Prickly pear cactus. (Credit: Public Domain)
Scientists have turned to an unlikely natural source to clean up contaminated water, according to an Amercian Chemical Society press release. In order to eliminate pollution in fish farm water, researchers are using cacti.
Farm fishing serves as both a source of income and of food. However, a common problem with farm fishing is polluted water in the fish ponds. The fish can develop a bad odor or taste due to the contamination.
Cactus innards or mucilage serve as magnets, drawing pollutants from dirty water. The mucilage can capture the contaminants, securing them in a thick substance, and sink-separating the contaminants from the newly cleaned water.
The mechanics of the experiment are based on the ancient practice of using cacti to purify water. The purging power of cactus has far-reaching implications besides aiding fish farms. It can also be used in areas where clean water is not readily available.
Top image: Prickly pear cactus. (Credit: Public Domain)