Chemical Engineering: Breathing Air Out of Water

The 3-ft. tank filled with swimming goldfish looked like any other pet-shop aquarium, but the hamster hopping about inside the tank raised more than a few eyebrows. Sealed in an air-filled chamber, the hamster was staying nicely alive in his underwater environment without the help of lines or pipes leading to the air above the surface.

Keeping the water out of the hamster's container was an all-but-invisible silicone rubber film. But what was truly remarkable was that the film was acting like a membrane, drawing oxygen out of the water for the hamster to breathe. Just as remarkable, the porous...

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