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Nanofoam cleans up oil spills

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Researchers at Penn State University and Rice University have created solid, spongy blocks of carbon nanotubes that have an astounding ability to clean up oil spills in water.
Nanofoam cleans up oil spills

Credit: Jeff Fitlow, Rice University

Separating oil from seawater is just one of a range of potential applications for a new material formed using carbon nanotubes doped with boron. The spongy blocks of carbon nanotubes could also have other novel applications related to electronics, materials science, and medicine. The discovery is reported in Nature's online journal Scientific Reports, by an international team, which includes Mauricio Terrones, professor of physics and of materials science and engineering at Penn State; Pulickel Ajayan, the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering at Rice University; and other scientists from the United States, Spain, Belgium and Japan.