It is quite easy to see how oil and water do not mix well. This is because you can clearly see an oil slick in a puddle thanks to advancement in technology. However, as hard as they are to mix, it is also difficult to separate the two liquids. In most cases, people who try to separate oil and water only end up creating membranes that get ‘fouled’ or clogged up. This is now going to be a thing of the past since MIT research has taken science a notch higher by developing a new method of using lasers to come up with 3D maps of filtration materials.
Laser Build 3D Image
The new technique by MIT researchers makes use of con focal laser scanning microscopy. This is made possible by two lasers which scan the filtration material.After scanning where the two beams cross, there will be a glow by a material which has been marked with a fluorescent dye. When creating this one of a kind invention, the research team used two dissimilar fluorescent dyes. One was used in marking the fibers in the filtration membrane while the other was to mark the oily material in the fluid. Through this action, the research team was able to scan the materials thoroughly,not only across its surface but also into its depth. The outcome was a full 3D image showing how the oil droplets are dispersed in the membrane.
The discovery by MIT researchers is a big breakthrough in the way scientists can now analyze materials. Before this discovery, we only had crude methods of imaging pore spaces in membranes. Actually, the filtration ability of a material was only based on pressure changes and flow rates through the material. This action seemed to ignore any information related to the buildup of oil material in the pores of materials.
Improvement of Material Designs
With this new process, you can now measure the geometry while at the same creating a three-dimensional model. Furthermore, you can also characterize the material in some detail.Thanks to the new process, scientists can have a look at the way processes takes place in these membranes. The research is expected to offer additional knowledge on how we can use and develop filtration materials. The discoveries can then be applied in other areas apart from cleaning oil spillage in the sea or ocean.
The new imaging technology is expected to help people in cleaning oil spillage without having to go through a lot. Now you will no longer have to worry about the loss of aqua life whenever there is an oil spillage. This is because, it will prove quite easy for us to separate the oil from water thanks to the efforts by MIT researchers. However, as the research continues, we expect the technology to be used in other areas apart from cleaning oil spillage. Once this is done, we will have achieved another tremendous breakthrough when it comes to filtering materials.