Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virtual wall could stop spread of oil and help build invisible barrier for oil spills

Date:
December 4, 2013
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
A new technique forms a virtual wall for oily liquids that will help confine them to a certain area, aiding researchers who are studying these complex molecules. This development will have future implications in the guided delivery of oil and effective blockage of oil spreading.

The outer shell of a droplet of oil on a surface has a thin skin which allows it to hold its shape like a small dome; this shell is referred to as the liquid's surface tension. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have developed a technique to form a virtual wall for oily liquids that will help confine them to a certain area, aiding researchers who are studying these complex molecules. This development will have future implications in the guided delivery of oil and effective blockage of oil spreading.

"Our work is based on micro/nanoelectromechanical systems, or M/NEMS, which can be thought of as miniaturized electrical or mechanical structures that allow researchers to conduct their work on the micro/nanoscopic level," said Jae Kwon, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering at MU. "Oil-based materials or low-surface tension liquids, which can wet any surface and spread very easily, pose challenges to researchers who need to control those tiny oil droplets on microdevices."

Oil-based compounds are referred to as low-surface tension liquids because they tend to spread on the surface of a researcher's microscope slides or microarrays where the liquids are placed. Additionally, as can be seen from oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, oil can stick and easily spread out on any surface. Using specially designed oil-repellent surfaces, Kwon and his group demonstrated invisible "virtual walls" which block spreading of low-surface tension liquids at the boundary line with microscopic features already created in the device.

"Our newly developed surface helped keep oil, which is normally unmanageable, in predetermined pathways making it controllable. We feel that oil-repellant surfaces can be widely utilized for many industrial applications, and virtual walls for low-surface tension liquids also have immense potential for many lab-on-a-chip devices which are crucial to current and future research techniques."

Kwon suggests that in the future, oil-repellent virtual walls may be used to control the transport of oil without spillage.

The research, "Virtual walls based on oil-repellant surfaces for low-surface tension liquids," was conducted by Kwon and Riberet Almeida, a graduate student in the College of Engineering, and was published in the journal Langmuir, a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Chemical Society.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Riberet Almeida, Jae Wan Kwon. Virtual Walls Based on Oil-Repellent Surfaces for Low-Surface-Tension Liquids. Langmuir, 2013; 29 (4): 994 DOI: 10.1021/la3040038

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Virtual wall could stop spread of oil and help build invisible barrier for oil spills." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204112036.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2013, December 4). Virtual wall could stop spread of oil and help build invisible barrier for oil spills. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204112036.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Virtual wall could stop spread of oil and help build invisible barrier for oil spills." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131204112036.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) At least six Nepalese guides are dead after an avalanche swept the slopes of Mount Everest along a route used to climb the world's highest peak. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins