The current method for cleaning up large oil spills includes use of biological agents to break down the oil dispersement of the oil sequestering the oil or solidifying the oil using a polymer. Existing technologies have negative environmental impact and a limited capacity to remove oil. UAB\'s new invention uses a chemical compound to make the oil particles porous and then absorb and degrade the oil.
A hybrid system of titania-containing poly (lactic acid) microparticles can effectively absorb and degrade impurities from water. With further research and development the hybrid biodegrable systems can be a novel approach for the cleanup of oil spills and other types of contamination in sea and fresh water.