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News > Latin America

Venezuelan Scientists Create Organic Pollution-Fighting Remedy

  • A scientist examines pollution-fighting plant biomass in a laboratory.

    A scientist examines pollution-fighting plant biomass in a laboratory. | Photo: Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research

Published 28 January 2017

Nine of the twelve scientists involved in the project are women. 

Twelve Venezuelan scientists have created an organic remediation product designed to eliminate oil wastes that pollute the environment. 

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The Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research, IVIC, announced the creation of the remedy on Saturday, mentioning that its ingredients are organic and native to Venezuela. The remedy is composed of plant biomass from cassava, corn, sorghum, soybean, papaya, aloe, sugarcane, banana, cotton, and moringa.

“We want to scale this idea and build biofilters so people can take decontaminated water,” lead scientist Saul Flores said on Saturday, according to Noticias 24. 

“This product is ideal for those industries that work with dyes, textiles, metals, leather; So they can treat their waters, and not cause so much pollution.”

Flores’ team of scientists have discovered that fungi and bacteria produced by the aforementioned crops are able to accelerate the degradation of toxic materials commonly found in environments polluted by oil spills. They also discovered that the organic product is able to remedy lands affected by herbicides and pesticides.

The IVIC is expected to continue testing the product’s effect on diverse sets of environments for mass application across the country.

“The advantage is that the waste we use is easy to find, but it would be interesting to stimulate agricultural production to continue to obtain them and thus give it greater use by applying science and technology in favor of the Venezuelan population,” Flores added.

The IVIC’s team of scientists included specialists from the Institute of Venezuelan Oil Technology and the Bolivarian University of Venezuela. Nine of the twelve scientists involved in the project are women. 

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All three of the participating institutions are financed by the country’s socialist government and regularly participate in state-funded scientific investigations. Their project was one of many supported by the Bolivarian Revolution that fall in line with its eco-socialist model.

In 2013, the Venezuelan government confirmed its commitment to eco-socialism in a six-year plan. It is based on “a harmonious relationship between humanity and nature that guarantees the rational and optimal use of natural resources while preserving the processes and cycles of nature.”


Saul Flores
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