Eco-Friendly Diapers Made From Jellyfish

By Carl Engelking | April 10, 2014 11:29 am

shutterstock_182342912

Move over Brawny, there’s a new product in the works with the strength to get the job done, and it comes from the sea. Cine’al Ltd., an Israeli nanotechnology start-up, is developing a line of super-absorbing products made from jellyfish.

Jellyfish populations worldwide have been exploding in recent years, and the creatures are expected to be one of the few winners of the warming oceans brought about by climate change. They present a real problem: In 2013, a cluster of jellyfish temporarily shut down a nuclear reactor in Sweden after they were sucked into a cooling pipe. However, until now, very few useful purposes have been found for jellyfish.

Enter a second conundrum: Absorbent products such as diapers, medical sponges and feminine pads contain synthetic super-absorbing polymers that take hundreds of years to break down in landfills. These same products made with jellyfish biodegrade in less than 30 days, and they soak up twice the mess, the Times of Israel reports.

A Double Scourge

Cine’al’s product was inspired by research conducted at Tel Aviv University, which harnessed jellyfishes’ ability to absorb high volumes of liquid without deteriorating. By breaking down jellyfish flesh and adding nanoparticles (for antibacterial properties), researchers created a material they call Hydromash, which can be used as an absorbent material in diapers, toilet paper, medical sponges and tampons.

In the United States, a 1998 study from the Environmental Protection Agency found that 3.4 million tons of diapers entered landfills in that year alone. Cine’al’s president Ofer Du-Nour is thus hoping his product will kill two birds with one stone.

“There are too many jellyfish in the sea, and too many Pampers in landfills. Cine’al may have the ultimate answer to both those issues,” Du-Nour told the Times of Israel.

It’s unclear when, or if, these jellyfish products might arrive in the aisles of supermarkets. According to Green Prophet, Cine’al is currently discussing building manufacturing plants in Korea and South Carolina — where jellyfish fishing operations are already going strong.

 

Photo credit: VDV/Shutterstock

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Technology, top posts
  • Huh?!?

    Jellyfish is murder :P

  • brandon

    I hope they remove the stingers first…

    • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

      Enviro-faith demands personal sacrifice. How do you know you have been shorn absent stubble?

    • http://sanitaryowl.com Sanitary Owl

      No stings attached

  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

    Glottal stops do not travel well. Nanoparticles have unknown hazards. There will be idiosyncratic immune responses to jellyfish snot, including anaphylactoid lethal reactions. Canada tried the ALL NATURAL sphagnum female sanitary device. It worked as well as it looked. Even Canadians weren’t buying it.

  • AZPioneer

    You don’t want to buy Brawney…. A Koch brothers company.

  • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

    Neat. Wonder if jellyfish farms will ever be a “thing.”

  • Steve Thomas

    This is animal abuse. To many jellyfish in the sea!? How about to many humans on the planet. Lets break them down, im sure there are plenty of uses for human parts.

    • Brian Lockett

      Terrible, terrible logic as a counterargument, sir.

    • ishmael2009

      You first, Steve. Looks like you’ve already started your break-down.

      • Steve Thomas

        Your replys prove my point. It’s a rediculous idea. Thanks for the trolling, where do i pay?

    • dickG

      You first, Sir!

    • Olivia

      Animals are used for many things.. food, clothing, experiments that will help bring us future medicine, etc. And this one little thing, diapers.. is abuse?

  • Racheal Moore

    r they not poisonous ?

NEW ON DISCOVER
OPEN
CITIZEN SCIENCE
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

D-brief

Briefing you on the must-know news and trending topics in science and technology today.
ADVERTISEMENT

See More

ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
+

Login to your Account

X
E-mail address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it e-mailed to you.

Not Registered Yet?

Register now for FREE. Registration only takes a few minutes to complete. Register now »