Thursday, January 27, 2022

Play

The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory, and President Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time.

Play

Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement, the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic, and Ariz. lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.

Play

Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

Yarn: The Next Great Environmental Cleanup Tool?

Play

Tuesday, September 11, 2018   

MOSCOW, Idaho — Idaho researchers may have found a new, green technology that is perfectly suited for cleaning up environmental messes: yarn. Scientists at LCW Supercritical Technologies in Moscow and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have found that acrylic fiber is highly effective at extracting uranium from seawater.

President of LCW Supercritical Technologies Chien Wai said the experiments led him to wonder how this material would do extracting other heavy metals, such as those found at high levels in polluted mining sites. Wai said it turns out yarn works very well for this process, too.

"If we can use this cheap material to clean up the contaminated streams, waterways, that would be a great environmental remediation technology,” Wai said.

Wai said there are even more applications for acrylic strands of fiber picking up heavy metals, such as filters for cleaning lead out of drinking water. The experiment extracting uranium from seawater was made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and could get a large-scale test in the Gulf of Mexico.

Wai said he would like to have the opportunity to test the material for environmental remediation and is still waiting on that chance. Along with being effective, Wai underscored how cheap the process is.

"We even get the sweaters from Goodwill and that's 100% acrylic fiber - used sweaters - and they work just as well,” he said. “So you can think that this making waste into a wonderful material for environmental applications."

Wai noted even more possibilities for acrylic fiber, such as picking up vanadium, which is important in battery and steel production, and extracting precious metals like gold and silver. The next step for researchers is scaling the technology up for commercial use.


get more stories like this via email

Under a new proposal, California employees could use up to three days of paid sick leave to get and recover from a COVID vaccination. (Mangostar/Adobestock)

Social Issues

Parents' rights groups are praising a plan to extend paid sick leave for many California workers, which is now on a fast track to pass. Gov…


Social Issues

Changes to a student-loan program for public-service employees is transforming the lives of Montanans who had their debts forgiven. In October…

Health and Wellness

When the Pueblo Community Health Center opened its 14,000 square-foot facility in 2003, Pueblo's east side, home to mostly minority residents…


By 2035, there are projected to be more than 1.2 million older adults living in Minnesota (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Minnesota is building on efforts to meet the needs of its growing population of older adults, now becoming the 10th state to join AARP's network of …

Social Issues

The past year saw American workers reassessing their jobs. However, those shifts did not result in higher union membership at the national level…

Those calling for permanent universal free school meals say research has linked them to better academic outcomes. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This summer, a key initiative to boost school meal access during the pandemic will expire. In North Dakota, those working at the community level say …

Environment

New research suggests Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction event, on par with the one that ended the age of dinosaurs, already is under way. Noah Greenwald…

Social Issues

As local municipalities consider ways to use an influx of funds from the American Rescue Plan, some communities see it as an opportunity to support …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021