(19)
(11)EP 2 613 895 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
29.07.2020 Bulletin 2020/31

(21)Application number: 11805621.7

(22)Date of filing:  06.09.2011
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B09C 1/00(2006.01)
B09C 1/02(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/IN2011/000609
(87)International publication number:
WO 2012/032542 (15.03.2012 Gazette  2012/11)

(54)

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR THE REMEDIATION OF CONTAMINATED EARTH FROM HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES WITH CLEANING AGENTS AND WATER WASHING IN A BATCH-WISE EX-SITU ON-SITE MANNER

VERFAHREN UND SYSTEM ZUR ENTFERNUNG GEFÄHRLICHER STOFFE AUS KONTAMINIERTEM ERDREICH MIT REINIGUNGSMITTELN UND WASSERREINIGUNG

PROCÉDÉ ET SYSTÈME DESTINÉS À ASSAINIR LA TERRE CONTAMINÉE DE SUBSTANCES DANGEREUSES EN UTILISANT DES DÉTERGENTS ET EN NETTOYANT L'EAU DE LAVAGE, PAR LOTS EX SITU ET SUR SITE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 06.09.2010 IN 2475MU2010

(43)Date of publication of application:
17.07.2013 Bulletin 2013/29

(73)Proprietor: Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Mumbai 400 076 Maharashtra (IN)

(72)Inventor:
  • ASOLEKAR, Shyam Ramchandra
    Mumbai 400076 Maharashtra (IN)

(74)Representative: EP&C 
P.O. Box 3241
2280 GE Rijswijk
2280 GE Rijswijk (NL)


(56)References cited: : 
US-B1- 7 731 840
  
  • W. KOHLER ET AL: "Handbuch Bodenwäsche", , 30 April 1993 (1993-04-30), pages 1-269, XP055364885, KARLSRUHE Retrieved from the Internet: URL:http://www4.lubw.baden-wuerttemberg.de /servlet/is/16805/handbuch_bodenwaesche.pd f?command=downloadContent&filename=handbuc h_bodenwaesche.pdf [retrieved on 2017-04-13]
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

FIELD OF THE INVENTION



[0001] This invention relates to a method and system for the remediation of contaminated earth from hazardous substances in a batch-wise ex-situ on-site manner.

[0002] The term ex-situ on site as used in this specification is intended to mean not directly at the contaminated site but in the proximity of the site.

[0003] The term contaminated site as used in this specification includes contaminated beaches, industrial or commercial sites or historical or archeologically important sites, wetland, ecologically or environmentally congested places or the like loaded with toxic or hazardous pollutants (substances or materials or wastes) like petroleum products including free oils, petroleum oil fractions, petroleum fuels, petroleum feed stock based chemicals, fractionated pure solvents and mixtures and other organic and inorganic pollutants like persistent and trace toxic pollutants, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and/or their intermediates and toxic raw materials, heavy metals, organo-metallic complexes, paints, pigments, dyes, fine chemicals, residues from organic and inorganic chemical processing agents causing damage to health, environment, ecology or property as well as weathered and naturally altered products and by-products of the above pollutants.

[0004] The term contaminated earth, as used in this specification, includes contaminated matrix of soil, sand, silt, sediments, aquifer solids, slush, pebbles, stones, shells, aggregates, weeds or combinations thereof.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



[0005] Environment is getting more and more polluted and contaminated day by day with the release of hazardous substances including toxic substances or materials and wastes into the environment. Environmental pollution is causing not only irreparable damage to the flora or fauna and the marine life but also forcing climatic changes. It is becoming a matter of grave concern to the entire world. There are various reasons for the environmental pollution like effluents and wastes being generated due to industrialization and urbanization and accidental spillage and/or careless release or dumping of oil and other petroleum products, industrial effluents or wastes, sludges, residential wastes or the like into the environment or water bodies. Beaches are getting polluted with spills of petroleum products like crude oils, fuels or solvents or wastes from ships or ship repairing or dismantling activities or recycling activities in ocean, in ports, harbours or docks or from ship-wrecks or from busting or leakage of oil pipelines.

[0006] Contamination of soils, sediments and sands with hazardous or toxic chemicals and wastes is becoming an event of frequent occurrence and the magnitude of its adverse impact is ever increasing. Pollution is becoming a major problem in oceans, on coasts and beaches, in wetlands and surface water bodies, underground aquifers and industrial and commercial sites and needs effective solution for the survival and well being of the habitat.

[0007] Accidental spills of oily petroleum products into the sea continue to occur in various parts of the world from time to time creating havoc. For example, the Exxon Valdez incident in Prince Williams Sound, Alaska, in March, 1989, the oil spill from oil wells in Kuwait that caused fire during Iraq-Kuwait-USA war during late 1989 and the BP (British Petroleum) oil spill that occurred recently. BP oil spill reportedly poured over one million tonnes of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico in April, 2010. Recently, off the Mumbai coast, oil spilled from the ship "MSC Chitra" after collision with the ship "m v Khalijia-III" on Saturday morning, 7 August, 2010. An alarming level of oil got spilled into the ocean (nearly 1,000 tonnes) and subsequently was found in the sands on the beaches in Mumbai, India and at Sasvane, Alibag and Uran (all towns in the coastal District of Raigad near Mumbai), creating a disaster for fishermen and fish habitats. Within four days, oil also reached the shores of the Gharapuri Island, near Mumbai, which hosts the archeologically important Elephanta Caves. Several acres of mangrove forests including newly germinated and growing saplings of mangroves were covered with free floating oil and weathered products of spilled oil.

