METS is a major breakthrough in the science of remediating contaminated soils. METS was designed and developed by EarthWorks Environmental, Inc., after extensive research and testing of other remediation technologies. Most of these predecessor technologies have significant limitations or deficiencies. METS overcomes these limitations and deficiencies to a degree no other commercially available remediation system can match. Nevertheless, METS is comparatively simple in design and application, and is based entirely on proven treatment products and processing components.
Size and mobility: The METS remediation process equipment is approximately the size of a large SUV. It is completely mobile and self-propelled. Setup can be accomplished in a few hours. Working space need only be large enough to accommodate the treatment apparatus, a loader and a place to deposit the treated soil. METS can be employed cost-effectively on projects of all sizes, even in dense, urbanized areas.
Processing capacity: The lines of EarthWorks-manufactured remediation process equipment includes four configurations rate to treat from 40 to 320 tons of soil per hour. No project is too big to be tackled with the METS process. The equipment is so efficient that the only constraint you need to consider is the number and size and loaders required to keep up.
Method of treatment: METS is designed to work with any soluble decontamination reagent or microbial culture that has been suitably prepared and mixed according to our proprietary methods. This flexibility means we can select (working with the property owner and the regulatory agency involved) the most effective and suitable treatment agent for each specific contamination problem, taking into account soil type, soil condition, soil temperature, etc. This flexibility makes it possible for us to guarantee our work.
Treatment results: In the METS process, the contaminants are either destroyed or rendered environmentally inert (by chemical bonding or degradation). Even better, the method by which the reagents are introduced to the contamination produces results more quickly than other methods. In particular, biological treatment is capable of producing desired results in days, not months.
Environmental impact: The METS produces no negative environmental byproducts, no excess heat (there is no thermal process involved), and no hazardous materials or toxic sludge to haul away from the treatment site. The reagent solutions we use do not pose any threat to the environment; they are totally biodegradable. The engine operating the METS equipment produces no more noise or exhaust gases than would a moderate-sized gasoline generator.
How METS works. The METS remediation process equipment is about the size of a large SUV. It is fully mobile and self-propelled. Previously excavated soil is deposited in the hopper at the top of the apparatus by a conventional front-end loader. Very large debris, such as rock, concrete or asphalt, is usually screened off at the hopper opening. From the hopper, the soil is transferred in a regulated flow to a custom designed processing mill. The mill impacts and shreds the soil, while blending a treatment solution (chemical, biological, or both), along with air and moisture, into the soil using a method that is proprietary to EarthWorks Environmental. The contaminant molecules in the soil are already being degraded or neutralized by the time the soil emerges from the processing mill. The treated soil may be deposited directly to the ground from the mill. However, the apparatus includes a conveyor system at the back end, which may be used to deposit the soil in locations and configurations as desired or to meet site space constraints.
Why METS works. There is, in nature a wide variability in soil conditions and soil content, even within small distances. This is the principal barrier to effective and efficient remediation of contaminated soil. The METS process is designed to eliminate this variability in the soil while introducing one or more chemical or biological reagent(s) known to degrade and/or neutralize the specific contaminants in that soil. In other words, METS is able to tailor the choice of chemical and/or biological reagent to the specific type and severity of contamination, and to the specific soil conditions at a site. Second, the METS process reduces the soil to a fine particle state in order to maximize access to the contaminant molecules. Third, the METS process ensures the even distribution of the reagent(s) throughout this soil matrix, and the degradation/neutralization is completed before the soil loses its homogenous and fine particulate composition. Finally, to improve speed and efficiency, the METS process creates a relatively high level of air entrainment in the soil, along with a carefully calibrated level of moisture content.
Treatment agents. METS is designed to work with any chemical reagent or biological product that is or can be delivered in an aqueous solution. The choice of what to use in a given project is determined from analysis of the contaminant or combination of contaminants in the soil, and from analysis of the soil composition, moisture content, pH, etc. For example, commercially available products that are commonly used to degrade hydrocarbons as part of various cleaning and degreasing applications, can be adapted successfully by METS. Other products that can be adapted for METS are based on a chemical principle known as Fenton's Reagent Chemistry. FRC provides for direct oxidation -- release of nascent oxygen -- via an exothermic reaction between a peroxygen and a catalyst. The exothermic reaction as well as oxygen release, dependent upon catalyst, degrades the hydrocarbon molecule to its carbon and hydrogen elements. The nascent oxygen reacts with these elements to form benign compounds (for example, in the case of gasoline, the byproducts are water and carbon dioxide). Chemical reactions based on this chemistry are reliable and predictable, once the proper environment has been created.
Metals (for example, soluble lead) are neutralized by chemical bonding at the molecular level, resulting in byproducts that are stable and benign. METS is also able to apply a variety of products that release cultured microbes proven to degrade and/or neutralize various types of contaminants. In all known cases, these are naturally occurring biological organisms that have been found to thrive in environments where these contaminants have been introduced by man-made events or by natural causes.
Performance and efficiency. The EarthWorks-manufactured line of remediation process equipment includes four configurations designed to process from 40 to 320 tons of soil per hour. Actual throughout will vary somewhat depending upon soil type, soil condition and moisture content. In many cases, the contaminant has been degraded and/or neutralized almost as soon as it exits the processing mill. In some cases, the degradation process must continue over a period of hours or a few days, to achieve the desired remediation level. When METS relies on a biological product to provide most of the degradation/ neutralization, the process may take longer -- up to a few weeks -- to achieve the desired results.
Health, safety, environmental impacts. There are no significant, negative health, safety, or environmental impacts associated with operation of METS. There are no significant risks, direct or indirect, to the general public as long as the equipment and work site are reasonably secure from unauthorized entrance. Specifically:
Chemical hazard. The chemical and biological products used are biodegradable and environmentally benign. Equipment operators are trained to handle these materials with due care, with the most likely risk if any being direct exposure to themselves before the products are sufficiently diluted. There is no risk to the general public as long as the products are secure from access or tampering.
