#29: Collecting / Processing Sediment, Metals, and Nutrients using PermaCyclers and Hoop Houses.

 In Lakes and Ponds, PermaCyclers

PermacyCylers and Hoophouses Collecting / Processing Sediment, Metals, and Nutrients using PermaCyclers and Hoop Houses.


Hi, I’m Colin Lennox, Director of PermaCyclers and EcoIslands LLC.

So, we are building now, along with our Intern Nick [Perry], Nick and I are building, along with other interns we’ve had over the past, working on our own agricultural unit here. And what we are finding is that we have no water right where we are at right now. So, a couple [one] of things you can do is dig a retention basin to pull some water from it. That is what we are looking at doing. Now, what you can see here is one of our old model PermaCyclers, thats the white box back there. That one is actually reclaimed from one of our mining sites. We were pulling it out to upgrade the system and that box got a little beat up, so we just gave the client a brand new one and kept that one for research purposes.

We’ve also got some of these IBC poly totes [which] are great to work with collecting rainwater. But the important distinction between an open water container and a PermaCycler that you see in the background there, the PermaCyler is a wetland in a box. It allows for nutrient sequestration, I can use it for aquaponics, sediment gathering and material acquisition by pulling sediment from a lake or pond, which is in reference to our last video we did last week from the [PSU] Altoona Campus, to give you a little more information on that.

But just wanted to talk about this today specifically, what do you do with that sediment after you’ve gotten it out of the ground [from the bottom of a lake or pond]? You’ve got to de-water it, so you need processing, thats the big bulk of all of that material [mass]. You’ve got essentially a [nutrient rich] slurry.

The boxes are going to grab [filter and sequester] that material as its passing through each one of these wetlands in a box, they are also known as MRU’s in the mining field, and then grabbing that sediment, flush that sludge out to a dewatering bag that allows for the dewatering of that material [rich lake sediments].

That gets rid of the bulk of the [water], but what if you want it really good and dry? Hoop house.

You keep the rain off and then use that focused solar energy to dry the rest of it off down to ten percent soil moisture content. So these are some of the solutions you have; an ability to cycle the material, bioremediation of some of the soluble nutrients like too much iron, manganese or aluminum in your water. Those are [micro-nutrients] that are bio-removed or bioremediated by the wetland, capturing that material.

Remember, those [metals] are micronutrients, you don’t want to lose them or throw them out, you just want [a way] to handle them and get them into a volume [and mass] you can work with [and] then add [these amendments] back to your soil in different amounts.

So essentially [a PermaCycler] is a biological wetland distillation process of materials. I don’t want to go to much more into it now, but I did want to let everyone know that there are solutions for these real word problems [soil loss, hyper-eutrophication, micronutrient loss] that we have right now and they can be done very inexpensively in some cases. Hoop houses [are] a couple of thousand dollars for the amount of energy you can harvest from them, no problem. The boxes themselves, they cost a bit more than that, but you have something that is going to last 50 years [and] is a core component of your agricultural unit. I’ll stop there and save some more detail for other videos but thank you very much for your time. My name is Colin Lennox, Director of EcoIslands LLC, and Nick, thank you once again for assisting today. And, signing off, thank you.


For questions answered and consulting, call 1-814-937-9115 or email: colin@ecoislandsllc.com

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