Easy To Make Pollution Magnet

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This magnet is stealing the arsenic right out of the water!Arsenic in water is a big problem in the developing world. It can cause death within 30 minutes. Worse, it is usually odorless and flavorless, so it’s hard for people to detect. Luckily, Dr. Vicki Colvin, a professor of chemistry and chemical and biomolecular engineering at Rice University, has invented a very easy way to produce a “pollution magnet” that will pull arsenic out of water.

How to Make an Arsenic Magnet

Colvin’s process to make an arsenic magnet is very simple and cheap, which is great for developing countries. Here’s how to make an arsenic magnet:

  1. Fry a teaspoon of rust in a mixture of oil and lye. This breaks the rust down into nano-sized pieces.
  2. Use a magnet to pick up the rust dust.
  3. Put rust-covered pollution magnet in water with arsenic.
  4. Pull out arsenic.

The system is up to a hundred times more efficient than existing methods, and the simplicity (and cheapness) of its production means that even dirt-poor people can make these arsenic magnets.

Dr. Vicki ColvinDr. Colvin’s arsenic magnet system could go global as soon as the next five years (if it passes governmental regulations). If her arsenic magnet is mass-produced, it could ease water (and arsenic) worries for millions of people in the developing world. For her invention, I have decided to award her the prestigious EcoJoes Eco-Hero award. Hear hear.

Posted in eco hero, inventions, water on Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 at 3:54 PM.

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