http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adma.201204576/abstract

Not to detract from the research (which is great), but it should be attributed/cited correctly.

]]>**Megamaid ftw*

*Disclaimer: I did not read the article, I’m just pulling numbers of out the air here to illustrate the math

** 2nd disclaimer: I’m not dismissing this; I think it’s a brilliant idea but have to question the practicality of it.

Now, obviously the material has a non-zero mass and therefore weight, but what is the real density and/or weight of it? If said mass is expressed in miligrams (say, 100 mg) for a 1 meter cube, then the weight of said cube is 0.00098 newtons. 900 times 0.00098 is 0.882 newtons worth of oil. Crude oil has a density of (roughly) 825 kg/m^3, or a weight of roughly 8085 newtons.

So based on that, we would need roughly 9167 m^3 (about a 21 meter cube) of the aerogel to contain 1 m^3 of crude oil. To me that only seems worthwhile if 1) the aerogel is quickly and completely reusable and 2) you can keep the oil from flowing back out until you move the gel over or into a containment vessel.

Still, they’re really interesting structures and I hope we can figure out uses for them other than looking cool and being interesting things to talk about.

*** Edited for dumb spelling mistake…

]]>The same could be said of a cube outlined in pvc pipe; the only reason the aerogel is more interesting is because it’s much stronger and the empty spaces are much smaller.

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