Issue Date: June 9, 2008
Nanowire Membrane Sops Up Oil
When placed on an oil spill, a thin nanowire mesh membrane material selectively absorbs the oil and leaves water behind, researchers have found. The superhydrophobic manganese oxide-polymer composite, created by MIT’s Francesco Stellacci and coworkers, can trap up to 20 times its weight in oil and is recyclable, making it a viable option for environmental cleanup (Nat. Nanotechnol., DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2008.136). The research team synthesized the “oleophilic” membrane material by heating manganese . . .
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