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Nanopaper Soaks Up Oil Slicks

If you didn’t know better, you’d think it was paper. Because it is. But it isn’t. A team at MIT has developed nanopaper, which has all the qualities of regular old-fashioned paper, including size, weight, printability, cut-ability, even the way it’s made. But it’s far more than just paper.

We’ve seen nanotechnology posing as paper before, but this is something exceptionally cool because of its function. Made of nanowires, this paper can sit on water for months at a time, soaking up to 20 times its weight in oil, while never soaking up a drop of water. It was created to help remove oil and other toxins after oil spills. To keep it from absorbing water, the nanopaper is coated with siloxane vapor so it repels water while attracting oil. Laid down on the tough-to-clean areas of spills, the sheets quickly absorb oil and store it in the itty bitty nooks and crannies made by the clumped-together nanowires (think: butter in an English Muffin), making the toughest parts of cleaning up spills a whole heck of a lot easier.

The best part is viagra order uk the sheets are reuseable. After absorbing all the oil it can gather, the sheets are boiled, removing the oil, and then reused.

Shhh….do you hear that? Seals and seagulls are cheering.

Via Discovery

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Comments (5)Add Comment
it's almost like...
written by NE, June 01, 2008
Strangely enough, human hair does just about the same thing... and I'm pretty sure that the nano textile is expensive to construct, requires precursors and produces waste.

Do we make the cheap prescription propecia nano-wire-textile? or should we take something that is already available and considered a waste product?
Seagulls won't be cheering for long
written by John, June 02, 2008
Oil pollution is bad enough, so why is it necessary to pollute the oceans with nano wires? The constant flexing of the wires from the wave motion will see to it that these things break up.

What damage will nano wires do to the seagulls?
written by Snark, June 02, 2008
"What damage will nano wires do to the seagulls?"

You can't tell me you think that the chance - the tiny, negligible chance - that this particular material will pose a threat to seagulls outweighs the absolute, 100% certainty that being coated with bunker fuel WILL harm seagulls.

This is EcoGeek. EcoWorrier and EcoWhiner may be more your style. There's not the slightest reason to believe that nanowires will pollute or cause issues, particularly when they're bound together into a cohesive sheet. It's a sad state of affairs when the follow link take levitra desire to protect the environment turns into a reflexive, Luddite panic that anything and cheapest viagra canada everything will harm the environment.
written by Caroline Streich, June 04, 2008
I wonder what chemicals are used in order to make the paper, but other than that it seems like a great solution!
written by Caroline Streich, June 04, 2008
As for the seagulls and other wildlife, NPR had a program about bundled nanotubes being as toxic as asbestos. There is a real solution for getting bundled nanotubes out of buy cialis online cheap your system but there is it's cool beta blockers and viagra a way to unbundle nanotube thanks to this kid, Philip Streich. So the wildlife could probably be treated somehow but it seems easier to bayer levitra come up with a new solution for the oil slicks.

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