What is Bioremediation?
21 June 2018
What is Bioremediation / Biophysical Treatment? Bioremediation is a technique where microbes are used to clean contaminated groundwater and soil. Nutrients added to the soil stimulate the growth of certain microbes that use contaminants as a source of food and energy. These contaminants include petrol, diesel, oil, and solvents that are harmful to groundwater and soil. VHE also employ the process of biophysical treatment where heat, oxidants and / or stabilising agents are introduced into the soil to enhance treatment.
How does it work? Microbes degrade the contaminants which changes them into small amounts of water or carbon dioxide, releasing them safely back into the environment. For this to work however, the temperature and moisture content of the soil must be correct and there needs to be the right level of nutrients available to act as food for the microbes. If this is regulated, then the correct microbes will grow and multiply to clean up the contamination effectively. If the wrong conditions are present the microbes will die and the clean-up will not occur.
How long does the process take? Depending on the levels of contamination present within the soil, the target levels required to protect the environment and the selected method of treatment, bioremediation can take several months to clean up the contaminated soil. VHE have developed techniques to accelerate timescales ahead of conventional processes and will develop a bespoke treatment process for each project. This will be designed to suit the programme, size and location of the site together with the level and nature of the contamination.
For more information on bioremediation and how it could provide a sustainable approach to the reuse of otherwise unsuitable material on site, please call VHE on 01226 320150 or use our quick enquiry form.