#4: BioMining Products (BMP), a little history
Hi All, Colin here, your friendly neighborhood biomining remediationalist.
Blog #3 talked a bit about why knowing the remediation pathways of agriculture and acidified mine drainage are important.
I did a lot of snow removal and landscaping to support my addiction for textbooks and paying taxes those first few years.
We then moved on to using three dimensional matrix. I’ll talk more about coconut coir and plastic matrix in later posts. This put the microbial growth matrix in a “box” which was the first prototype MRU, or metal removal unit. Benefits: A box has an in, an out, you can measure removal rates and determine in lots of ways that the material removed from the water is either in the box as a precipitate or has volatilized and de-gassed (released into the atmosphere).
As it turned out, doing it that way is pretty damn effective.
A modular, scalable, self selecting wetland allows for the metals to precipitate based on their biogeochemical reduction/oxidation potential. Wait, what!?
That means nature sorts the materials which will fall our (precipitate) in different sections of the MRU/Permacycler’s in a very predictable and stable way.
I’ll have specific blogs on individual metals coming up, but iron, aluminum, and manganese are the three primaries around here (central PA) and BioMining Products is moving towards selenium, remediation to deal with southern Appalachia’s specific impacts.
I’ve often said, “if you can do AMD, you can do anything” (related to bioremediation).
Coal fired power plant? The flue gas desulphurization unit is an AMD neutralization process. Precious metal mining = the long standing heap leach process used to gather copper, silver, gold… check. Rare earth elements (REEs) like palladium, yttrium etc. needed for every electronic gadget today can also be found in huge proportions and extracted from our AMD If you can work in low pH iron oxidation, up and coming.
I won’t talk about space exploration and Mars colonization on this blog either, but when we find extraterrestrial life, the odds on bet are those (micro) organisms will be using the same metabolic pathways as ancient (and current) microbes here on earth, many of which are represented in deep sea vents, acidified mine drainage, and hot springs in Yellowstone National Park.
Ill stop there in order to maintain (semi) discrete delineations between these blog posts, but you should be getting at this point (if you are reading them straight through) that the microbiology which influences all of these events is ubiquitous.
Biofilm is everywhere, literally it covers every square inch of surface on the planet more than a few seconds old and is what keeps us all very much alive. And thank goodness for it too, bc those humble microbes have changed the face of our planet continuously for the last 4 billion years, recycling material in conjunction with volcanism and plate tectonics (which is another blog post =).
Next up, more about PermaCyclers, biodomes, agricultural nutrient recycling, and aerobic metabolic carbon neutral CO2 generation for triple your yield.