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Alberta - February 11, 2019

Be it a pipeline, railcar, or tanker, the means of moving oil to market come with risks that a spill could happen.

There are many technologies available to clean up spills, but not to salvage the oil for reuse afterwards. Researchers at the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineering say they’ve developed a nanomaterial called magnetic boron nitride—a.k.a. the “super sponge”— that does exactly that for spills in aquatic environments.

Spill Sponge

“It’s a little bit like a hotdog bun wrapped around a hotdog,” Nassar Nashaat says about a new technology to clean up oil spills.
Photo credit: Michael Platt, University of Calgary

“The current technologies for oil spill cleanup only focus on impact mitigation and ignore crude oil recovery,” explains Dr. Nashaat Nassar, an associate professor at the Schulich School. “There is a need for an innovative technology to generate a high-performance material that can be used to both clean water and recover crude oil for further use after a crude oil spill.”

Check out the full story on the University of Calgary’s news site, UToday, to learn more.

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