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New Material Turns Oil From Liquid to Solid

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posted on Aug, 6 2010 @ 01:41 PM
I saw this article and wanted to share. Although this will not be available in time to assist in the clean-up of the BP oil leak, it will be for future events.

A material in development could help recover spilled oil by solidifying it into a solid gel floating on the ocean's surface. Oil in a solid state could be scooped away like fat congealed on the top of a pot of soup. The gel could then be melted and the oil separated from the material, which could be reused.

"The gelling is happening instantaneously," John said.

When they hit water, the molecules create a sponge-like network of fibers that strongly attract oil and repel water. The oil is drawn into the fiber network, swelling the "sponge." The resulting oil-swollen gel is strong enough to be scooped up with a slotted spoon.

The new material is made of non-toxic components used in food


posted on Aug, 6 2010 @ 02:20 PM
Great invention.

It may still have to be used in the Gulf, though hopefully not.

May also come in as a handy way to extract oil from oil sands.

posted on Aug, 6 2010 @ 02:21 PM
And is this the same effect that would send an oilspill for instance to sink? Out of sight perhaps? Then tell everyone is evaporated?
Star and flag

posted on Aug, 6 2010 @ 02:49 PM
reply to post by Aggie Man

Hey some good news for a change

Let's get this stuff out and see what it does in the field, sounds promising.
The past 2 days have brought promising news of alternative tech advances that will help meet our energy needs.
The poo(methane) powered car and solar panels that utilize light and heat.


[edit on 6-8-2010 by speculativeoptimist]

posted on Aug, 6 2010 @ 03:12 PM
reply to post by Aggie Man

Great find and kudos to the scientists.

That said, I can think of at least one reason it will never be used, namely that it was developed by

A team led by George John of the City College of New York and Srinivasa Raghavan of the University of Maryland
and not Nalco. Unless they are able to buy the patent, big oil will not use anything that's not theirs.

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