Scientists have been searching for an effective method to remove radioactive elements in industrial wastewater and accidental spill in aquatic environments, to support and boost the sustainability of nuclear plants.
A team of Czech researchers reported in a recent publication that they have developed microscaled, self-propelled robots that can extract radioactive uranium species in water with high efficiency.
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are compounds that have metal ions core coordinated to organic ligands. Due to their multi-dimensional structures, MOFs are considered an ideal vehicle to trap heavy metal particles within their spacies inner structure.
The Czech group built their MOF robots at 1/15 the thickness of a hair, gave a motor and a magnet. These self-mobilized cleaners can propel themselves in liquids, actively soaking up uranium, and can be easily collected once the cleanup is finished.
This study is published in the journal ACS Nano.
Source: ACS via Youtube