But it was the brilliant mind of researcher and self-proclaimed ramen-lover Yurina Sekine with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency who thought that tonkotsu ramen was so delicious, you could even clean up radioactive spills with it. So she borrowed some bones from her local ramen restaurant and started experimenting.
It was already established knowledge that pigs bones, as well as cow bones, are particularly good at absorbing radioactive substances. However, no one had really put this knowledge to use until now.
Sekine first thoroughly boiled the bones to remove all the fat and collagen. Then, she soaked them in a solution of baking soda. The end result is something like a loofah with high amounts of carbonic acid that draws in radioactive strontium found in nuclear waste and the heavy metals cadmium and lead.
These pig-bone loofahs can be easily placed into contaminated water or soil, such as that around the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, and help speed up the purifying process by rapidly soaking up some of the most harmful elements found in nuclear waste.
If all that wasn’t good enough, this method of decontamination also helps reduce food waste. It’s said that the food industry worldwide generates about 7.5 billion tons of bone waste per year. This also comes at a cost to businesses like ramen shops who spend between 500,000 and 1 million yen (US$4,500 and $9,500) each in a single year to dispose of their bones.
The combination of delicious ramen and scientific discovery naturally got many readers excited and a little hungry.
Not only can these treated bones do the job, but according to Sekine’s research, it is about 20 times as effective as natural zeolite, which is currently commonly used to absorb nuclear waste. However, one setback is that they can’t pick up the entire spectrum of radioactive elements found in nuclear waste.
Sekine is currently looking at ways to clean up other materials such as caesium. Perhaps a kind of miso or soy sauce pumice stone with extra bean sprouts might do the trick.
According to soranews24.com