What is biodegradation?
Biodegradation is the process of degradation of petroleum and organic contaminants (NEL and PAU) from contaminated wastes. The process employs natural bacterial strains which allow contaminants to degrade naturally. These are special bacteria which use undesirable organic compounds as a source of carbon and energy for their growth.
The whole process runs in a biodegradation zone of the Centre of Complex waste management. This zone is sealed, drained and under the proper building inspection. The biodegradation zone complies with the requirements of EU directives, national legislation and obligatory ČSN - Czech State Standards.
How is biodegradation carried out?
- A competent technologist determines the exact procedure for treatment of the particular waste in a biodegradation zone, based on the chemical and microbiological analysis.
- Bacterial suspension (inoculum) is prepared in microbiological laboratories of specialised accredited companies, in a patented multi-phase controlled process.
- Wastes are moisturized as needed. Supply of atmospheric oxygen necessary for the activity of bacteria is ensured by ploughing, aerating and loosening the material in the biodegradation zone by appropriate machinery.
- The process of biodegradation is continuously monitored by means of chemical and microbiological analyses. Based on the results of these analyses, the technologist determines the next procedure.
- As soon as the concentration of the contaminants falls below the figures defined by law, the process is considered terminated.
- The material is removed from the biodegradation zone and transported for further utilization or final disposal.
- Before the transport, the material is subjected to final sampling.
Decontaminated waste can be used to secure a landfill site or for land restoration. Biodegradated material can be used as a backfill of restored land (if allowed by an approved course of actions).
Procedure of waste acceptance for biodegradation
Apart from standard registration documents determined by the particular regulations of Waste Act, all contaminated wastes must also have complete protocols of analysis and samplings.
The following materials are, in compliance with the regulations of the Ministry of the Environment, accepted for biodegradation:
- soil, debris, sludge contaminated with petroleum and organic pollutants,
- wastes from long-term polluted sites, leaks and various types of facilities (gravity separators, oil traps, sedimentation tanks, sludge fields etc.),
- sludge contaminated with petroleum substances from sedimentation tanks of washing ramps,
- sludge from cleaning plants – segregating petroleum based oils from wastewater or stable emulsions (during car cleaning etc.),
- sludge from degreasing plants of industrial enterprises,
- sludge from warehouses containing petroleum substances,
- sludge generated by handling petroleum substances, by cleaning various oil-polluted surfaces, floors, drains and tanks.
Sludge contaminated with petroleum substances is accepted in the biodegradation zone in dewatered state only. Contaminated debris and concrete has the character of fragments soaked with petroleum or tarry substances.
Marius Pedersen has a standardized list of wastes common for all biodegradation zones. Further information on the list of accepted wastes is available in the production centres.
The whole process of biodegradation is approved by relevant state departments of the Environmental Protection.