[0008] Remediation or decontamination of sites contaminated with pollutants has been an active area of research in the field of environmental science and engineering, especially during the past three decades. Because of the ever increasing threat of pollution, the research in this area is becoming more intensified and there is an urgent need to develop technological solutions to a variety of contamination situations resulting from causative factors as stated earlier. There are two ways in which site remediation is addressed, namely in-situ on site and ex-situ on site solutions based on physico-chemical treatments. Another way of dealing with the problem is biological treatment.

[0009] In the case of in-situ on site clean-up operations undertaken by the Exxon Corporation in 1989 in Prince Williams Sound, Alaska, USA, hot water jets mixed with oil dispersing chemicals were sprayed under pressure at the site of contamination. However, the above procedure could merely transfer free oil coating on surfaces like those of boulders, aggregates, pebbles, jetties or piers. As a result, dislodged oil and weathered oily residues got deposited onto superficial layers of sandy beaches, mud flats and coastal sediments and eventually percolated into deeper layers of sediments creating additional secondary pollution. Therefore, efforts were also made to skim-off floating oil from the water surface. The procedure has been only partially successful in the clean up operations thereby leaving most of the oil pollution unattended in the marine environment.

[0010] Clearly, there has not been any effective sand or sediment or silt cleaning technology or method available for decontamination of pollutant-loaded earth solids. Use of jets of hot water and chemical solutions to wash and clean surfaces as stated earlier, only aggravated the problem of contamination of sands, sediments and silts on the coasts.

[0011] In the events of oil spills, bacteria present in the coastal silt, sediments and sands do get eventually acclimatized to the polluted environment and develop ability to denature the pollutants in due course of time as is evident from studies conducted on several species of bacteria and their strains isolated from the polluted coastal sites. Because of this adaptation of the bacteria, in fact, the native flora and fauna got affected on the polluted marine coast and the entire ecosystem got altered.

[0012] Bioremediation of contaminated sites was carried out using specific cell cultures containing active beneficial species isolated and selected from the polluted sites and cultivated in the laboratory. Bioremediation was also tried by spraying genetically modified microorganisms and enzyme-mediated formulations prepared in the laboratory or cultured and formulated using biotechnological methods. The degradation rates for targeted pollutants in open natural systems with the help of microbes cultivated in laboratory environment is known to be slow and compromised due to the interference of other microbial flora at the contaminated site. The microbes also may not reach the intricate places where the pollutants have gotten diffused to and microbial population may not get sustained in the open environment. As a result, a critical concentration of the desirable microorganism or desirable mixed culture of a consortium of microorganisms remains so low that it does not produce desirable results and it fails to create ecological niche for itself.

[0013] The micro-organisms selected from naturally occurring contaminated sites and cultivated for real-life bio-remediation operations or designer microbes (genetically modified to denature a given pollutant) if applied in real-life situations in the so-called open systems may face difficulty in performing in the presence of high concentrations of oils and weathered oil-products at a given contaminated site. The high concentrations of pollutants may prove to be toxic to them and may prove to be detrimental to their community.

[0014] U.S. patent 7,731,840 discloses, in its claim 1, "a hydrocarbon removal mobile unit comprising: a. a first trailer; b. a hopper for receiving input material; c. a rotating material moving device disposed in the hopper for ensuring continuous flow of input material through the hopper; d. a controller for controlling the speed of the rotating material moving device; e. a plurality injection ports adjacent the rotating material moving device within the hopper for introducing a first fluid to the input material forming a first slurry; f. a separation tank for receiving the first slurry, agitating the first slurry, and allowing particulate to settle, forming a separated contaminate and a particulate effluent, wherein the separation tank comprises: (i) an initial separation section for receiving the first slurry; (ii) a separation tank pump in the initial separation section, wherein the separation tank pump is connected to a fluid supply loop and an injection port for injecting fluid into the first slurry as it flows from the rotating material moving device, and the separation tank further has a separation tank outlet port in fluid communication with a scalper screen; (iii) an agitator port for recirculating the first slurry from the initial separation section through the fluid supply loop; (iv) at least one contaminate recovery section in fluid communication with the initial separation section; (v) an extractor associated with each of the contaminate recovery sections for soaking up hydrocarbons in the contaminate; and (vi) a separator disposed between the initial separation section and each contaminate recovery section; g. at least one scalper screen for receiving the particulate effluent and separating the particulate effluent into a first hydrocarbon extracted particulate with a diameter greater than 1000 microns and a second slurry; h. at least one scalper tank wherein each scalper tank comprises a scalper agitator forming a suspension from the second slurry; i. at least one de-silting hydrocyclone for receiving the suspension and removing a second hydrocarbon extracted particulate with a diameter greater 75 microns, forming a third slurry; j. a desilting screen for receiving the second hydrocarbon extracted particulate; k. a desilting tank containing a desilting agitator for receiving the third slurry and forming an agitated third slurry; 1. a plurality of clay extractors for receiving the agitated third slurry and removing a third hydrocarbon extracted particulate with a diameter greater than 10 microns, forming a fourth slurry; m. a clay screen for receiving the third hydrocarbon extracted particulate; n. a clay slurry tank with a clay agitator for receiving the fourth slurry; and o. a heating device disposed within the clay slurry tank and in fluid communication with at least one of the desilting tank, the scalper tank, and the initial separation section". It is clear from above description that this equipment itself is a dedicated equipment, not easily available at all the places unless it is already fabricated and ready for operation. It is contemplated for removal of hydrocarbons and heavy metals from sand, rock, particulate or combinations of these materials. The soil can also be a wet mixture, such as a wet mixture with water, a wet mixture mixed with another diesel fuel, mixed with particulate with liquid hydrocarbons (column 2 lines 9 to 13). The equipment is movable from one place to another. However, the dedicated/special-purpose nature of this equipment is a major limitation on its utility. While there could be no problem in utility of the invention disclosed in U.S. 7,731,840 when the sites/locations needing hydrocarbon removal are preconceived / predictable with respect to location and time, there are severe limitations on use of this equipment when the need for soil remediation arises from an accident at unpredictable location leading to hydrocarbon spill at a huge scale and needs fast remedial action to avoid damage to the environment from threatened pollution. Availability of enough number of this equipment at short notice at the site in the need of a massive scale remediation is one of the limiting factors to the scale at which work can be done at any site of accident. Various features of this equipment such as shaft-less auger are special purpose parts that are not easily available as spare parts, are required to be fabricated specially for this equipment, and may not be possible to be fabricated in large number within a short time if remediation is needed at a remote unpredicted site. Unpredictability of the site and scale of the accident makes it impossible to envisage that this equipment could be available in enough numbers within a reasonable time limit at all potential locations of a hydrocarbon-spill generating disaster. Document XP55364885 is disclosing a method for contaminated soil remediation which makes use of soil remediation dedicated special equipment.

