Sunday 1 June 2008

Nanowire Mesh: New 'Paper Towel For Oil Spills

Researchers at the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science have created a membrane or a mat of nanowires with the touch and feel of paper, that can absorb up to 20 times its weight in oil, and can be recycled many times for future use. The oil itself can also be recovered.

According to the scientists this new nano material could also impact filtering and the purification of water and other organic pollutants.

Since the membrane is made of potassium manganese oxide, the nanowire is inexpensive to produce because the nanowires of which it is composed can be fabricated in larger quantities than other nanomaterials. The material is created in a similar way to paper.

Watch a video of this new material absorbing gaseoline (dyed blue) from water.

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