Science and Mathematics Faculty Publications
Mercury Pollution and Remediation: The Chemist's Response to a Global Crisis
Journal of Chemical Crystallography
Environmental mercury pollution is a growing global problem. Due to its unique properties, mercury has in the past been widely used by a variety of industries. This has led to the deposition of large amounts of mercury into the environment, where it is naturally redistributed but not naturally removed. In its methylated form, this mercury tends to accumulate in marine life, eventually reaching levels that can be toxic to humans. Fortunately a variety of remediation methods, including phytoremediation, filtration, and chemical precipitation, are currently in development. One precipitation leagent called MetX appears extremely promising. It binds mercury and other soft heavy metals irreversibly and produces precipitates that do not leach. This technology and many others holds the promise of a future victory over mercury pollution.
Mercury, pollution, remediation
Atwood, D. A. & Hutchison, A. R. (2003). Mercury pollution and remediation: the chemist's response to a global crisis. Journal of Chemical Crystallography, 33 (8), 631-645.