[0015] The various in-situ on-site treatments as stated above employ dedicated treatment plants installed in-situ onsite and have shown limited success in real situations and have several limitations. Because of the non-homogeneity of soil, sediment or sand, the ability to engineer the contaminated site and to achieve uniform cleaning of contaminated areas is reduced. As a result the in-situ techniques are not very efficient and effective. Cost and erection time for the plants is very huge. Invariably multiple installations of in-situ onsite treatment plants are required as contaminated beaches extend to tens or hundreds of kilometers. Because of this, the cost of in-situ techniques ends up typically becoming prohibitive and, therefore, in realistic situations they may not be economically viable.

[0016] Earlier research has described the effectiveness of desorption for removing contaminants from sand or soil [Rao, B H, Swaminathan, R., and Asolekar, S. R. (2001). Washing of Marine Coastal Sand in a Batch Reactor: Sorption and Desorption of BTEX. J Air & Waste Manage Assoc., vol. 51, pp. 1043-1059; and Rao, B H and Asolekar, S. R. (2001). QSAR Models to Predict Effect of Ionic Strength on Sorption of Chlorinated Benzenes and Phenols at Sediment-Water Interface. Water Research, vol. 35, pp. 3391-3401].

[0017] In reality, however, such techniques envisage transportation of polluted materials from the contaminated sites to the reactors erected at a location for decontamination and transportation of cleaned sand or soil back to the contamination sites. Such techniques require dedicated treatment plants at the location and huge sand and sediment washing reactors and solids - wastewater separation devices permanently erected and installed at the location. As a result, the cost is increased substantially. The reactors require massive foundations. Provision of effective foundation for the reactors would be a difficult task in sandy beaches or industrially or commercially contaminated sites.

[0018] Transportation of huge quantities of excavated soil from the site of excavation to the reactors and back to the excavation site is very expensive and cumbersome. Further, installation of the treatment plant at one location alone would not be sufficient to provide remediation service to a large area as contaminated beaches extend to a long distance.

[0019] Alternative is to have multiple treatment plants which will increase the cost correspondingly. A stationary facility for remediation is also not very effective and useful since accidents of spillage of oil may happen anywhere. Also, development of dedicated reactors and washing plants involves capital investment which can be amortized only if the reactors and plants are utilized to the optimum. Erection time for such plants is also very long.

[0020] It is evident from the above state of the technology of environmental remediation that there are no effective methods and equipments available for addressing and managing disasters like marine oil spills causing contamination of sandy beaches and coastal ecosystems or land-based disasters created by large scale spills of toxic and hazardous chemicals or disasters caused by the negligent disposal of toxic and hazardous wastes into water bodies and dump-sites. There is thus need for effective, economical and easy to implement method and system to remedy or decontaminate polluted environment from hazardous substances.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0021] According to the invention there is provided a method for the remediation of contaminated earth from hazardous substances with cleaning agents and water washing in a batch-wise ex-situ on site manner comprising the steps of providing a system configuration that is not a dedicated one but a temporarily organised one, deploying equipments at one location or at multiple locations and operating equipments in a logistic manner, wherein the system configuration comprises organizing at least one mobile earth moving equipment, at least one mobile tumbler reactor and at least one liquid - solid separator at a location in the proximity of the contaminated site. The method may comprise collecting batch by batch contaminated earth portions from the contaminated site in the mobile earth moving equipment, transporting the contaminated earth portions to the location and transferring the contaminated earth portions to the mobile tumbler reactor, dosing the contaminated earth portions in the mobile tumbler reactor with cleaning agents and water washing the contaminated earth portions in the reactor under agitation or tumbling, transferring the mixture of water washed earth portions and wash water with cleaning agents in the mobile tumbler reactor into the liquid-solid separator and separating the wash water with the cleaning agents from the mixture in the separator, transferring the cleaned earth portions in the separator into the earth moving equipment, transporting the cleaned earth portions back to the contaminated site and depositing the cleaned earth portions at the contaminated site until the entire contaminated earth at the contaminated site is remedied and controlling the logistics of carrying out the steps of operations.

