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Environmental remediation: How does it work?

You may have heard of environmental remediation, but how does it work?

According to ALS Global:

“Have you ever thought about how, for example, a landfill can harm the environment? There are tons and more tons of domestic, commercial and industrial waste accumulated. In other words, it is an enormous open-air trash.

“Therefore, it is necessary that an effective environmental action avoids possible damage to places like this. In short, this is the role of environmental remediation.

What is environmental remediation?
“In other words, environmental remediation is a measure for the purpose of reclaiming contaminated areas.

“Therefore, an area that poses a risk to the health of human beings or damage to the environment must then be submitted to this action.

How does environmental remediation work?
“First, environmental remediation is done by identifying the points that cause pollution. Once they are identified, they are deleted.

What defines an area with risks?
“Such contaminated areas, that is, that have residues that generate pollution, are defined as harmful to public health and the environment.

Contaminated areas:
• Landfill sanitary;
• Abandoned land in a natural environment;
• Spaces occupied by industrial facilities;
• Spaces occupied by commercial units;
• Buildings and other improvements, in which there are deposits of contaminating materials.

“The most common examples of contaminated areas, then, are landfills and landfills turned off – which certainly pose several risks to the environment.

How is the remediation process done?
“In short, environmental remediation is a very complex process. This is because an extremely detailed assessment is required. An assessment of the causes and consequences of contamination.

“In other words, it is a study that will define the most effective measures for environmental remediation. In addition, therefore, it may also define public or private investments that will materialize remedial actions.

Process Steps
“Once the process will happen, the environmental remediation of contaminated areas will take place through the following steps:

• Initial assessment to verify suspected contamination, potential for contamination or if the area is already contaminated, for example;
• Collection of soil and water samples to confirm contamination;
• More comprehensive research to quantify the contamination and, in addition, delimit the affected site;
• Analysis of chemical risks to the environment and human health;
• Planning of intervention and environmental remediation measures;
• Implementation of planned measures to remedy the contaminated area;
• Monitoring the decontaminated area to confirm the results of the remediation measures.

Environmental remediation techniques
“Primarily, in order to obtain the best results, the techniques are organized into two groups: in situ and ex situ.

In-site environmental remediation
“In situ means on the spot. That is, the techniques in situ are the measures performed in the contaminated area itself, after all. In fact, it is more economical and has a low risk of secondary contamination.

“Here are some examples of in situ environmental remediation techniques:

• Hydraulic barrier;
• Reactive Barrier;
• Bioremediation;
• Pumping;
• Extraction of vapors;
• Multiphase Extraction;
• Oxidative process.

Ex situ environmental remediation
“Ex situ means off-site. That is, ex situ techniques therefore correspond to measures that are performed outside the contaminated area.

“This technique is more risky because it involves the transport of contaminated waste. Of course, they need to be taken to the place where they will be treated, primarily.

“Therefore, there is also the risk of secondary contamination. Thus, during the process of removal and transportation of these wastes, other people can be ultimately contaminated.

Discard route:
“In ex situ environmental remediation, the contaminated waste goes to:

• Landfill: site for the final decomposition of domestic, commercial and industrial waste;
• Biopilhas: technique that reduces the concentration of petroleum hydrocarbons in the soil;
• Thermal desorption: a process that eliminates or reduces levels of soil contamination by non-recyclable petroleum hydrocarbons such as gasoline and diesel;
• Coprocessing: processing of industrial solid waste to generate alternative energy to the cement industry, in short.”

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