Microplastics and marine pollution, including oil spills, have been gaining global attention. In response to those concerns, Wellgro Tech, Chennai, India, has recently brought biodegradable and environmentally benign oil-absorbent mats to the market.
Oil-absorbent mats have been predominantly synthetic-based. With increasing awareness about marine pollution caused by plastics, Wellgro Tech has developed sustainable, non-synthetic composite mats.
Results from testing in two accredited research and testing laboratories showed the mat could absorb 13 times its weight in motor oil. The cumulative absorption is expected to be much higher, as the mats can be reused a minimum of 20 times, the company says. Tests were undertaken on unadulterated and oil-soaked mats using ASTM and AATCC standards, which report that the mats degrade and show strength loss, a key indicator of degradation.
Wellgro Tech’s founder and president, Ramanujan Venkatakrishnan, is focused on export markets, where Venkatakrishnan believes there is a good awareness of using biodegradable oil-absorbent technologies. Venkatakrishnan is actively seeking marketing collaborations to take the product to global customers.