Nano- and microparticles-based remediation methods (NMP- or nanoremediation), represent a significant advance in the in situ decontamination of soil and groundwater pollution. In the last 10 years, NMPs have been developed for a variety of pollutants in numerous research projects. The treatable spectrum of pollutants on an industrial scale currently includes VOCs, BTEX and heavy metals. For various other materials such as MTBE, PFT, pesticides and explosives field tests are currently taking place.
Depending on the pollutant, the NMPs act as a reagent, a catalyst, a sorbent or in combination. The reaction forms can be an oxidation, a reduction, a support for microbiology in anaerobic or aerobic environment, an adsorption, a redox immobilization or a hybrid form. Depending on the location and on the pollutant (-mix) the application of intraPore® NMPs is configured individually. The injection into the groundwater or into the soil is carried out, individually adapted to the location, and is based on a gradual application concept.
Transport distances underground are particle-and location-dependent for up to 20 m and are controllable via the use of stabilizers and the injection technique. There will be no further “unwanted” (renegade) displacement because the NMPS attach to the soil matrix. Rather, a steadily efficient depot is generated by the injection, which is particle- and milieu-dependent efficient for several months. Furthermore, the NMP themselves are tested for their ecotoxicological safety.
With nanoparticles, we create an immobilized reactive zone through which the contaminated aquifer flows. This is the principle we know from permeable reactive barriers, but without the need for excavation work.
– Dr. Katrin Mackenzie, Senior Scientist, UFZ-Leipzig Halle.
Advantages of our NMP-remediation technology
- Safe and sustainable: calculation of the injection quantities determined by the stoichiometric pollutant content, aim: long-lasting effect.
- Targeted and customized: adaptation of the particle mix, the injection medium and the displacement widths to the respective location conditions.
- No interruption of operations: “minimally invasive” approach.
- Minor impact on groundwater hydraulics: no groundwater extraction or discharge of treated water, after injection no interference, no maintenance of the system.
- Pollutants accessible throughout the underground: buildings, infrastructure, utilities and water pipes do not interfere.
- Effects are controllable in real-time via on-site sensors.
- Cost reduction: lower personnel expenses / no ex situ system technology needed. NMPs supplementing existing Pump and Treat facilities
Environmental nanotechnology represents a tremendous benefit for underutilized brownfield sites in Europe and around the world.
– Daniel W. Elliott, Ph.D., Geosyntec Consultants.