operation oaxaca: the industry.

my thought process on “how to scale” (017)

Carlos Manuel Jarquín Sánchez
4 min readFeb 22, 2024

this is carlos.

the checks arrived.

wet-lab space request is in progress…finally.

the needle has been lifted from the stone.

it now glides in the air…

unsure of where it will land.

all i know is this:

we will be swept into an ethereal dream.

what will it contain?

with who? where? doing what?

no idea.

all i know is:

let’s get shit done.

and to do so:

we need to know where we want to go.

so this article will be more of a thought dump…

of where i must direct operation oaxaca.

any suggestions or connections to people?



the dilemma.

the first notion of realizing:

“i need to direct all this energy into a specific industry!”

…came from the research into how wastewater treatment facilities worked.

especially wastewater sludge from, i.e. mining waste.

this would be a generous summary:

when the sludge is disposed of from the treatment plant…

that makes up about 40–60% of the treatment plant’s costs!

ye, really.

it depends on the percentage due to:

  • size of the treatment plant
  • initial wastewater characteristics

but how do we usually dispose of the sludge?

two big options:

  • off to landfill
  • reuse as fertilizer

but transport costs increase with more sludge amount (i.e. heavier weight, gasoline, distance to landfill), & with chemical precipitation costs.

but as we start increasing the environmental costs for such behavior, traditional methods extract more money out of the plant than what’s going in.

example: treatment plant managers who relied on the sludge-to-fertilizer route as a way to avoid disposal fees now must figure out what to do with that sludge.

but here’s another catch:

each wastewater treatment plant needs its own tailor-made system.

aka: there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution.

however, there exist methods to mitigate the amount of sludge created.

they include processes such as:

  • chemical
  • thermal
  • biological

how do we pick?

by deciding: “what do we wanna do with the sludge?”

or a better framework is:

“what’s the most valuable product we can make with wastewater treatment sludge?”

so for metal ions/sludge…a valuable product or technology will allow to reduce the amount of sludge in an economical, low-maintenance, & environmentally friendly manner.

one economical method to add to the current sludge treatment process is by freeing the leftover water from the sludge…

so all that you’re left with is the actual solid.

you DO know that the majority of the sludge is the water from the wastewater treatment plants, correct?

sludge dewatering devices include screw presses, belt filter presses and centrifuges.

so i know that a new wave of emerging technologies must flow into the wastewater treatment ecosystem.

it will be the only way to keep up with environmental regulations and to preserve our water.

sure, we can more of it with cloud seeding (which is good in areas where we don’t get nada of rain)…

but if we don’t acquire the habit of using what we got,

we’ll make more, but treat the water as dirt.

and we’ll keep more and more until it cycles out of control.

remember history… ’cause if it happens twice, it’ll happen a third time.

ok, tangent over.

so, now what?

i’ve thought about my frustration with the mining problem back in san jose del progreso, ejutla de crespo, and fortuna silver mines.

imma focus on mexico first, then usa.

the first thought was to give the filter to the mining company and add that as an additional step to their sludge removal process.

another option is to give the filter to the villagers directly for them to use. it would either be something like a brita water filter, but for ions. or attach it to the kitchen sink.

at least in my village, we all boil our water & heat it up for showering, just in case.

another option is to convert the filter into a remedial filter for environmental consequences… like sludge disposal into a river, or environmental contamination.

the best option is…?

that answer came from asking myself this question:

“what is the most valuable product that we can make from heavy metal ions that are filtered using mango peels?”

but that is also considering we have to filter the ions somehow…

but will it be a person?

a company?

or a treatment plant?

and the best way i came to the answer is from feedback from tyler cowen:

“how will you scale to 300 villages in mexico or in another country?”

in other words…

“what is the route that can be scaled with less friction from human-wise, economic-wise, or technology-wise?”

i think i already know the answer.

i just need to verify it.

and my assumption is:

“who is the one who can afford it consistently?”


imma do some market research.

and then i’ll have my answer.

storytime will wait.

© 2024–2100 by Carlos Manuel Jarquín Sánchez. All Rights Reserved.