Extracting Radioactive Elements from Air and Water

extracting radon from air and waterA new method for extracting radioactive elements from air and water has been successfully tested by scientists at the University of Liverpool today.

Radon, Krypton and Xenon are gases that are radioactive. Most radioactive elements naturally occurring are only present in very small quantities. Due to the small amounts naturally occurring, it has made it very expensive for research industries to obtain and use. Radon, is an exception to this statement as it collects in buildings in larger amounts. As a result, Radon has been determined to be the culprit of over 21,000 lung cancer cases and deaths per year.

Today the scientists from the University of Liverpool and researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, U.S, were successful in testing a material called CC3 to extract atoms from dangerous elements, such as Radon, Krypton and Xenon from air.

CC3 is an “organic cage molecule” that was developed in Liverpool. The scientists describe this organic cage molecule as similar to a block of cages that are specifically shaped to capture the exact shape of specific gas molecules (radon, krypton and xenon) while letting others such as nitrogen and water pass through the “cage”.

The development of the CC3 molecule has led to tests that produced “results far superior to the current best materials”. Due to it’s success, the possibility exists that the CC3 molecule will be used for both commercial processes, as well as a potential candidate for use in the pharmaceutical industry.

Potential uses of the organic cage molecule, CC3 could be to assist researchers in the pharmaceutical industry in the separation of molecules that are closely related and difficult to differentiate. As for a potential commercial use, the CC3 molecule could be used in processes for detecting/absorbing radon in building or homes.

This is truly a triumphant accomplishment for the researchers, scientists and research and development communities as a whole.

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