Oil spills are hazardous to human and marine life. Aerogel is a novel material that can be used for water remediation; it has a strong affinity for oil and can be used to absorb oil from the surface of water. Aerogel is very porous which makes it extremely light, allowing it to float on the surface of water, as oil does.
Short description Key concepts: environmental remediation, oil spills, density Duration: 15 minutes
Students will simulate an oil spill by mixing oil with water, and will then use aerogel to clean up the spill.