Scientists have worked out how to extract rare metals including gold, platinum and scandium from seawater.
The Russian team’s method involves using antipyrine, an organic compound sometimes used as a painkiller.
Scandium is a rare earth metallic element used as an alloy with aluminium in some aerospace industry components.
It is usually mined in Madagascar and Norway, but from now on it will be possible to obtain it in Russia.
The new extraction method can also be used to obtain platinum, argentum, iron, copper, cobalt, thallium, auric gold and palladium.
Three teams of researchers had been working in this direction, but they faced the problem that a huge amount of the reagent antipyrine was required to extract even a small amount of the required elements.
Now the unnamed scientists from the city of Perm, near Russia’s Ural Mountains, have found a method that allows them to use much less of the reagent.
They say this new method, the exact details of which are being kept under wraps for now, will be useful for steel and iron companies, ecological supervision services and environmental protection services.