New Highly Absorptive “Impossible” Material

Most of you I’m sure have heard of the Sham-Wow, or other similarly absorptive material.  The ability to hold much more water than is seemingly possible is quite a useful thing in a tangible material.  Now, scientists have taken this idea and technology to the next step:

Impossible Material Made with Record-Breaking Surface Area and Water Absorption Abilities

This new material, called Upsalite, has a surface area to mass ratio of 800 square meters per gram.  That’s really increadible; 800 square meters, for perspective, is about two basketball courts.  Per GRAM of material.  Astonishing.

There are two things that I find interesting about this report as well:

1) The technique used to produce this material was borrowed from a very old Russian Ph.D. thesis.  I still find it amazing that theories created and spelled out years ago that were subsequently forgotten or put aside can still have relevance now.  (Personally, I’d love to see more attention given to Heim Theory in this regard)

2) This: “The discovery will be commercialized though the University spin-out company Disruptive Materials ( that has been formed by the researchers together with the holding company of Uppsala University“.

Now this is interesting:  A University that has a a direct relationship with a manufacturing and production company in order to quickly commercialize their scientific discoveries.  Now THAT seems like a way to advance the future to me.  No Venture Capital, no hunting for investors…just keep your own production essentially in-house.  Now I don’t know the details about these sort of business things, nor am I business savvy in the first place, but it certainly makes me wonder if other Universities, which are still responsible for most cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, have this sort of funnel toward production and commercialization–especially in America.  Do they?  This will certainly warrant more investigation, as it seems to me like a greatly efficient step for futurism in science and production.

On a final note, to all those who used to watch the Syfy show Eureka out there, remember the episode where they throw a baby shower for Alison, and one particular gift is a diaper than can absorb an entire pitcher of water? Maybe that can happen now with this material.  Parents of the world rejoice!  🙂


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