What is bioremediation?
Bioremediation is one of the most economic and sustainable technologies available for the remediation of hydrocarbon contaminated soil and groundwater. It is a proven technology for the remediation of organic contamination and relies on the natural ability of microorganisms to degrade organic contaminants into harmless products. Bioremediation is a soil and groundwater treatment technique using naturally occurring organisms to degrade hazardous materials and convert them into less toxic substances. Highly contaminated sites can often become non-hazardous using appropriate bioremediation steps and specialised equipment.
How bioremediation works
Bioremediation is a biological process that stimulates helpful microorganisms to use harmful contaminants as their source of food and energy. Usually, contaminated soil and groundwater already have contaminant degrading microbes but in low numbers that need boosting to speed up the natural remediation process. In other cases where the right microbes are absent, bioremediation is introduced by adding specialist bacteria or fungi that are mixed into the soil or groundwater. This process is known as bioaugmentation and can correct conditions quickly, if the right environmental conditions are present. Important parameters for bioremediation include:
Oxygen - either in sufficient amounts to support aerobic biodegradation or absent in the case of anaerobic biodegradation.
Water - to allow microorganisms to grow and multiply, and to make contaminants available for degradation.
Carbon - obtained from organic contaminants and used by microorganisms for growth and as a source of energy.
Nutrients - including nitrogen and phosphorus to support microbial growth.
Temperature - bioremediation generally maintains a temperature range of 10 to 30°C to allow microorganisms to thrive and multiply.
pH - usually in the range 5.5 to 8.5 for optimum biological activity.
Bioremediation technologies can generally be classified as ex-situ or in-situ. Ex-situ soil bioremediation involves excavation of contaminated materials and processing in a prepared treatment area. In-situ bioremediation tends to be less disruptive and involves the treatment of soil and groundwater in place, without the need for excavation.
Advantages of bioremediation
Bioremediation is a completely natural process and is sustainable, and environmentally friendly. The major benefits are:
- Bioremediation is useful for the complete destruction of a wide variety of contaminants. Many compounds that are legally considered to be hazardous can be transformed to harmless products.
- Completely natural process with minimal environmental impact.
- It is usually carried out on-site so there is no environmental impact associated with haulage and off-site disposal.
- Treated soil can be reused so there is no need to import new material.
- Cost effective compared to alternative treatments.
- Positive public acceptance due to natural process and minimal site disturbance.
- High acceptance from regulatory authorities.
Telluric Land Remediation provides a range of proven bioremediation methods which we adapt and optimise for your individual requirements so you get a solution specifically designed to meet your needs. We are one of the most experienced bioremediation contractors in the UK and we employ environmental microbiologists with extensive practical expertise in bioremediation techniques ensuring you get the best results. In addition to the bioremediation of contaminated soil and groundwater, we also provide biological treatment of effluents, abstracted groundwater and landfill leachate.
Bioremediation case studies
- Contaminated Soil Remediation on a Development Site
- In-Situ Bioremediation on a Manufacturing Site
- Soil Bioremediation on a Commercial Development
- Bioremediation on a Housing Development Site
- Contaminated Land Remediation on a Housing Development
- Groundwater Remediation for Oil and Trichloroethene Contamination
- Remediation of a Contaminated Playing Field
- Permeable Reactive Barrier for Tetrachloroethene
- Soil Bioremediation and Groundwater Treatment
- Land Remediation Following Domestic Heating Oil Spill
- In-Situ Bioremediation Using DCL Biosolv
- Contaminated Soil & Groundwater Remediation on a Domestic Site
- Gasworks Clean Up Using Bioremediation
- Groundwater Remediation for Trichloroethene Contamination
In 2013 we launched a highly effective, patented, in-situ anaerobic bioremediation product called DCL Biosolv, principally designed for the remediation of chlorinated hydrocarbons such as tetrachloroethene and trichloroethene. Please visit our product pages to find out more: DCL Biosolv.co.uk.