• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • paul wheaton
  • Devaka Cooray
stewards:
  • Burra Maluca
  • Miles Flansburg
  • Julia Winter
garden masters:
  • Dave Burton
  • Anne Miller
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mark Tudor
  • Pearl Sutton

Using Oysters to Compost Plastics  RSS feed

 
Posts: 73
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am currently writing a paper in conjunction with my experiment to develop a strain of oysters to eat through the incomprehensible amount of plastic we see these days.

If anybody else is interested, I am planning to do the following:

Set up an Inoculation Chamber where I will inoculate live cultures of Oyster Mushrooms (Pleuroteus Djamor) into agar media inside petri dishes.

I will isolate the best rhizomorphic patterns to transfer a wedge of the media to another dish until I get a strain that grows rapidly.

I will then transfer the best strain to a substrate medium and use various amounts of plastics shredded into the jars with woodchips.


some jars will grow better than others, I will use the best shrooms I see working off of the Plastics because SHROOMS WILL MUTATE AND THE NEXT GENERATION WILL EAT MORE PCB's.

S I will then start the system over and develop a strain of a better adapted mushroom... the plan is to develop a strain powerful enough to compsot plastics in a reasonable time for composting to become leisure.

I will continue to post my experiment and update with pics from time to time... stay tuned

I will be using the fastest growing Oyster mushroom:

Pleurotus djamor
Pink Oyster

________________________________________

This species encompasses a complex of brilliantly pink Oyster mushrooms. The pink Oyster varieties are the most common occurring wild Pleurotus in pan-tropical climatic zones of the world. Known for its speed to fruiting, ability to flourish on a wide variety of base materials, and high temperature tolerance, this species is so aggressive as to colonize unpasteurized bulk substrates before competitors can flourish. When growing this mushroom en masse, albino clusters sometimes form.

Mycelial Characteristics: White at first, casting a longitudinally linear mycelium, often over-run with long, diverging rhizomorphs, eventually cottony with maturity, and aerial. Most strains soon develop strong pinkish tones, especially as the mycelium matures, at and around the sites of primordia formation. Flaming pink primordia often form as cluster colonies along the inside periphery of the petri dish and/or around the site of inoculation. As grain (rye) matures, pink rhizomorphs and mycelia can predominate. A milky gray metabolic exudate collects at the bottom of the incubation containers.
Microscopic Features: From the same fruiting pink spores are collected from pink mushrooms, and light beige spores from mushrooms that were originally pink but faded to cream beige.

Suggested Agar Culture Media: Malt Yeast Peptone Agar (MYPA), Potato Dextrose Yeast Agar (PDYA), Oatmeal Yeast Agar (OMYA), or Dog Food Agar (DFA)
Spawn Media: Grain spawn for all three generations.
Substrates for Fruiting: Hardwood sawdust, cereal straw, corn waste, coffee residue, cotton waste, banana fronds, palm debris, and sugar cane bagasse. One formula employed be Brazilian growers calls for the proportionate mixing of 100 lbs. sugar cane/ 8 lbs. rice bran/ 3 lbs. rice straw/ 2 lbs calcium carbonate. The mixture is mixed, wetted, and pasteurized at 140* F for 2-4 hours. Bano et al. found that this mushroom (as "P. flabellatus") gave the highest yields when cotton seed powder was added at 132 g. per kg. or dry wheat straw. The total mass of the mushrooms grown was 85% over the yields from unsupplemented wheat straw. Interestingly, the protein content of the dried mushrooms also rose to 38%.

Royse and Zaki found that the dual addition of the commercially available supplements Spawn Mate II and Fast Break at a combined rate of 168 g. per kg. of wheat straw substantially enhanced yields of "P. flabellatus". In these tests, biological efficiency increased from 22% to 77% in a 28 day harvest period. It is suspected that the yields of other Oyster species would be similarly improved.

