New material mimics the structure of coral, a natural adsorbent of heavy metals
A new material that mimics coral could help remove toxic heavy metals like mercury from the ocean, according to a new study published in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. The researchers, from Anhui Jianzhu University in China, say their new material could provide inspiration for other approaches to removing pollutants.
Toxic heavy metal ions like mercury, lead and arsenic are released into the water through human activity, including manufacturing and industrial processes. One major source of toxic metal contamination is the ocean. When mercury pollutes the water, plants and animals absorb it. The mercury builds up in the food chain, ultimately resulting in toxic fish. According to the WHO, between 1.5 and 17 in every thousand children living in selected subsistence fishing populations showed cognitive impacts caused by the consumption of fish containing mercury.
Heavy metals are also toxic to corals: even at low concentrations, small amounts of heavy metal pollution can kill corals. This heightened toxicity is due to coral being very efficient at collecting, or adsorbing, heavy metals. The researchers behind the new study have taken inspiration from this and developed a device that mimics the way coral adsorbs heavy metals.
Dr. Xianbiao Wang and colleagues have made coral-like nanoplates using aluminium oxide, with the aim of adsorbing mercury from water. Aluminium oxide has previously been used to remove pollutants, but the structure of the material has not been optimal, so they have not performed very well. The new nanoplates curl themselves up into a coral-like structure, which behaves in a similar way to real coral, making the material more effective.
“Adsorption is an easy way to remove pollutants from water, so developing new products that can do this is a big challenge in environmental remediation,” said Dr. Xianbiao Wang, one of the authors of the study from Anhui Jianzhu University in China. “The chemical and physical structure of such products is very important, it is interesting to design and fabricate adsorbents with different structures to see how they behave. In particular, materials that mimic biological adsorbents like coral have potentially huge applications.”
The researchers tested the coral-like nanoplates on removing mercury from water. They found that the coral-like structure removed around 2.5 times more mercury from water than the traditional aluminium oxide nanoparticles.
The Latest on: Synthetic Coral
via Google News
The Latest on: Synthetic Coral
- Hiding Spots and Predators Benefit Reef Fishon March 22, 2020 at 2:07 am
To better understand the effect of these variables, researchers constructed 16 artificial “patch” reefs in shallow waters off the coast ... which would be good for creating conditions that are more ...
- Artificial Intelligence System Aimed at Preventing Drowningson March 21, 2020 at 12:20 am
The device resembles a stingray, except it doesn’t patrol the water in search of prey -- rather than threaten humans, it aims to save them.
- Artificial intelligence system aimed at preventing drowningson March 21, 2020 at 12:11 am
Fagerstrom said he has been looking for affordable artificial intelligence systems off and on for the last 15 years. In January, he discovered the Coral system, developed by Israeli software ...
- Artificial reef effort needs supporton March 17, 2020 at 9:03 pm
the natural Florida Keys reefs have declined substantially due to diseases like the stony coral tissue loss, and declining water quality. “We know the reef is getting a lot of stress from outside ...
- Welcome to Niue, the first country recognized as a Dark Sky Placeon March 17, 2020 at 1:51 pm
From sea to shining sea, this island nation is about 100 square miles of raised coral in the South Pacific. The name ... That designation — the first in the world for a country — is a reward for the ...
- Port Dickson offers coral reef tourismon March 16, 2020 at 6:46 pm
He said in efforts to boost the reef’s propagation in the area, in October last year, his department had deployed 25 artificial reefs to encourage coral growth and fish collection, costing RM300,000. ...
- Liquid Payments Supports Telehealth Providers in Managing Dramatic Increase in Patients Due to Coronavirus Pandemicon March 16, 2020 at 3:00 am
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla., March 16, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- In the wake of the Senate passing an $8.3 billion bill to combat the coronavirus, with ...
- Coral reef cleaning campaign launchedon March 14, 2020 at 3:24 pm
Environmental expert Mohamed Yousef al-Jaidah, a consultant at the MME and general supervisor of the initiative, said the comprehensive campaign to clean coral reefs along Sealine Beach was launched ...
- To save these seahorses, scientists built them 5-star underwater hotelson March 12, 2020 at 7:12 am
In fact, within Port Stephens, more than 90% of soft coral and sponge habitats declined over 10 years at sites where the ... As the growth increases over time, fish and invertebrates would move onto ...
- Oldest dive club in Florida is based in Cape Coralon March 12, 2020 at 6:00 am
This active dive club hosts activities from diving charters, trips, park and beach cleanups, community services, dinners and special presentations ...
via Bing News