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October 15, 2012

Osorb: Absorbent nanomaterial cleans up toxic water

Science is full of surprises. Chemist Paul Edmiston's search for a new way to detect explosives at airports, instead, led to the creation of what's now called "Osorb," swellable, organically-modified silica, or glass, capable of absorbing oil and other contaminants from water. Osorb has become the principal product of a company in Wooster called ABSMaterials, where Edmiston is now chief scientist. With support from NSF, Edmiston and his colleagues at ABSMaterials are developing water remediation technologies for cities and industries--everything from storm water to agricultural runoff. Municipal water systems and companies in several U.S. states and Canadian provinces are using Osorb.

Credit: National Science Foundation

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