[0022] According to an embodiment of the invention, the method further comprises the step of operation of organizing at least one water treatment plant at the location and subjecting the wash water from the mixture in the liquid-solid separator to effluent treatment techniques to separate clean water from the hazardous substances in the wash water. Alternately, the wash water may be hauled to wastewater treatment facility and treated. According to the invention there is also provided a system for remediation of contaminated earth from hazardous substances with cleaning agents and water washing in a batch-wise ex-situ on-site manner wherein the system configuration is temporarily organized and not dedicated, the system deploying equipments at one location or at multiple locations and operation of the equipments in a logistic manner, the system configuration comprising at least one mobile earth moving equipment, at least one mobile tumbler reactor and at least one liquid-solid separator organised at a location in the proximity of the contaminated site.

[0023] In an embodiment of the invention, the system may comprise a controller for controlling the logistics of operations of the mobile earth moving equipment, mobile tumbler reactor and liquid solid separator, the mobile earth moving equipment may be deployed for collecting batch by batch contaminated earth portions from the contaminated site, transporting the contaminated earth portions to the location, transferring the contaminated earth portions to the mobile tumbler reactor, receiving the cleaned earth portions from the liquid-solid separator and transporting the cleaned earth portions back to the contaminated site and depositing the contaminated earth portions at the contaminated site until the entire contaminated earth is remedied completely, the mobile tumbler reactor being deployed for having the contaminated earth portions dosed with cleaning agents and water washed under agitation or tumbling and for transferring the mixture of water washed earth portions and wash water with cleaning agents into the liquid-solid separator and the liquid-solid separator being deployed for separating the wash water with cleaning agents from the cleaned earth portions and transferring the cleaned earth portions into the mobile earth moving equipment.

[0024] According to an embodiment of the invention, the controller comprises a logic circuit or processor configured and programmed to automatically control the logistics of operation of the earth moving equipment, mobile tumbler reactor and liquid-solid separator and wash water treatment plant, if any.

[0025] According to another embodiment of the invention, the controller is manually controlled or partly manually controlled and partly automatically controlled.

[0026] According to an embodiment of the invention, the liquid-solid separator is mobile or stationary.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



[0027] In order to improve the efficiency of the method and to reduce time for remediation, depending upon the extent and nature of contamination, the method and system may include a plurality of earth moving equipments, tumbler reactors, liquid-solid separators and/or wash water treatment plants. During operation of the system, the mobile earth moving equipments collect contaminated earth portions in batches from the contaminated site and transport them to the location. The contaminated earth portions are then transferred into the mobile tumbler reactors and are dosed with cleaning agents and washed with water under agitation or tumbling. The mixture of solids and wash water with cleaning agents is taken in the liquid - solid separators and the cleaned solids are separated from wash water with cleaning agents in the separators. The cleaned solids are loaded into the earth moving equipments and transported back to the contaminated site and deposited at the site at appropriate places until the entire contaminated site is remedied from the hazardous substances.

[0028] It may not be desirable or permissible to let the wash water into the environment without being treated. Therefore, it is preferable that the wash water is subjected to effluent treatment techniques to separate clean water from the hazardous substances. Accordingly, the method of the invention includes the step of subjecting the wash water from the separators to water treatment techniques to separate clean water from the hazardous substances and the system of the invention includes or more wash water treatment plants for such purpose. The wash water treatment plant(s) may be installed at the location and may form a part of the system. The wash water treatment plant(s) may be connected to the mobile tumbler reactors for recycling the clean water into the reactors as wash water.

[0029] Alternatively, the wash water may be hauled or transported to effluent or wastewater treatment plants located elsewhere. It is also possible to treat the wash water fully or partially and recycle it for washing the contaminated earth portions or reuse elsewhere or dispose of according to known water disposal procedures.

[0030] The wash water is subjected to treatments which are known effluent treatment procedures and the water treatment plant(s) used are known effluent treatment plant(s). The treatment techniques and treatment plants are selected depending upon the nature and chemical constitution of the contaminants in the wash water. The residual matter obtained from the wash water treatment is further treated using treatment procedures known in the art for treatment of such residual matter. The resulting residues are disposed of in accordance with known practices.

[0031] Modes of operation and operational parameters like batch time, number of washings with water and the number of dosing of cleaning agents will depend on the extent and nature of contamination and will have to be selected. The number of dosing of cleaning agents and water washings may be one or several. The dosing of cleaning agents and water washing may be carried out simultaneously or sequentially. Alternatively dosing of cleaning agents and water washing may be carried out in a cocurrent manner or in a counter current manner in order to improve the washing efficiency. The water used for washing may be ambient temperature water or warm/hot water depending upon the environmental conditions at the site.

[0032] The cleaning agents to be used and the clean up or decontamination strategy to be employed will depend up on the nature of the contaminants or pollutants and the extent and concentration of the contaminants or pollutants. The clean up procedures for the contaminated earth portions in the reactors are based on known wastewater treatment procedures and may include physio-chemical treatments.

