Heavy Metal contamination in soil is a significant problem, especially in countries like China where decades of rapid economic development have resulted in significant environmental contamination. A recent study conducted by the Chinese government listed 19% of arable land in China to have prevalent soil contaminants such as Mercury, Cadmium, Arsenic and Lead.
This pollution has already caused significant food contamination as well as significant health problems in local communities. Many remediation technologies to restore arable land often involve costly procedures such as soil removal and treatment. Additionally, agricultural communities can be adversely impacted and livelihoods lost when farmer’s fields are taken out of agricultural production for remediation.
NexSteppe Sorghum Products represent a unique solution for soil remediation.
Their rapid growth, tall stature, high-yields, and large root systems make them efficient extractors of and effective sinks for heavy metal contaminants. As a result, growing them on contaminated land will, over time, rehabilitate the land and allow for its return to food production. Furthermore, because NexSteppe hybrids are optimized for use in industrial processes, this approach to remediation allows for a productive and profitable end-use outside of the food supply chain during the remediation process-. Processing Palo Alto biomass sorghum in an industrial biopower plant also allows for the generation of clean renewable energy and concentration of contaminants into the facility waste ash for appropriate disposal.