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Submission + - Shells Take Radioactive Contaminants From Water (

RedEaredSlider writes: A byproduct of the paper industry and crab shells may soon be used to take radioactive contaminants out of water.

Joel Pawlak, an associate professor of forest biomaterials at North Carolina State University, has developed a material similar to foam rubber that absorbs water and attaches to molecules dissolved in it, leaving pure and potable water behind.

The material is a combination of hemicellulose and chitosan. The first comes from wood and is extracted by the ton in the paper-making process. Chitosan is extracted from ordinary crustacean shells — primarily crab, shrimp and lobster — by treatment with hydrochloric acid and then sodium hydroxide.

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Shells Take Radioactive Contaminants From Water

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What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.