Topics

Post-Notre Dame lead pollution #lead


d.michael.shafer@gmail.com
 


Here is the question: in that there are no other solutions available and given all that we know about biochar's ability to adsorb lead, and given insufficient demand for biochar in Europe, is there any reason not to suggest to French authorities that they wash the streets with a solution of water and biochar particles?



What We Found About Notre-Dame’s Lead, and What It May Mean for You https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/14/world/europe/notre-dame-lead.html


Geoff Thomas
 

Sounds a great idea Michael, - not only removing the lead, but fantastic advertising for that additional use of Biochar.
It may be also possible to then recycle the lead, - many (30) years ago I used to have to recycle lead batteries so I burnt them in a container I made looking very much like a pyramid flame cap kiln, - bit taller, but open at the bottom yet sitting on flat ground, on a sheet of tin to catch the molten lead with under the batteries lots of wood and on top also, the which I kept replenishing.
In retrospect, that would have been semi-pyrolysed.
I did it to remove the plastic from the smoke, - the which it did quite well, and also produced a clean runny lead out the bottom.
Talking around of my observations, a friend told me that Sims Metal, the largest metal recycler in Sydney at that time, had been mixing charcoal (he thought) with the batteries they were getting, to extract the lead.
I think later Health and Safety dept stopped them, but Sims were probably not worried about the plastic at that time.
Possibly much interesting research could flow from all that, although of course to remove the charcoal  from the lead may need another catalyst or reactant?
Cheers, Geoff Thomas.
Maland Australia.

On 15 Sep 2019, at 3:09 pm, 'd.michael.shafer@...' d.michael.shafer@... [biochar] <biochar@...> wrote:


Here is the question: in that there are no other solutions available and given all that we know about biochar's ability to adsorb lead, and given insufficient demand for biochar in Europe, is there any reason not to suggest to French authorities that they wash the streets with a solution of water and biochar particles?



What We Found About Notre-Dame’s Lead, and What It May Mean for You https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/14/world/europe/notre-dame-lead.html



d.michael.shafer@gmail.com
 

I am not sure about recycling, but this is a solution that I have thought about a lot for American towns and cities. My impression from all that I have read is that the legacy of heavy industry and leaded gasoline is huge amounts of heavy metal that lurks in the lawns, gardens and playing fields of municipalities, in the cracks of sidewalks and so on. I am also also quite sure that every time a house build before the late 1980s prohibition of leaded paint burns down, large amounts of lead disburse across wherever in the smoke plume or wash down the storm drains with the firemen's water.

There are companies that will remove lead from houses at an amazing cost per square foot. The EPA will - with funding - clean up outside areas - by removing the top 3 inches of soil, trucking to a special incinerator and then trucking it back.

I do not consider either of these options remotely possible for municipalities that were not home to pre-pollution regulation lead smelters. We are, after all, talking about lead levels not deemed "critical" by the EPA or CDC or whomever does the designating.

But given the hundreds (thousands?) of articles that exist about how effective biochar is at immobilizing heavy metals, where is the entrepreneur interested in selling low cost, eco-friendly heavy metal clean up to municipalities big and small?

Yes, there might be "best" solutions of all sorts. There may be the perfect feedstock for every molecular variation of heavy metals that could possibly be encountered. yes, yes, yes. But we have always succeeded in making the perfect the enemy of the good.

No one else has a solution to background lead and other heavy metals levels. Biochar is cheap and no matter its source, pretty effective. Why not?

Why not try washing the streets with water and biochar powder? Why not try flushing the storm drains with biochar slurry? Why not? And while we are at it, why not sow biochar heavily along the sides of highways to deal with the nasty particulates that rain down? Why not mix it into the sand with which we build swales that slow runoff into the storm drains along super highways? Why not... Why not...? 

Bottom line: why not be a bit entrepreneurial about finding sources of demand and productive uses in fixing known problems that to date have just been ignored because no one wants to spend much time of problems deemed too complicated and costly to address?

M



On Sun, Sep 15, 2019 at 12:56 PM Geoff Thomas wind@... [biochar] <biochar@...> wrote:
 

Sounds a great idea Michael, - not only removing the lead, but fantastic advertising for that additional use of Biochar.

It may be also possible to then recycle the lead, - many (30) years ago I used to have to recycle lead batteries so I burnt them in a container I made looking very much like a pyramid flame cap kiln, - bit taller, but open at the bottom yet sitting on flat ground, on a sheet of tin to catch the molten lead with under the batteries lots of wood and on top also, the which I kept replenishing.
In retrospect, that would have been semi-pyrolysed.
I did it to remove the plastic from the smoke, - the which it did quite well, and also produced a clean runny lead out the bottom.
Talking around of my observations, a friend told me that Sims Metal, the largest metal recycler in Sydney at that time, had been mixing charcoal (he thought) with the batteries they were getting, to extract the lead.
I think later Health and Safety dept stopped them, but Sims were probably not worried about the plastic at that time.
Possibly much interesting research could flow from all that, although of course to remove the charcoal  from the lead may need another catalyst or reactant?
Cheers, Geoff Thomas.
Maland Australia.

On 15 Sep 2019, at 3:09 pm, 'd.michael.shafer@...' d.michael.shafer@... [biochar] <biochar@...> wrote:


Here is the question: in that there are no other solutions available and given all that we know about biochar's ability to adsorb lead, and given insufficient demand for biochar in Europe, is there any reason not to suggest to French authorities that they wash the streets with a solution of water and biochar particles?



What We Found About Notre-Dame’s Lead, and What It May Mean for You https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/14/world/europe/notre-dame-lead.html



roland@...
 

What a silly idea! Esoteric stuff from people without any experience in chemistry.


---In biochar@..., <wind@...> wrote :

Sounds a great idea Michael, - not only removing the lead, but fantastic advertising for that additional use of Biochar.


Teel, Wayne
 

Roland,

 

Most hypotheses start as silly ideas.  Then they become research questions.  Who knows, it might become a new method.  If you have a denigration of the hypothesis, why not show it is silly with good evidence?  Some of us do have experience with chemistry and the idea of getting heavy metals out of water using biochar does not sound totally esoteric or outlandish.  It does help with acid mine drainage and mercury contaminated soils.  (See the South River Science Team reports on biochar available through IBI.)

 

Wayne

 

From: biochar@... <biochar@...>
Sent: Sunday, September 15, 2019 5:49 AM
To: biochar@...
Subject: Re: [biochar] Post-Notre Dame lead pollution

 

 

What a silly idea! Esoteric stuff from people without any experience in chemistry.



---In biochar@..., <wind@...> wrote :

Sounds a great idea Michael, - not only removing the lead, but fantastic advertising for that additional use of Biochar.

 


d.michael.shafer@gmail.com
 

Thank you, Roland, for your feedback. Could you please define "silly" and "esoteric." Could you also please explain to those of us innocent of chemistry why what works in Chinese rice paddies, mine tailings ponds/mounds, on European roads and in European brownfield sites will not work in these applications.

I am open to any suggestions that teach me something. Your response is interesting because it contradicts all the literature I have read.

M


On Sun, Sep 15, 2019, 4:49 PM roland@... [biochar] <biochar@...> wrote:
 

What a silly idea! Esoteric stuff from people without any experience in chemistry.



---In biochar@..., wrote :

Sounds a great idea Michael, - not only removing the lead, but fantastic advertising for that additional use of Biochar.