[Tastebridge] interest in mycoremediation?

Roger H domitron at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 16 17:46:09 UTC 2011

I am definitely interested in this subject.  Particularly how does mycroremediation compare to others, such as bacterial or chemical, and has it been tried in conjunction with other forms in the field, not just theoretically?  I did read Paul Stamet's book Mycelium Running, which, while admittedly provocative,  tended toward the anecdotal rather than scientific.  In the book a lot of examples of what can be done theoretically are covered, but really dispersing and getting fungus to work in the remediation of a non-controlled complex environment--say some Alaskan beach--is quite different from on a Petri dish or even Mr. Stamet's backyard in Portland, an area usually optimal for mushrooms.  In other words, is all this bioredediation stuff seriously useful or is it more or less just kind of interesting like in the way of say biodesiel, a cute way to fix some tiny fraction of 1% of a vast, serious problem.


From: Nevada M. <bramble.greenbrier at gmail.com>
To: Roger H <domitron at yahoo.com>
Cc: "tastebridge at lists.noisebridge.net" <tastebridge at lists.noisebridge.net>
Sent: Sunday, October 16, 2011 1:00 AM
Subject: interest in mycoremediation?

Hey folks,

I've been following all the conversations on the listserv about the various mushroom/fungus projects, and I was wondering if folks on the listserv are also interested in/knowledgeable about mycoremediation...  I know the listserv is "taste"bridge, but the traffic on here seems to be pretty fungus-friendly all-around.  If you haven't heard of it, mycoremediation is the process of using fungus to digest the long hydrocarbon chains (of oil, this time, instead of plant lignins) that contaminate oil spill sites and so forth.  I've also heard that fungus can bind heavy metals into inert forms that are no longer poisonous to life -- though I don't know any of the science behind that claim.  

I probably won't have time to start up any projects along these lines, but if folks are interested, I might be able to find some how-to type resources.  The radical mycology conference that happened in Washington in early September focused primarily on DIY techniques for mycoremediation -- cultivating spawn, applying spawn to affected land, etc. without relying on lots of huge, expensive machinery or other hi-tech equipment.  I could get in touch with the conference organizers and see if they have any info they could send along.

You can see some pictures on this page over at Fungi Perfecti of oyster mushrooms growing on petroleum-contaminated soil; the petroleum is just long hydrocarbon chains, same as the plant lignins the fungus usually eats, so you can see how the fungus fruits like crazy because all the oil is only so much extra food:


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