Dr. Lisa Kirk
Front Door of Enviromin
Name and Position:
Lisa Kirk, PhD and PG
Principal Geochemist and President of Enviromin, Inc.
How would you describe your company in a short summary?
Enviromin, Inc. (Enviromin) specializes in the microbial and environmental geochemistry of mined materials and mine-affected water (www.enviromininc.com). Our purpose is to empower our clients’ goals of maintaining sustainable supplies of essential materials AND clean water. Our laboratory team brings skills in microbiology, biotechnology, molecular biology, chemical and environmental engineering, and environmental science to develop technically sound, cost-effective strategies for source control or treatment of water.
What were your research interests when working with ICAL?
Several Enviromin projects at ICAL have focused on determining the fate of biologically-reduced selenium in saturated rock fills at active coal mining facilities using SEM and TOF-SIMS. Other projects have included the speciation and mineral residence of arsenic, iron, and sulfur in mined rock, using XRD, XPS and SEM.
What is your academic background, and what professional development prepared you to do this research (i.e., what advice to young scientists who might be interested in pursuing this research as a career opportunity?)
The Enviromin team has bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level training in disciplines including geochemistry, chemical and environmental engineering, and microbiology. We work as a team to communicate complex science and engineering solutions to a diverse audience of industry professionals. Strong skills in environmental data analysis and communications are essential.
What are some of the key research findings, and what is their significance and application?
Work at Enviromin has supported the successful development of in-situ biogeochemical methods to remove nitrate and selenium from mine-affected water without the cost and safety hazards of active water treatment. The approach has been widely adopted by the client and is a focus for future water treatment, with excellent potential for expansion to waste and water management industry wide.
What is the funding source for this research?
Enviromin is funded by industrial partners.
Please provide a few recent publications that resulted from your research done at ICAL.
Kirk, L.B., C. Hwang, C. Ertuna, B. Peyton and C. Kennedy, 2017. Column Tests of Selenium Biomineralization in Support of Saturated Rock Fill Design. International Mine Water Conference at Lapeenranta, Finland, June 2017.
Kirk, L.B., 2014. In Situ Microbial Reduction of Selenate in Backfilled Phosphate Mine Waste, S.E. Idaho. Doctoral Dissertation, Montana State University Land Resources and Environmental Sciences.
Kirk, L.B., L.R. Bozeman, A.R. Kirk, and M.B. Marks, 2013. Geochemistry of Improved Groundwater Quality Resulting from Adit Plugging, Glengarry Mine, New World District, Cooke City MT USA. Proceedings of the Reliable Mine Water Technology International Mine Water Conference, Golden CO, August 2013.
Kirk, L.B., B.D. Stewart, R. Macur, and R. Gerlach, 2010. Speciation of Selenium by Facultative Bacteria in Phosphate Mine Waste. Talk presented at Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference, Knoxville, June 2010. In Goldschmidt Abstracts – K, Abstract A519, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol.74, No.12, Suppl.1.
Kirk, L.B., S.E. Childers, B. Peyton, T. McDermott, R. Gerlach, and T.M. Johnson, 2009. Geomicrobiological Control of Selenium Solubility in Subsurface Phosphate Overburden Deposits. Talk presented at Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference, Davos, June 2009. In Goldschmidt Abstracts – K, Abstract A661, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol.73, No.13, Supplement June, 2009.
Recent research has led to the following successes in water treatment for our client: https://www.teck.com/news/news-releases/2021/teck-doubles-water-treatment-capacity-at-elkview-operations
Backscattered Electron Image of waste rock mineralogy completed at ICAL.
Laboratory scale column testing supporting biogeochemical research and field scale planning.
Collection of biomineralization from column tests for mineralogical analysis