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Oil Spills and Mushrooms

08/07/2009 9:41 PM

It turns out that fungi (hence mushrooms) can be used in the breakdown of wastes relating to oil polluted materials. The fungi break down the hydrocarbons to basic elements and types of non toxic compounds. The mushrooms that grow, especially oyster mushrooms, are edible without consequence as if there were no "pollutants" or toxins involved. The question I have is are there animals that desire to eat mushrooms, if it's an option ? And additionally, are there animals into whose diet mushrooms, raw or processed, can be added, with useful growth and economic effect ? (Mammal, fish, fowl, .. whatever.)

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#1

Re: Oil spills, - what animals (other than humans) eat mushrooms ?

08/08/2009 5:03 AM

...hippies

...and you are correct sir, hippies are not human

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#2

Re: Oil Spills and Mushrooms

08/08/2009 3:36 PM

Hi, nofineprint! Any mushroom that is not poisonous and is edible by humans could be added to animal food, but why would You not use them as food for humans? I am sure that pigs eat mushrooms as they are used to search for truffles mushrooms, and biggest problem is to stop pig from eating what she find......

Snails are also eating mushrooms, so it would be good food at snail farms, and they would also eat that same oil polluted materials directly, if I am not wrong...

Now, there is many kinds of mushrooms, but such materials like oil polluted materials usually don't exist in nature, so unless You know something already You would have long search in front of You......

Then, some of mushrooms grow slowly and are too hard to be eaten by animals or humans, so those are certainly out of question.

It may also be that kind of mushroom that would grow on such materials could be of poisonous kind, and this would be useless, right?

Last but not least, there is question of process effectiveness, as even if You find right mushrooms, question is how much of total mass of original material would be converted into mushrooms, and what would You do with remainder afterwards, should it be thrown or it could be reused in next batch? For example, pearl mushrooms grow ONLY on horse manure, and after one batch is grown, the remainder is too moldy to be used again........

Therefore IMHO, chemistry of breaking down target materials into much simpler hydrocarbons should be studied and then same chemical process can be applied industrially, which would process most of target materials. Actually, I remember seeing some article how one company has developed process by which almost anything could be turned into Biodiesel fuel, so perhaps this solution for Your problem?

You should have posted information which are materials that need to be recycled and why it is oil polluted in first place, as perhaps precluding oil pollution would be simpler, better and cheaper solution here?

Did You consider that it is possible to use this material as animall food directly?

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Oil Spills and Mushrooms

08/09/2009 12:16 PM

In this situation, the purpose of the mushrooms, (oyster mushrooms, have been suggested) is to degrade the oil contaminated materials, used for the clean up function, along with the oil that remains in them, after efforts have been made to remove the bulk of the oil captured, if significant. The clean up materials and the residue oil would be integrated in a composting situation and the fungi is included to speed up the degradation of the two. At present, the harvesting or use of the mushrooms is not being considered. You might say, it's really a situation of changing the location of the the site of the oil and cleaning materials as a second stage of the effort. First, is where the spill occurs, or is encountered, the open water or the shoreline/beaches; and the second where the materials used in the clean up, have to be processed and degraded. As a "community" matter, a primary interest is to involve as little industrial chemistry (with all its wastes and potentially toxic by products and costs) to our very basic "green" solution. Besides substantial oil spills, an eye is being kept towards other petroleum waste events ,that might occur even in small quantities, of ounces to limited gallons. I didn't know that snails might play a role in all this and will look into that also. Are their certain species already involved in this area ? Of the "hard" fungi that grows slowly which you mention, is there something that can be done with them that might be useful ? Or, when their finished growing might they just be buried for other sorts of bacteria to act on them, or perhaps be included in further composting ? The desire is that ultimately all of the mass including the oil be converted /degraded. Is there some limiting situation I'm not aware of? Time is really not a factor as the period until the maturing or harvesting of the mushrooms, if at all, is not relevant, but rather the emphasis is the full degradation of the contaminating oil quantities and clean up materials. Thanks very much for information thus far. hn

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Oil Spills and Mushrooms

08/09/2009 7:45 PM

It seems we have some misunderstanding there as I assumed this is organic oil You are writing about. If it is Earth Oil or Naphta (since You mention Petroleum) then You are out of luck since nothing grows on such oil. In such case there may be some kind of bacteria that eat it, but even if I remember reading about it, I also remembered how I concluded that it would be too dangerous for world oil reserves in case such bacterias infect oil fields..... Another way out is that process I mentioned which is making Biodiesel out of anything, but then You should consult with authors of this process. But I would say they also use waste organic, not mineral oil.........