Noise. The soils processing machinery, when operating, produces a noise level comparable to a medium-sized residential gasoline generator. The noise level is typically less than that produced by the loader equipment being used to dump contaminated soil into the machinery. Equipment operators are not required to wear protective hearing devices.
Air pollution. The engine meets current emission control requirements for such equipment.
Water pollution. There is no contact with groundwater during the process (the contaminated soil is already excavated), nor is there any release of chemicals or biological products, diluted or undiluted, into public sewers or storm drains (note: some of these products, in a diluted form, are in fact prescribed for use in cleaning sewers and storm drains). Small amounts of the diluted treatment solution may puddle on the ground as an incidental byproduct of operating the equipment. This liquid quickly evaporates and/or is absorbed into the soil deposited from the remediation process.
Fugitive dust. The process may produce incidental dust as a natural result of the lifting and dumping of soil into the hopper, if the soil is particularly dry. During the process, moisture is added to the soil. As a result there is no dust that results from the action of discharging the remediated soil back to the ground. Remediated soil is in a fine particulate state. When it dries completely, which may take several days, there is the potential for windblown dust off of the soil stockpile. However, that dust is from remediated soil, and should not pose a health hazard.
The origins of EarthWorks Environmental as a company go back to 1995 when company founder, Jonathan Brewer, began research and development activities focused on the realization that a reliable and cost efficient ex-situ remediation process did not exist. Further realization was that the primary competitive technology, as is true today, is the unsustainable process of contaminated soil landfilling.
The Matrix Enhanced Treatment System or “METS” is the result of those R & D activities which was a “clean sheet” design process and has remained the primary focus of the company . METS has proven to be a revolutionary system for remediation of contaminated soils that for the first time brings “better, faster, cheaper” to environmental cleanup. The concepts underlying METS were discovered in the late 1980’s and mid 1990’s as a result of a systematic analysis of the causes behind the general unreliability and widespread failure of most environmental remediation technologies.
In 1998, EarthWorks employed for the first time a material handling and chemical blending system combination for conceptual application. While the overall project did not meet EarthWorks efficiency projections, the broad concept of EarthWorks hypothesis was substantially proven by ultimately cleaning the soil to non-detect.
EarthWorks Environmental was incorporated on July 7th, 1998, for the purpose of commercializing the new METS process. EarthWorks began final development of the METS concept by undertaking several compensated commercial field tests to prove both design and economics. After successful completion at 3 secure commercial sites, the METS process was able to meet or exceed remedial goals and financial/profit margin goals as well.
In 1999 EarthWorks withdrew the METS equipment and process from any potential public domain exposure while completing evaluation of the R & D design project data gathered. EarthWorks applied for a US Patent of the METS process on behalf of the inventor which was granted on July 23rd, 2002.
In 2003, EarthWorks was presented with a viable $10 million dollar buyout offer, which after careful consideration proved not in the best interest of the technology. In 2005 EarthWorks moved ahead to produce units on a commercial OEM basis at our new facility in Clearwater, Florida .
EarthWorks has completed design and manufacture of 4 production classes of equipment and self funded a broad range of additional research activities which are now substantially complete, to bring the system to where it is today, having the ability to treat over 150 separate contaminants in soil using both bio and chemical reagents.
While still a very small company, we now have 12 METS units working on 4 continents purely from word of mouth recommendation. It is our goal in 2011 to produce 8 operating units and attain our 5th continent.
EarthWorks Environmental is dedicated to making remediation of contaminated soil simple, effective and affordable using the Matrix Enhanced Treatment System 'METS' technology.
We firmly believe that 'haul and dumping' contaminated soil is not a sustainable nor responsible practice. Additionally, we believe that the 'technologies' involved in capping or containment, essentially burying the contaminated soil on your property, merely delays your problem. In either situation, you pay too much and are ultimately liable for that soil until it is remediated at some point in the future.
Along with making environmental cleanup cheaper and easier for contaminated site owners and responsible parties, we are committed to making the METS technology readily available internationally. Therefore, we have accelerated the development of our licensing program and are currently offering attractive pricing terms for licenses and equipment worldwide.
Recycling and Remediation Treatment Products
Our Second task is distribution of recycling and remediation treatment products to our METS licensees. EarthWorks provides our licensees with a complete and ever expanding line of chemical and biological reagents designed for use with our METS processors. We not only provide the products but provide the technical support to ensure the products are used properly and professionally to accomplish the specific remedial/recycling task at hand.
Remediation Process Equipment
The current line of EarthWorks-manufactured remediation systems (for specification comparison click here) includes four configurations, ranging in processing capacity from 40 to 320 tons of soil per hour. Standard pricing* will be provided after specific project/business spec review. Our 3 basic configurations are based on a similar structural platform, which has been specifically designed for easy transport by trailer or for loading into a standard 20 ...
Soil Recycling and Remedial Services
EarthWorks Environmental will provide soil recycling and remedial services on a limited basis to markets not currently served by one of our licensees. EarthWorks Environmental Inc. will undertake soil recycling and remediation projects in the Western US and on a limited basis, either specialized or large volume (i.e., in excess of 10,000 cubic yards/15,000 tons.) projects anywhere in the continental USA.
Recycling and Remedial Projects Evaluation
Our task is to provide technical support to environmental industry professionals in the evaluation of recycling and remedial projects and the efficacy of the METS process. We provide to industry professionals and our METS licensees our technical expertise in financial evaluation and application of METS technology in the field. We can help you compare 'apples with apples' so your clients are sure they have the correct cost/site evaluation in ...