KNOXVILLE—Sticker shock at the gas pump could soon be a thing of the past thanks to research being conducted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
Among the key components in processing fuels, particularly bio-friendly ones, are the membranes that aid in the process of separating unwanted compositions such as water from the fuel or hydrocarbon from aqueous phase.
“We can help wallets and help profits at the same time,” said Michael Hu, a joint faculty member of ORNL and the College of Engineering’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. “If we can improve that separation process it will mean a reduction in cost to make, a reduction in cost to supply, and a reduction in cost to buy.”
The breakthrough technology being brought to life by the research team combines nanotextured pores with superhydrophobic or superhydrophillic—or, in plain terms, super water-repulsing and water-attracting—substances. [Read more…]