This Bikini Of The Future Cleans The Ocean As You Swim


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Seventy-two hours after it rains, a “toxic cocktail” of pollutants from the land, including pesticides, herbicides and fecal-contaminated sewage runoff, makes its way into the ocean, according to the Surfrider Foundation.

Exposure to those contaminants, along with the thousands of oil and chemical spills that take place in the U.S. each year, can make humans sick and cause serious harm to marine life.

What if you could clean some of that mess up just by going for a swim?

A team of engineers at the University of California, Riverside is partnering with the Eray/Carbajo design firm to make an itsy-bitsy dent in ocean pollution with a new invention: the SpongeSuit.


The SpongeSuit, which recently won first place at RESHAPE’s 2015 Wearable Technology Competition, is made of a carbon-based material known simply as “the Sponge. The material repels water while absorbing harmful contaminants, according to a UC Riverside press release.

The Sponge is derived from heated sucrose, a form of sugar. According to the product’s contest entry, it has a highly porous structure that can absorb “everything but water” and hold up to 25 times its own weight.

Mihri and Cengiz Ozkan, who are married engineering professors at UC Riverside, worked on the Sponge with two other researchers. The team originally conceived of the absorbent material as a means of desalinizing water or cleaning up oil and chemical spills.

They were working on several architectural products that would make use of the Sponge when they heard about the Wearable Technology Competition, which made them decide to start small.

“Why not create an environmentally proactive swimwear and clean as you swim?” Inanc Eray, —> Read More