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Getting the oil out of befouled water

Oil and water are famously reluctant to mix fully together. But separating them completely—for example, when cleaning up an oil spill or purifying water contaminated through fracking—is a devilishly hard and inefficient process that frequently relies on membranes that tend to get clogged up, or "fouled."  A new imaging technique developed at MIT could provide a tool for developing better membrane materials that can resist or prevent fouling. The new work is described in the journal Applied Materials and Interfaces, in a paper by MIT graduate students Yi-Min Lin and Chen Song and professor of chemical engineering Gregory Rutledge.  Read more...



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