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Gotta Keep ‘em Separated

Posted April 20, 2011 8:00 AM by Sharkles

Even though oil and water don't mix, it doesn't mean that it's easy to separate the two once combined. Luckily, nanotechnology researchers from Michigan Technological University are working on a filter that "quickly and easily" does just that.

Yoke Khin Yap and Jaroslaw Drelich have developed a fine, stainless steel mesh, which they've coated with nanotubes about 10 microns across. The result is a super honeycomb structure that repels water while filtering organic liquids, like oil.

They've tested their design by pouring an emulsion of water and gasoline over the filter and found that all but 20% of the water stayed in place, while the gasoline dripped through. Although the results are promising thus far, Yap says that their current prototype is about the size of a quarter and that too much water can clog the spaces between the nanotubes.

Plans are already in place for future testing with electricity and use of a vacuum to reduce some of the clogging. The team ultimately envisions their filter used in projects like the purification of Canada's tar sands, in the recovery of oil from wastewater in ocean-going ships, or even to clean the inside of car engines.

Source: PhysOrg

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Re: Gotta Keep ‘em Separated

04/21/2011 7:07 AM

Along with all-caps (which were already turned off in the title), "smart quotes" should have been turned off as well. They are not so smart.

--Editor Crankshaft

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Previous in Blog: Web Commentary: Strange Alchemy or id Unleashed?   Next in Blog: Nanoregulation: Technology or Politics?
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