Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
clean dirt sometime in the future. Other methods are available too, ranging from the use of
chemicals, electricity 13 , and even bacteria that consumes chemical hydrocarbons as food.
Phytoremediation is a process that employs certain plants to help with cleaning the soil
of certain toxic contaminants. It turns out that some plants that are especially well suited
for the task. These are called “hyperaccumulators”. Wikipedia has a good list of plants
that you can check out. For example, sunflowers are known for the removal of lead and
radioactive substances. In fact, they have been used for the removal of radioactive cesium
from Fukushima, Japan.
However, the process of phytoremediation is very time consuming - it simply takes a long
time for the plants to grow. But what if we want to accelerate the process?
Using electroculture, we can accelerate the cleanup via the following mechanisms:
• Growing faster, pulling in greater amounts of contaminated compounds into its
• Growing larger in size, larger stems, leaves and even fruits will hold more.
• Electromigration effects in the soil will allow for the root systems to receive more
contaminants from a larger area.
I have been involved with a project called the Sunflower+ Project StL that took on the
task of improving the look of urban wastelands by growing a field of sunflower plants.
Assuming that the land would be lead contaminated, for the first few years the sunflowers
would be used for removing heavy-metal contaminants. Later, once deemed safe for
urban youth with the creation of a business venture related to the plot, e.g. processing the
seeds into nut butters.
In my time experimenting on sunflowers, I learned that they could be stimulated
successfully into growing taller than control-group plants with as little as 1.5 volts,
depending upon the species. I also learned that the results are species-dependent - so the
response between two or more types of sunflower seeds may vary. This was expected.
Anyhow, while there could have certainly been confounding variables present in this
outdoor experiment, generally we found the electrified plants to grow more than 8 inches
taller than the control group, on average. Unfortunately (as well as fortunately, too), the
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