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Seaweed has a clear function of nuclear contamination
According to the British "Nature" magazine website reported March 30, U.S. scientists at the recent American Chemical Society annual meeting, said a nuclear waste could be algae in separate strontium and calcium is expected to become a nuclear accident to eliminate pollution " cleaners. "
Northwestern University materials scientist Mina Cressy said that this kind of life in ordinary freshwater algae known as Nostoc sp moon, this crescent Nostoc has a remarkable ability - can water Strontium cleared, and its deposition in the formation of subcellular structures crystal vacuole, the vacuole can be "inclusive" with radioactive isotopes strontium 90.
Strontium 90 is very dangerous, it can infiltrate into the milk, bone marrow, blood and other body tissues, the release of radiation can even cause cancer. Cressy said: "The half-life of strontium-90 is about 30 years, even 100 years after leaving the reactor, which can become a major health hazard."
The nature and size of strontium with the calcium atoms are very similar biological processes difficult to separate these two elements. The nuclear reactor wastes and accidental spills in the amount of calcium is 100 billion times the strontium, it needed a more efficient way to separate them.
Cressy found that nuclear waste through the addition of barium, beads with one of the new moon algae strontium barium allows the formation of crystals, beads because of the subcellular structure of the new moon algal vacuoles rich in sulfur, and sulfur solution of barium and strontium in The relatively low solubility, it is easy to settle down to form crystals, thus changing the algae by the number of barium in their environment can be allowed to absorb more strontium. Cressy noted that the requirements of barium can be large, perhaps by changing the environment in which algae to change the concentration of sulfur in the sulfur content in the vacuole to improve the process.
Currently, Crecy and his colleagues have not tested this algae to survive in the radiation environment in the situation. However, because the crystallization process is proceeding very quickly, they survive long enough to allow them to remove strontium. Cressy said: "Algae in 30 minutes to 1 hour can precipitate crystals, and this is also very easy to cultivate seaweed."