Carbon Negative Mining Reclamation 


20141005_160033

 


2014 – Present

Classification:

Mining Reclamation – Phytoremediation

  • Off Setting Revenue Streams from Sale of Carbon Benefits
  • Phyto Mining
  • Carbon Credits
  • Validating Uses of Biochar

Objectives

To enhance environmental protection, produce long-term educational and economic benefits, and provide a engineered validated uses of carbon negative remediation model.

Project Description

PRSI is proposing to cap the two mining waste tailing ponds located on Red Mountain with layer of soil mixed with biochar then plant a phytoremediation plantation of poplar trees. The trees will filter the soil, air, and protect the groundwater all while providing carbon offset that will be sold to the local municipalities.

Phytoremediation Plantation Year One

Phytoremediation Plantation Year One

Irrigation for the trees will come from  the existing watershed leachate catchment pond that is located below the mining tailings. By using the catchment water PRSI will effectively be re-circulating the  tailings leachate through the plantation of trees and a network of carbon filters keeping the environmental impact of the mining tailing leachate to an absolute minimum.

Mining Leachate Catchment Pond

Mining Leachate Catchment Pond

Students enrolled in applicable fields of study,  will be hired each growing season to perform the day to day operation of  the property under the guidance and management instruction of PRSI.  The students will present a season ending summary report to our funding and contributing research partners.

Highlights

  • Over 5000 trees will be planted
  • Over 20,000 carbon credits will be generated annually and available to be traded with local municipalities
  • A phytoremediation system will have the capacity to treat roughly 30 million litres of leachate per growing season.


PhytoRemediation Carbon Negative Process

Phytoremediation describes the treatment of environmental problems through the use of plants that mitigate the environmental problem without the need to excavate the contaminant material and dispose of it elsewhere. Essentially the trees remediate the various contaminants from the media that they are growing in storing the heavy metals in their natural state within the structure of the tree. Pollutant concentrations in contaminated soil, water, and air, are all remediated.  Through the magic of photosynthesis trees sequester (CO2) from the air. CO2 is returned to the atmosphere when the plant dies and decomposes. This describes the Active Carbon Cycle and would be considered Carbon Neutral.

Carbon Cycle

Atmospheric Carbon Mining

PRSI uses Carbon Negative processes that permanently remove the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from Earth’s atmosphere. PRSI accomplish this by processing trees into biochar after the trees have re mediated the contaminants including heavy metals.

BioChar

BioChar

The trees are pyrolyzed – heated in the absence of oxygen – the end product is a charcoal, which is called biochar. The carbon from the pyrolyzed biomass is retained in biochar.  Biochar is recalcitrant meaning it lasts for thousands of years, the net effect is that by using this process PRSI sequesters CO2 and the heavy metals all safely in the structure of the biochar.

 

comparison_biochar_npk

BioChar Plant Comparison

Biochar when added to soil helps reclaim and improve it by increasing soil water retention and enhancing fertility. One tonne of biochar is equivalent to three tonnes of CO2.

 

Brita Water Filter

Brita Water Filter

 

Biochar is a natural filter and PRSI uses it to filter contaminant from air, water, and soil.  Carbon filters are used in items such as household water filters and air filters.

 

BioChar Up Close

A microscopic view of bichar particles

This picture explains why it is such a good filter. Biochar has an extremely high degree of microporosity, just one gram of biochar has a surface area the size of a football field.


A Message to the Residents of the Columbia Basin

Climate change has arrived. One of the principle challenges that residents of the Columbia Basin are being faced with now, and in the future, is climate change. But how can one small area of British Columbia deal with (adapt to) — or even stop and potentially even reverse the effects of Climate Change?

PRSI believes that we have come up with a sustainable and economically viable way to leverage the power of communities — both here in the Columbia Basin, as well as across Canada and potentially also around the world — to do just this.

We believe that through the power of our sustainable reforestation technologies, coupled with degraded land remediation and the wonders of biochar carbon sequestration that we can — and must — be ‘pioneers’ in utilizing these technologies to help in drastically reducing the levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, and Columbia Basin residents can benefit tremendously by being the first to do this, and by taking meaningful actions now to prove to the world that it can be done.

What is Meaningful Action?

