Mercury is now traceable | Science & Technology | Down To Earth magazine
Mercury is now traceable
Arnab Pratim Dutta
The heavy metal can be fingerprinted to find its source
THE global emission of mercury—a heavy metal notorious for its toxicity—is on the rise. Although the metal occurs naturally in stable form, some 2000 tonnes of it is released annually into the atmosphere from coal-based power plants, incinerators and chloro-alkali plants. Various options such as a global mercury convention, inclusion in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and voluntary partnerships, are being discussed to phase it out, but for that the source of the pollution needs to be pinpointed first. Researchers from the department of Geological Sciences and Air Quality Laboratory at the University of Michigan have developed a fingerprint technique to find out how much mercury is released by different sources...................
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