Mercury has not only toxic effects on bird and fish reproduction but can retard brain development in children. Leaching into the environment after mining and burning fossil fuel, mercury can spell biological disaster.
To get rid of it, a team of chemists at Flinders University in Australia has developed a new material called Sulphur- Limonene Polysulfide, to permanently remove mercury from soil and water.
According to the scientists, SLP is a polymer that looks like red rubber, and is made quite cheaply from industrial by-products. It made of any shape as per the requirement.
SLP is manufactured from sulphur, a by-product of the crude oil industry and limonene, which is found in orange peel and an unused waste material from the citrus industry. Both components are readily and cheaply available, making SLP a highly sustainable product. Lining storage containers with SLP successfully removes mercury from river and pond water and soil. This turns toxic water to nearly drinkable, with concentrations of mercury reduced a thousand fold,from several parts per million down to only several parts per billion.