Mercury ions (light purple) are attracted to an electrode's surface where they get reduced to metallic mercury. Mercury (dark purple) and platinum (grey) atoms form an alloy, and the mercury is thus removed from the water. Image: B. Wickman and A. Arvidsson/Chalmers University of Technology
New technique to remove toxic mercury from contaminated water - technology short science news

Researchers have established a new technique to remove the highly toxic mercury from contaminated water. The new method is based on electrochemistry. Mercury ions are attracted to a metal plate, an electrode of platinum, get reduced to metallic mercury and together, mercury and platinum form a stable alloy. Each platinum atom can bond four mercury atoms, and do not bond with other ions in the water. Mercury can then be safely removed from the electrode, which can thus be reused.

Read the full story: Chalmers University of Technology
Scientific publication: Nature Communications