Artificial corals can clean seawater in China
Researchers have invented an artificial coral capable of cleaning the water environment.
Artificial corals can clean seawater
A group of Chinese researchers has developed a material that mimics how corals smoke industrial pollutants out of the water. Researchers hope this finding will help protect the health of fishermen around the world when working in the increasingly polluted sea environment today.
Heavy metals like mercury, lead and arsenic are thrown into the ocean environment from industrial processes. Plants absorb these substances, then animals that eat plants, predators eat plants that eat animals and the toxins accumulate towards the end of the food chain. Top animals of " predators" including humans will be the ones that absorb the most toxic substances .
Coral is a creature that absorbs very well the toxins in the aquatic environment, partly because of their special structure.
Therefore, a research group led by Xianbiao Wang created aluminum oxide sheets (which previously proved useful in cleaning heavy metals) to turn into a coral-like shape.
During the experiment, coral-like sheets absorb 2.5 times more mercury from water than traditional aluminum oxide nanoparticles. The details of the trial were published in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science.
"We are very excited about the results achieved, it provides a suggestion for the production of absorbent like coral ," Wang said. "We hope our work will be the inspiration for many studies to develop materials that mimic the organism's body."
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