Remediation of mercury contaminated soil, water, and air: A review of emerging materials and innovative technologies

Liuwei Wang, Deyi Hou, Yining Cao, Yong Sik Ok, Filip M.G. Tack, Jörg Rinklebe, David O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

162 Citations (Scopus)


Mercury contamination in soil, water and air is associated with potential toxicity to humans and ecosystems. Industrial activities such as coal combustion have led to increased mercury (Hg) concentrations in different environmental media. This review critically evaluates recent developments in technological approaches for the remediation of Hg contaminated soil, water and air, with a focus on emerging materials and innovative technologies. Extensive research on various nanomaterials, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), nanosheets and magnetic nanocomposites, for mercury removal are investigated. This paper also examines other emerging materials and their characteristics, including graphene, biochar, metal organic frameworks (MOFs), covalent organic frameworks (COFs), layered double hydroxides (LDHs) as well as other materials such as clay minerals and manganese oxides. Based on approaches including adsorption/desorption, oxidation/reduction and stabilization/containment, the performances of innovative technologies with the aid of these materials were examined. In addition, technologies involving organisms, such as phytoremediation, algae-based mercury removal, microbial reduction and constructed wetlands, were also reviewed, and the role of organisms, especially microorganisms, in these techniques are illustrated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105281
JournalEnvironment International
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan


  • Elemental mercury
  • Hg(II)
  • Methylmercury
  • Novel materials
  • Remediation techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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