A new kind of sponge made of carbon nanotubes can soak up hundreds of times its weight and only grabs oil. The solution to cleaning up oil in the ocean might be the same as cleaning up a spill in your kitchen.
Brigham Young University pushes the boundaries of carbon nanotube tech and shows how to "grow" complex structures from the stuff. The Navy, meanwhile, is interested in using nanotech robots to produce new nanotech robots.
Composite materials are increasingly a feature of our engineering—they're super-strong and light, outperforming metals like steel with ease, which is why they're often used in aeronautical engineering. Now a group at MIT has figured out a way to stitch carbon nanotubes around carbon fiber composite materials to make them up to ten times stronger and with only a fractional increase in cost.
Carbon nanotubes are one of the nanotechnology wonder materials of the near future, used in electronics, optics, for super-strong materials and as novel semiconductors, but there are emerging concerns about the environmental and health risks associated with accidental leaks of the raw material. Now a team at the University of Pittsburgh has created a partial solution to this problem by inventing a clean-up technique that successfully dissolves nanotubes.