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Media Advisory 11-001

NSF Webcast: Water and Oil Everywhere, and Now it's Safe to Drink

Developer demonstrates oil filtration technology tested in 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill

Photo of Dr. Stephen Jolly and Doug Martin of AbsMaterials.

Clean water being passed over a vibratory separator after treatment with Osorb®.

January 14, 2011

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Building upon research conducted during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, engineers have incorporated a swellable nano-structured glass called Osorb® into a system for extracting pollutants like dissolved petroleum from water--and collecting the petroleum for later use.

During a webcast from the National Science Foundation, developer Paul Edmiston of the College of Wooster will demonstrate the new application for the Osorb® technology and discuss how it is being evaluated in the petroleum industry.

As part of the media briefing, Edmiston will conduct demonstrations to show how the material expands to eight times its original volume in the presence of hydrocarbons--expanding with a force that could lift 20,000 times its original weight--and filter a gasoline-tainted sample of drinking water for consumption. Questions before and during the webcast can be directed to See a video showcasing Osorb® research on The College of Wooster's YouTube channel.

Who:Osorb® developer Paul L. Edmiston of the College of Wooster and Chief Science Officer of ABSMaterials
What:Live Webcast demonstrating new oil spill remediation applications for Osorb® technology
When:Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. EST
Where:Media are invited to participate in the webcast by phone or online on the Science360 website

To register for the event and obtain the user name and password for the webcast, journalists can contact NSF media officer Josh Chamot at or (703) 292-7730. Username and password are required for access. Questions before and during the webcast can be directed to


Media Contacts
Joshua A. Chamot, NSF, (703) 292-7730, email:
John Hopkins, The College of Wooster, (330) 263-2082, email:

Program Contacts
Benaiah Schrag, NSF, (703) 292-8323, email:

Principal Investigators
Paul Edmiston, The College of Wooster / ABSMaterials Inc., (330) 234 7999, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2022 budget of $8.8 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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