Plant waste may help in clean-up at mine waste sites

Plant Waste might be the answer to preventing arsenic, in mine waste, from polluting water according to researchers who recently utilized the synchotron at the University of Saskatchewan.

Professor Jon Chorover , researcher and head of the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Arizona says waste tailings from mining activities contain a significant amount of arsenic, that can get into ground or surface waters.

He says their work involves using economical and environmentally friendly methods.

Chorover explains they were interested in a product created from the combustion of vegetation called biochar.

Chorover says they found biochar could be quite effective in sequestering arsenic from the water before it reaches nearby ground and surface water.

Chorover says while this was on a small scale, he hopes engineers will perform field testing on a larger scale.

Chorover adds the Canadian Light Source was critical to find what is happening at the molecular level of their research.

(with files from cjww)

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