Monday, April 15, 2013

Experimental technique for finding gold in the soil

Scientists in New Zealand at Massey University conducted research on extracting gold through plants.  They developed a technique that promises to gold harvest from growing crops.  This technique is named as Phyto-mining that makes the use of plants to suck gold particles embedded in the soil.  Some plants, like mustard have shown the ability to extract the gold particles from the soil through the roots and store them in their biomass.  There are some of the plants that show the ability of such metals like, cadmium, nickel and zinc, such are known as hyper accumulators.  Sucking gold in concentrated form is not possible.  The metal has to be diluted for the plants.  Scientist Chris Anderson said,” Under certain chemical conditions, gold solubility can be forced”.

This technique involves plants having rich leaf mass like, sunflowers, mustard and tobacco.  On planting the crop on soil containing gold which is treated with chemical, the plant pulls up the gold particles and stores in its leaves and shoots.  The drawback of this technique involves the extraction of gold from plants which proves to be negligible.  According to Anderson, “Gold behaves differently in plant material”, therefore the process is not easy and allows only 10% of extraction on burning.