Applied Minerals and the National Risk Management Research Laboratory of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to develop Applied Minerals’ Dragonite Halloysite Clay sorbent technology for oil bio-remediation from impure wetland and salt marsh environments.
The combination of EPA’s knowledge, experience and facilities and Applied Minerals’ resources and technologies will be used to develop new methods and designs for cleaning oil spills polluting the environment.
Applied Minerals manufactures Halloysite clay minerals from its exclusive source called the Dragon Mine situated in Utah. The mineral is an aluminosilicate, inorganic clay that features a special tubular morphology. Other inherent properties of the minerals, including natural capillary pore structure, micron size particles and very high surface area, encouraged Applied Minerals to utilize it as a natural, substitute sorbent for the oil bio-remediation of the Gulf spill.
As per the direction of the EPA, preliminary tests were conducted that showed the Dragonite’s capability to absorb oil from the oil soaked subsurface to the surface at which biodegradation can occur. During the tests, the EPA discovered that Dragonite could wick between 42.0% and 98.2% of oil. Based on the results, the CRADA was signed to enhance the efficiency of the product.
The President and Chief Executive Officer at Applied Minerals, Andre Zeitoun commented that the company is happy that its Dragonite product has been recognized by the EPA as a natural bioremediation tool.