Hg Removal

Researchers from Chalmers niversity of Technology (Goteborg, Sweden; www.chalmers.se) have developed a patent-pending method for emoving mercury from wastewater. The technique, known as electrochemical alloying, is described in a recent issue of Nature Communications.

In the process, a platinum electrode is used to draw the mercury ions out of solution to form a stable alloy. Because each Pt atom can “bond” with four Hg atoms, the electrode has a high capacity, and it can be regenerated when loaded in a controlled way. The method is selective for removing only Hg from water, and has been shown to reduce Hg concentrations in a liquid by more than 99%. A company, Atium AB (Goteborg, Sweden; www.atium.se), has been established to commercialize the discovery. Currently, a prototype device is being developed for performing field tests.

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