Rice University graduate student Daniel Hashim with samples of the oil-absorbing carbon nanotube-based sponge (Photo: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)
Rice University graduate student Daniel Hashim burns oil out of a sponge-like material so it can be reused (Photo: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)
This carbon nanotube sponge can hold more than 100 times its weight in oil, which can be squeezed out or burned off, and the sponge reused (Photo: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)
The superhydrophobic carbon nanotube sponge that shows a remarkable ability to soak up oil from water (Photo: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University)
Last week we looked at the development of “hydrate-phobic” surfaces that could assist in the containment of oil leaks in deep water. Now, by adding boron to carbon while growing nanotubes, researchers have developed a nanosponge with the ability to absorb oil spilled in water. Remarkably, the material is able to achieve this feat repeatedly and is also electrically conductive and can be manipulated with magnets.
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