Having dedicated his life to extract metals from soil and leaves, Dr. Subhash Kadam knows their chemistry well!
Dr. Subhash Kadam, Principal of Dalit Mitra Kadam Guruji Science & Arts College, Mangalwedha, Solapur, Maharashtra, an innocuous person but is known more for conducting and organizing state and national level seminars since 2005 on extraction of noble metals i.e. copper, silver, Gold, Rhodium and platinum. After he obtained doctorate in sciences from Shivaji University, Kolhapur, in 1978, Kadam got doctorate in Kinetics & Mechanism of oxidation of Imides by peroxidysulphate in presence of silver catalyst. After collecting nearly a thousand rock samples from various locales of Mangalwedha, he found that the soil is too rich in copper, gold and platinum. Thereafter he established a blast furnace at college laboratory for experiments and has successfully extracted copper, Gold and platinum from the soil. Mangalwedha’s soil is basaltic in nature and the presence of red-brown dots shining in the sunlight indicate the presence of copper in the basalt of Mangalwedha. Such types of rocks are selected for the metallurgy of copper. Similarly, the presence of yellow spots or dots shining in sunlight indicate the presence of Gold and the presence of white dots or spots indicate the presence of platinum in the basalt of Mangalwedha.
“The credit of confirming that the western region of Maharashtra from Miraj to Tuljapur contains ample quantities of metals goes to Dr. Subhash Kadam”
As the Manalwedha basalt is chromatic and hard in nature, extraction becomes a tedious process. Reaction temperature doesn’t happen easily, which is the most important criteria for the separation of noble metals. Meanwhile, over the years, countless efforts have been made to extract these precious metals from the basalt of Mangalwedha, but no significant results could manifest. However, Dr Kadam’s efforts are not tiring in that regard. The elite chemist’s portfolio further includes the study of rocks and sand on the confluence of river Bhima, investigating dissolved metals in the soil of Begampur Tal, Mohal, Solapur.
While he underwent a thorough study of leaves of different trees etc on the bank of river Bhima, he found dissolved metals in leaves too. Leading the way, Dr Kadam has inspired many students to collect and study soil and rocks from various villages of Maharashtra, thereby helping them extracting the metals. After confirming in a majority of tests, he found that the western region of Maharashtra from Miraj to Tuljapur contains ample quantities of metals. For his contributions in the field, Dr Kadam is a recipient of various awards such as Rajiv Gandhi & Indira Gandhi Ekta Award 2013 and Excellence Award 1998. Lately, he has been conferred upon D.Lit. by the Open International University for Complementary Medicines, Colombo (Sri Lanka).