A pilot program harnessing solar power to deliver a low cost, efficient bioremediation system for contaminated petroleum sites was recognised at the 2015 ALGA annual dinner last night.
Coffey’s Solar Thermal Aerobic Recirculation Treatment system took out the SuRF ANZ Sustainable Remediation Project Recognition Award.
The award forms part of the Australasian Land & Groundwater Association’s remediation awards, which highlights the achievements of those working in land and groundwater remediation across Australia.
Coffey Principal Remediation Engineer Andrew Labbett said the system had the potential the significantly reduce the time it takes to remediate contaminated petroleum sites, while using carbon neutral technology.
“The system extracts, heats and recirculates groundwater at contaminated sites, adding oxygen and nutrients to the water to enhance bioremediation of hydrocarbon contaminants,” Andrew said.
The whole system is powered by solar energy and is re-locatable – allowing it to be installed on operational sites with minimal disruption and moved when no longer in use. It also generates no noise, emissions or waste.
Andrew said the first system has been successfully trialed at a site being remediated in partnership with Australian fuel supplier Caltex. The system has been operating several months, and a second system is now being installed at another Caltex site.
“This system has the potential to reduce the cost and complication of managing contamination at both operational sites and those that are no longer in use,” he said.
“This will ultimately speed up the divestment and redevelopment of former petroleum sites.”
A patent application has been filed for the system and process.
Caltex Australia National Environment Manager Colin Roberts congratulated Coffey on the national recognition.
“As the nation’s leading fuel supplier, Caltex is committed to using innovative and sustainable techniques to remediate sites affected by historic contamination,” Colin said.
“This is one of a number of pioneering projects in which Caltex is involved and we are pleased to see it receiving deserved recognition.”