Biomimetic file 154: Pollution removal

Mercury removal substance developed from Orange peels!


Picture: Sulphur-limonene polysulphide. Justin Chalker, Author provided 

Highlight: “Mercury pollution is one of the most insidious problems in our environment. Researchers from Flinders University have unveiled a new material that can scrub mercury from the environment.. The material – sulphur-limonene polysulphide – binds to mercury and changes colour…Limonene is a substance that can be extrated from orange peels…”

Insight: An interesting development making use of waste products from current industrial activities. Perhaps the best aspect of this research is also the fact that the substance changes color when bonded with mercury.

While surrounded by invisible pollutants we have become  tolerant to this idea despite the significant health risks resulting from prolonged exposures.  Perhaps if invisible pollutants were made visible to the human eye, drastic changes will start to surface and public opinion would force authorities to take actions.

The same Principe applies to the climate change issue: if CO2 emissions (and other gases) were made visible in real time through technology such as instant light radiation analysis, the source of the problem would become evident to everyone; not that there isn’t enough evidence to date, but people seem to be more reactive when relying on their own senses…

This principle is well apparent at present with the forest fires in Indonesia, not many people care about the issue until it becomes visible and starts to affect them directly…

More information: here

What is Biomimetics: the field of gaining inspiration from nature first to solve some of our most difficult challenges. Instead of coming up with our own solutions to a problematic, the odds are that species on the planet already offer an ultimate solution. This simple fact is also another strong case to preserve species at all cost as the intellectual heritage contained within or through the study of species is both irreplaceable and invaluable…



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