By imitating how a water strider insect (left) floats between air and water, researchers created a device (right) that floats between oil (pink) and water (colorless), aided by an oil-repellent copper oxide coating. (Source: ACS Nano)
Mydesign, the researchers say that larger devices can also be built, as we report at the end of the article. How large a body of water the current devices can operate in is not clear, nor is it clear how large the water skimming device needs to be. But it doesn't have to be a single device: in fact, it probably makes more sense to deploy multiple devices, considering how widespread oil spills can be.
Ann, research in similar direction is good atleast we can save the life of creatures in sea, in case of oil spills. I think the proto type may work fine with a cup or tub of water having oil spills but how much it's effective in oceans and sea with large quantity of oil spilled over it. Some more innovations has to happen with real time scenarios.
Robs, I think this will help to remove the oil spills in sea, in case of tanker or oil pipe get leaks, which can affect the life of many living parasites in water. We had seen last couple of years many birds, fishes etc lost their lives due to oil spill in Middle East countries.
@notarboca: That's a great application. Anything that can prevent the growth of marine life on the hull not only can help reduce maintenance costs, but also can aid in fuel reduction and maintaining overall performance since that is typically a source of on-going problems.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.