[0033] The cleaning agents that may be used in the method of the invention may comprise of commercially available detergents and/or soaps and may include chemicals like alkyl benzene sulfonate, sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDC), sodium lauryl sulfate, ethoxylate (EO), ethoxylated alkyl phenols, anionic sulfonated alkyl esters, sodium tetradecyl sulfate (4-undeconal,7-ethyl-2-methyl-,sulfate, sodium salt), diethylene glycol ethyl ether (ethanol, 2-(2-ethoxyethoxy)-), mixture of ethoxylated fatty acids, natural surfactants like Sapindus mukorossi obtained from fruit along with chemicals like sodium hydroxide (NaOH) which acts as a chelating agent or hydroxyl-2-cyclodextrin (HPCD) used to reduce the sorption and enhance the transport of several low polarity organic compounds. Aqueous acidic solutions also be used along with water during soil washing. The examples are for illustration purposes and actual use may be decided from case to case upon conducting treatability trials for achieving a prescribed target of clean-up. The recipe of clean-up solutions (proportions of surfactants and other chemicals) and other operating parameters of reactor such as cycles of clean-up routines, solids-to-water ratios, batch cleaning time or temperature will vary from case to case.

[0034] The mobile earth moving equipments used in the invention are those available for earth moving and handling operations and having space for loading contaminated earth portions and include earth moving excavators.

[0035] The mobile tumbler reactors are those generally used for mixing liquids with solids like truck mixers equipped with tumblers used for mixing and delivering cement-concrete to the construction site, revolving drum truck mixers or mobile or portable devices having vibrating, rotating, stirring, gyrating, aerating, gas/air sparging, shaking or sonicating type mixing arrangements. However, the dosing of the contaminated earth portions with cleaning agents and washing with water need not be under agitation or tumbling if so desired. Therefore, such dosing and washing are also within the scope of the invention.

[0036] The liquid - solid separators used in the invention are those available for liquid - solid separation and may be mobile or mounted on wheels or mounted on make-shift temporary foundations. The mobile or portable liquid - solid separators are, for example, centrifuges, settling devices having slanted plates or slanted bundle of tubes or slanted honey-comb-like settling arrangements. The liquid - solid separators may be settlers or thickeners or devices of cylindrical, rectangular, section of cone or any other geometrical shape to facilitate settling.

[0037] The above equipments are used as such or with minor changes by way of adaptation for use in the invention like choice of material of construction, protective paints and liners to improve their durability. Adaptations also may be required for tracking/monitoring/qualifying/quantifying the extent of decontamination/clean-up of solids and/or liquids encountered in the process of remediation.

[0038] According to the invention, the mobile earth moving equipments, mobile tumbler reactors and liquid - solid separators and wash water treatment plant(s), if any are configured and logistically operated to clean-up the environmental contamination in a batch-wise ex-situ onsite manner. The system configuration of the invention is not a dedicated one but a temporarily organised one. Deployment of such equipments at one location or at multiple locations and operations of the equipments in a logistic manner is very convenient and easy to carry out. Because of the equipments being easily available and being low cost, they can be easily organized or mobilized at a single location or multiple locations so as to carry out the cleaning operation very fast and in a very cost effective and efficient manner.

[0039] The equipments also can be easily dispersed or disposed off after the clean-up operation. It becomes possible only because the various equipments proposed to be used are normally meant for their respective known purposes and are to be organized only when the need arises. However, they are, rugged and robust in construction to work in sandy, muddy, silty, slippery, abrasive, wet, rough and bumpy surfaces and surroundings and are easily available and can be easily mobilised and logistically controlled within a short time.

[0040] According to the invention, proximity of the location of clean up to the contamination site also renders the cleaning operation further easy and convenient. Time for the cleaning operation is further reduced. Cleaning operation is also efficient, effective and economical. The invention eliminates huge dedicated plants and massive foundations otherwise required; thereby reducing costs substantially and eliminating erection time.

[0041] Because of the batch-wise operation, the volumes to be handled at a time are small and the method can be easily and conveniently carried out repeatedly till the desirable clean-up is achieved and it is simple.

[0042] At a given location on a contaminated site, in order to optimize the use of water and cleaning agents, contaminated solids are loaded in one reactor or multiple reactors and subjected to multiple washing cycles such that wash water from one washing cycle is systematically transferred sequentially to subsequent washing cycle. Because the equipments are mobile and easily available and because the equipments can be easily organised, the configuration of equipments can be moved from one location of contaminated site to another location to achieve clean-up at different locations of the contaminated site, especially when the contaminated site is very large. The movement of the equipments configuration on the contaminated site ensures clean-up in a fast and effective manner.

[0043] The various equipments are orchestrated in such a manner that the wash waters and cleaning agents used in the washing cycles are loaded in the reactors and separators in a systematic and sequential manner so as to achieve ex-situ on-site cleaning operation in an optimal manner while minimizing use of water and cleaning agents during the cleaning operation. The invention is especially suitable in an emergency or accident like an oil spillage.


Claims

1. A method for remediation of contaminated earth from hazardous substances with cleaning agents and water washing in a batch-wise ex-situ on site manner, the method comprising providing a system configuration, that is not a dedicated one but a temporarily organised one, deploying equipments at one location or at multiple locations and operating the equipments in a logistic manner; wherein the system configuration comprises organizing:

(a) at least one mobile earth moving equipment,

(b) at least one mobile tumbler reactor and

(c) at least one liquid - solid separator at a location in the proximity of the contaminated site and configuring and logistically operating them to clean-up the environmental contamination in a batch-wise ex-situ on site manner.


