Sea Shells Used To Clean Up Heavy Metals

full story @ www.msnbc.msn.com

Technique could save millions of lives in coastal cities in developing world

By Michael Reilly

On the banks of the Saigon River in Vietnam, researchers have just completed tests on a new way to combat water pollution that could save millions of lives in coastal cities throughout the developing world.

In factories on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, Stephan Kohler of the Graz University of Technology in Austria and a team of researchers have cleansed water tainted with toxic metals like cadmium, zinc, lead and iron. And they’ve done it using nothing but one of the cheapest, most abundant material around: seashells.

Kohler’s team has found that pouring metal and acid-laden water over a bed of crushed clam or mussel shells provides an easy fix. The shells are made of aragonite, a form of calcium carbonate (CACO3) that readily swaps out its calcium atoms in favor of heavy metals, locking them into a solid form. The shells are naturally basic, too — when dissolved they have a pH of 8.3.

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2 Responses

  1. one more nice topic in your blog and nice comments too keep it up, by the way Graz is a very lovely city I enjoyed it so much

  2. I found your blog by chance . but i have to say that it’s great blog very useful information and very interesting subjects just greetings and good luck
    i’m not going i will be always checking for updates.by the way Graz is a very lovely city I enjoyed it so much.

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