Low Cost Mycelial Stabilization of Coal Combustion Products to Reduce as, and Contamination of Groundwater

This project investigated the growth condition for the production of water-impermeable biological barriers using fungal mycelium, especially in the presence of fly ash that has inhibitory effects on fungal growth. The results show the investigated fungi still can produce massive mycelium when the ratio of fly ash to the fungal growth medium is 15:1. Moreover, our results indicate the application of fungal mycelium film as the water-impermeable barrier can effectively prevent water infiltration into the fly ash impoundment. As a result, fungal mycelial application reduced the As leaching potential fly ash under the subsurface flow conditions. With the fungal mycelial film, the As concentration in the fly ash leachate dropped by 84% compared to the control group. This study offers an innovative, sustainable, and cost-effective route to design the new CCR covers and manage the unlined/inadequately-lined legacy sites.

  • PI: Linduo Zhao
  • PI Institution: University of Illinois
  • March 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021