 
2. The method as claimed in claim 1 for the remediation of contaminated earth from hazardous substances wherein the steps of logistically operating of the temporarily organized system configuration comprises steps of:

(a) collecting batch by batch contaminated earth portions from the contaminated site in the mobile earth moving equipment,

(b) transporting the contaminated earth portions to the location and transferring the contaminated earth portions to the mobile tumbler reactor,

(c) dosing the contaminated earth portions in the mobile tumbler reactor with cleaning agents and water washing the contaminated earth portions in the reactor under agitation or tumbling,

(d) transferring the mixture of water washed earth portions and wash water with cleaning agents in the mobile tumbler reactor into the liquid-solid separator and separating the wash water with the cleaning agents from the mixture in the separator,

(e) transferring the cleaned earth portions in the separator into the earth moving equipment,

(f) transporting the cleaned earth portions back to the contaminated site and depositing the cleaned earth portions at the contaminated site until the entire contaminated earth at the contaminated site is remedied, and

(g) controlling the logistics of carrying out the steps of operations.


 
3. The method as claimed in claim 2, wherein the logistics of carrying out the steps of operations are controlled automatically or manually or partly manually and partly automatically.
 
4. The method as claimed in any one of the claims 2 or 3, which further comprises the step of operation of organizing at least one water treatment plant at the location and subjecting the wash water from the mixture in the liquid-solid separator to effluent treatment techniques to separate clean water from the hazardous substances in the wash water.
 
5. The method as claimed in claim 4, wherein the clean water is recycled to the mobile tumbler reactor as wash water.
 
6. The method as claimed in anyone of claims 1 to 5, wherein the dosing of the contaminated earth portions with cleaning agents and water washing of the contaminated earth portions are carried out simultaneously or sequentially or in a concurrent or counter current manner.
 
7. A system for remediation of contaminated earth from hazardous substances with cleaning agents and water washing in a batch-wise ex-situ on site manner; wherein the system configuration is temporarily organized and not dedicated, the system deploying equipments at one location or at multiple locations and operations of the equipments in a logistic manner; wherein the system configuration comprises:

(a) at least one mobile earth moving equipment,

(b) at least one mobile tumbler reactor,

(c) and at least one liquid-solid separator
at a location in the proximity of the contaminated site and remediating said contaminated earth from hazardous substances in a batch-wise ex-situ on site manner


 
8. The system of claim 7 for remediation of contaminated earth from hazardous substances comprising:

(a) a controller for controlling the logistics of operations of the mobile earth moving equipment, mobile tumbler reactor and liquid-solid separator,

(b) the mobile earth moving equipment being deployed for collecting batch by batch contaminated earth portions from the contaminated site,

(c) transporting the contaminated earth portions to the location,

(d) transferring the contaminated earth portions to the mobile tumbler reactor,

(e) receiving the cleaned earth portions from the liquid-solid separator and transporting the cleaned earth portions back to the contaminated site, and

(f) depositing the decontaminated earth portions at the contaminated site until the entire contaminated earth is remedied completely,

(g) the mobile tumbler reactor being deployed for having the contaminated earth portions dosed with cleaning agents and water washed under agitation or tumbling and for transferring the mixture of water washed earth portions and wash water with cleaning agents into the liquid-solid separator and the liquid-solid separator being deployed for separating the wash water with cleaning agents from the cleaned earth portions and transferring the cleaned earth portions into the mobile earth moving equipment.


 
9. The system as claimed in claim 8, wherein the controller is a logic circuit or processor configured and programmed to automatically control the logistics of operations of the earth moving equipment, mobile tumbler reactor and liquid-solid separator.
 
10. The system as claimed in claim 7 or 8, wherein the controller is manually controlled or partly manually controlled and partly automatically controlled.
 
11. The system as claimed in anyone of claims 7 to 8, wherein the liquid-solid separator is mobile or stationary.
 


Ansprüche

1. Verfahren zur chargenweisen Sanierung kontaminierter Erde von gefährlichen Stoffen mit Reinigungsmitteln und Wasserwaschung ex situ vor Ort, wobei das Verfahren das Bereitstellen einer Systemkonfiguration, die keine dedizierte sondern eine provisorisch eingerichtete ist, das Einsetzen von Ausrüstungen an einer Stelle oder an mehreren Stellen und das logistische Betreiben der Ausrüstungen umfasst; wobei die Systemkonfiguration das Einrichten von:

a) mindestens einer mobilen Erdbaumaschine,

b) mindestens eines mobilen Taumelreaktors und

c) mindestens eines Flüssig-Fest-Separators
an einer Stelle in der Nähe des kontaminierten Standorts, und das Konfigurieren und logistische Betreiben derselben umfasst, um die Umweltverschmutzung chargenweise ex situ vor Ort zu bereinigen.


