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New ‘super sponge’ to suck up oil spills

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Published : 2014-02-03 17:39
Updated : 2014-02-03 17:39

Scientists have created a new kind of chemical sponge that can shape-shift the size of its pores on command, Fast Company reported.

A new “super sponge” crystal that opens and closes its pores on command could one day mitigate oil disasters, sequester carbon or even deliver drugs to specific places within a person’s body, according to the business information provider.

After the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and leaked 20 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, researchers at the University of North Texas and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed certain kinds of crystals called metal-organic frameworks.

Researchers said MOFs could be used to deliver cancer drugs directly to the site of a tumor, sequester carbon dioxide from the emissions of a power plant or even sense chemical changes in bodies or buildings.

By Lee Shin-young, Intern reporter (sylee@heraldcorp.com)

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