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Contact: Valene Marshall
vmarshal@nsf.gov
703-292-2984
National Science Foundation

Osorb: Absorbent Nanomaterial Cleans up Toxic Water

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Caption: 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, Ohio called ABSMaterials, where Edmiston is now chief scientist. With support from the National Science Foundation, Edmiston and his colleagues at ABSMaterials are developing water remediation technologies for cities and industries -- targeting everything from storm water to agricultural runoff. Municipal water systems and companies in several U.S. states and Canadian provinces are using Osorb. ABSMaterials is creating formulas to address various contaminants, including hydrocarbons, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, herbicides, chlorinated solvents and endocrine disruptors.

Credit: Marsha Walton, Science Nation Producer

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