Carbonisation of a polymer made from sulfur and canola oil
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Water contaminated with mercury, a toxic heavy metal, could be cleaned up using a simple material made from sulfur and canola oil.
Due to the strong bonds that form between sulfur and mercury, sulfur-rich materials are attracting interest for the environmental remediation of sites contaminated with mercury.
Now, a team that included Deakin University researchers has shown that a polymer made by heating sulfur and canola oil — a reaction that can be performed industrially on a multi-tonne scale — could form the basis of a mercury-absorbing material.
The polymer itself showed a modest mercury capture, but carbonizing it at 600 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes produced a material with significantly higher mercury adsorption. Mercury uptake was higher still when the polymer was used to mop up an oil spill and then carbonized, suggesting that it could have a dual use in environmental clean-ups.
- Chemical Communications 57, 6296 (2021). doi: 10.1039/d1cc01555a
|Flinders University, Australia||0.67|
|Deakin University, Australia||0.17|
|Flinders Microscopy and Microanalysis, Australia||0.08|
|University of Liverpool, United Kingdom (UK)||0.08|