ViroSoilTM Technology: a viable solution for land de-contamination from Virotec
Virotec provides a range of uniquely tailored
technologies for the treatment of contaminated water, industrial and municipal
wastewater, solids and other environmental remediation applications. Central to
Virotec’s technology solutions is a range of eighteen reagents with unique physical and
chemical attributes, which remove dissolved phase metals, neutralise acidity and
Virotec with proven success for its Technology solutions in the treatment of metal and phosphate contamination in municipal and industrial wastewater, now offers a viable cost effective solution to contaminated land and sediment remediation issues. UK General Manager at Virotec, Simon Tillotson, said “We have identified our ViroSoilTM Technology as a cost-effective solution to the issue of contaminated land clean-up, acid sulfate soil treatment and the prevention of harmful metal leachate from contaminated zones. ViroSoil™ Technology permanently neutralises acid, traps and strongly binds metals preventing their leaching and enhances nutrient retention capacity, promoting plant growth.”
He adds “ViroSoil™ Technology can be customised to suit any individual application and its use has the ability to create a healthy soil horizon from a sterile soil, which all adds up to a cost-effective de-contamination option for an often prohibitively expensive environmental issue.”
ViroSoil™ Technology works by forming strong ionic bonds with metal ions (including arsenic) in the soil. Virotec’s ViroBind™ reagent has a high charge to mass ratio that increases its ability to strip the metal ions form soils. This effectively out-competes sorption sites in the contaminated soils and sediment, and permanently immobilises metal contaminants, binding them to the extent they are no longer leachable or bioavailable.
ViroBindTM reagent is most effective when mixed intimately with the contaminated soils, either as a powder or slurry, although spray irrigation of reagent slurries has also been successful where the ground conditions have allowed such an application. Decontamination is rapid, with significant reductions in the leachable fraction within days and leachable levels reduced to low ppb levels. Additionally long-term study of sites previously treated using the Technology have shown that metals will be more tightly bound over time, with data indicating that an increase in metal binding capacity of 40-50% is likely after just six months.
Phosphate removal also occurs via these ionic and precipitation reactions, although the binding here is only semi-permanent. This means that application of ViroSoilTM Technology to a soil, can improve phosphate retention in soils which are susceptible to leaching. This is of particular value in catchment areas prone to water eutrophication arising from diffuse pollution and nutrient leaching. Furthermore, the slow phosphate rerelease and moisture retention properties of a soil treated by ViroSoil™ Technology help to create or maintain a healthy and sustainable soil horizon promoting healthy plant growth on formerly contaminated poor-yield sites. This can be done safe in the knowledge that immobilised metals cannot be translocated into adjoining nonpolluted environments or taken up by plants.
Virotec’s tailored technology solutions are ecologically and toxicologically safe. Treated soils and sediments exhibit improved plant growth and treated soils, sediments and overlying waters successfully support even very sensitive fauna, including freshwater shrimps and a range of susceptible marine species.