I believe it would be more profitable to concentrate on spilled oil removal process, and for this I saw patent made that is able to capture 99% of spilled oil on the water. Once seashore is contaminated, it is not posible to clean it, and only remedy would be to remove and replace surface layer of sand or gravel on the beach.

Next what could be done is to use it as fuel and produce electricity by burning it. But naphta contains Sulphur so there could be acid rains as consequence......... Therefore, even in this case it would be easier if it is organic oil spillage Yoe are writing about...

In case of mineral oil, even if You find fungi, mushrooms or mold that would grow on it, (which I doubt that exist) I would say they would not be edible by animals or humans.......

I found articles about bacteria >>sicrofilo facultativo<< that is supposed to eat mineral oil spileage even on Antarctica. I would say if this realy work, then it would be cheapest and cleanest way to deal with such oil spills, therefore, Google a little!

I spent some time searching the Web, but so far I discovered no mushrooms, fungi or mold that can thrive on Earth oil.

There were many interesting articles about benefits of eating mushrooms, so read it!

So, what I wrote before is valid for ORGANIC oils ONLY, specially in case of snails :-))

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Oil Spills and Mushrooms

08/09/2009 9:55 PM

My information is that petroleum can be broken down through "natural processes" including breakingdown by bacterial, and in fungus /mushroom situations. If you would google relating to "hairmats", felted, human hair, you'll find things that these can be use to adsorb petroleum,(there's also a demo on YOUTUBE, and then in a compost situation will be broken down further in a compost pile growing mushrooms. There's a US Patent by McCrory relating to this, and a group on the US west Coast has done some development in the composting situation. Google: "matter of trust". I also read that the (US) Battelle Research Lab is doing something along this line. Need more specific info ? Henry Nass /New York City

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#9
In reply to #7

Re: Oil Spills and Mushrooms

08/10/2009 10:24 AM

Hi Henry,

I have found some articles about paraffin breakdown, but in regard to petroleum, I know that here when somebody want to preclude growth of any plant, then they pour petroleum on the ground. At that, Petroleum is light component derived from NAFTA, so it is free of heavy metals and Sulphur.

If You have found that article, then surely also mushrooms species were mentioned.

Just take care to not assume that what (and IF that really) work for Petroleum, that it would work for crude oil also.

I would say that it would be advisable to use bacteria first and then put remainder to compost, but I am also not quite convinced that it is good idea with composting hair.... It contains lot of Sulphur, so it is not something You want in compost. Same is with crude oil, and there are some heavy metals also. THAT should not get into mushrooms, if they would be used for food, animal or human!

We say in Croatia something like English Proverb: >>Ounce of prevention is more valuable than pound of cure<< (sorry but English is not my native language).....

Therefore better concentrate on prevention of spillage, and in case it happened, on collecting as much as possible to put it back into storage.

I also don't quite get how it is intended to use that hair if spillage is in water or on the shore. My recommendation is to not spoil good mushrooms that could be grown on that compost, and I recommend You try eating mushrooms, it is excellent food! We call it >>Meat from forest<<. In regard to hard mushrooms, they are not edible and would take years to grow on a tree, and in old times it was used to get cinders or keep it for making fire, as dried fungi of this kind burn slowly but produce high temperature. You should find Mycologist Institute or at least Society of mushroom collectors. But so far I heard only of three species that can be grown: Shiitake, Pearl mushrooms and one we call >>Beechwood fungi<< (loosely translated). First two are out of question, as Shiitake is grown on sawdust or wood trunks, and Pearl mushroom grows on horse manure. Last one is possible to be Your solution.

