Environmental Remediation

Env rem bannerWater Remediation

PolyGenomX offers a number of biological solutions capable of significantly improving the quality and availability of water while yielding other benefits. Through the use of PolyGenomX’s unique natural systems other benefits besides the remediation of water are integrated for the long-term profitable and sustainable use of these bioremediation systems; such as carbon capture & storage, commercial forestry plantations for biomass, biodiesel, timber, salt conversion and disposal.

Coal Seam Gas Water Direct Utilisation

One industry which is increasingly challenged by the need to process large volumes of water contaminated with salt and other minerals, is the Coal Seam Gas Industry (CSG).

Reverse Osmosis Water – Conversion to Energy

Coal seam gas generates very large quantities of waste-water (CSGW) as a byproduct of gas extraction.

Water liberated as part of the gas drilling process is usually contaminated with high levels of salt in combination with a variety of other substances including heavy metals.

The traditional method of disposing of this contaminated water in the mining industry is through evaporation or to desalinate it using reverse osmosis (RO). Both of these options fail to completely remdiate the water or to profitably and sustainably deal with the resultant salt burden, and the capital costs and energy expenditure for desal plants is extremely high.

Raw Coal Seam Gas Water – Conversion to Energy

PolyGenomX varieties can grow directly in a wide range of raw CSGW profiles including the highly concentrated waste brine from desal plants.

This disposes of the salt and other mineral burdens directly, ecologically and profitably.

Mining Waste – Contaminated Water

The mining and refinement of mineral ores consumes large volumes of water for a variety of functions.

Once at the end point of its productive process that water is usually contaminated beyond use in any commercial sense and often represents both an environmental hazard and a financial burden in terms of management.

The PolyGenomX Solution

The PolyGenomX (PGX) solution is significantly different to all others as it is primarily biological in nature. PGX can provide solutions to treat processed water by removing any salt or other contaminates from mine waste water, control seepage from various parts of mining operations into the water table and provide solutions for holding ponds at the end of their life cycle. Following mine operation, our solutions can also be applied to rehabilitate the entire mine site area back to its pre-existing vegetative state – or better.

This can be achieved using a number of different biological solutions;

1. Biological treatment of waste water using Rapid Adapture Polygenomic Technology (RAPT).

  • Enhanced, total water uptake by plants;
  • Biological separation of contaminants from water coupled with aquifer recharge and harvest of contaminants, e.g. heavy metals, for an economic return.
  • Bio-panning of tailings to harvest valuable metals for increased revenue.
  • A system for removing iron dust from ore wash-down water.

2. Phytoremediation with plants tailored specifically to respond to very high levels of contaminates in a specific area.

3. Bioremediation via an innovative algal system, for removing non-metal contaminates, combining engineering and micro-organisms capable of dealing with large volumes of waste water.

4. Development of stable, genetically adapted (non-GMO) species of plants suited to specific environmental conditions such as high salt levels, aridity, high diurnal temperature fluctuations, etc.

5. Remediation of land through plant adaption to remove contaminates, by serving as a barriers to intercept lateral seepage, reducing active surface and gully erosion, improving soil aeration and infiltration rate.

6. Post-mining restorations of native eco-systems (as far as practical) with respect to both plants and dependant fauna, and endemic stygofauna. Continued environmental monitoring to ensure ecosystem stability.

7. Post-mining commercial plantations for on-going economic benefit to either land-owner, local community or mining company. (Such as biomass or timber)

Comparison of Various Systems for CSGW Remediation

Type of System

Brine output

Cost/kL

Comments
Optimised Total Process Solution (existing)

5%

$8.45

Brine Concentration & Crystallisation

10%

$7.14

Optimised Total Process Solution (not yet developed)

1%

$4.14

Dynamic Vapour Recompression

1%

$4.08

Higgins Loop – Ion Exchange

1.2%

$3.26

Compact Evaporative Desalination

1%

$2.60

Impulse Hydro

6.4%

$1.60

High Pressure Reverse Osmosis

30%

$1.44

Most common system currently used
Flow Through Capacitors

5%

$1.34

GE Water & Process Technologies

1%

$1.30

Evaporation/Crystallisation required(@ a further $11.15/kL)
PGX Remediation System

0%

$1.00

Zero salt. Positive energy output. Farming & forestry options.
Low Pressure Reverse Osmosis

50%

$0.44

Requires pre-treatment at high additional cost
Electro-Dialysis Membrane Processing

15%

$0.41

Requires post-treatment – only cleans to 3g/L ion concentration

Soil Remediation

The most common factors in soil degradation are salinity and aridity. PolyGenomX offers plants which thrive in salt levels that would kill their parent plants.

In growing, and growing rapidly, they automatically lower the water table and certain PolyGenomX varieties can provide enhanced nitrogen fixing  characteristics which enrich previously-degraded soil.

PolyGenomX varieties are naturally more efficient and robust species than equivalent parent stock but can be adaptively bred to take these natural polygenomic traits even further.

The 2 images below show Araucaria cunninghamii (Hoop Pine) that was grown in water with a pH level of 8.5, Seawater pH is limited to the range 7.5 to 8.4. The plant on the left in each image is a polygenomic variety taken from cuttings of the parent plant on the right.

Hoop Pine (A. cunninghamii) salt trial

1. Hoop Pine (Araucaria cunninghamii)

1. Hoop Pine (Araucaria cunninghamii)