Yield Potentials: Given good crop management, biological efficiency rated at 75-150%, largely dependent on the age of the fruibody at harvest. Some strains of this species are equally as productive, in terms of biological efficiency, as the most vigorous strains of P. pulmonarous and P. ostreatus.
---Growth Parameters---
Spawn Run:
 Incubation Temperature: 75-85* F (24-30* C)
 Relative Humidity: 95-100%
 Duration: 7-10 days CO2: >5000 ppm
 Fresh Air Exchanges: 0-1 per hour
 Light Requirements: n/a
Primordia Formation:
 Initiation Temperature: 65-75* F (18-25* C)
 Relative Humidity: 95-100%
 Duration: 2-4 days
 CO2: 500-1000 ppm
 Fresh Air Exchanges: 5-8 per hour
 Light Requirements: 750-1500 lux
Fruitbody Development:
 Temperature: 70-85* F (20-30* C)
 Relative Humidity: 85_90%
 Duration: 3-5 days
 CO2: 500-1500 ppm
 Fresh Air Exchanges: 5-8 per hour
 Light Requirements: 750-1500 lux
Cropping Cycle:
 2 crops, 7-10 days apart







 
pollinator
Posts: 491
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh, please do. I just hate it that some things I have to buy come in plastic packaging. Do you think one strain of plastic-eating shrooms will eat all kinds of plastic?
 
Tony Elswick
Posts: 73
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes.  Oyster mushrooms (Pluerotus Ostreatus) will eat all plastics, but it may take months to get through hard plastic... that is why if you inoculate them on a petri dish and isolate the best growth you can clone them to other dishes and create a super strain that eats real fast and is more resilient... you can create generation after generation to consume more than the last at a faster rate... that is why Paul Stamets is advocating people to take the individual incentive to do this and I hope it works...

i'll keep you posted!
 
Posts: 69
Location: Ossineke, MI
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've had an experience where a regular commercial strain of oyster mushroom has eaten through a woven plastic feed bag containing straw. I inoculated the straw in the bag in early spring and by fall it had nearly consumed the entire feed bag.

This is a very interesting experiment you are embarking on. I look forward to hearing more about it in future.
 
steward
Posts: 3422
Location: woodland, washington
93
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
how's this project going, Tony? any photograph or progress to share? problems?
 
jacque greenleaf
pollinator
Posts: 491
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Feed bags! Yes! I am so gonna do that.
 
Posts: 1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi! This sounds very interesting. Do you rip the plastic apart? which is the size of the plastic you use to grow mushrooms?
In case the plastic contain toxic elements does the mushrooms have some residuals (in the part we eat)?
Do you have a video documenting this? Thanks
 
Posts: 686
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679201/fungi-discovered-in-the-amazon-will-eat-your-plastic
 
pollinator
Posts: 10274
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
349
cat chicken fiber arts fish forest garden greening the desert trees wood heat
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Are the mushrooms actually breaking down the long chains of molecules into carbon and oxygen, or are they just breaking the plastic into tiny dangerous particles? What I'm asking is - what exactly are the mushrooms breaking the plastics down INTO. What molecules are the mushrooms turning the plastics into? And do they do it completely, or is there a toxic residue?





 
pollinator
Posts: 2068
Location: Toronto, Ontario
158
bee forest garden fungi hugelkultur cooking rabbit trees urban wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It is my understanding, Tyler, that they turn the hydrocarbons into carbohydrates. For the oyster mushrooms to be able to grow on plastics, they necessarily need to break it down into useable compounds. The specific processes, though, I, too, would like to know.

-CK
 
Dave Bennett
Posts: 686
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is the abstract from the study.
http://aem.asm.org/content/77/17/6076
 
Posts: 42
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dave Bennett wrote:http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679201/fungi-discovered-in-the-amazon-will-eat-your-plastic



If anyone knows how to get spore cultures of this fungi, we all need to work together to breed and distribute it free of charge to the permaculture community so that we can decompose plastic waste in the world.
 
