Technical

Bioremediation and Bio Rem…
How It Works and  How We Do It

TECHNOLOGY

Bio Rem’s Augmented in-situ subsurface bioremediation process incorporates four (4) steps in the remediation of the hydrocarbon contamination in the soil and water. This process can occur totally underground or ex situ in a controlled biopile depending on the client’s needs (e.g., time frame or site accessibility). Remediation utilizes Bio Rem’s Product “H-10“, a proprietary blend of 100 % all-natural microaerophilic bacteria and nutrients safe for plants animals and humans. It does not require the addition of oxygen or oxygen producing compounds. The end result is a site detoxified of harmful contaminants and naturally occurring elements. Bio Rem’s process complies fully with the United States of America Title I of The Clean Air Act Amendments.

IMPLEMENTATION

Step 1: Determine Site Geological Conditions and Define Contaminant Plume. A detailed and accurate definition of the site’s subsurface geology and characterization of the contaminant plume is needed. The definition and characterization of the site gives the geology, hydrology, and gradient of the site. It also provides the dimensions of the contaminant plume. An accurate definition of the subsurface geology and characterization of the contaminant plume is necessary for the second step of this process.

Step 2: Determine the Application Methodology. Application of the proprietary bacterial cultures can be accomplished through a variety of methods. If the soil composition is permeable, only borings and Temporary Vapor Monitoring Points (TVMPs) need to be drilled into the containment plume. If the soil is mixed or compacted clay/silt, then borings/TVMPs, as well as trenching and lancing may be required. The selection of the appropriate Application Methodology is site specific.

Step 3: initialization and propagation (i.e., growth) of the proprietary bacterial cultures. The product is a powdery mix of a dormant and selected range of microorganisms and micronutrients. The microorganisms are called “microaerophilic” because they utilize the available oxygen contained in the subsurface soil and the groundwater. A natural or dechlorinated water source is used to initialize and culture the microorganisms on site. The “batch solution” is then introduced into the contaminant plume via the Application Methodology previously selected. The amount of culture/batch solution placed into the contaminant plume determined by a proprietary formula and the subsurface geology.

Step 4:  Monitoring and Reporting. After the proprietary cultures are placed into the contaminant plume, readings are taken at regular intervals. This is accomplished by using a Photoionization Detector (PID). PID readings are taken from the borings/TVMPs placed in and around the containment plume. Sampling occurs quarterly measuring for the contaminants of concern, colony forming units (CFUs), and general water quality parameters and sent to and EPA certified lab. When the readings are below required state cleanup levels, soil and/or water samples are taken from the site and sent for formal analysis by a certified, independent laboratory. These results confirm that the site is below State “Clean-up” levels and thus “Not Further Action” is required.

EQUIPMENT

Physical Appearance: Drilling Equipment consists of a well screen placement rig capable of drilling 6 inch diameter borings. Free standing borings are preferred. Temporary Vapor Monitoring Points (TVMPs) are 4-inch diameter pipes made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with screen slits cut into the pipe. Lances are pipes fitted with hose attachments.

Initialization, Propagation and Application: Equipment consists of a HDPE mixing tank (500 or 1,000-gallon capacity), gasoline driven pumps, hoses, and applicator nozzles.

Unit Size and Transportability: The drilling equipment is fully portable. The initialization, propagation, and application equipment are also fully portable and are easily carried in a small truck.

Treatment Capacity (Throughput Range): The average volume of subsurface contaminant plume treated is 100 cubic yards/person/day therefore, a three (3) person crew can treat 300 cubic yards of subsurface soil per day. The crew continues application until the total contaminant plume is treated.

All required equipment is commercially available and is field ready. One day of preparation is required before transporting equipment to the site.

WASTE STREAMS TREATED

Contaminants: A wide range of organic carbon-based contaminants can be treated by Bio Rem’s proprietary bacterial cultures and process. Typical contaminants include, gasoline. diesel, waste oil, hydraulic fluids, and VOC’s (volatile organic compounds; as well is phthalate esters. TCE (trichloroethylene), and DCE (dichloroethylene). Over two hundred organic contaminants have been identified as being amenable to treatment by Bio Rem’s products and processes.

Problem Wastes/Conditions: Heavy, tight clay-type soils and extremely fine sand slow the bioremediation process and may require additional applications or application methods. The pH of soil in water must be in the range of 5.0 to 9.0. Halogens (e.g., chlorine, bromine, and fluorine) slow the process. Heavy metals dissolved in water (e.g. chromium, nickel, lead and copper) can slow or halt the bioremediation process depending on metal concentrations. Transition metals do not effect the bioremediation process. Temperature range for effective propagation and application is 38°F to 100°F in the area of a contaminant plume or ex situ biopile. Should the subsurface freeze, it may necessitate reapply when the effected zone rises in temperature. Areas below the frost level are not effected. For biopiles, insulation methods have been devised to prevent soil freezing and continue remediation even in winter months.

Concentrations of Feed and Product Streams: No feed stream is required. Bio Rem’s process occurs underground within the soil and does not require the removal of any contaminated soil. The amount of Bio Rem’s Product placed is determined by a proprietary formula. Very dry, desert-like conditions may necessitate the gradual addition of water to the contaminant plume and the placement of a vapor-barrier over the site to reduce evaporation.

