Researchers at Edinburgh University have discovered an innovative solution for the remediation of a wide range of hazardous chemicals polluting soil and water at industrial sites.
Self-sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR) aims to effectively eliminate contamination by organic liquids, including coal tar, solvents, oils and petrochemicals.
This new application takes advantage of the fact that many hazardous liquids are flammable and will be completely destroyed by combustion. Once the contaminant has been ignited, the smouldering process should proceed itself through the contaminated part of the soil, focusing directly on the pollutant, supporting itself with the energy created by the smouldering. The process terminates once the oxygen has been removed.
The key benefits of this approach include its low energy process, its ability to be controlled, quick turnaround and the low costs involved. It can be used in ex-situ and in-situ applications providing remediation to soil and water contaminated by a range of hazardous chemicals.
Edinburgh University is looking into more collaborative research and development opportunities with existing remediation companies, with the aim of testing STAR technology on in-situ and ex-situ applications in sites that are contaminated.