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New Technique to aid Eliminate Heavy Metals from Soil

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Published on : Jun 05, 2019

Toxic heavy metals such as cadmium and lead discharged from industrial plants or mines run into nearby soil to pollute the latter. This makes removal of contaminants from soil is a task, with no easy way to address. In such scenarios, cutting way land, mainly the one used for agricultural purposes is best recourse, experts opine.

Resultantly, this prevents toxins to enter the food chain causing a threat to human and animal health.

In the U.S., heavy metals have been found at very large number of locations across the country, according to Environmental Protection Agency. The cleanup of these metals have been carried out, to some extent, via combination of efforts of private, state, and federal agencies collectively.

But still lots yet to be done.

Pilot Testing on Charts for further Validation, say researchers

This requires use of novel technologies to address environmental contamination related to heavy metals.

Ensuing, research has led to invention of a new technique for the same. A team of material scientists at Stanford have invented a technique to eliminate heavy metals from contaminated soils. This involves a chemical process somewhat like brewing coffee.

To begin, the process involved rinsing contaminated soil with a mixture of chemical and water that attracts heavy metals. The mixture when percolated through soil, the chemical part of the mixture loosens heavy metals underneath. Following this, toxic brew from the soil collected and passed through an electrochemical filter, wherein metals captured out of water.

This resulted in cleaning up soil from heavy metals, followed by recycling of water and chemical mixture to further leech in contaminated ground as the last step.

Next step for validation of the technique is to conduct a pilot test for the same. This is to corroborate what works in laboratory environments holds good in real environments too, stated lead of the study.