Swelling glass decontaminates polluted water by acting like sponge

When it comes in contact with a volatile organic compound in water, such as fuel oils, chlorinated solvents, and hexamine, the glass absorbs the volatile molecules within the compound without reacting with the water. Because of its nano-matrix structure, which means it can unfold to absorb the contaminants, the glass can hold up to eight times its weight and can be reused hundreds of times.

With 4,000 Department of Energy sites needing cleaning, this low-cost solution could be a winner.

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