Ionizer to collect mushroom spores.

Thread Starter

VT91

Joined Mar 9, 2020
10
Hello.
I have the opportunity to experiment with various permaculture systems.
Recently, I started growing Shiitake mushrooms on the small scale.

Since contamination is a challenge for mushroom farmers, I started thinking if there is a way to pull spores and other contaminants out of the air using electrostatic forces.
I want to develop a scalable solution.

I would like to build a custom ionizer to solve this problem.

read that mushrooms use electrostatic forces to deploy spores from the fruit body.
This is why the fruit body has a hemispherical top, like a Van de Graaff generator, while gills or rods on the underside aid the repulsion of like charges.

For now, I would like to adapt one of these to charge plates with high voltage: https://www.ebay.com/p/12029149618

With so much voltage, a breakdown results in a spark that has almost no resistance.
Thus, over-voltage can quickly become over-current. Both are bad for the module.

What simple circuit do I use to protect this module?
How do I rectify such high voltage and turn it into voltage that can charge plates of an ionizer?

One day, I will build a CW voltage multiplier and connect the mushroom baskets to 'neutral' and have a HV+ and a HV- close by to collect all the charged particles that happen to be in the air, including the spores that my mushrooms would produce.

How would you solve this problem?
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
8,796
Since contamination is a challenge for mushroom farmers,
As someone who has grown mushrooms from spores(psilocybin, magic mushrooms back in the day), it's not the contaminants from the spores but the ones in the growing media, when starting the mycelia. Your electro static spore collector plate would, if you really think about it, actually collect any yeast and other mold spores along with the mushroom spores, making even more contamination.

Mushroom cultivation is all about clean, Up until the mycelium is old enough to reproduce on it's own. For things like shiitake and other edibles you can buy the starter mycelium cheaper than doing it your self. Fungi Perfecti and Paul Stamets is the guru of mycology, he is who back in the day you got spore prints from, and his books are the bibles of DIY mycology.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Stamets

https://fungi.com/
 

Thread Starter

VT91

Joined Mar 9, 2020
10
I have no trouble growing mushrooms and no serious contamination problems that concern me at this point.
I would like to capture spores of everything that is out there.

The first step would be to simply attract them to plates, like in a household ionizer.
The second step would be to design the plates and the collection system to separate spores and other particles by mass, charge and ability to become charged from ionizing UV rays.

I want to begin with an easy to build first step.
Can I use the module to build an ionizer?
 

sparky 1

Joined Nov 3, 2018
576
In touching a plasma globe we can see a brighter tentacle extending to the place the finger touches the glass ball.
The device has found an easier pathway to ground at that point. If you use tin foil closely also the foil has a ground wire you might get a small spark.
The distance between the foil and globe becomes critical factor in collecting airborne particle samples.
 

Thread Starter

VT91

Joined Mar 9, 2020
10
In touching a plasma globe we can see a brighter tentacle extending to the place the finger touches the glass ball.
It has found an easier pathway to ground at that point. If you used tin foil and a ground wire you might get a spark.
The distance between the foil and globe becomes critical factor in collecting airborne particle samples.
Thank you. There is something interesting in this idea.
Plasma balls operate at a high frequency. And yet, they do create electrostatic forces near the surface of the ball, without any rectifiers. Why is that?
Maybe I can utilize this effect without having to use a glass sphere with rarefied inert gas, that we commonly call a "plasma ball"
 

Thread Starter

VT91

Joined Mar 9, 2020
10
https://www.ebay.com/p/12029149618
The module that I bought puts out 400,000 volts, or so they claim.
I will know the real output voltage when I measure the spark with a ruler.
How do I protect the module?
Can I multiply the voltage that it puts out as I rectify it?
 

sparky 1

Joined Nov 3, 2018
576
Electrostatic induction causes electrostatic charging. Because is not easy to comprehend or teach so textbooks dumb the students by avoiding the concept and moving the narrative toward closed system approach. A comment about mushroom's shape lends to electrical characteristics is also higher concept level is over thinking device for collection of spores.
An electrostatic force without rectifier, Not directly electrostatic so "Why is that ?" alright...
The phenomena is that an electric field has the ability to cause the movement of charges in nearby conducting bodies (Coulomb forces). The process, which is called electrostatic induction, this causes a separation of charge within a conductor, which initially was not charged when it was placed into an electric field. The glass ball is mostly evacuated except for a small amount of gases or rarefied unlike the atmosphere. This concentration gradient also relates to functions in electro biological systems.

In collecting finite samples a Mylar sheet in very close proximity can be used however in this application an approach of moving air between plates would better facilitate sample collection. It is also possible to move air with no blade fan.
 
Last edited:

Janis59

Joined Aug 21, 2017
1,346
Most widespread type of "Chyszewsk lamp" is the simplest 50 Hz multiplie (Cocroft-Walton fulll wave circuit is best of course, as Nober Prize Comitee at 1951 said). Just produce some 3...5 kV at less than 1 mA and ionizer are two lamelles with triangular teeth. Teeth size about 6x6 mm, laying once a inch and length about 15 cm (such is for some 20 m2 room), and neutral wire is gnd. Such device was produced in my city certain fabrique between 1985 and 2000 in million exemplares until factory bankrupsed. Only problem that HV electrode fast collects a sooth and other dirth thus once every few days it must be washed. If make a sci accurate, the ebay device for electrostatic nbalance metering ought be purchased (it is cheap), as overfeeding the space by too much ions is even more detrimental than too small count of ions. Thus, the large sized Chizhevsk lamps was proved to be overkilling solution.
 

agalloway

Joined Jul 20, 2021
3
I'm looking for a place to order a starter kit or spore that I can experiment with. Newly retired, I need something different than tomatoes, potatoes etc to diversify into.
Any and all info gratefully accepted.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
8,796
I'm looking for a place to order a starter kit or spore that I can experiment with. Newly retired, I need something different than tomatoes, potatoes etc to diversify into.
Any and all info gratefully accepted.
This is where you want to shop; https://fungi.com/ He is Paul Stamets, one of the oldest and most respected people in the mushroom growing industry, the one who started the DIY mushroom industry.
 

GetDeviceInfo

Joined Jun 7, 2009
1,874
I'm thinking that the best use of electrostatics would be in your air flow cabinet, which is typically the only place you would handle unsealed mediums, until the fungal growth dominates the substrate.
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
27,694
IMO there is no way that module can generate 400kV. The insulation looks totally inadequate. Perhaps 4kV if you're lucky.
Especially when you consider that a 400,000V power line insulator is typically over 3M in length and the safe working distance for such a line is 25 feet.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
8,796
@shortbus
Thank you so much. it helps me a lot.

If you've never done it from spores your in for a ride.:) While they grow in the wild with really no problem, dirt and everything, they are very fussy when a human tries to do it. Cleanliness is the big problem, there are many, many more mold spores and bacteria floating through the air than you would ever expect. I failed many times even when following all of the steps that Stamets stated in his books.

If you just want to experience the growth of mushrooms, your better off with pre inoculated starter plugs, all the hard work is done when using them. Just follow the instructions he sends with the kit.

Stamets lead a exciting life in his early years. As a mycologist he spent years in both the north west forests and in the Amazon living with the tribes learning about their psychedelic potions and plants. In the beginning that was his interest, ethnobiology, but he couldn't make a living from that because what he was working with is illegal outside of a lab. Magic Mushrooms, that's what I grew from his spore prints, before even the spores were made illegal. So he started Fungi Perfecti with the knowledge he gained.
 
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