Researchers use egg shells to measure pollution

News ID: 3760334 -
TEHRAN, Sep. 04 (MNA) – Iranian researchers have used the proteins in egg shells to synthesize a type of nanocomposite used for measuring environmental pollution.

Due to the high toxicity and bioaccumulation factor of mercury, extensive efforts have been made to measure this dangerous metal in environmental samples. Analytical methods have been evaluated and employed for this purpose, but these methods are often time-consuming, expensive and require sophisticated equipment. Thus, studies are still being conducted to introduce an accurate, yet inexpensive analytical method.

Iranian researcher Habib Razmi said the aim of his project was to use the proteins in eggshell membrane and graphene oxide to measure the small amounts of mercury in environmental samples.

“The synthesized nanocomposite is cost-efficient and eco-friendly, and can effectively improve the sensitivity of the analytical method and speed of analysis in measuring small amounts of mercury in environmental samples,” he said.

According to him, the eggshell membrane is a biopolymer made of protein that is seen as nanofibers under microspore. This type of morphology provides a high surface-area-to-volume ratio that in terms of surface chemistry, can have effective catalytic or absorption properties.

He went on to add, “on the other hand, carbon nanoparticles, particularly the revived graphene oxide, have shown a strong absorption behavior for a wide range of chemical pollutants."

“Based on our evaluations, the detection limit of the proposed method has been calculated at 0.14 ng per ml,” he said.

The results of the study have been published in Microchimica Acta, vol. 183, No. 2, 2016, pp. 555-562.

MS/3760160

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