We rely on water to quench our thirst and to irrigate bountiful farmland. But what do you do when that once pristine water is polluted with wastewater from abandoned copper mines?
A promising solution relies on materials that capture heavy metal atoms, such as copper ions, from wastewater through a separation process called adsorption. But commercially available copper-ion-capture products still lack the chemical specificity and load capacity to precisely separate heavy metals from water.
Now, a team of scientists led by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has designed a new material—called ZIOS (zinc imidazole salicylaldoxime)—that targets and traps copper ions from wastewater with unprecedented precision and speed. In a paper recently published in the journal Nature Communications, the