DOE/Savannah River National Laboratory

Environmental cleanup technology honored

'Green' chemistry treats contamination before it reaches the groundwater

A technology that uses "green" chemistry to help microbes break down contaminants in soil before they reach the groundwater has earned kudos from the editors of Environmental Protection website as 2011 Soil & Groundwater New Product of the Year.

The technology, which was invented by the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory, and licensed and manufactured by EOS Remediation, LLC, a subsidiary of Solutions-IES, Inc., treats chlorinated solvent contamination in the vadose zone, the area of unsaturated soils between the ground surface and the water table below. Contamination in this zone can be a continuing source of groundwater contamination.

The technology, which EOS Remediation markets under the name Vadose Organic Substrate (VOS™), is based on sustainable "green" chemistry. The thixotropic gel – a liquid consistency when stirred, but gels when left in place – uses biodegradable oil to sequester the contaminants while providing food for the microorganisms in the soil, stimulating the microbes' innate ability to degrade solvents. Initial results indicated that the VOSTM Technology can cost-effectively turn land once deemed unusable into productive and safe real estate.

The technology was originally developed by Brian Riha of SRNL to address solvent contamination at DOE's Savannah River Site. EOS Remediation obtained the exclusive license to manufacture and sell the technology, as part of SRNL's mandate to support the U.S. economy by moving technologies developed at the government laboratory into the marketplace.

The Environmental Protection New Product of the Year Award honors the outstanding achievements of industry manufacturers whose products are considered particularly noteworthy for making environmental professionals' jobs a little easier. See the winners at http://eponline.com/pages/2011-npoy-winners.aspx