TYPES AND QUANTITIES OF WASTE STREAMS OR RESIDUES GENERATED

Gases and Particulates: Carbon Dioxide is produced as part of this biological remediation process. No particulates are generated. No waste liquids are generated. Solids and Sludge’s Biomass from the propagation of bacterial cells is produced. When the cultures die, after consuming the hydrocarbon contaminant, the bacterial biomass degrades into natural elements which are also the result of the decomposition of living matter.

THE EQUATION 

How do I know how much to use?

Concentrations of the contaminants of concerned need to be quantified from sampling the subsurface soil and groundwater and sent to a EPA certified lab and then determine what compounds are present regulatory limits. Normally, adequate sampling is conducted during the Phase 2 Site Assessment.  Using the concentrations of contaminants that are above regulatory limits, the amount of H-10 and L-10 needed can be calculated depending on how much soil and or water is impacted. Soil type and consistency will help us determine what method to use in order to best install our treatments. The equation is below.

(Type of contamination + Level of contamination + Type of soil + Amount of soil or water) = Amount of H-10 or L-10 + Non-chlorinated water needed for mix + Product installation method.

Testing for heavy metals and pH only should be conducted during the Phase 2.  This ensures the subsurface conditions are sufficient for the microorganisms to propagate. Typically, no heavy metal should be over 100 ppm and the pH range should be between 5-9.

PROPAGATION

How do I get it ready to be installed???

Propagation occurs in an above ground tank at the site. The H-10formula, the cultures, the microaerophilic bacteria and micronutrients are mixed with non-chlorinated water. The water will be the vehicle used in order to deliver the bacteria to the contaminated area when propagation is completed. The cultures consume all the nutrients (nitrogen: phosphorus: potassium) in order to establish bacteria cultures. At the conclusion of the propagation period, all the nutrients have been consumed and only natural occurring bacteria cultures are left. The solution now meets the classification standards and criteria for Class D drinking water. Therefore, the bacteria have been classified as non-pathogens and are typical of other soil microorganisms and pose no threat greater than that of typical topsoil naturally occurring bacteria. Also, the bacteria are not harmful to animals and plants.

BACTERIAL COLONIES

During propagation (that occurs in a vat above ground) all chemicals and enzymes used for nutrients to establish bacteria colonies are consumed by the bacteria. No foreign chemicals or enzymes are introduced to the soil to be treated. Only class ‘D’ drinking water and 100% natural occurring bacteria are introduced to the environment at the time of placement. Placements are made by one or a combination of the following:

  • Borings Slotted PVC wells
  • PVC remediation irrigation systems
  • Trenches or other methods may be required by site specifications.
  • The H-10 and L-10 technology can be adapted to other technologies that may be currently employed. (ex: Pump and treat, Vapor extraction, etc.)
  • If needed or required, Hydraulic controls can be added.

The cultures that have now been established are placed into the environment using various methods of delivery such as monitoring wells, trenches, ponds, etc. The use of bacteria and its application method may also be employed with, or used in combination with, other bioremediation mechanical technologies if applicable or desired. The bacteria consume hydrocarbons for food and release enzymes. The enzymes then provide the new nutrients to continue bacteria growth as well as breaking down chemical bodies.

BIO MASS

What’s left over at the end??

The specific identified bacteria emit carbon dioxide. When the bacteria have consumed all the available hydrocarbons (i.e., food) they die off and their final deposition renders an environmentally safe biological mass.

BELOW GROUND (INSITU) OR ABOVE GROUND REMEDIATION

INSITU

Usually bioremediation involves bringing the contamination to the surface of the soil or water to expose the digesting bacteria to oxygen, as well as mixing in nutrients for the bacteria to grow. However, moving dirt or simply bringing the contamination to the surface is either impractical or impossible to do. But, Bio Rem’s products have the capability to solve your environmental problem in-ground or in-contained vessels where no oxygen is present. Therefore, bringing the contamination to the surface and in mixing in nutrients is not needed. Bio Rem’s products work without the use of additional mechanical devises which drive up the cost. Bio Rem’s naturally occurring insitu treatments do not require on-going maintenance and operations. Consequently, the non-intrusive technology provides significant cost savings, for more information please see our pricing page. Bio Rem’s has a successful company history of completing environmental cleanup projects since 1990.

Insitu Soils and Groundwater

Bio Rem’s products can treat soil, ground water or both on-site without causing business disruption and has many other remedial applications.

Insitu Vessel Treatments

Bio Rem’s products through simple application can remediate your vessel problem.  Some examples of vessels where the products have been used successfully are:

·      Grease Traps

·      Tanks

·      Separators

·      Septic Tanks

·      Boat Bilge Compartments

·      Containers

ABOVE GROUND

Treatment of surface waters, spent waters and mounded contaminated soils are easy to apply. The treatments are non-intrusive and, in most cases, require only simple methodologies.

·      Site Waters

·      Environmental Ponds

·      Waste Water

·      Retention Ponds

·      Sludge Collection

·      Manufactures Production Water Recycling