Kallak Torvstrøfabrikk in Trøgstad in eastern Norway has developed a peat moss mixture with unusually good absorbent qualities. The material could be a useful tool for clearing up oil-spills after minor incidents or major catastrophes.
The three-man company has traditionally sold treated peat moss as a component of soil for flowering plants and as growth medium. But realising that the peat moss is a remarkably good absorbent, they began to find other potential uses for it.
SINTEF “Expertise broker” Leif Estensen connects researchers with companies that lack research and development experience. Three years ago, he brought Kallak and SINTEF together. An expertise broking project was set up with scientists from SINTEF’s Marine Environmental Technology department, with the aim of testing different types of peat moss and documenting their properties.
The conclusions drawn from the testing programme were quite clear: the peat moss had excellent potential, as since its ability to take up oil was as good as, or in some cases even considerably better than, other products already available on the market.