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The SAFEA-recruited high-end foreign expert, Prof. Margarete Kalin completes the joint research at IGCAS TEXT SIZE: A A A

 Prof. Margarete Kalin, the high-end foreign expert recruited by China State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) in 2012, successfully completed the 2-moth joint research at the Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGCAS) till 18th December 2012.

Margarete Kalin is the president and founder of Boojum Research Ltd., a small, Toronto-based firm that develops and implements ecologically based, self-sustaining decommissioning systems for mine waste management areas. As an adjunct professor at the Queen’s University, she has written and presented more than one hundred scientific papers, book chapters and reports on aspects of her fieldwork and research. Her treatment systems utilize algae and bacterium, growing within enhanced environments and stimulated by the controlled application of nutrients, to create reducing conditions within which dissolved metals are re-mineralized. The 'swamp doctor' has applied her technology to effluent streams from coal, uranium, base metal and precious metals mines and mine sites in North and South America and Europe. She was the winner of the Noranda Land Reclamation Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Land Reclamation, and is a Qualified Environmental Professional with the Institute of Environmental Practice and senior ecologist with the American Ecological Society.

With the fund support of the High-end Foreign Experts Recruitment Program (HEFERP, No. GDW20125200207) in August 2012, Prof. Kalin came to China on 18th October 2012 and started the 2-month joint research in ecological engineering of sulfide mine waste and water in Guizhou Province. She collaborated with the research group of Prof. XIAO Tangfu at the State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry (SKLEG) of IGCAS.

During the joint research, Prof. Kalin had the field visits with the partners of Chinese group to the Dushan Sb Mine, Duyun Coal Mine, Wengfu Phosphate Mine, Huaxi Coal Mine, Guiyang Xiaochehe Wetland Park, and Guiyang Huaxi Wetland Park, and had detailed site investigation, in-situ mornitoring and sampling. At the laboratory, she guided the Chinese colleagues and graduate students to implement the stimulating tests and analysis on acidic mine wastes and acid mine waters, and obtained more than 8000 analysis data. Both the site and the laboratory works have successfully helped to construct the database of the studied mine areas, quick tools of titration-based estimation on pollutants in mine wastes and waters, to select the appropriate sites for pilot system, the feasibility study, and the site construction mapping and design.

              Prof. Kalin instructing the site and lab works of the graduate students

Prof. Kalin also contributed a lot to knowledge transfer during her visiting. She gave a series of workshop and lectures to educate the Chinese students, the environmental engineers, the staff of the local environmental protection government organizations. Such educations have help the Chinese group, the environmental engineers, and the government officials in environmental management to have a better understanding in in situ ecological engineering in dealing with low-cost and sustainable treatment on acidic mine waters and wastes which is a major environmental problem occurring in the undeveloped province of Guizhou.


                       Prof. Kalin educating the Chinese groups

The 2-month joint research has assisted the Chinese group to construct a technical system in in situ low-cost and sustainable treatment on acidic mine waters and wastes in Guizhou Province. In addition, a pilot project on coal acidic mine water will start in early 2013, which will be expected to have round 70-90% reduction of Fe after the ecological treatment. The research works of Prof. Kalin received high concerns from the Guizhou Agency of Environmental Protection, The Guizhou Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, the Guiyang Nature Wise & Two Lakes Foundation, and the local governments of Huaxi and Duyun, from which around 2 million fund support will be given to the pilot projects.

(By Prof. XIAO Tangfu’s group)

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