Mercury-absorbant liner developed for CFLs

June 27, 2008 at 11:54 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I., June 27 (UPI) -- Brown University researchers in Rhode Island said they've discovered a material that can be used to absorb mercury from compact fluorescent lamps.

A team led by engineering Professor Robert Hurt has used the nanomaterial to create a mercury-absorbent container lining for broken CFLs, the university said Friday in a release.

CFLs contain 3 milligrams to 5 milligrams of mercury, which can be released as vapor when a bulb is broken.

The mercury-capturing lining can be attached to the inside of store-bought CFL packaging that can be placed over the area where a bulb has been broken.

The researchers also created a lining for plastic bags that soaks up the mercury left over from the CFL shards that are thrown away. The packaging and lined plastic bags can be safely discarded and recycled, the report said.

"It's a complete management system to deal with a bulb broken in the home," said Hurt, director of Brown's Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation.

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