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Soil remediation technique for in situ cleaning of soils contaminated with heavy hydrocarbons mixtures (SORBENT)

Funded under 7th FWP (Seventh Framework Programme)

Research area: SME-1 Research for SMEs

Project description

The proposed project focuses on heavy and heterogeneous soil formations contaminated with heavy hydrocarbons mixtures and intends to develop and provide to the soil remediation market the cost-effective and highly efficient soil remediation technique applied in-situ to remove historical oil contamination and accidentally or intentionally deposited oil.

The proposed technique will be applicable to all types of oil (including crude and heavy oil) in different soil profiles and convenient to use in areas difficult to approach. This would be achieved by developing three separate elements based on different bioremediation solutions tailored to meet the specific needs of soil remediation practice and further combining them into integrated technique.

The overall three-step treatment or selective treatment elements can be applied on a specific site in order to reach the environmental goals in the most cost-efficient way. The different options for remediation actions will be selected taking into account soils current use and approved future use. The consortium combines know how on ecological biotechnology, environmental research and research on soil and soil structures.

Contract research will be performed by Lithuanian, Spanish and Danish research institutions which provides a unique integration of know how on biologically active compounds, environmental and soil remediation technologies. Application of the SORBENT soil remediation technique will reduce both the clean up time and total costs by 25%.

The soil contaminated by oil pollutants remediation market will have a value of over 0.93 billion EUR in 2011 for EU. More than 35% or about 0.33 billion EUR of this market will be covered by in situ techniques. Thus, development of the SORBENT technique has potential savings of over 0.08 billion EUR annually. Such savings could contribute to a reduction of some economic and social problems that are caused by the contamination.