URI Scientists Study New Ways to Clean Oil Spills

October 26, 2011

Scientists at the University of Rhode Island are part of a $10.4 million effort to study new high-tech ways of dispersing oil spills.

Researchers are URI will receive $560,000 of the overall amount to investigate the use of tiny nanoparticles that bind to oil droplets and make them digestible to naturally occurring bacteria.

Along with new, more environmentally sensitive ways of cleaning up oil spills, researchers say the work could have applications in medicine and battery technology.

In all, 42 scientists at 21 universities are studying oil spill dispersants as part of the $10.4 million project.

The money comes from a research fund set up by oil company BP after last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The university announced the grant on Monday.

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