Flinders University in Adelaide has led research into a new polymer that can be used to better mop-up oil spills.
A new absorbent polymer could soon be used to more effectively mop up oil spills to help protect the marine environment.
Flinders University has led research into the polymer, which is made from waste cooking oil and sulphur and acts like a sponge to remove crude oil and diesel from seawater.
The polymer can also be "squeezed" to recover the oil for re-use, scientists say.
Research leader Justin Chalker says using waste sulphur, a by-product of the petroleum industry, has the added benefit of reducing global stockpiles.
"This is a new class of oil sorbents that is low-cost, scalable, and enables the efficient removal and recovery of oil from water," Dr Chalker said.