Scientists to help turn spoil heaps green
A mining waste heap in Libiąż, Małopolska, will become a natural testing ground in September this year. Scientists will plant hundreds of plants to see which ones are best suited for the reclamation of landfills and land degraded by industrial activity.
Scientists and industrial partners from Spain, Germany and the Czech Republic will also participate in the international research project coordinated by the Central Mining Institute in Katowice. On the Polish side, in addition to the Central Mining Institute, Tauron Wydobycie is also involved in the project. The company owns the Janina mine in Libiąż.
The objective of the research project is to develop new methods of reclamation of heaps, landfills and other degraded areas. It is about choosing the right plants that will effectively turn such areas green, but also about the proper soil preparation. Thanks to this, plants will be able to grow in places where mining or energy waste has been stored.
As part of the project, researchers will test various types of soil mixtures obtained from waste biomass and post-production waste from the Sobieski and Janina owned by the Tauron group and from power plants. Scientists want to achieve soil parameters that will neutralize the natural acidity of the waste stored in heaps. The test site in Libiąż will enable monitoring of both soil and water, as well as various physicochemical parameters of the substrate.
Xerophytic and thermophilic plant species, meadow vegetation, as well as shrubs and plants that like moisture, planted in places where rainwater accumulates, will appear on the heap. The project will be concluded with workshops devoted to the technology developed as a result of these experiments. Scientists also want to develop rules for the valuation of services related to the reclamation of heaps and degraded areas.
Dr. Alicja Krzemień said: “We will also prepare tools to compare various options for reclamation and development of the dump site based on the costs of implementation and the valuation of ecosystem services.”
author: Marek Błoński
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