After a major catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, which resulted in the production of 100,000 barrels of oil, the development of new technologies for the extraction of petroleum products from water has become increasingly active. One of them is a multifunctional fabric covered with tiny semiconductor rods.
The authors of the development were two Australian universities and the State Association of Scientific and Applied Research (CSIRO). Scientists have created a material based on conventional nylon with interwoven silver fibers.
When an oil or oil stain on the water surface “sifts” through this fabric, the tiny rods grasp all the dirt. The experiment was conducted with crude oil, olive and peanut butter.
Researchers argue that it will additionally have antibacterial properties, which means that it can be used to purify industrial waters and sources of drinking water in remote areas.
Since the fabric is also a semiconductor, it can interact with visible light, while destroying harmful organic pollutants in natural water bodies where nature can not cope with them without human participation .