Soil Remediation




The Challenge

Soil contaminated by hydrocarbons was excavated and treated for contamination. The contamination was about 6 mg/g hydrocarbon for the 6 carbon to 10 carbon petroleum hydrocarbon fraction (F2) and about 4 mg/g hydrocarbon for the 10 carbon to 34 carbon fraction (F3). The treatment specifications were 2.4 mg/g for F2 and 3.8 mg/g for F3.


The Solution


The usual treatment consisted of adding nutrients, water and air to the excavated soil in order to boost natural microbial activity. The natural microbial flora would degrade the hydrocarbons over time. A novel treatment using Materium’s microspheres and Nuvac’s bacteria was evaluated by adding a mix of MATSPHERES  MAT540 and BACTOCHARGE. Two kilograms of the mix per 75m3 of soil were added to the soil under treatment.

Two representative and homogeneous piles of soil of approximately 400m3 were made. The two piles were treated according to the usual treatment, with the second pile differing from the first by having MATSPHERES added to it after 80 days of treatment.



Excess hydrocarbon removal


The novel treatment removed 20% more hydrocarbon


For the 6 to 10 carbon hydrocarbon, the usual treatment removed 47% of the hydrocarbon while the novel treatment removed 66%.

For the 10 to 34 carbon hydrocarbon, the usual treatment removed 28% of the hydrocarbon while the novel treatment removed 47%.

Overall the novel treatment removed about 20% more hydrocarbon.

Importantly, the pile treated with MATSPHERES and BACTOCHARGE met the requirements of the treatment specification while the usual treatment failed to meet specification.


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