Kurita Water Industries Ltd., Japan's leading provider of water treatment chemicals, facilities, and maintenance services, announced on June 19, 2008, that it had successfully developed a bioaugumentation technology to treat soil and groundwater contaminated with chlorinated ethenes (trichloroethylene, etc.) by degrading and detoxifying them to the point that they're harmless.
In an increasing number of cases, soil or groundwater contaminated by chlorinated ethenes is treated through bioremediation, a technology that uses microorganisms to detoxify contaminated soil or groundwater. One of the problems with conventional methods of activating microbes in soil to clean up contaminated land, however, is that they cannot be used at sites where the microbes that degrade chlorinated ethene do not exist. Approximately 30 percent of contaminated land in Japan falls into this category.
To address this problem, Kurita developed a bioaugumentation technology that employs a purifying process of injecting pre-grown microbes into the ground or water, along with nutrients, etc. With the new method, clean-up time is reduced by up to 50 percent from about a year, and the cost is reduced by up to 30 percent compared with the conventional approach.
Having succeeded in completely degrading chlorinated ethenes into harmless ethene using vinyl chloride-degrading microbes, called Dehalococcoides, the new method was approved for the first time in Japan as a technology for in situ degradation and detoxification of chlorinated ethenes, in compliance with the national government's Guidelines on Use of Microbial-based Bioremediation.
Japan for Sustainability