Super Slurper, a cornstarch-based superabsorbent polymer invented by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists over 30 years ago, continues to fan the entrepreneurial spirit.Take, for example, Nicholas Yeager, president of Artifex Equipment, Inc., a Penngrove, Calif., company specializing in book and document restoration. This fall, Yeager's company began mass-producing Zorbix, a sheetlike product based on Super Slurper that can dry out waterlogged library materials before destructive molds take hold.Zorbix's commercialization is the latest chapter in a storied history of Super Slurper spinoffs that followed an ARS patent on the starch polymer in 1976. Among those spinoffs were disposable diapers, wound dressings, fuel filters and seed coatings.The Zorbix story began in 2003, when Yeager was contacted by Kate Hayes, an information specialist with the Technology Transfer Information Center at the ARS National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Md. Hayes, now retired, proposed using Super Slurper as a fast, new way of drying books exposed to flooding, leaky pipes and other watery disasters.
Source: sciencedaily.comAdded: 20 February 2007