Accelerator231 t1_jakcr1x wrote

OK, I've read the thing. I don't think this is going to work. The REE's are going to have to rise to a really high level before this is economical.

>The authors found that an uncharacterized new species of Nostoc had the highest capacity for biosorption of ions of these four REEs from aqueous solutions, with efficiencies between 84.2 and 91.5 mg per g biomass, while Scytonema hyalinum had the lowest efficiency at 15.5 to 21.2 mg per g.

So from the start there's not a lot of good yields to begin with. Higher than parts per million, but seeing as its REE, no surprises there.

>Also efficient were Synechococcus elongates, Desmonostoc muscorum, Calothrix brevissima, and an uncharacterized new species of Komarekiella. Biosorption was found to depend strongly on acidity: it was highest at a pH of between five and six, and decreased steadily in more acid solutions.

Due to several aspects of minerals, how they mine things, and the sulfur inside the rocks, most of the mining tailings are acidic instead of alkaline. In other words, if you want the higher levels of biosorption, you're going to have to chemically treat the tailings before you can get them. In fact, there's a whole spectrum of acidities and alkalinities that they're going to be using. Meaning this process probably fails.

>The process was most efficient when there was no "competition" for the biosorption surface on the cyanobacteria biomass from positive ions of other, non-REE metals such as zinc, lead, nickel, or aluminum.

Have these guys ever looked into a mine tailing or factory waste? It's chock full of random non-REE metal ions. This means that yeah, you're going to have to extract and flter that mine tailing before you can get the REEs efficiently.

The only reason why bioremediation and biosorption of the waste is loved so much is because bacteria are self-replicating and frankly don't really give a shit if you throw them into a toxic dump. They're still happy to turn those heavy metals into less dangerous types or break down cyanide or absorb the cadmium into their chitin structure. Other forms of cleanup have problems due to how spread out things are and how large the volume of water is. But if you're trying to run a business that involves extracting the stuff for money, that means you have to pre-treat the stuff before it gets to you, usually chemically. And that costs a lot.


This is the actual article:


Accelerator231 t1_jahthcq wrote

Hmph. Weird. I'm fairly sure I saw something similar 3 years ago when doing a paper on bioremediation. It's nice but living creatures are finicky. In all likelihood it won't be economical


Accelerator231 t1_jad15n5 wrote

I wonder how it's even taught.

You can train rats with food and heroin. How'd you punish or reward a bunch of nerves? How'd you even be sure it can interpret data correctly?


Accelerator231 t1_j4nzwha wrote

But there's an entire new cure for hepatitis which didn't exist before, and there's also the cure for many bacterial diseases like penicillin or streptomycin. And many preventative ones, like the polio vaccine.

...... Wow, you're basically exhibit A of an armchair scientist Redditor. Someone who doesn't know anything, doesn't track the current zietgeist, and speaks as if he's been studying this for decades.