soils, permaculture, bioremediation... any info would be greatly appreciated

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself Here' started by nr1, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. nr1

    nr1 Junior Member

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    I am an architecture student, currently looking at a post industrial site where soil has been severely effected by cyanide ( due to gold mining process ). I would like to explore the possibilities of permaculture methods, and bioremediation methods , through using plants etc, to help neutralize the cyanide, or to make it inert. To return nutrients to the soil, so that it can eventually be used to grow crops again in the future.

    Does anybody know of any plants which would be suited to this type of process?
    or if it is possible at all?
    Are there any natural methods which can be used for such a purpose?

    The site itself is dry, semi-desert , very little rainfall and low humidity. It is in southern spain. The water levels have dropped due to intense agriculture in surrounding areas. It is a mountainous region, though the cyanide dumps are in valleys. The area has been left for about 60 years, the government recently tried to cover up the area by placing 1metre of topsoil over most of the area. This has not proven to be very successful, although there are a few dwarfed palm trees growing on the area..... any information that i can use to solve this problem would be immensely appreciated. I am very interested in learning more on such subjects. Any information, useful links and such would be very much appreciated?
     
  2. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    I don't have the answers for your situation however, you could look at the Queenstown situation in Tasmania, Australia where they have been revegetating land that was devastated by mining activities.

    Also i think you should consult people who do environmental impact studies. Some sort of environmental scientist.

    I am doubtful that just plants can fix the cyanide problem but who knows. AS to what to plant, you should probably look at the plants typical of the area. And things that are very hardy and do ok in poor soils. Just putting topsoil somewhere is hardly going to do much. You sorta have to encourage plants to grow there.

    Is this your land? Why are you doing this?
     
  3. nr1

    nr1 Junior Member

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    thanks for the message

    Hi there thanks for the response,
    i don't own the land unfortunately. It is a proposal for a project i am doing. However this is an actual site. Currently it is the local government who have covered the area with 1 meter of topsoil ( not effective - but used as a cheap and temporary solution ). I would like to propose a long term plan to rejuvenate the land in the area, and i am trying to look into using methods which are as natural as possible, which can take place over a long period of time, idealy i would like to see if this is feasible through the use of plants, suited to a dryer climate.... thank you for the possible case study, i will look into those.... i know that similar things have been done , but on land that was used for coal mining and so on ( emscher park - germany ) i am not sure how much more problematic cyanide is, but im sure they need to be treated entirely differently... again, any suggestions or referenced/ ideas would be greatly appreciated. I am currently trying to get in touch with some environmental scientists, but i am inclined to think that they will probably suggest soil washing type strategies, which i would prefer to avoid. I will see what happens :)
     
  4. dannyboy

    dannyboy Junior Member

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    I'm looking at doing some soil remediation at my new block and the use of fungi as part of a wholistic plan looks really promising. Here's a link I found that I'm having a read through now:

    https://www.fungi.com/mycotech/mycova.html

    Paul Stamets seems to be the man on this subject.

    Dan
     
  5. bbmoolman

    bbmoolman New Member

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  6. adrians

    adrians Junior Member

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    you need to think about the proceses you might be wanted to employ. ie are you moving it away, destroying it, or "locking it up"?

    Since cyanide isn't an element, it is a compound of carbon and nitrogen, it can be destroyed : - this sounds like the best way to go...
    https://www.minerals.org.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/8717/cyanide_destruction.pdf

    I don't know much on the topic but we would all be interested in what you find. There are widely accepted processes of removing toxins such as pretrochemicals by fertilising and aerating soil (such as from old petrol stations) .. and so perhaps some sort of concept using organic matter, increased soil biology, growing crops, composting etc would help. I haven't tried to research this further, but there are big dollars involved with Gold mining and so I would expect the research to be out there.
     
  7. nr1

    nr1 Junior Member

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    thanks for the replies :)
    well, ideally the compound would be neutralized and completely broken down into non toxic components, failing that i would look at ways in which to make it inert and insoluble... thank you very much for the links, they are very helpful indeed. Well hopefully i will come across a great solution to this. If anyone has any more ideas, or useful links, please forward them, any input is helpful. i will be away a few days in germany, will have a look at emscher park in duisburg, as a possible exemplar (although this is on an old coal mined site ) will definately report back with any useful info as and when i come across it.
    Thanks again for all help thus far and hopefully for that to come.
     
  8. nr1

    nr1 Junior Member

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  9. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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    Atriplex (pronounced /ˈætrɨplɛks/[2] Á-tri-plex) is a plant genus of 100-200 species, known by the common names of saltbush and orache (or orach). The genus is quite variable and widely distributed.
    excerpt
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atriplex

    These projects attempt to return human-impacted soils and landscapes to native conditions. Phyto- (plant) remediation (remedy) is the use of plants to remove or stabilize soil contaminants. We emphasize the use of native vegetation to remediate a wide variety of chemicals in the environment.

    Some of the projects are listed below:

    NAWCA: National Association for Wetlands Conservation (USFWS) has sponsored revegetation in mesquite bosques, cottonwood groves, and wetlands of the Colorado River.
    Phragmites: Ecophysiological experiments to discover why an introduced genotype of common reed is spreading through the east coast salt marshes (USFWS, USGS).
    Redhawk Power Plant: Revegetation of abandoned farm land.
    Monument Valley & Tuba City revegetation projects: these use saltbush plants to remove nitrates from contaminated soil at former uranium mill sites on Navajo land (DOE)
    Stabilizing mine tailings on the San Pedro River with Big Sacaton Grass (BLM)
    Twentynine Palms Water District: Saltbush plants used to absorb effluent from a flouride removal treatment plant.
    excerpt
    https://ag.arizona.edu/swes/erl/research/restoration_research.htm

    (from)
    https://ag.arizona.edu/swes/erl/research/index.htm
     
  10. nr1

    nr1 Junior Member

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    thank you for this link, this is the definately the type of thing i am looking for... i know that there was a massive cyanide leak from a gold mine in Romania years, back, i will also look into what methods were used in that case for soil remediation ( although the climate is quite different) wow, this is more complicated than i had anticipated!

    thanks again for the continued advice and links :)
     

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