On the table in his house, located in the traditional neighborhood of La Floresta, Quito, Ecuador, the researcher Marcelo Acosta Estrada improvised a laboratory to demonstrate how the technique he invented.
"We took the gold quartz and was crushed to a size even smaller. We put it in the mortar and pour the juice from bananas. " While Acosta move content, makes the banana juice come in contact with minerals.
The researcher explains that the oxides are reduced with hydrogen to pure metals.
In his essay gets that small gold particles rise to the surface. Also stresses that other minerals can be recovered using the same technique. This home test can be applied to industrial scale with the necessary investment.
The big difference is that the extraction of gold with current machines takes about 24 hours. The process created by this researcher from Ecuador takes just 20 minutes.
The technique of the chemical engineer, a professor of the National Polytechnic School, is in the process of international patenting. This is a method, low cost, environmentally safe and harmless to people engaged in the extraction and recovery of gold and other minerals.
Acosta used the main export product of Ecuador to design this technique. The banana.
To this researcher the banana has many uses. He discovered the potential to remove metals and minerals such as gold.
This is a long job. He started working on it since 1998.
Its purpose is that this procedure can be exploited by those engaged in mining in the country.
Acosta said that today is tested on pilot and industrial technique. Business negotiations just started up with mining companies from Canada, China and Japan.
"Mining is a highly polluting industry, but work is a source of a good percentage of the Ecuadorian population."
For this reason, the inappropriate use of technologies that use harsh chemicals such as mercury and cyanide in gold mining, is a health hazard to persons engaged in this activity. Acosta, who hopes to get an international patent to protect its development, market innovation does not preclude other countries.
After 12 years of work he wants his design to be used in Ecuador and other countries.
“This researcher owns a company specializing in the design of industrial plants. It is also a university professor. He created his own technical resources. This innovation arose while conducting experiments to obtain hydrogen from water through electrolysis. The researcher found that through proper management of organic and metallic compounds could be achieved without incorporating power generation of electricity from external sources.”