Once oil gets into water, it can be difficult to separate the two, which can make polluted water tricky to clean up. Now, researchers at North Carolina (NC) State University have found that a bacterial biofilm membrane can effectively let water through while keeping oil out.
The team found that a bacteria called Gluconacetobacter hansenii creates a particularly useful biofilm. It’s made of cellulose, the substance plants use to build their cell walls, but in this case as a crystalline form.
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