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Larry Zanko

Larry Zanko, Sr. Research Fellow

Position and Focus

Larry Zanko is a Senior Research Fellow for the Economic Geology Program within the Minerals Division of the Center for Applied Research and Technology Development. He is a geological mining engineer and has been with NRRI since 1988. He has worked on a variety of research projects related to industrial, ferrous and nonferrous minerals. Areas of particular focus have included aggregates, biogeochemistry, geological data compilation, geostatistics, geological resource/mine modeling, environmental remediation, kaolin and ball clay evaluations, mining economics/tax comparisons and mineral waste characterization/utilization projects.


M.S. Geological Engineering, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, 1995
B.S. Geological Engineering, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, 1986
B.S. Microbiology, University of Minnesota St. Paul, 1986

Project list for Lawrence Zanko :

(A link will go to the project's current report, an arrow will take you to a project's home page)

Erie Pier Dredged Material Beneficial Use Study
(1) Identify landowners willing to participate in demonstration projects and receive fine grained dredged material for restoration demonstrations. (2) Evaluate the cost and feasibility of using rail transportation to move Erie Pier fine grained dredged material to potential recipient sites. (3) Provide monitoring and results analysis of vegetative health, plant diversity and control of purple loosestrife for demonstration sites. (4) Evaluate the effectiveness of using microwave technology to sterilize seeds contained in Erie Pier fine grained dredged material. (5) Conduct a laboratory and field assessment of the stamp sand area near Gay, Michigan, within the context of this location being a potential recipient site for navigation channel material from the Duluth-Superior harbor and/or Erie Pier for establishing stamp sand-stabilizing vegetative cover.

Sediment for Biomass, Minnesota Mining Cluster - The Next Generation of Innovation
To conduct field trials of varieties of cellulosic feedstock on mineland tailings basins and other marginal lands using readily available soil amendment materials: clean sediments dredged from Duluth-Superior Harbor amended with treated municipal wastewater/biosolids. Objective is to conduct field-scale (>3 acres) research at one or more host taconite mines (or other brownfields/marginal lands location). Ultimate products will be: 1) identification of the most appropriate cellulosic feedstock species; 2) an assessment and proof-of-concept demonstration of overall waste and energy management planning and recycling in the region so long as sediment disposal challenges and mine land reclamation needs remain; and 3) energy development opportunity. Project findings would be applicable to other areas around MN and the Great Lakes region, including tailings basins, gravel pits, brownfields, and other marginal lands.

Evaluate and Develop Innovative Pavement Repair and Patch
The project represents one part of a broader effort by MnDOT to evaluate current practices, materials, and policies for pavement patching and repair, for both asphalt and concrete pavements, including evaluation of pothole patching practices, basic pavement maintenance, utility repair methods, and rapid repair materials. The Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) is focusing on two alternative approaches (both taconite-related). The first approach is a prototype pavement/pothole repair compound formulation developed by NRRI that is fast-setting, taconite-based, and contains no petroleum or portland cement. The second approach involves the use of a vehicle-based microwave heating system for in-place pothole/pavement repair/recycling, a system for which taconite materials can enhance microwave heating efficiency.