Algae Holds Promise for Nuclear Clean Up

“Algae Holds Promise for Nuclear Clean-Up: Organisms Ability to Distinguish Strontium from Calcium Could Help in Dealing with Nuclear Waste.”

Article by Richard A. Lovett. March 2011.

Important Points:

  • Crescent-shaped C. moniliferum caught Krejci’s eye because if its unusual ability to remove strontium from water.
  • The organism had no particular interest in strontium; it mostly collects barium. ┬áBut strontium is midway between calcium and barium in size and properties, so any of it that happens to be around gets crystallized as well.
  • Gija Geme an Associate Professor of Chemistry urged Krejci’s team not to spend too much time trying to discover precisely why the algae does what it does before they start testing the process with nuclear wastes.

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110330/full/news.2011.195.html