The mercury-laden SAMMS also passed the Washington State dangerous-waste regulatory limit of 0.
He added that SAMMS technology can be easily adapted to target other toxins such as lead, chromium, and radionuclides.
PNNL researchers created SAMMS by coating the internal pores of the honeycomb-like MCM-41 with organic material that has an affinity for mercury.
The MCM-41 is so porous that two teaspoons of SAMMS powder has the internal surface area the size of an entire football field, so a small amount of the SAMMS can remove large volumes of contaminants.
In fact, a pound of SAMMS has the contaminant recovery capacity of 100 pounds of the best available competing technology (ion exchange resins) and 27,000 pounds of the most commonly used alternative (activated carbon).
At the same time, the pores of the material are small enough to prevent bacteria from entering the SAMMS to convert the insoluble mercury into more toxic and mobile methyl-mercury.
Although originally developed to remove mercury from water, SAMMS has many potential applications in waste-treatment, petroleum, petrochemical and other industries," said MTC President Michael P.