Kent brownfield cleanup underway

Sygenta and EDSR are cleaning up Kent’s largest former agrichemicals site, processing the soil at a rate of 32 tonnes of soil per hour using the UK’s largest thermal desorbtion unit.



EDSR specialises in the sustainable regeneration of brownfield land, and says it uses proven techniques in an innovative way to release the sites for future use.



The Yalding Works Manufacturing Site, after 100 years in operation, is currently being cleaned to the highest standards in the industry using thermal desorbtion. Syngenta is the owner of the site and EDSR is its regeneration partner.


EDSR undertook an 18 month consultancy project prior to entering into a design and build contract with Syngenta to undertake remedial work. This consultancy work consisted of liaison with regulators to obtain all necessary licenses and approvals to implement the thermal process in the UK. As the site is situated next to a river in an area prone to flooding, detailed modelling and preparation was needed. To remove any risk to groundwater and rivers, EDSR first installed a groundwater filter barrier around the perimeter to prevent migration of contaminated groundwater.


The thermal desorbtion unit at Yalding is the biggest primary treatment unit in the UK with one of the largest drums at 3m in diameter. It is processing contaminated soil 24 hours a day at an average of 32 tonnes of soil per hour.


The on-site processing has prevented over 36,000 lorry movements which would otherwise have been necessary, saving fuel and CO² emissions, and reducing noise and vibration nuisance, as well as excessive traffic.


The fuel that is being used to service the Thermal Desorbtion Unit is reclaimed fuel oil from car engine changes.