Chinese scientists design mercury absorbent to tackle pollution

Chinese scientists have developed a new composite mercury absorbent that can effectively soak up mercury in wastewater.

Chinese scientists design mercury absorbent to tackle pollution

Mercury contamination in water has become a global concern as it poses threats to the ecological system and human health. China has set strict limits on mercury emissions from industrial wastewater, and there is a great need for effective ways to remove mercury from water.

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Scientists from the Xinjiang Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry under the Chinese Academy of Sciences have designed a novel polymer-based mercury absorbent called HPFC. The adsorbent demonstrated ultra-high adsorption capacity toward the removal of mercury ions in water.

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After 45 minutes of treatment with 20 micrograms of HPFC in 20 millimeters of water, the concentration of mercury decreased from 798.1 mg/L to 0.02 mg/L, which is below the national drainage standard of 0.05 mg/L for industrial wastewater in China.

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The research also disclosed the adsorption mechanism based on spectrum analysis.

The mercury absorbent is acid-resistant and can be reused multiple times. It has high potential in remediating water polluted with mercury.

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