Dave Bennett
Posts: 686
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Alan Stuart wrote:

Dave Bennett wrote:http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679201/fungi-discovered-in-the-amazon-will-eat-your-plastic



If anyone knows how to get spore cultures of this fungi, we all need to work together to breed and distribute it free of charge to the permaculture community so that we can decompose plastic waste in the world.


I doubt that either spawn or spores can be found since this specie was only recently discovered in the Amazon rain forest. The research paper was published last July (2011). Paul Stamets needs to get a spore print and propagate it. That would be a good idea in my opinion.
 
Posts: 36
Location: England, Midlands.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Alan Stuart wrote:Paul Stamets needs to get a spore print and propagate it. That would be a good idea in my opinion.



I would be amazed if he isn't working on it already.
 
Chris Kott
pollinator
Posts: 2068
Location: Toronto, Ontario
158
bee forest garden fungi hugelkultur cooking rabbit trees urban wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would be interested in knowing how fungi propagate, and if it is possible to cross strains in a manner which would allow for the selection of desired traits in the manner we are familiar with animal or plant husbandry. I'd also love to know if there are any salt-resistant edible fungi varieties, and if these could be bred to compost plastics. There is a lot of plastic floating around in the Pacific, and if you could gather it all up as a floating mat and innoculate it, if it did nothing more than clean up the plastic and provide a non-plastic substitute for those animals that would have ingested it, it would have a great beneficial impact on every environment it affects. I'm not done sifting through the material I have available to me on the subject, but I would greatly appreciate any shortcuts anyone can provide.

-CK
 
Dave Bennett
Posts: 686
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Chris Kott wrote:I would be interested in knowing how fungi propagate, and if it is possible to cross strains in a manner which would allow for the selection of desired traits in the manner we are familiar with animal or plant husbandry. I'd also love to know if there are any salt-resistant edible fungi varieties, and if these could be bred to compost plastics. There is a lot of plastic floating around in the Pacific, and if you could gather it all up as a floating mat and innoculate it, if it did nothing more than clean up the plastic and provide a non-plastic substitute for those animals that would have ingested it, it would have a great beneficial impact on every environment it affects. I'm not done sifting through the material I have available to me on the subject, but I would greatly appreciate any shortcuts anyone can provide.

-CK

I have experience with altering yeasts to produce strains that are incredibly alcohol tolerant. Since yeasts are the most basic form of fungi and can be coaxed to change I would imagine that developing mycelium fungi to change their properties is possible but adding the caveat that people like Paul Stamets have been researching fungi for 40 years and would more than likely be the best source for that information. My yeast propagation is fairly easy because I am specifically preserving varieties that have specific properties with increased alcohol tolerance. That is not as complicated as developing more specific properties. I started out with a variety with specific qualities and then increased the ethanol tolerance. Mycelium present more challenges than yeasts.
 
Chris Kott
pollinator
Posts: 2068
Location: Toronto, Ontario
158
bee forest garden fungi hugelkultur cooking rabbit trees urban wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dave,

Thanks for the info. To what purpose would you put such yeasts? To produce more potent wine/beer/cider, as in for human consumption, or to make ethanol as a fuel source more efficiently? This is an area of much interest to me, both, that is. If you have any culinary observations to pass on, please do.

-CK
 
Dave Bennett
Posts: 686
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Chris Kott wrote:Dave,

Thanks for the info. To what purpose would you put such yeasts? To produce more potent wine/beer/cider, as in for human consumption, or to make ethanol as a fuel source more efficiently? This is an area of much interest to me, both, that is. If you have any culinary observations to pass on, please do.

