Teledyne Leeman Labs Blog

Used Coffee Grounds Can Save Polluted Water

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Sep 13, 2018 3:05:41 PM

For many cappuccino and latte lovers, the ideal coffee coupling consists of a warm microfoam meticulously mingled with a favorite coffee.  And, a seemingly magical dose of microfoam is at the crux of latte art for coffee aficionados. But, can foam and coffee work together to remedy water pollution problems? A new study reveals how coffee and foam can function in concert to divorce destructive chemicals, such as mercury, from polluted water.

The study, published in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, explained how researchers from the American Chemical Society used spent coffee grounds and bioelastomeric foam to remediate water. The foam, infused with expended coffee grounds, performed as a filter.  Water is deemed remediated when pollutants are eliminated so it is safely consumable for people to drink.

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Tags: mercury analysis, Combustion

Global Study Finds Mercury Threatening Women and Unborn Children

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Jul 3, 2018 8:38:54 AM

Nearly 1,050 women from 37 locations across 25 countries were the subjects of a recent report, Mercury in Women of Childbearing Age in 25 Countries, which measured mercury levels in their hair samples. The study found significantly elevated mercury concentrations in the hair of women in numerous regions of the world. The high levels of mercury were caused by three main sources of mercury pollution: coal- fired power plants (one of the main sources globally that contaminate oceans with mercury that accumulates in fish), artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) and local contaminated sites from various industries releasing mercury to soil, water and air.

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Tags: mercury analysis

Are there Consequences of Eating a Gluten-free Diet?

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Mar 14, 2018 1:53:39 PM

A report published in the journal Epidemiology suggested that people who eat a gluten-free diet might be at risk of increased exposure to arsenic and mercury. While people with celiac disease are advised to eat a diet that is free of gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, the number of people eating gluten-free diets has increased significantly the past several years. More than a quarter of Americans in 2015 claimed to be eating a gluten-free diet, an increase of 67 percent from 2013. Many gluten-free products use rice flour as a substitute for wheat. Rice is known to accumulate toxic metals such as arsenic and mercury from fertilizers, soil and water.

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Tags: mercury analysis

Using Pine Needles to Monitor Mercury Contamination

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Feb 1, 2018 10:00:00 AM

Pine Needles.jpgScientists are increasingly using trees for biomonitoring mercury and other atmospheric pollutants. Leaves from a variety of species have been widely used for measuring mercury pollution, but when it comes to pine, only the pine bark has been used. Scientist have started to study a strip of pine trees adjacent to Almadén in south central Spain, where the largest cinnabar deposits in the world have been mined for more than 2,000 years to obtain metallic mercury. The scientists are specifically collecting pine tree needles from sites adjacent to the mining strip in order to evaluate the needles as monitors of mercury contamination. For the study, published in October 2017 in Environmental Science and Pollution Research, scientist also gathered leaves, needles and soil from other locations to monitor mercury contamination in the area during the night and day.

 

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Tags: mercury analysis

Coffee Grounds as Filters for Mercury and Lead

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Jan 23, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Coffee.jpgResearchers have turned coffee grounds into a spongy filter that absorbs heavy metals from water. The filter, which was described in the September 2016 issue of the American Chemical Society's journal Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, is composed of 60 wt % of spent coffee powder and 40 wt percent of silicone elastomer using the sugar leaching technique. The researchers found that by adding sugar and silicone to the coffee, they were able to create a foamy brick that when soaked in water would leach out the sugar, leaving the coffee grounds to bind to metal in the water.

 

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Tags: mercury analysis

Determining Mercury in Kerosene

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Oct 26, 2017 1:07:53 PM

Teledyne Leeman Labs completed a study using its Hydra IIC mercury analyzer in Volatile Hydrocarbon (VHC) mode to determine the total mercury in kerosene. We published a technical note that demonstrates the capabilities of the Hydra IIC to determine the level of mercury by direct combustion of the kerosene. The system was also configured with an enhanced moisture control system.

 

The Hydra IIC is an independent standalone analyzer that uses Cold Vapor Atomic Absorbance (CVAA) spectroscopy to obtain reliable quantitative data from simple to complex matrices by direct combustion combined with a proprietary catalyst to remove interfering compounds such as sulfur and nitrogen oxides. The biggest advantage of the Hydra IIC is that no sample preparation is required before analysis. And, because no sample preparation is required; the cost and hassle of dealing with waste disposal is avoided.

 

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Tags: CVAA, mercury analysis, kerosene

Clear Lake a Poster Child for Mercury Contamination

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Jun 15, 2017 8:00:26 AM

Clear Lake near Clearlake Oaks, California is home to the Elem Indian Colony, but while it has been an area of spiritual significance to the colony, it has better known as a toxic dump for mercury contamination as a result of the Sulfur Bank abandoned mine. For more than a century, the mine has leached tons of mercury in to the lake, poisoning the tribe’s food chain and the fish in the lake. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been studying the mine since 1990, and engaged in a number of cleanup operations and preventive efforts to reduce the contaminated runoff.  The EPA considers the mine a high priority and will complete a feasibility study in the spring of 2017.

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Tags: mercury analysis

Analyzing Beverages for Mineral and Heavy Metal Conten

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Aug 5, 2016 3:23:11 PM

Teledyne Leeman Labs recently used its Prodigy7 ICP-OES to analyze beverages for mineral and heavy metal content. The goal of the analysis was to demonstrate the effectiveness of the system and method in measuring mineral and heavy metal content in a variety of beverage samples. The results of the analysis were compared with the drinking water standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization.

 

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Tags: mercury analysis

Department of Energy Wants New Research and Technology to Fight Mercury Contamination

Posted by Betsey Seibel on Jul 6, 2016 4:40:23 PM

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released a new plan to address the Environmental Management (EM) challenge of mercury contamination at two sites in Tennessee and South Carolina. The plan “advocates for research and the development of technologies that could resolve key technical uncertainties with mercury in environmental remediation, the deactivation and decommissioning of facilities, and processing waste in tanks.”

 

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Tags: mercury analysis

Citrus Peels and Waste Sulfur Key to New Mercury Absorbing Polymer

Posted by Betsey Seibel on May 17, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Citrus_fruit.jpgA research team at Flinders University in Australia has “developed an inexpensive, non-toxic polymer that can absorb hazardous mercury compounds out of water and soil.” The secret ingredient of the polymer is a colorless liquid hydrocarbon that is extracted from the peel of citrus fruits such as lemons, limes and oranges. The process to extract limonene, which gives citrus fruits their smell, includes centrifugal separation and steam distillation.

 

According to a paper published in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition, limonene is combined with an equal mass of molten sulfur and synthesized to form a sulfur-limonene polysulfide compound. The two-phase mixture becomes a single, dark red phase upon reaction. The mixture turns a bright yellow in the presence of mercury.

 

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Tags: mercury analysis