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Finnish researcher finds success using fungal remediation

White-rot fungus, mostly known for its ability to decay forest wood, can be used as a low-cost cleanser for contaminated soils, a Finnish researcher has found. 


White-rot fungus, mostly known for its ability to decay forest wood, can be used as a low-cost cleanser for contaminated soils, a Finnish researcher has found. 

Erika WinquistErika Winquist, a researcher at Aalto University in Finland, told The Ecologist magazine that during three months of experiments she was able to break down 96 per cent of poly-aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds and 64 per cent of the dioxins in contaminated soil. 

Winquist’s grew the white-rot fungus on pine bark, which naturally contains compounds that prevent the growth of other microbes. After four to six weeks, she transferred the fungus to the contaminated soil in a temperature-controlled treatment plant, where the White rot mycelia grew into the polluted soil, and broke down lignins and polluting compounds with lignin-like structures, including dioxins and PAHs. 

Finland alone dumps over a million tonnes of contaminated soil to landfill every year.


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1 Comment » for Finnish researcher finds success using fungal remediation
  1. John Critchley says:

    Nice to hear that others are confirming the result of my field trials and thesis with white rot fungus and recalcitrant petroleum hydrocarbons (eg, PAHs) done through the University of Ottawa in Canada 20 years ago.

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