 
2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1 zur Sanierung kontaminierter Erde von gefährlichen Stoffen, wobei die Schritte des logistischen Betreibens der provisorisch eingerichteten Systemkonfiguration folgende Schritte umfassen:

a) chargenweises Sammeln von kontaminiertem Erdreich von dem kontaminierten Standort in der mobilen Erdbaumaschine,

b) Transportieren des kontaminierten Erdreichs bis zu der Stelle und Umladen des kontaminierten Erdreichs auf den mobilen Taumelreaktor,

c) Dosieren des kontaminierten Erdreichs in dem mobilen Taumelreaktor mit Reinigungsmitteln und Spülen mit Wasser des kontaminierten Erdreichs in dem Reaktor unter Umrühren oder Umwälzen,

d) Umladen der Mischung aus mit Wasser gespültem Erdreich und Spülwasser mit Reinigungsmitteln in dem mobilen Taumelreaktor in den Flüssig-Fest-Separator und Trennen des Spülwassers mit Reinigungsmitteln von der Mischung in dem Separator,

e) Umladen des gereinigten Erdreichs in dem Separator in die Erdbaumaschine,

f) Transportieren des gereinigten Erdreichs zurück zu dem kontaminierten Standort und Ablagern des gereinigten Erdreichs an dem kontaminierten Standort, bis die gesamte kontaminierte Erde an dem kontaminierten Standort saniert ist, und

g) Steuern der Logistik des Ausführens der Betriebsschritte.


 
3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 2, wobei die Logistik des Ausführens der Betriebsschritte automatisch oder manuell oder teilweise manuell und teilweise automatisch gesteuert wird.
 
4. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 2 oder 3, ferner umfassend den Betriebsschritt des Einrichtens mindestens einer Wasseraufbereitungsanlage an der Stelle und des Aussetzens des Spülwassers aus der Mischung in dem Flüssig-Fest-Separator an Abwasserbehandlungstechniken, um sauberes Wasser von den gefährlichen Stoffen in dem Spülwasser zu trennen.
 
5. Verfahren nach Anspruch 4, wobei das saubere Wasser in den mobilen Taumelreaktor als Spülwasser zurückgeführt wird.
 
6. Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, wobei das Dosieren des kontaminierten Erdreichs mit Reinigungsmitteln und das Spülen mit Wasser des kontaminierten Erdreichs gleichzeitig oder nacheinander oder gleichläufig oder gegenläufig ausgeführt werden.
 
7. System zur chargenweisen Sanierung kontaminierter Erde von gefährlichen Stoffen mit Reinigungsmitteln und Wasserspülung ex situ vor Ort; wobei die Systemkonfiguration provisorisch eingerichtet und nicht dediziert ist, wobei das System Ausrüstungen an einer Stelle oder an mehreren Stellen und den logistischen Betrieb der Ausrüstungen einsetzt; wobei die Systemkonfiguration

a) mindestens eine mobilen Erdbaumaschine,

b) mindestens einen mobilen Taumelreaktor,

c) und mindestens eines Flüssig-Fest-Separator
an einer Stelle in der Nähe des kontaminierten Standorts und das chargenweise Sanieren der kontaminierten Erde von gefährlichen Stoffen ex situ vor Ort umfasst.


 
8. System nach Anspruch 7 zum Sanieren kontaminierter Erde von gefährlichen Stoffen, umfassend:

a) ein Steuergerät zum Steuern der Logistik des Betriebs der mobilen Erdbaumaschine, des mobilen Taumelreaktors und des Flüssig-Fest-Separators,

b) wobei die mobile Erdbaumaschine eingesetzt wird, um kontaminiertes Erdreich aus dem kontaminierten Standort chargenweise zu sammeln,

c) das Transportieren des kontaminierten Erdreichs bis zu der Stelle,

d) das Umladen des kontaminierten Erdreichs auf den mobilen Taumelreaktor,

e) das Empfangen des gereinigten Erdreichs aus dem Flüssig-Fest-Separator und das Transportieren des gereinigten Erdreichs zurück zu dem kontaminierten Standort, und

f) das Ablagern des dekontaminierten Erdreichs an dem kontaminierten Standort, bis die gesamte kontaminierte Erde vollständig saniert ist, und

g) wobei der mobile Taumelreaktor eingesetzt wird, damit das kontaminierte Erdreich mit Reinigungsmitteln dosiert wird und unter Umrühren oder Umwälzen mit Wasser gespült wird, und um die Mischung aus mit Wasser gespültem Erdreich und Spülwasser mit Reinigungsmitteln in den Flüssig-Fest-Separator umzuladen, und wobei der Flüssig-Fest-Separator eingesetzt wird, um das Spülwasser mit Reinigungsmitteln von dem gereinigten Erdreich zu trennen und um das gereinigte Erdreich in die mobile Erdbaumaschine umzuladen.


 
9. System nach Anspruch 8, wobei das Steuergerät eine Logikschaltung oder ein Prozessor ist, die bzw. der konfiguriert und programmiert ist, um die Logistik des Betriebs der Erdbaumaschine, des mobilen Taumelreaktors und des Flüssig-Fest-Separators automatisch zu steuern.
 
10. System nach Anspruch 7 oder 8, wobei das Steuergerät manuell gesteuert oder teilweise manuell gesteuert und teilweise automatisch gesteuert ist.
 
