A recent nanotech breakthrough means we won't have to rely on wind and solar as the main ways to fuel the coming Green Economy – to drive our cars and trucks and planes and keep our factories running.
And that's a huge relief.
You see, there's a problem with "clean energy".
Nothing in the world today can compete with the power provided by oil.
At present, it only takes a few barrels of oil to match the power a big windmill or a massive array of solar panels can provide.
And efficiency is just one problem. Unlike oil, it's very difficult to store clean energy to use (after the sun goes down or when the wind refuses to blow).
On the other hand, drilling for oil poses big risks. We want to keep our land and water clean and need to protect ourselves from the huge damage oil spills do to the environment.
Those safeguards, however, raise the cost of drilling and the price you pay at the pump. But what if you could drill for oil without concern for spills?
It would provide a boon to the entire U.S. economy and reduce our need for oil imports. We could save billions a year at the pump, lower the cost of making U.S. products, and create millions of jobs in the process.
No doubt, that would be a game changer…
That's why I'm happy to report that researchers recently invented tiny sponges that can soak up huge amounts of oil.
I predict that, in as little as a decade, these "nanosponges" will help the U.S. become more energy independent.
Too bad clean-up crews didn't have these two years ago to soak up the 200 million gallons of oil BP spilled in the Gulf of Mexico.
That was a big job, but these tiny new sponges – much smaller than a single human hair – could have handled it. In fact, their miniscule size is what gives these sponges their huge advantage. It's hard to imagine making sponges any smaller. After all, you can't see them individually without the aid of a powerful microscope.
Yet they can soak up many times their own mass… It's almost like being able to drain a swimming pool with an ordinary kitchen sponge.
Not only that, these sponges resist damage. You can actually abuse them without the material breaking down. Consider that a team of researches "squeezed" the sponges 10,000 times in the lab and found that they remained elastic and ready for use.