Volume 90 Issue 17 | p. 32 | Concentrates
Issue Date: April 23, 2012

Tiny Submarines Gather Oil

Alkanethiol-coated microengines could clean up oil contamination in water
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Materials SCENE, Nano SCENE, Environmental SCENE
Keywords: microsubmarine, self-assembled monolayer, environmental remediation, oil collection

To remove oil and other organic contaminants from water, scientists may someday deploy submarines—microsubmarines. Tubular microscale engines zip through solution by converting hydrogen peroxide fuel into oxygen bubbles that they then expel for propulsion. By giving these tiny swimmers a hydrophobic monolayer coating of long-chain alkanethiols, researchers have transformed them into oil-gathering microsubmarines that are capable of capturing, transporting, and separating oil contamination from water (ACS Nano, DOI: . . .

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Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
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