Micro-robots from pollen can remove mercury from wastewater

Tiny pollen-made robots will be used for wastewater treatment. This was stated by scientists from the Czech Republic.

The wastewater emitted by plants contains mercury – a metal that, when consumed, can cause several diseases or complications at once. There are methods for removing mercury in wastewater treatment plants, but they are time-consuming and expensive.

Martin Pumer of the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague and his colleagues are working on a low-cost alternative. Some pollen grains have a natural tendency to adsorb mercury, so Pumer and his team experimented to find ways to use this to purify water.

Pumer described microrobots, which are partially composed of pollen, one of the most stable structures in the world that can withstand harsh conditions. Pollen grains are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, so they can be used to efficiently produce platinum-coated hybrid microrobots that can be introduced into the aquatic environment.

Nine different pollen grains are selected and modified to restore the environment. They, for example, can be introduced into wastewater, which will remove heavy metals from them.

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