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 Fungi Plastivore Purifier (FPP) utilizes LIDAR technology to produce a three-dimensional view of the earth. It must collect a digital soil map to reveal the makeup of the soil layers to expose the presence of polyurethane in the future. Polyurethane is a key ingredient in plastic products that PM (Pestalotiopsis microspora) can consume. This is only the beginning of plastic detection and removal from soil. Plastic extraction is a much bigger problem than the current technology can accurately and consistently handle.

 LIDAR technology is currently being explored to identify microplastics in the ocean. As of today, the most common method for detecting microplastics in the soil is through extraction (taking away). Currently there is no way to detect plastics in soil.  FPP will detect polyurethane particles onsite without the removal or disruption of the soil. In order for this to be successful, advances in LIDAR technology would need to happen. There must be more sophisticated lasers like the lasers in photoluminescence spectroscopy and MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) developed to detect microplastics within a dense or moist area with soil and/or rock. This is a more challenging task than finding plastic in the ocean because soil is solid form of matter.

 Fungi Plastivore Purifier (FPP) will use 5D printers with hemp filament to create PmE capsules. We want to use hemp because it is strong and will not pollute the soil we are cleaning. Right now, 5D printers use mostly plastic which is bad because we are trying to degrade plastic, not make more.  Hemp is a plant that has many uses. We need to make filaments out of the stems which will in the future be made into the capsules we will use to get Pestalotiopsis microspora (PM) into the ground. We can’t do that because 5D printers can’t use hemp filament right now. 


 FPP uses a compressed air system to insert capsules into soils called air spading. Currently air compression units are big and weigh a lot. This unit must be lightweight and small enough to fit into the FPP design. The compression system needs to create a velocity, (a speed at which the capsule is moving through the soil) over 1,000 mph. This motion has to be done in a fraction of a second so that we don’t use extra energy. In the future, FPP could be powered by using compressed air. This technology would have zero emission with no waste products that pollute the air. 

When FPP is manufactured, we would have to

test how the PmE capsules react in different soils at certain depths and temperatures.

We would start with a controlled depth and temperature testing, then continue to see how deep the capsules could go and still work. The graph above shows what we think the results might look like if the average soil temperature was 10 degrees Celsius with 30% moisture level. 

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