-CK

I am a Mead maker, a Brewer but I mostly developed an extremely alcohol tolerant strain to maximize my yield when making ethanol fuel. It is really more of a "sorting technique" since I harvest at the end of a ferment. I believe that because my techniques are the same for Mead, Beer or Ethanol the environment starts out sterile. The yeast that isn't killed by 20% alcohol gets to have a feast and is also rewarded with a blast of oxygen too. My yeast colony started out as Wyeast 4347 Eau De Vie that is advertised as tolerant to 21% ABV but it really becomes extremely lethargic around 18% or it used to until I started harvesting what was still alive and reusing it. Over time the tolerance has improved. I do keep my Mead yeast separated from my Ethanol yeast. They started out as a single colony but have been separated since I finished building my reflux still because one colony only ever sees Honey and the other sees a variety of sugar sources.
 
Posts: 24
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
so any update on this project?
 
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
any updates?
very interested in this for a while. digested plastics can be used to replace Styrofoam (http://www.ecovativedesign.com/) thus breaking free of the cycle of plastics and moving back to natures way...
 
Posts: 21
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd love to see updates as well. I've been wondering about this for years now. (using mushrooms to break down oil products, not this thread which i only just discovered)
 
pollinator
Posts: 2392
83
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In reading this thread, I see a lack of an appreciation about how ubiquitous fungi actually are. They are everywhere in the soil, and their spores are everywhere in the air. Tiny little sacks of DNA, a few microns in diameter, floating on the air currents and waiting to land on a suitable substrate to germinate and grow. Not every one will make it, which is why fungal fruiting bodies (commonly called mushrooms) make lots and lots and lots of spores. Some giant puffballs can release trillions of viable spores.

Also, fungi are generalists when it comes to decomposition. They are not very selective when it comes to what kind of dead organic matter they can eat. They may be selective when it comes to mycorrhizal associations, they may be selective when it comes to infecting live plants and animals, but for non-living matter, they don't have to be selective, there is a small list of general categories that they can decompose: lignin, cellulose and other carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

So this idea that Paul Stamets is the only source of a unique mushroom that has unique spores that can break down heretofore recalcitrant compounds, well that's just good PR for Paul Stamets. I can go to my favorite mushroom hunting grounds near my house and find mushrooms that could be cultured and sub-cultured to decompose plastics.

Why don't you hear more about this? Why isn't this being done? There are very few mycologists spread far too thin, and this is a big, untapped area of research. There is still plenty of work for mycologists identifying new species, studying their metabolism, developing diagnostics and anti-fungals, studying their growth and symbioses, that using them for bioremediation goes relatively unfunded.

To answer a couple more questions upthread:
Yes, there are salt tolerant fungi, you can find them in samples of muck from salt marshes. They are not very plentiful though, since those are usually anaerobic conditions (and fungi need O2).

Fungal sex (exchanging genes with another individual) takes place when the spore starts dividing. Fungi do everything backwards from animals: animals ingest food then digest it; fungi digest food, then ingest it; Animals are born, grow up, then have sex and reproduce; Fungi are born, have sex, go on an enormous growth phase, then when they have exhausted all their food, they reproduce. The first thing spores do when they put out their first hyphae is look for a mate and swap some DNA.
 
Posts: 129
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Would fungi eating plastic introduce chemicals into the food chain? I'm thinking that the fungi are near the base of the food chain and anything they pick up might be concentrated in other critters.

 
John Elliott
pollinator
Posts: 2392
83
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

K Nelfson wrote:Would fungi eating plastic introduce chemicals into the food chain? I'm thinking that the fungi are near the base of the food chain and anything they pick up might be concentrated in other critters.



Fungi, along with bacteria, are the absolute base of the food chain. But these organisms at the base don't pass stuff along like in the case of an insect ingests some DDT, it gets eaten by a praying mantis, the praying mantis gets eaten by a lizard, the lizard gets eaten by a robin, the robin gets eaten by an owl and then the owl has problems with egg laying because of the DDT. No, when a strand of fungal hyphae comes across the bug carcass laced with DDT, is secrets oxidative enzymes to break down the insect's chitinous exoskeleton, its proteins, carbs, and fats down into simpler building blocks. When this enzyme hits the DDT, the phenyl groups are oxidized to benzoic acid and the chlorinated ethane is oxidized to acetic acid plus chloride ion. If the fungus has no use for the chloride ion, it will translocate it away from where it is growing and get rid of it.

