Arkady MALTSEV, (c)
Today one can hardly name any production process, be it industrial or agricultural, that does not contribute to the contamination of the environment. Say, one can find almost a half of Mendeleyev's Periodic Table in the wastes of oil processing, chemical and metallurgical enterprises. As a result of scientific research the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Branch of RAS (Novosibirsk) has pioneered a biological method of waste water cleaning of various origin with the help of a plant-water hyacinth.
Back in 1884 it was planted for this purpose in Florida (USA). Later it spread to South and North America, Asia and Africa. Original biological "sanitation workers" were also known in Siberia, such as duck weed, water spinach, Spirodela, etc., but they are considerably less efficient than hyacinth. But it was not clear how that tropical plant would behave in such cold climatic zone. The problem of adaptation of this plant was in the focus of attention of the above-mentioned institute headed by Academician V. Shumny.
As a result there appeared a project based on the natural ability of the water hyacinth in the process of growth to extract various biogenic elements from the environment allowing to create low-cost, energy-saving water-purifying systems as this plant is developing at the expense of any decaying organic substance, including even manure and excrements, at the same time eliminating their unpleasant smell.
After transplanting seedlings of hyacinth into bioponds, contaminated reservoirs, water tanks and even simply into cesspools, this smell completely disappears and by the end of summer the water becomes absolutely transparent, without any unpleasant taste. It can be discharged without fear into rivers, used in everyday life and for industrial purposes. True, this plant dies in winter, but this fact has its advantages: this means it will never become a malicious weed as was the case in tropical countries where it continuously breeds.
What is then the technology of biological purification worked out by a team headed by V. Shumny? Its basis-ponds, representing a system of artificial reservoirs, connected with pipelines. At first (this can be called a preparatory period) the hyacinth is kept in the conditions of artificial climate on pure salt solutions where it breeds and develops to necessary condition, while the process of effective purification of industrial and excrement-containing wastes in the system of bioponds goes on from May to September.
However, as scientists from Siberia are convinced, the hyacinth will be useful not only for stock-breeders. It absorbs heavy metals, phenols, pesticides, oil products and even reduces the bacterial contamination of water. Besides, this plant grows unusually fast-its quantity increases 100 times for 3-4 summer months. The above said has been confirmed by two experiments, one of them carried out at the hothouses of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the SB RAS, and the other on the wastes of Tolmachevo airport.
In the first case, in the conditions of artificial climate, waste waters of the Pavlodar oil- processing plant were poured into vegetation containers and then plants were put there. The efficiency of purification was rather high: in relation to oil products-97.9 percent, to ammonium-75.5 and phenol-98.3 percent. In the course of the second experiment the hyacinth was planted into the sewer of the airport and by September it covered an area 50 m long and 3 m wide. And even such a short period of time was enough to reduce the content of nitrates, chlorides, ammonium, iron and other harmful products.
Thus, Siberian scientists have managed not only to spread the hyacinth to the north but also prove the efficiency of its use in future as a multifunctional biological purifier.
Опубликовано на Порталусе 08 сентября 2018 года
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