The implementation of community-scale Carbon Negative processes is one of the most important meaningful actions that we can take. By growing trees, sustainably, we are able to clean the air, water, and soil from contaminated land. But this is only the first part of the solution. The key is eventually converting these trees into biochar, and then allowing those trees to grow back again… and again… and again. The production of biochar is accomplished by cooking the biomass using a “pyrolysis” technique that produces useful energy that can be used locally — for even something as simple as baking bread or cooking food or heating a building or greenhouse. And when we use that biochar in our projects — in the soils — that carbon in that biochar will be permanently sequestered, thus the CO2 — and also any heavy metals and other contaminants that the trees will have removed from the land — will be kept in a safe and ultimately beneficial form which will not only reduce the amount of contamination on the land, and increase the value of the land on which they are placed,the process will also directly and permanently reduce the levels of carbon in our atmosphere with each application of biochar that we make.

We shouldn’t be waiting for Government to fund and validate other types of expensive and ultimately unworkable “Carbon Capture” Processes that don’t add value to our communities, especially when these other technologies can’t directly benefit the people of the Columbia Basin in any way.

The Government of Canada recently announced they spent $1.4 Billion on a carbon capture technology with SaskPower. The captured carbon gases are sold to oil companies who by pumping the gases into the ground can recharge and squeeze more oil out of their existing wells. This investment is a thinly veiled subsidy to the oil industry which the Government used as a propaganda tool to show they are “doing something” about climate change while in reality the Government is facilitating and furthering the development of the fossil fuel industry. note: There are far more fossil fuels available to humanity than we can afford to burn if we wish to maintain a stable climate.

The more time we waste in not addressing the issue of climate change directly and in meaningful ways, the worse the outcome will be for our children and grandchildren here in the Columbia Basin … as well as across Canada and around the world.

Why Doesn’t Industry Fund This Project Completely?

Industry in Saskatchewan is funding their CCS project in a huge way, in their own self interest. This will always be the case for companies like SaskPower, which helped in developing the “carbon capture” technology that supports their polluting coal industry. But here in the Columbia Basin we have a very different geography and a very different industrial and commercial (industry) landscape. We therefore need to guide and leverage our local industries to help address climate change in ways that we, the people of the Columbia Basin, want to achieve the best and most profitable results — for all of the people of the Columbia Basin, and not only for a few select corporations or energy companies. We need to develop products and processes that allow us to take meaningful actions toward climate change, and validate our own sustainable and “carbon negative” processes right here at home, so that other industries and Governments across British Columbia and across Canada will see what we are doing here, and will quickly adopt and implement these same or similar types of projects in their own communities.

Why Should the Columbia Basin Trust Help Fund this Project?

The longer we wait the worse the effects of Climate Change will be on our communities.
Given this fact, and the fact that humanity overall must reduce carbon (CO2) in the atmosphere to prevent the worst outcomes, every community everywhere will need to eventually adopt and utilize affordable, local technologies and carbon sequestration processes that can provide value to their own communities and economies, in as many ways as we possibly can, as quickly as possible. And one of the most important and effective ways of doing this, and of not relying entirely upon government and corporate largesse,  is by using our local resources to create sustainable, “carbon negative” landscapes.

We also need to make it easy for Industry and Government to adopt these processes and turn those processes into profitable business, as well as educating as many people as possible to create a workforce that has the knowledge to implement these solutions and create these products both here in the Columbia Basin and elsewhere. Thus, we need to share this with as many people as we can, as spread the message of our success as far and wide as possible.

This project does all those things and we have local industry involvement for validation and quick adoption. We have academic institutes from the US and Canada. We have the worlds leading experts in the fields of Biochar and Poplar trees advising us, and we are sharing our knowledge and expertise with them. We are proving that high value carbon negative process can be a successful business and industry here in the Columbia Basin as well as in all of Canada.

What are the Benefits to the Residents of the Columbia Basin?

The benefits are that we are creating industry models that incorporate Carbon Negative products and process that result in addressing climate change in meaningful ways. These processes create new, sustainable local employment the new ‘green economy’, in beneficial ways. By training our students in these methods we will be creating jobs that we the people can be proud of, because these jobs not only create value for our local industries but also provide value to our communities, while directly addressing climate change in a meaningful way, at the community level.