They use nanobots to end pollution of the oceans

They use nanobots to end pollution of the oceans

The ocean pollution It became a serious problem years ago, and therefore there are more and more possible methods to solve it.

This contamination is not made up of just one material, but several. The material that stands out the most is, of course, the plastic. We even know that plastic from ocean pollution has produced artificial islands made of plastic, and even plastic stones. It is an achievement of humanity that no one should be proud of. In addition, we have other substances, such as carbon dioxide or CO2 already famous for being key in the air pollution. It could not be missing in the pollution of the oceans, right?

On the other hand we have metals, which are found both in the seas and are already part of the food chain of living things (such as mercury). And now, thanks to a team of German and Spanish researchers, we may have a new method to remove these metals: Nanobots.

Nanobots to clean pollution from oceans


It is not a utopa, it is a study recently published in the magazine Nano Letters: Nanorobots capable of cleaning the metals that pollute our waters.

Thanks to the collaboration between the researchers of the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (Stuttgart, Germany); the Catalan Bioengineering Institute and the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies (Barcelona, ​​Spain); it has been possible to manufacture nanobots from graphene designed to detect and collect heavy metal particles in wastewater.

These nanobots have up to three layers: The outer part, made of graphene oxide, absorbs lead. The middle part, nickel, allows researchers to control their movements through a magnetic field. Finally, its motor is platinum plated and allows nanobots to propel themselves forward thanks to a chemical reaction with hydrogen peroxide (leaving typical bubbles around).

Can remove up to 95% of lead in contaminated water

When the nanobots take action they act in a flock, sweeping away all the metal particles that are part of the pollution of the oceans. The researchers claim that up to 95% of lead from polluted water can be removed in just one hour, after which the nanobots return thanks to a magnetic field. The collected particles go through an acid bath or are sometimes recycled.

At the moment the research has been based on collecting lead, but it is expected that similar designs can be used with the three mentioned layers and power remove other types of heavy metals from waters.

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