We have also excellent mushrooms growing on oak leaves, but such was not yet >>domesticated<<, and unfortunately there is almost identical mushroom that is lethally poisonous, so only experts go and pick them up, else that can be last meal for inexperienced collector. This (and there are many more of poisonous kind, but specific in looks and smell, so they can be recognized more easily) particular poisonous kind of fungi has enzymes that literally eat (human or animal) liver in just 2 hours of time, and there is no known remedy for it, so death is certain and horrible :-((

Therefore, don't experiment but ask expert advice. You cannot know what would mushrooms digest and what result of that digestion may be.

Anyhow, good luck!

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Oil Spills and Mushrooms

08/10/2009 11:38 AM

If the spillage is on water, (or on beaches,) felted "hairmats" in some configuration, are dropped on the oil retrieved, "squeezed out " and then used again. Same is true for hairmats used on the beaches, though to the extent that sand also gets into the mix, the life of the hairmat is reduced. The composting is for the throw away operation. Would you explain what distinction there is between petroleum and "crude oil" ? An underlying point is for its miraculous structure, its simplicity of collection, what use can human hair, in quantity, be put to. ? What minimal processing would enhance it's worth, or usability, considerably ? Thanks

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Oil Spills and Mushrooms

08/10/2009 7:31 PM

Difference between petroleum and crude earth oil is that petroleum is just fraction of distilled crude oil in refinery, at least this is difference in my country. Perhaps other countries have different name for it, like Kerosene, for instance. Or perhaps Kerosene is very pure gasoline used by Jet planes? If it is so, then when crude oil is processed by fractional distillation, then first product is most volatile, Kerosene, then Gasoline, then Petroleum, Diesel, Paraffin Oil, Paraffins and so on down to tar and bitumen.

As I told already, I am nor native English speaker so I may make mistake in translation, ok?

Now, in Croatia there is invention for collecting spilled oil and Nata on water, as we have beautiful unpolluted Adriatic Sea and seacoast of 1600 km with 1000 islands in the sea. We do our best so spillage don't reach our shores as this would destroy our greatest source of income, tourism. This invention is very elegant and effective, so perhaps you should consider to buy it from us :-))

When I find time, I should try to find contact with Inventor for You, if You would be interested.....

As for use of human hair, I would not know, but we have similar problem with sheep wool that nobody is buying any more since our textile industry went bankrupt, and other countries have their own to use. There was project to use it as isolator material in felted and chemically impregnated state so moths would not eat it later. I wanted to organize at least collecting this wool and exporting it to India, but it turned out to be hard process of washing it to be prepared for use, and Indians answered that they get it cheap from Australia anyway........

But, it has become severe ecological problem as it does not decay fast and it become source of fur moths that then attack our fur coats and products made out of wool later. It takes over 3 years for sheep wool to rot even buried into wet ground, and human hair is at least 3-5 times thicker for comparison. Before some have produced felt material that was put under fine carpets, but as demand dropped as more and more synthetic materials were used, they discontinued production.

I remember in my boyhood sleeping on mattress padded with horse hair and filled with hay, which has nasty habit of pricking me now and then like needle.

Surely Your problem is not unique in this World, so check what other people are doing in Your situation........

I remember how one barber told me how they are forbidden by Law to burn cut hair, throw it in garbage or bury it in the ground.

I asked naturally what then they do with it, and he told me they throw it in the running water (like river). He cannot say why but this was done for thousand of years this way, at least in my country........

As usual, most easy is to Google for >>products from human hair<<, so why don't You try it sometimes?

