This was the winning entry in the Innovation Tournament.
“Hair Twister” team from India proposed a mat filled with human hair to clean up oil spills. Hair mats can trap the oil without degrading or contaminating it. The oil could then be harvested and the mat re-used. Chemical mats and dispersants unfortunately, degrade the oil and make it a hazardous waste, which needs to be disposed off appropriately. Chemical dispersants also have their own issues with toxicities.
The hair mats could also be used in farming to retain soil moisture and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers. Hair could be collected from barbershops essentially for free and not end up in waste landfills.
Win! Win! With the winnings the team members should get help to develop a polished, marketing video. See here for details on other entries.
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