Adafruit Holiday Shipping Deadlines 2018: Attention! Please place all UPS 2 Day orders by Friday 12/14/2018 11 AM EST
0

Getting Oil Out Of Water With Lotus Leaf-Inspired Coating #Biomimicry

NewImage

Getting oil out of water is easier with nano-coated mesh that attracts oil and repels water. via fast coexist

Five years after Deepwater Horizon spewed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, researchers are realizing that the dispersant used to “clean up” the spill is even more toxic to some marine life than the oil itself. But a new technique may eventually be able to remediate oil spills without any chemicals—by using specially coated mesh to scoop oil directly out of water.
Researchers at Ohio State University created a prototype of a coating that attracts oil while repelling water. “In an oil cleanup, we envision that you’d take a large mesh or cloth with this coating, and you just swipe the ocean floor where the spill is,” says Bharat Bhushan, a mechanical engineering professor at Ohio State who led the research. “The water will go through, while the oil is collected in the mesh.”

NewImage

The new coating was inspired in part by lotus leaves, which naturally repel water (but not oil) through tiny bumps on the surface of each leaf. By covering a similarly bumpy surface with nano-sized particles of a nontoxic cleaning agent, the scientists were able to create a material that could repel oil instead.
“We’ve been working in bio-inspired surfaces for about a decade,” says Bhushan. “The lotus leaf is a classic example in nature to look to, and we’ve created all kinds of structures related to that. We study nature to understand how nature does it, but once we understand that, we don’t copy nature—we use smart materials and manufacturing processes to create the surfaces we’re interested in.”

In this case, the coating is a simpler—and far more environmentally friendly—potential alternative for cleaning up oil spills. “One benefit we see of this technology is that any other things that people are using are very labor intensive,” he says. “People are using cloth to absorb oil, or they’re using highly toxic materials to break up oil. That’s been slow—BP has been doing that for five years, and they barely have gotten rid of the problem.”

Once a mesh sprayed with the coating is scooped through an oil spill, the oil could simply be poured off and the mesh could be reused. “It’s not absorbing oil, it’s collecting oil, which could be skimmed off the mesh,” Bhushan says. “It has no environmental impact. We use eco-friendly materials. The nice thing in working in nature-inspired surfaces is you tend to develop things which are eco-friendly.”

Read more


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 9,200+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython – Python on Microcontrollers is here!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/


Maker Business — Japanese word working and more in December’s issue of HackSpace magazine!

Wearables — Solder-less magic

Electronics — = != ==.

Biohacking — Finding Bliss with Anandamide

Python for Microcontrollers — sysfs is dead! long live libgpiod! libgpiod for linux & Python running hardware @circuitpython @micropython @ThePSF #Python @Adafruit #Adafruit

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.