According to The New Daily, scientists accidentally discovered that waste product from the petroleum industry, when mixed with waste product from the citrus industry, produce a polymer capable of absorbing mercury out of water.
“We take sulphur, which is a by-product of the petroleum industry, and we take limonene, which is the main component of orange oil, so is produced in large quantities by the citrus industry, and we’re able to react them together to form a type of soft red rubber, and what this material does is that it can grab mercury out of the water,” Dr Chalker said.
He said they conducted toxicity studies to make sure that the polymer itself was not harmful to the environment.
“That gives us hope that we’ll be able to commercialise and actually use this in the environment,” Dr Chalker said.
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