Ideas Emerge for Utilizing Troublesome Pumice Stones

Society

Tokyo, Dec. 14 (Jiji Press)--A silver lining is beginning to emerge in efforts to deal with pumice stones from an undersea volcanic eruption, which have become a headache for many areas in Japan, as a number of ideas to utilize the troublesome debris are now taking shape.

A large amount of pumice stones from the eruption of an underwater volcano at the Ogasawara Islands in the Pacific has drifted onto the coasts of Okinawa Prefecture, southernmost Japan, and other areas, dealing a blow to the fishing and tourism industries in the affected regions.

In Okinawa, pumice stones have piled up in a range of locations, including at fishing ports.

Rather than disposing of the stones, which would be a costly operation, ways to utilize them are being sought although this is not easy due to their high salt content and brittle nature.

A team of researchers from entities including the Kanagawa Institute of Industrial Science and Technology has successfully carried out an experiment to convert the surfaces of the pumice stones into crystals of zeolite, a material often used as an adsorbent.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press