skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Yarn: The Next Great Environmental Cleanup Tool?

play audio
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

more stories
According to the National Family Farm Coalition, the average U.S. farmland value is now $3,800 per
acre, the highest since the 1970s. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

North Dakota's farming landscape is seeing policy shifts dealing with corporate ownership of agricultural interests. Now, there's fresh debate at the …


Social Issues

play sound

Advocates for unpaid family caregivers in Maine say they'll need continued support beyond the recently passed paid family and medical leave program…

Social Issues

play sound

The Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida are filing lawsuits against the deacti…


An estimated 40% of recent college graduates in the U.S. are underemployed, according to Statista. (Adobe Stock)

play sound

A new report from WGU Labs, a nonprofit affiliate of Western Governors University based in Millcreek, Utah, is shedding light on the importance of …

Social Issues

play sound

Many older residents of Washington state are facing strains on their budgets -- and the government programs that could assist them are underused…

Today marks the 35th anniversary of World AIDS Day. (Nito/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

New Mexico activists are tapping today's World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, to announce they'll ask the State Legislature to provide more money for treatment …

play sound

Bipartisan legislation that proposes the installation of solar panels in schools across Pennsylvania awaits a vote in the state Senate. The Solar …

Social Issues

play sound

A bill in Congress with a Connecticut House sponsor aims to reduce child labor in the United States. Called the "Children Harmed in Life-Threatening …

 

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