Scientists have created fake coral to rid the ocean of mercury pollution


The ever-rising mercury level of the ocean is one of the most well-documented and well-known instances of pollution out there, and yet little has been done to actually reverse the damage that’s being done. This is something that a group of Chinese scientists want to change with some new “fake coral” that posses metal-absorbing properties that could rid the ocean of the industrial waste that has been choking out and poisoning sea life for decades. 

More and more waste is building up on shorelines and deep under the ocean because of human activity, but humans have not made any efforts to add cleaning agents to ensure our waters are pollution-free — until now. Scientists have developed a device that has coral-like metal-absorbing properties that rids ocean waters of industrial waste. Researchers from China’s Anhui Jianzhu University conducted an experiment to test the effectiveness of their coral-like industrial waste cleaners and published their findings in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science. “Absorption is an easy way to remove pollutants from water, as developing new products that can do this is a big challenge in environmental remediation,” said Jianzhu University’s Dr. Xianbiao Wang, one of the study’s authors. Dr. Wang noted the importance of the product’s physical and synthetic structure. While science allows them to experiment with creating adsorbents that have different structures, they were able to particularly fabricate products whose important feature is similar to that of corals. Dr. Wang emphasized the synthetic material’s “potentially huge applications.”

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