11. System nach einem der Ansprüche 7 bis 8, wobei der Flüssig-Fest-Separator mobil oder ortsfest ist.
 


Revendications

1. Procédé de dépollution de terre contaminée par des substances dangereuses, par des agents de nettoyage et lavage à l'eau d'une manière ex situ sur site par lots, le procédé comprenant les étapes de fournir une configuration de système, qui n'est pas une configuration dédiée mais une configuration définie temporairement, déployer des équipements à un emplacement ou à des emplacements multiples et opérer les équipements de manière logistique ; dans lequel la configuration de système comprend l'étape d'organiser :

(a) au moins un équipement de terrassement mobile,

(b) au moins un réacteur mobile à tambour, et

(c) au moins un séparateur liquide-solide
à un emplacement à proximité du site contaminé, et configurer et opérer ceux-ci de manière logistique pour nettoyer la contamination environnementale d'une manière ex situ sur site par lots.


 
2. Le procédé de dépollution de terre contaminée par des substances dangereuses selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les étapes d'opérer de manière logistique la configuration de système définie temporairement comprend les étapes de :

(a) collecter des portions de terre contaminée lot par lot du site contaminé dans l'équipement de terrassement mobile,

(b) transporter les portions de terre contaminée à l'emplacement et transférer les portions de terre contaminée jusqu'au réacteur mobile à tambour,

(c) doser les portions de terre contaminée dans le réacteur mobile à tambour avec des agents de nettoyage et laver à l'eau les portions de terre contaminée dans le réacteur sous agitation ou culbutage,

(d) transférer le mélange de portions de terre lavée à l'eau et d'eau de lavage avec des agents de nettoyage dans le réacteur mobile à tambour jusque dans le séparateur liquide-solide et séparer de l'eau de lavage avec les agents de nettoyage du mélange dans le séparateur,

(e) transférer les portions de terre nettoyée dans le séparateur jusque dans l'équipement de terrassement,

(f) ramener les portions de terre nettoyée au site contaminé et déposer les portions de terre lavées sur le site contaminé jusqu'à ce que la totalité de la terre contaminée du site contaminé soit dépolluée, et

(g) contrôler la logistique d'exécution des étapes des opérations.


 
3. Le procédé selon la revendication 2, dans lequel la logistique d'exécution des étapes des opérations est commandée automatiquement ou manuellement ou partiellement manuellement et partiellement automatiquement.
 
4. Procédé selon la revendication 2 ou 3, qui comprend en outre l'étape d'opération consistant à organiser au moins une usine de traitement d'eau à l'emplacement et à soumettre l'eau de lavage du mélange dans le séparateur liquide-solide à des techniques de traitement des effluents pour séparer de l'eau propre des substances dangereuses dans l'eau de lavage.
 
5. Le procédé selon la revendication 4, dans lequel l'eau propre est recyclée dans le réacteur mobile à tambour sous forme d'eau de lavage.
 
6. Le procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, dans lequel le dosage des portions de terre contaminée avec des agents de nettoyage et le lavage à l'eau des portions de terre contaminée sont effectués simultanément ou séquentiellement ou de manière simultanée en co-courant ou à contre-courant.
 
7. Système de dépollution de la terre contaminée par des substances dangereuses, par des agents de nettoyage et lavage à l'eau d'une manière ex situ sur site par lots ; dans lequel la configuration de système est définie temporairement et non dédiée, le système déployant des équipements à un emplacement ou à des emplacements multiples et des opérations des équipements de manière logistique ; dans lequel la configuration de système comprend :

(a) au moins un équipement de terrassement mobile,

(b) au moins un réacteur mobile à tambour,

(c) et au moins un séparateur liquide-solide à un emplacement à proximité du site contaminé et dépolluant ladite terre contaminée des substances dangereuses d'une manière ex situ sur site par lots.


 
8. Le système de dépollution de la terre contaminée par des substances dangereuses selon la revendication 7, comprenant :

(a) un contrôleur pour contrôler la logistique des opérations de l'équipement de terrassement mobile, du réacteur mobile à tambour et du séparateur liquide-solide,

(b) l'équipement de terrassement mobile étant déployé pour collecter du site contaminé des portions de terre contaminée lot par lot,

(c) transporter les portions de terre contaminée à l'emplacement,

(d) transférer les portions de terre contaminée jusqu'au réacteur mobile à tambour,

(e) recevoir les portions de terre nettoyée du séparateur liquide-solide et ramener les portions de terre lavée au site contaminé, et

(f) déposer les portions de terre décontaminée au site contaminé jusqu'à ce que la totalité de la terre contaminée soit complètement dépolluée,

(g) le réacteur mobile étant déployé pour faire doser les portions de terre contaminée avec des agents de nettoyage et faire laver les portions de terre contaminée à l'eau sous agitation ou culbutage et pour transférer le mélange de portions de terre lavée à l'eau et d'eau de lavage avec des agents de nettoyage dans le séparateur liquide-solide et le séparateur liquide-solide étant déployé pour séparer l'eau de lavage avec des agents de nettoyage des portions de terre nettoyée et transférer les portions de terre nettoyée dans l'équipement mobile de terrassement.


 
9. Le système selon la revendication 8, dans lequel le contrôleur est un circuit logique ou processeur configuré et programmé pour contrôler automatiquement la logistique des opérations de l'équipement de terrassement, du réacteur mobile à tambour et du séparateur liquide-solide.
 
10. Le système selon la revendication 7 ou 8, dans lequel le contrôleur est commandé manuellement ou partiellement manuellement commandé et partiellement automatiquement commandé.
 
11. Le système selon l'une quelconque des revendications 7 à 8, dans lequel le séparateur liquide-solide est mobile ou fixe.
 






Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description