Mexican scientists develop new method to clean up marine pollution

Researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico have developed a new technology to eradicate marine pollutants like oil, fertilizers, radioactive substances, drugs, etc.

The inventive method includes nanotubes made using magnetite, a highly magnetic mineral, and halloysite, a naturally-sourced clay material.

Project leader Marina Vargas Rodriguez revealed that a magnetic field can be applied to remove the stain and can also be used to put out the oil. Vargas pointed out that the technique will provide the option to push contaminant back into the sea and save beaches from pollution.

The method is tested on several types of oil. Vargas noted that the materials can absorb oil and stay in one place.

The technique can clean up the most dangerous hydrocarbons. The recovered oil can be reused instead of burning it in situ and releasing hazardous substances into the air.

Vargas added that oil spills disrupt the food chain and affect marine life. Additionally, the fish absorb carcinogenic substances, and such fishes are caught and consumed by humans.

Interestingly, the new technology has a diverse range of applications, from cleaning large oil spills to decontaminating lakes, rivers, and lagoons.

Furthermore, the cost of this technique is much lower as halloysite nanotubes are sourced naturally whereas carbon nanotubes are required to be synthesized which makes them expensive.

Marina mentioned that the low-cost technology can be adopted in any country having this issue. Such technologies can be used worldwide and any country or region in dire need should adopt them without hesitation.

In March 2022, over 175 countries voted to commence preparations for a new treaty that intends to regulate and control plastics that are damaging the environment and ecosystem globally.

The UNEA (United Nations Environment Assembly) implemented a resolution to end plastic pollution and commence the process of consolidating a global agreement that will regulate the production and disposal of plastics in the future.

Source credits: http://www.china.org.cn/world/Off_the_Wire/2022-05/22/content_78231301.htm