Related topics: water · pollution

Microbots can clean up polluted water

(—A new study shows that a swarm of hundreds of thousands of tiny microbots, each smaller than the width of a human hair, can be deployed into industrial wastewater to absorb and remove toxic heavy metals. The ...

Lighting up chemical reactions for sustainable drug production

Researchers have discovered a new approach for using visible-light to structurally modify bioactive molecules in chemical reactions, providing a possible sustainable alternative to traditional methods that could be used in ...

Beyond the brim, Sombrero Galaxy's halo suggests turbulent past

Surprising new data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope suggests the smooth, settled "brim" of the Sombrero galaxy's disk may be concealing a turbulent past. Hubble's sharpness and sensitivity resolves tens of thousands of ...

Distant 'heavy metal' gas planet is shaped like a football

The scorching hot exoplanet WASP-121b may not be shredding any heavy metal guitar riffs, but it is sending heavy metals such as iron and magnesium into space. The distant planet's atmosphere is so hot that metal is vaporizing ...

Honey bees can help monitor pollution in cities

Honey from urban bees can tell us how clean a city is and help pinpoint the sources of environmental pollutants such as lead, new University of British Columbia research has found.

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Heavy metal (chemistry)

A heavy metal is a member of an ill-defined subset of elements that exhibit metallic properties, which would mainly include the transition metals, some metalloids, lanthanides, and actinides. Many different definitions have been proposed—some based on density, some on atomic number or atomic weight, and some on chemical properties or toxicity. The term heavy metal has been called "meaningless and misleading" in an IUPAC technical report due to the contradictory definitions and its lack of a "coherent scientific basis". There is an alternative term toxic metal, for which no consensus of exact definition exists either. As discussed below, depending on context, heavy metal can include elements lighter than carbon and can exclude some of the heaviest metals. Heavy metals occur naturally in the ecosystem with large variations in concentration. Nowadays anthropogenic sources of heavy metals, i.e. pollution, have been introduced to the ecosystem. Waste derived fuels are especially prone to contain heavy metals so they should be a central concern in a consideration of their use.

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