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Who Would Guess Cilantro Could Be Used For This?

Who Would Guess Cilantro Could Be Used For This?

Image source: flickr.com/photos/saucysalad

Undergraduate researchers conducting a study have discovered an interesting bio-absorbent material that can draw contaminants out of polluted water.

Faculty and an undergraduate research team collaborated with a group of scientists to investigate more inexpensive means that could be utilized to filter contaminated water.

Examining water samples from the Tule Valley region near Mexico City, it was determined that cilantro was an effective bio-absorbent material that was also wildly grown in the region. The area was selected because there are no readily available water filtering systems in place to remove some of the contaminates that they inspected, making it representative of the sample population this type of organic watering purification process would be most beneficial.

Looking at various plant samples, the researchers found that they were able to eliminate both lead and nickel levels in water using cilantro as a filtering system. The process worked in the study by inserting ground cilantro in a tube shaped container that lets water run through it. As the water goes through the tube it is purified while the cilantro extracts and absorbs the toxins.

Scientists also suggest that operational bio-absorbents such as cilantro could even be placed into containers similar to tea bags, infusers or reusable holders, which then could be utilized to filter unsafe or questionable water like the tube process.

The researchers think that the effectiveness may be due to how the outer cellular wall of the cilantro has the ability to draw in and retain toxins from the water. Other plants and herbs also have this absorption quality, making this an interesting prompt for more research into natural solutions for global issues, like safe water supplies. Researchers also hope to further the process and figure out if cilantro is able to absorb other heavy metals.

The findings of the study were presented at a national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

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