Upsalite: Impossible Material With Incredible Utility

Written by Mike Awada on . Posted in Gadgets, Social Media

impossible-materials

Every material in nature holds certain traits we know to always be true.

Every so often, though, we’re able to manufacture something new that exhibits properties unlike anything we’ve ever dealt with.

That’s upsalite.

Upsalite

For over 100 years, scientists around the globe said it could never exist.

Now, thanks to an accident in a Swedish lab, we have a potential world changer on our hands.

Non-Newtonian Material

Upsalite is a nontoxic magnesium carbonate discovered by scientists at Uppsala University in Sweden. It has set new records for water absorption and surface area due to it’s extremely complex and porous surface.

“In contrast to what has been claimed for more than 100 years in the scientific literature, we have found that amorphous magnesium carbonate can be made in a very simple, low-temperature process,” said study co-author Johan Goméz de la Torre.

“The total area of the pore walls of one gram of material would cover 800 square meters (8611 sq ft) if you would ‘roll them out’”, said University professor Maria Strømme.

Applications

Upsalite shows great promise in a number of fields, from soaking up dangerous toxins following a chemical or oil spill to regulating moisture in the electronics and pharmaceutical industries.

Here’s a short but interesting video HuffPost did on the topic.


PLOS One via Disruptive Materials

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  • observer

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    Where was this when The Exon Valdez had its misadventure! This is an exciting discovery.

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