Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

Steer clear of nitrates. These nasty waste compounds generated by the industrial use of nitric acid can cause blue baby syndrome in healthy infants or turn a healthy lake into a putrid marsh. Current methods for removing nitrate wastes from ground-water are energy-intensive, expensive, and not always effective. To improve this picture, researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory are testing an inexpensive process for converting solid and liquid nitrate wastes into harmless nitrogen gas. Wastewater is pumped through a chamber containing a re-usable metallic catalyst and an acid. The catalyst strips away the oxygen atoms from the nitrates, yielding nitrate-free wastewater and nitrogen gas. Los Alamos is testing the process on 10 different kinds of nitrates and has been inundated with calls from interested mining, chemical, farming and nuclear-power companies.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Biomedicine

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me