On-Site, In-Place Recovery of Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Soils
Every year that passes, we see more damage to our environment through spills of hydrocarbons and their byproducts. Despite their best efforts to avoid such contamination, responsible companies, and sometimes even governments, find themselves embroiled in the business of attempting, through cleanup procedures, to correct these unfortunate mistakes. Cleanup of these sites is expensive and very time consuming, usually taking months, or sometimes even years, to complete.
A common method of cleanup involves excavating the contaminated soil and transporting it to another site to be incinerated. There is no doubt this is costly in terms of dollars spent, but the greater damage done is the pollution generated by transporting the toxic soil off-site and trucking in new soil to take its place. The worst part of this process is the incineration of the toxic soil, literally burning and releasing to the atmosphere all of the hydrocarbons trapped in the soil. Although it is difficult to quantify the specific effect of this on our environment, it is clear that we, and our planet, need a better way.
Looking For A Better Way…
Scientists have known for years that our soil has its own means of remaining healthy and productive. Unfortunately, hydrocarbon spills inhibit this natural process of self-healing, prompting drastic action by those held responsible for the cleanup. But as mentioned above, incinerating the contaminated soil simply releases the trapped carbons to the atmosphere, trading one form of pollution for another. Contaminated soil is reasonably static, if contained, and can be isolated. Once incinerated though, the emissions are free to travel anywhere the wind carries it. And we have learned that pollution that becomes airborne in one part of our world, can affect distant places and peoples, and there is an ever-increasing call for responsibility on the part of the polluter. Our world has become a very small place. We need a method for cleaning these sites that is safe, works every time, is cost effective and easily available anywhere in the world at the first sign of a problem.
The Best Choice…
Bioremediation is not a product, it is a process. Specifically, bioremediation is the process of recovering land, through natural means, poisoned by toxic contamination. It provides a rather unique, environmentally safe, and less expensive method for returning soils back to their natural state. And it is faster, and less expensive, than any other method known.
So, what is bioremediation?
Bioremediation is the process of returning soil to a healthy state through the use of natural means utilizing natural microorganisms, like bacteria, which in turn produce enzymes. Enzymes are simply natural molecules that speed up a process, so it is more efficient. In the case of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil, the enzymes catalyze, or speed up, the growth of the healthy bacteria, which consume the toxic substances. It is simply the natural process soils use to maintain health and productivity.
Oxygen, The Key To Success…
The healthy bacteria in the soil need oxygen just like human beings, and cannot flourish without it. Hydrocarbon contamination results in very potent gasses that push the oxygen out of the soil, choking off the bacteria that are attempting to consume the toxins. The result: the bacteria die, the soil ‘dies’ and so does anything that was growing in it.
A method that attempts to address the oxygen issue is aeration…
One method of cleanup involves removing soil to an area where it can be mechanically aerated, a process which, because of slow evaporation rates and the anaerobic (lack of oxygen) condition, takes months at best. This method of cleanup threatens ground water and pollutes the air as hydrocarbon fumes evaporate. Local enforcement agencies are aware of the problems that are involved when hydrocarbon contaminated soil is aerated and are not approving permit applications for soil aeration. This compels responsible parties to search for other alternatives.
Why Condor Land Reclaimer?
Condor Land Reclaimer promotes a favorable environment for native bacteria growth. How? By assisting in creating an Aerobic, or oxygen rich, environment where the bacteria can thrive. So much so, that these incredible microorganisms continue to clean the soil even after the contamination is eradicated! Once the process starts, it is self-feeding and increases at an incredible rate. Meanwhile, Condor Land Reclaimer works to stimulate a mild biodegradation, a natural process much like composting, that attacks dead organic matter, including all petroleum-based materials, such as fuels, pesticides, herbicides, termiticides, and many other derivatives.
Is There Any Residue?
Yes. After the bacteria have consumed all of the toxic materials, there is nothing left but the byproducts of the reaction….carbon dioxide, ash, and water. Carbon dioxide feeds plants, ash works as a soil amendment and water is every plant’s friend. Nature simply takes over from here, and the soil maintains its own health, like the contamination never happened.
Is it A Complicated Process?
Condor Land Reclaimer is simply mixed with water and then applied by tank sprinkler or an injection system to the contaminated soil. If caught quickly, there are always a few organisms still clinging to life even in the toxic soil. Condor Land Reclaimer causes the proliferation of these indigenous microorganisms. Immediately upon contact, organic volatile aromatics are put into solution, eliminating emissions and odors. In a matter of hours, the indigenous microorganisms begin consuming the hydrocarbons within the system, further enhancing proliferation. The estimated time of cleaning the soil depends on the oxygen level within the soil particle. Lab testing confirms that a reduction in contaminant levels can be realized within as little as 24 hours!
Typically hydrocarbons have an attraction to soil, especially clay, and chemically bond to the soil. Condor Land Reclaimer helps to weaken these bonds, making the hydrocarbons readily available for the bacteria. If the soil has been deemed extremely contaminated, (nearly absent of or very low on beneficial bacteria), additional indigenous bacteria can be introduced in order to jumpstart the process.
What Types Of Contamination Can Be Remedied?
Condor Land Reclaimer has been proven to work extremely well on hydrocarbons commonly found in fuels such as gasoline and diesel. However, it also performs on complex hydrocarbons such as PAH’s, EDTA, and chlorinated hydrocarbons.
Condor Land Reclaimer has been deemed by EPA approved laboratories as safe for use in and near groundwater. As a bonus, our process cleans up ground water, eliminating concerns of ground water discharge during dewatering.
So It’s Fast…..How fast?
Condor Land Reclaimer is able to clean-up soils in 4 to 6 weeks, that would take months or even years using methods like excavation/incineration and aeration. It is simply safer, faster and more cost-effective than any other method currently available. With a product like Condor Land Reclaimer available, it just doesn’t make good business sense to take chances with our environment. Last century’s technology simply isn’t good enough for responsible organizations striving to be good stewards of our environment, and entities are being held responsible for cleanup years, or even decades, after a spill. Clean it up right the first time, and move forward in confidence.
Let Condor Land Reclaimer return it to pristine!
Contact Earth Science Products Corp. today….we can help!