Regards, Marijan Pollak

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Oil Spills and Mushrooms

08/10/2009 9:26 PM

Thanks for explanation of difference between two names of what I thought were the same thing. Petroleum and crude oil. I think the important thing about the felted hair is the sized, scale and density of the matrix of the non woven fabric. It's a bit less dense then a steel wool pad, and the "fibers" are thicker and not sharp. I don't think it holds together as well nor does it need to, since its purpose is to let the oil attach to it and not to rub or scrub with it. I think the reason that it may disintegrate/degrade quickly (90 days) is it's lack of density and quantity. I think hair when it burns is very foul smelling as an organic compound, though I can see no reason why it shouldn't be buried, and degrade even if over years. I think releasing it in water would not be good, as it may be ingested by fish, and I can't see that as being either healthy or desired. Maybe worms or insects would like it better. It may be attached by microbes in water and degrade more quickly, than on land.Of course some birds or the like may like some for nesting, but that's not a quantity use.. But just image if a pad of human hair could be a substructure or a catylst for some frequent production or reaction ! The inventor, would be a real sage, famous and perhaps rich from the "discovery". And of course best if the hair required as little changing or processing or restructuring as possible. That's a key for great success. It's not just about filling pillows, but something that uses its unique and likely microscopic characteristics. which are not all that hard to know. It would perthaps be better to do the same with spider web material, but that would be several orders of magnitude more difficult, and more costly.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Oil Spills and Mushrooms

08/11/2009 5:32 AM

Hair smell badly when burned because it contains lot of Sulphur! Fish would not eat it, don't worry. Out on the ground Sunlight may help to dry it up when it became brittle, or moths would eat it, just like shed fur from animals, just it is more thick so that is not certain.... You cannot use it for catalyst, but perhaps it would have some use if mixed with plastic, so You can experiment if You like.

Now, did You try to felt it at all? Or it is just a theory You have? Did You not think that because it is loose it cannot be handled efficiently as it would break apart?

I think stuffing pillows is Your best bet, unless You stuff some lice as well inside :-((

Spider web? You got to be kidding, right?

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Oil Spills and Mushrooms

08/11/2009 5:52 AM

CR4 ADMIN: This post was edited to remove advertising outside the Commercial Space forum. Please review Section 14 of the CR4 Site FAQ about advertising.

Regards, Marijan Pollak

P.S.

I just found that NASA tried to use human hair for moping spilled crude oil some years ago, obviously without success :-((

For other uses of cut hair, see http://thebeautybrains.com/2007/12/30/top-10-strange-uses-for-human-hair/

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#3

Re: Oil Spills and Mushrooms

08/09/2009 8:16 AM

Question 1: Are there animals that desire to eat mushrooms. Answer: in the wild, many animals eat mushrooms. That includes squirrels, bears, and birds.

Question 2: Do mushrooms have nutritional value. Yes they do.

The problem with your economic equation, of the breakdown of oil-pollution by mushrooms that then are usable as feed for animals, is that the purity of your oil-pollution will have an impact on the food quality of the mushrooms so produced.

Most fungi have species-specific tendencies to accumulate heavy metals or toxic metals in the fruitbodies. (The same is true of plants and eg the leaves or other parts that might be 'edible'). So you would first have to answer the question, is there any metal or other substance in the pollution that would be taken up by this species. Then figure out whether there are potentially toxic effects that would preclude a safe economical use of the mushrooms as feed or food.

Try this search, for example:

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&q=Pleurotus+metal+accumulation+fruitbodies&btnG=Search&meta=

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: Oil Spills and Mushrooms

08/09/2009 12:30 PM

A: That includes squirrels, bears, and birds. A':Do you know which types of birds have a special interest in mushrooms, and the types of mushrooms they favor ? Are oyster mushrooms favored in particular to any special species ? B:Do mushrooms have nutritional value? Yes they do. B': Do you have some specific details about this ? C: What about the slow growing, hard fungi ? I imagine this is "shelf fungus" found on trees, does this have any use that you know of ? D: Do you know of any relationship between the poison character of some fungi to humans, verses the toxicity of same to various animals?

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#8
In reply to #5

Re: Oil Spills and Mushrooms

08/10/2009 12:35 AM

I suggest you read some books and/or take a course or a degree in mycology and ecology. There's no short answer to your questions. If you are serious about promoting the use of bioremediation mushrooms for feed/food you had better do a serious literature search: it's inappropriate to search for these answers in a forum. Read the lit.

If this was a good idea, you can be sure someone would have jumped on it for that reason. However, the basic concepts of bioremediation are based on two capabilities of living things (whether fungi, plants, or bacteria): one, to break down "toxic" or polluting substances, and two, to accumulate or take up "toxic" or polluting substances thus removing them from soil. You can't think about growing food on pollution without some serious study of the consequences. If you want to pursue this ideal "dream", you're going to have to do some serious research.

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