Billions of metric tonnes of cellulosic biomass products such as corn stover, sugarcane bagasse and switchgrass are produced yearly and are often used for biofuel production, animal feed or for other energy needs. By implementing aqueous pretreatment via oxidative digestion, sol-gel polymerization with Fe3+ ions and a heat treatment process the carbohydrates obtained from these materials can also be transformed into a porous metal-carbon network with superhydrophobic properties and magnetic attraction. Carbohydrate precursor materials are all abundant and cheap making them ideal for practical, scalable oil cleanup and numerous other marine applications and are composed of biologically innocuous components in their final form. These oil-absorbing materials were structurally and compositionally characterized using FTIR, Raman, EDXA, XRD, SEM and HRTEM. Materials were found to be able to absorb 2-4X their weight in nonpolar materials, were able to carry this nonpolar material while being manipulated with a magnet and showed superhydrophobicity (contact angle > 150 degrees).