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Carbon Nanotube Sponges for the Gulf Oil Spill? (UPDATE 6/28)

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posted on May, 2 2010 @ 04:20 PM

May 2, 2010

Will Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) Sponges be used to fight the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spills?

Black carbon nanotube sponges can absorb up to 180 times their own weight in oil, yet they float like white styro-foam on the surface of water. The technology was introduced by Chinese scientists in 2008. The nanotech sponges are supposedly easy to fabricate, capable of absorbing all sorts of oils, including heavy sticky oils like the crude currently leaking into the gulf.

We are all well aware now that we have an ecological disaster before us. We face loss of Louisiana's fishing industries, possibly species, the missippi delta, and even significant parts coral reef near the Florida Keys. The nanotube aerogel sponges are supposedly easy to manufacture and in no way prohibitively expensive. Perhaps we may be looking at the first large scale deployment of this technology as our nation faces one of its greatest environmental crisis to date.

Some environmentalists are concerned about the use of nanotechnology because of unknown long term environmental effects. However with controlled burns and stockpiles of chemical disbursants already deployed with little success the powers that be may source newer technology.

"We hope to give an example to industry that this sponge is a real thing they can prepare at low cost, make versatile products with high performance, and solve environmental problems utilizing nanotechnology," Anyuan Cao, a professor in the Department of Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology at Peking University 2/8/2010

What do you think?

I am,

Sri Oracle

11 November 2009
Nanotubes to soak up oil spills

19 July 2004
Green Goo: The New Nano-Threat

February 8, 2010
A practical example of solving environmental problems utilizing nano technology

Mod edit: added update in the title

[edit on 29 Jun 2010 by Hellmutt]

posted on May, 2 2010 @ 04:33 PM
It seems a Florida man holds a production patent:

Micro Carbon "Octopus" Can Clean Up Oil Spills in Open Water, Acts as Hydrophobic Sponge to Absorb Oil but Not Water
Sunday, May 02, 2010 3:55
______beforeitsnews/story/38905/Micro_Carbon_Octopus_Can_Clean_Up_Oil_Spills_in_Open_Water,_Acts_as_Hydrophobic_Sponge_to_Absorb_Oil_but_Not_Wate r.html

also here:

August 30, 2006
The flip side of using carbon nanotubes for environmental pollutants removal

and here:

May 10, 2009
Carbon Nanotubes: Innovative Technology Or Risk To Health Or Environment?

every rose has its thorn,

Sri Oracle

[edit on 2-5-2010 by Sri Oracle]

posted on May, 2 2010 @ 04:40 PM
I was under the impression that carbon nanotubes are very expensive. But if they are expensive then the government wouldn't want to waste time and money making then distributing these sponges on the oil spill.

posted on May, 2 2010 @ 05:21 PM
It sounds like we are hearing all the good news about carbon nanotubes....

I suspect that their toxicity and naturally-induced global dispersal isn't part of what matters to those eager to undo the damage.

I am hopeful that this can be used. I am intensely concerned that it is anything but a "harmless" measure.... which I am inclined to infer as it will likely be only employed by the government or under government protection from liability of consequences extended through special 'emergency' status.

How DO we get ourselves into these messes? And if China has had this since 2008; why haven't we any stockpiled for such an 'inevitable' event? Oil spills happen ALL THE TIME. Ask Halliburton, they're the industry leaders now.

I find the whole affair to be rife with unanswered, and unanswerable questions.

[edit on 2-5-2010 by Maxmars]

posted on May, 2 2010 @ 05:24 PM

Originally posted by Gentill Abdulla
I was under the impression that carbon nanotubes are very expensive.

Apparently there are people at Peking University and the University of Central Florida that know otherwise.

wikipedia has several production methods listed:

Carbon Nano Tubes

but from what I have read it may be that flame synthesis is the most affordable mass production method.

posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 07:40 AM

British Firm Says It Can Fix BP's Oil Slick
Friday June 25, 2010

Kat Higgins, Sky News Online

A British company has revealed new blotting paper-like technology it says could be used to suck up large amounts of oil floating in the Gulf of Mexico. 201006415654810?f=rss

The firm has developed a membrane that captures oil from the surface of the water so it can then be squeezed out safely.

It plans to mobilise up to 170 local fishing boats which will tow platforms holding a device with the membrane attached into the sea.
Ultra Green estimates that its invention can soak up 25,000 gallons of oil a day down to a depth of five metres.


Sri Oracle

posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 07:50 AM

British-Led Consortium Mobilises Small Ships Flotilla To Clean Up Gulf Of Mexico

by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Jun 28, 2010

With help from the Commercial Fishermen of America and USA volunteer groups, Brighton-based UGI intends to mobilise 168 fishing boats towing technology platforms specifically designed to remove the oil threatening the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and the waters around Deepwater Horizon and transfer it to specially chartered tankers.
Ultra Green International (UGI) to rescue the Gulf of Mexico from the effects of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster will announce its six week plan to capture the majority of the floating BP oil spill by combining innovative technology with grass roots action.

UGI believes that, unlike other clean-up proposals, if necessary its scheme can be funded entirely from oil recovered, as well as providing work for local fishermen and harnessing the enthusiasm and knowledge of the frustrated local community, whose offers of help to BP have so far been largely ignored.

posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 04:42 PM

Key team members include:

Antony Blakey founder and Executive Chairman Ultra Green International

Captain Peter Doble Ultra Green’s Logistics Director and NATO Logistics planner

Major David McPherson former British Army specialist in logistics, decorated for his work in facilitating the UK’s Falklands campaign

Professor Will Zimmerman an eminent scientist working for Sheffield University who has set up the Ultra Green rapid response science team of 120 renowned specialists in key environmental and engineering disciplines

Park Ohio ( NASDAQ listed manufacturer for production of framework and roller arrays.

David Weaver former MD of BP Northern Europe Gas, Power and Renewables

AVS scientific team: Ross O. Youngs, CEO of AVS; Dr Ben Stuart, Chief Science Officer, AVS and Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at Ohio University; Dr Tim Keener, Professor of Environmental Engineering and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, University of Cincinatti; Dr Soon-Jai Khang, Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Cincinatti; Dr Joo-Youp Lee, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Cincinatti; Dr Makram Suidan, Herman Schneider Professor of Environmental Engineering, University of Cincinatti; Luis A. Actis, Professor and Interim Chair of Microbiology, Miami University; Dr Gilbert Gordon, Research Professor Emeritus and Consultant, Miami University.

also... check out the video here:

someone please help w/ an imbed, thanks.

The man says:

ALL THE OIL on the surface GONE IN 7 WEEKS; frankly BP can take as long as they want fixing the spill because we can take up the oil continuously.

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