Interesting research is being undertaken by a group of chemists at Queen’s University Belfast:
“The first project, which is quite ambitious, is to create the first liquid with microscopic holes in it,” he said [Dr Stuart James -ed.]. “Solids which have microscopic holes are well-known and are enormously useful – they are used in everything from washing powders to large scale chemical plants. This is because they can mop up or release other substances. However one problem is that they work quite slowly as many of the holes are buried deep inside the solid. But with a porous liquid it would flow because the holes would be continually moving around allowing it to mop up or release other substances incredibly quickly.”
The idea for the project was envisioned by Dr James, who is an expert on porous materials, and Dr Cristina Lagunas, who is an expert in liquid technology. If the project becomes successful it could have significant benefits for a range of different applications.
“If we are able to prove this concept the long term benefits would be tremendous,” Dr James explained. “This has the potential to change the way that chemical plants operate or even improve dialysis treatments in hospitals.”