I recall years ago reading an article on using a similar process to pull contaminated radioactive metals out of the ground. Seems quite a number of plants require metals to grow properly.
As much as the forced hype on IoT, I still feel TNBT (The next big thing) is bioelectronics. Since plants can pull the carbon out of CO2 to build structure, a method similar to FDM 3D printing using organics, should be able to lay down layers of Graphine or even possibly the diamond matrix.
I think when we run out of these rare metals, we will then develop a way that when we discountinue a device, the non-essential part will chemically breakdown leaving the useful metals. I do not see how the world can run in the next 100 years if there is no new way of doing things as these materials are not regenerative.
>> It shows how important these alternative approaches to mining are.
Absolutely, it has been called the next phase of mining. China leads in it. Picking rare earth metals from scraps and take them back to products. One major challenge especially for developing world is that it requires technology to do so efficiently.
Never read of that one but it sound great. But it is truly non fancy to put bio before anything electronics as electronics is the most polluting and non-biologized all of modern industrial processes. Etching and the whole thing done in clean waste water and use really bad chemicals.
Well yes and no, it's carbon for sure but not the black carbon type instead it looks like pulverised glass because it's still in a crystaline form. Diamonds are more valuable the larger and more perfect they are because large perfect diamonds are rare. I've bought small diamonds retail for $15 because they are common. The diamond I'm talking about is slivers of pure crystaline diamond only 0.1mm thick (or less) which after forceful removal from a transistor would be like sandpaper grit which is what some diamond dust is used for.
The article brings out a very important point on e-waste. In developing nations like India, e-waste recycling is still at its infancy. There are very few companies that do that and they are considered NGOs and they cannot compete with regular industries. Collection of e-waste from source is almost not there. You are at your will to either get it recycled by going and giving personally to the right manufacturer or just throw on the streets and no one cares. Its hig time waste is seen seriously and people come forward to get it recycled. It must be a citizen's responsibility.
>> . There are very few companies that do that and they are considered NGOs and they cannot compete with regular industries. Collection of e-waste from source is almost not there.
e-Waste requires special tools and technologies that developing nations do not have. That is one of the reasons why it is not done at scale. Also, the fact that most developing nations do not consume through manufacturing some of the by-products of e-waste, the market is small for major investments.
It may be possible to use some kind of a targeted farming where the e-waste is used as a manure and plants specifically more likely to absorb the precious metals from the e-waste are grown in such targeted farms.
The produce from such farms can then be processed to recover the metals.
This could be an envorinment friendly option to recycle e-waste.
@goafrit, you bring a very interesting perspective to this whole subject. Am not an expert in organic or biochemistry but I believe that it will take very many mushrooms to extract 100 grams of gold from, say, a ton of electronic waste. As such, there is the possibility that while working to save the environment by using non-toxic disposal methods they may actually end up harming the environment by using up too much of the natural resources for the process.
>> As such, there is the possibility that while working to save the environment by using non-toxic disposal methods they may actually end up harming the environment by using up too much of the natural resources for the process.
Exactly. It is like using corn to fuel car via ethanol. Farmers now pure more chemicals like herbicides and pesticides to grow more corn. You are displacing fuel but you are making mess of the farmlands. Which one is better ?- it all depends where you get your paycheck!
>> Agree on corn...interesting trade-off on mushrooms...the best solutionis stop consuming, or make products last longer...like they used to be...Kris
Durability is not a really good business model. You can be out of business if there are no repeat customers. Just have optimality in the game. It is a difficult decision but in fairness to capitalism, it makes sense
The use of biological systems or materials to recover valuable resources from the recycling stream is an admirable objective. However, I'd predict they won't be adopted until they offer a high percentage recovery rate. In parallel, I suggest redoubling the effort to develop a closed loop recovery process. Even if the materials used to recover the gold are toxic, if they are reused and not released into the environment then the result may prove quite acceptable.