To answer your question fully would require some radioisotope experiments to find out what the fungal mycelium does with the molecules it tears apart. What atoms end up where. A little of that has been done, but a lot remains unanswered.
 
Posts: 15
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have started my own simple study...

I soaked a bunch of mycelium substrate in water and collected the exudates.
I then filled a jar with plastic bags and poured in the mycelium tea, and left it in the sun like suntea.
After a few months the tea has become a black-red color, I planned on giving it six months before disturbing it.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John Elliott wrote:In reading this thread, I see a lack of an appreciation about how ubiquitous fungi actually are. They are everywhere in the soil, and their spores are everywhere in the air. Tiny little sacks of DNA, a few microns in diameter, floating on the air currents and waiting to land on a suitable substrate to germinate and grow. Not every one will make it, which is why fungal fruiting bodies (commonly called mushrooms) make lots and lots and lots of spores. Some giant puffballs can release trillions of viable spores.

Also, fungi are generalists when it comes to decomposition. They are not very selective when it comes to what kind of dead organic matter they can eat. They may be selective when it comes to mycorrhizal associations, they may be selective when it comes to infecting live plants and animals, but for non-living matter, they don't have to be selective, there is a small list of general categories that they can decompose: lignin, cellulose and other carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

So this idea that Paul Stamets is the only source of a unique mushroom that has unique spores that can break down heretofore recalcitrant compounds, well that's just good PR for Paul Stamets. I can go to my favorite mushroom hunting grounds near my house and find mushrooms that could be cultured and sub-cultured to decompose plastics.

Why don't you hear more about this? Why isn't this being done? There are very few mycologists spread far too thin, and this is a big, untapped area of research. There is still plenty of work for mycologists identifying new species, studying their metabolism, developing diagnostics and anti-fungals, studying their growth and symbioses, that using them for bioremediation goes relatively unfunded.

To answer a couple more questions upthread:
Yes, there are salt tolerant fungi, you can find them in samples of muck from salt marshes. They are not very plentiful though, since those are usually anaerobic conditions (and fungi need O2).

Fungal sex (exchanging genes with another individual) takes place when the spore starts dividing. Fungi do everything backwards from animals: animals ingest food then digest it; fungi digest food, then ingest it; Animals are born, grow up, then have sex and reproduce; Fungi are born, have sex, go on an enormous growth phase, then when they have exhausted all their food, they reproduce. The first thing spores do when they put out their first hyphae is look for a mate and swap some DNA.



John - this is something I have tried to get into. My problem (and why I'm not doing more of it) is sterile culture technique. Like I built a glovebox and everything. I must have read 'mushroom cultivator' through like 6 times. I have had zero (that's 0) success in isolating wild strands from tissue. And very limited success getting a pure culture from wild spores. Sometimes its just easier to use other peoples expertise. Not that I wouldn't keep trying. But I'm done banging my head against that wall. At least without some sort of support.
 
Posts: 25
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Dave Bennett wrote:Here is the abstract from the study.
http://aem.asm.org/content/77/17/6076



Damn, this fungus lives on polyurethane as sole substrate, and under anaerobic conditions! I don't know which of both is more surprising, since fungi usually need oxygen just like animals. I mean, there is oxygen IN the polymer, but the fungus has to free it first by breaking the polymer down.

Also I'm kind of glad, that this fungus lives only in the tropics, because lots of houses here (Germany) are isolated with panels made from PUR foam. This fungus could eat up the temperature isolation of houses, if it has sufficient water supply (ok, usually the isolation is kept dry, maybe other fungi would take the opportunity, too).
 
