has developed a process that attacks several ecological issues at the same time. By taking advantage of the jellyfish's amazing capacity for retaining water, a nanotech company called Cine'al says it can turn the slimy animals into super absorbers that work superbly as towels, diapers, and even tampons. Best of all, the products are completely biodegradable, and can break down completely within 30 days of being discarded.

Cine'al calls the material Hydromash, and says that it can absorb many times its own volume in liquid. In addition to being a great absorber, company chairman Ofer Du-Nour says that they can easily add antibacterial properties, different levels of flexibility, colors, and even a scent. After all, nobody wants their baby to smell like a stinky jellyfish.

It remains to be seen whether people will be willing to use jellyfish derived materials for such intimate products as tampons and diapers. Even using paper towels in the kitchen made from jellyfish seems a bit weird. But still, it really won't be the first time we've found useful applications for gross stuff.

All of this sounds like a great win-win for the environment, saving on landfill space while getting rid of some of those pesky jellyfish. Still, we could always send out some robots to get them if the paper towel thing doesn't work out.

Times of Israel, via Discover

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