Mycoremediation and its Applications In Oil Spills

Posted on June 2, 2010  Comments (3)

The webcast shows a talk by mycologist Paul Stamets on Bioremediation with Fungi (an Excerpt from Mushrooms as Planetary Healers). In response he to the British Petroleum/Halliburton oil spill he posted a message, Fungi Perfecti: the petroleum problem

Various enzymes (from mushroom mycoremediation) breakdown a wide assortment of hydrocarbon toxins.
My work with Battelle Laboratories, in collaboration with their scientists, resulted in TAH’s (Total Aromatic Hydrocarbons) in diesel contaminated soil to be reduced from 10,000 ppm to < 200 ppm in 16 weeks from a 25% inoculation rate of oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus) mycelium, allowing the remediated soil to be approved for use as landscaping soil along highways. [paper]

Aged mycelium from oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) mixed in with ‘compost’ made from woodchips and yard waste (50:50 by volume) resulted in far better degradation of hydrocarbons than oyster mushroom mycelium or compost alone.

Oyster mushrooms producing on oil contaminated soil (1–2% = 10,000–20,000 ppm)… Soil toxicity reduced in 16 weeks to less than ~ 200 ppm, allowing for plants, worms and other species to inhabit whereas control piles remained toxic to plants and worms.

New crop of mushrooms form several weeks later [after contaminating with oil]. The spores released by these mushrooms have the potential – as a epigenetic response – to pre-select new strains more adaptive to this oil-saturated substrate.

I proposed in 1994 that we have Mycological Response Teams (MRTs) in place to react to catastrophic events, from hurricanes to oil spills. We need to preposition composting and mycoremediation centers adjacent to population centers

On a grand scale, I envision that we, as a people, develop a common myco-ecology of consciousness and address these common goals through the use of mycelium. To do so means we need to spread awareness and information. Please spread the word of mycelium.

Related: Saving the World with Science and MushroomsFun FungiThinking Slime Moulds

3 Responses to “Mycoremediation and its Applications In Oil Spills”

  1. Bright Bulbs: Survival Tips « Surviving the Middle Class Crash
    July 23rd, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

    […] I am not kidding. According to the book World Changing: A User’s Guide to the 21st Century, mycologist Paul Stamets (From the Pacific Northwest) did a study in which oyster mushrooms were planted to clean up a diesel oil spill. No kidding, since the role of mushrooms in nature is to decompose matter and enrich the soil, they did their job. Beautifully too. Apparently, after a while the ‘shrooms themselves tested non-toxic, as did the soil they were in.  Further, it was said that they worked better than anything else that had ever been tried. Amazing! Based on the amazing powers of these mushrooms, Stametz has coined the term mycoremediation. Look out for this on the Internet. And watch this short video with Paul Stametz himself explaining how the mushrooms work on a chemical level. He shows side-by-side slides of soil piles treated with other methods and with the mushrooms, the difference is far beyond comparing. In fact, it’s amazing! […]

  2. Mycologist/Researcher Paul Stamitz Explains how Mushrooms Can Clean up the BP Oil Spill « Surviving the Middle Class Crash
    July 23rd, 2010 @ 2:34 pm
  3. New Discovery Finds Fungi Different From All Known Forms is Ubiquitous » Curious Cat Science Blog
    May 13th, 2011 @ 8:34 am

    They found novel bits of DNA — related to fungi, but clearly different from all of the known varieties — just about everywhere…

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