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Comment Water Treatment

Coral enhances the removal of mercury from wastewater

By Paul Grad |

A convenient route for the fabrication of a bio-mimetic, coral-like nanoporous γ-Al2O3 with a higher capacity to adsorb Hg(II) in aqueous solution than those of commercial Al2O3, has been reported by a research group from Anhui Jianzhu University (Hefei City, China; www.ahjzu.edu.cn), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Hefei, China; www.cas.ac.cn), and Monash University (Melbourne, Australia; www.monash.edu). Generally, nanosized γ-AlOOH (boehmite) or γ-Al2O3 adsorbents have been used to remove heavy metals, such as mercury from water due to their high surface area and the existence of rich adsorption sites. However, those adsorbents tend to aggregate in solution during the adsorption process, resulting in a decrease of adsorption efficiency. Also, they require centrifugation to separate the heavy metals from water, which limits their large-scale industrial application. Coral-like adsorbents might overcome this problem due to their hierarchical micro/nanostructure. The microsized units are composed of curled nano-sized units that can resist aggregation, maintain high exposed surface area, and they can be easily separated, leading to high adsorption efficiency. Therefore, coral-like aluminum-based materials should be high efficiency…
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