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GOP VP Nominee Vance calls Republicans champions of the middle class; President Biden is isolating with Covid while sources say Schumer privately urged Biden to step aside in the 2024 election: NY bill addresses monopolies, anti-trust loopholes; ACLU of Alabama launches Project MOVE to boost voter turnout.

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Ohio Sen. JD Vance makes an 'America First' VP nomination acceptance speech. Tough national security talk papers over GOP complexities on foreign policy. Sen. Bob Menendez resigns and President Biden catches COVID.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Yarn: The Next Great Environmental Cleanup Tool?

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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.


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