Green Ocean produces highly efficient and environmentally friendly spill-response kits made using basalt that can help to reduce pollution in industry, energy, and shipping.

Green Ocean has developed a natural, highly absorbent material that can be used to clean up chemical and oil spills, both on land and in water. Rather than conventional absorbents such as polypropylene or cotton, their products contain a fibre made from melted Basalt rock. Basalt fibre, which is created from volcanic rock, has been proven to be both water resistant and ‘oliophilic’, meaning it will soak up oil without taking in any water, maximising the absorption of oil per gram of material. In addition, this helps the material to stay afloat, where the low-density oil also sits. The resources that are collected in the Green Ocean material can usually be rescued and reused – by applying sufficient pressure, 95% of the oil can be recovered, therefore cutting disposal costs and resource waste.

The company estimates that this material can absorb around 50 grams of oil per gram of material, over three times higher than conventional absorbents, which collect around 14 grams. In addition, it works faster than conventional products – Green Ocean products fill to around 60% of their capacity within the first 15 minutes, and 99% within an hour, whereas conventional absorbents would only fill to 35% in the same time frame. The material is currently sold as pillows (similar to a big sponge), or booms (floating containment barriers).

Why you should care

Although the frequency and impact of oil spills has fallen in recent decades, the potential impact of oil spills poses a profound threat to our marine and coastal ecosystems, as well as major costs for those responsible. While more needs to be done to prevent oil spills from occurring, new technologies like Green Ocean’s products can improve the speed and effectiveness of spill-responses, and help reduce the long term socio-economic and environmental impacts. 

How the Global Goals are addressed

Responsible consumption and production

Green Ocean helps companies to responsibly manage oil and chemicals throughout their lifecycle. In addition, it allows spilled resources to be recovered, cutting waste.

Life below water

Green Ocean can improve the effectiveness and speed of responses to oil and chemical spills, protecting marine life and local livelihoods in coastal areas.