Posts: 67
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My wild guess is at least most oyster varieties not only eat plastic, but also e-coli, so is good (the go to) for mycofiltration...often in burlap sacks, as the mycelium can colonize the natural fibered sack as well.
 
Posts: 34
Location: Colorado
books dog woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is a fascinating idea - and nice to see it in this light.

I would not wish to be a negative nellie - seeing as the humidity seems somewhat of an environmental check - but this reminds me of that Ethanol fad from a few years ago.

Some lab made the claim that they had developed a yeast that will happily munch away at cellulose. I am certain that the mycologists in this thread are aware of the ubiquity of yeast - and of cellulose.

I also realize that environmental conditions act as a check to given blooms - but think for a moment of your shirt turning to Rum, and your books melting into Bourbon. Only takes one single cell having escaped.

No, I am not making an apocalyptic prediction here, but you gotta admit that this enthusiasm is a bit like Jurassic Park.

I am pleased by the work, but I urge caution - severe and extreme caution - when attempting to exploit natural systems in this manner. I see very little danger in a fungus that requires such high humidity, and it apparently lives in nature in some form or another, but in all the optimistic work, please bear in mind:

Living systems cannot be recalled like a bad Prius Accelerator; once it is out, it is out, and Pandora's box is open. Future mutations cannot be anticipated or controlled, and interactions/reactions are near infinite in their complexity.

So, for the sake of my plastic rain-barrel, and my plumbing, please keep these things in mind.

Bioremediation is an ideal method - provided it is codified and well understood before being released.

At the very least, it appears you guys aren't splicing anything, so it's unlikely that there will be a Blob that ate the finish off of my woodwork anytime soon.... :)

I encourage the work - just, please don't accidentally release a Fungal A-Bomb or anything....
 
Nick Dimitri
Posts: 67
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Huh? Well dont take my meanderthall word for it. Here's mycologist Paul Stamets on the science findings on this subject: https://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/nature/paul-stamets-mycoremediation-ze0z1410zdeh
You could myceliate the substrate in ideal conditions (e.g. humidity) then place it where it's needed for filtration/bioremediating purposes.
 
Posts: 381
28
bee duck fish food preservation forest garden fungi trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I remember reading years ago when the Exxon Valdez dumped its oil in Prince William Sound in Alaska that the initial cleanup was really ineffective (oil was pooling below the surfaces of the beaches), but that later they found that applications of fertilizer allowed naturally occurring bacteria to digest the oil.  Hydrocarbons occur in nature and so there are things that can feed on it, but they can't feed on it alone (man does not live by bread alone, he needs some jelly to go with it)

I realize we're talking plastics and mushrooms, but it seems to me the general principals may work.  Plastics and petroleum are both hydrocarbons.
 
Chris Kott
pollinator
Posts: 2068
Location: Toronto, Ontario
158
bee forest garden fungi hugelkultur cooking rabbit trees urban wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't see a place for alarmism about this topic. There's no reason. Personally, I think a lush growth bomb would be excellent.

Imagine a bioreactor designed to nurture parallel colonies of these different saprophytic fungi (I think that's what they're called), a nursery environment that takes these fungi selected for their abilities to detoxify environments and break down contaminants into simpler and simpler forms, such that other life forms can get in on the action and feed of what was once toxic or inaccessible.

Imagine that conditions were optimised to the point that spore counts in the air rose, and that those spores spread out from the superfund sites and such that they were designed to remediate, into our toxic living spaces, to remediate them.

The plastics that would be at most risk of being accidentally colonised and decomposed in such a scenario would be of the single-use variety, being flimsy and not very dense, as compared to PVC piping, say. These are the plastics which pollute the most, and which we need the least.

I think that plastics, rather than plastic-devouring fungi, are the real danger to humanity.

-CK
 
The overall mission is to change the world. When you've done that, then you can read this tiny ad:
Rocket mass heaters in greenhouses can be tricky - these plans make them easy: Wet Tolerant Rocket Mass Heater in a Greenhouse Plans
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!