M.A. (wyrmchild) wrote in little_details,

Air purification by fungi?

Just recently, my biology teacher mentioned that fungi absorb nutrients mostly from air. And went to explain how eating mushrooms that grow within city limits or especially near or in undustrial zones are highly poisonous, simply because they've absorbed so many toxic minerals or whatnot from the air (heavy metals, for example).

My question is: Would it be plausible to implement air purification with fungi? With large patches grown in or outside the chimneys (possibly some heat resistant variant) or at least the immediate surroundings of such or any other source of airborne pollutants. The fungi probably wouldn't survive being in the chimney itself, so I'll assume that was a bad idea to begin with. Maybe using some biologically engineered fungi especially suited for the task?

Since this apparently hasn't been suggested anywhere, I take it it's impossible or extremely costly to maintain, or possibly too harmful for the machinery itself? I also assume the fungi would have to be culled occasionally of the toxic filled ones to allow new "clean" fungi to grow in their place.

And yes, this is in the real world context of modern science and (bio)technology.
Tags: ~science: biology (misc)

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