Bioremediation of acid mine drainage using Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushroom) mycelium

Type of Presentation


Type of Project

Independent Research

Presenter 1 Program


Presenter 1 Location


Faculty Member

Akeisha Belgrave, Jacqueline Maddox


Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is an unfortunate byproduct of the anthracite mining industry, and a large source of environmental pollution in Pennsylvania. AMD is formed when rocks containing iron(II) sulfide are brought to the surface by mining where upon reaction with water and oxygen form sulfuric acid and dissolves heavy metals such as iron. One of the most common treatments is limestone to neutralize the acidity but does not address the iron content or precipitates. This study investigated an alternative treatment method to reduce iron content in AMD. The capacity of the basidiomycete fungi Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushroom) to bioabsorb iron and remediate AMD waters was investigated. P. ostreatus was cultured in burlap sacks and placed in a stream mesocosm tank with AMD water for 3 weeks. AMD-derived water treated with 100mg dehydrated P. ostreatus powder produced a 21.4% reduction in dissolved iron concentration during a 30-minute treatment. Additionally, qualitative testing was performed to determine the ability of P. ostreatus to influence biofilm production, a marker in the remediation of polluted waters. Experimental tanks with live mycelium sacks far exceeded the biofilm growth of positive controls. Bioremediation of AMD using P. ostreatus mycelium treatment is a novel, cost-effective, and promising approach to reduce the high concentrations of dissolved metals associated with AMD and promote biofilm formation.

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Bioremediation of acid mine drainage using Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushroom) mycelium