Using Waste Biochar to Clean Stormwater

Oregon BEST funding and partnership with Oregon State University Researchers helps Sunmark Environmental develop a new stormwater filter media that uses biochar made from lumber mill residue to remove metals from stormwater.

"With our filter media, we're seeing metal removal rates of between 80 and 100 percent," said Robin Cook, founder and partner of Sunmark, a soil and native plant restoration company. "Most other available filter media remove only about 60 percent, at best, so people are pretty excited about this. But we need third-party, scientific data from research to back up our findings."

The researchers hope to develop a media mix for optimal removal of zinc, copper, and heavy metals. These metals can come from galvanized steel (metal roofs) and roadway runoff (car brake linings, antifreeze etc).

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