Using Bioremediation Methods In Brownfield Site Development

Calls to use developed land for new housing projects have been growing over recent years. Countryside dwellers rarely welcome a new housing estate in their area. Big city councils call for brownfield site developments to build more affordable homes. But for this to be accomplished, such old sites have to be inspected and cleaned up to remove all old pollutants. The land remediation industry sees this as an opportunity to develop new bioremediation methods.

Using Bioremediation Methods In Brownfield Site Development

Organic Waste Management

Bioremediation is a method of using living organisms for waste management. In the past, the organisms in use would have been naturally occurring species such as fungi. The fungus is a decomposition specialist and uses fungal mycelia to break down plant fibres in a process called mycoremediation. This has been used as a method of removing toxins from soils contaminated by oil and diesel spills. It can also be used to clean up contaminated water bodies. In recent times, scientists have used genetic engineering to create various artificial organisms for breaking down toxic substances and also radioactive waste.

Two Categories

There are two types of bioremediation commonly used: in situ, or on the site, and ex situ, or away from the site. In the latter case, the contaminated soil and waste must be removed from the site for treatment elsewhere. That treatment plant has to be secure to avoid any danger of cross-contamination with any underlying or neighbouring ground. The process is governed by national regulations regarding the methods and products to be used for the job. The methods to be applied depend on the nature of the site and the various contaminants

Specialist companies such as Ashremediation use a variety of bioremediation methods. The decompositional properties of natural organisms can be enhanced by injecting water, oxygen and even nutrients into the contaminated site – a process called bioventing. The contaminated material can be removed from the ground in a huge sucking process called bioslurping.

Taking Less Time

If time allows, a long-term bioremediation method can use plants as well as other organisms in the contaminated site to absorb and remove the toxins from the ground through the root systems. Even this method is less expensive and time-consuming than the old excavating, pumping and heating techniques used in the past.