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Title:
APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR TREATING CONTAMINATED SOIL MATERIAL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/178692
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An apparatus for treating contaminated soil material comprises a mixer (100) which receives soil material (110) contaminated by oil hydrocarbons, a first dosing feeder (102) for dosing into the mixer (100) substance (112) which absorbs oil hydrocarbons and which is decomposing, and a second dosing feeder (104) for dosing substance (114) that includes microorganisms into the feeder (100). The mixer (100) grinds and vents the soil material (110), and mixes the substance (112) which absorbs oil hydrocarbons and which may be Ors- Soilsorb™ and the soil material with each other. In addition, the mixer (100) mixes the soil material (110), the substance (112) that absorbs oil hydrocarbons, and the substance (114) which includes microorganisms with each other to purify the soil material (110) at least partly of the oil hydrocarbons.

Inventors:
KOIVISTO, Jarmo (Aittatie 18, Rovaniemi, 96100, FI)
KOIVISTO, Jari (Aittatie 18, Rovaniemi, 96100, FI)
RUOTSALAINEN, Juhani (Palttinakatu 2, Lahti, 15230, FI)
Application Number:
FI2016/050912
Publication Date:
October 19, 2017
Filing Date:
December 22, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TYÖKONE KOIVISTO OY (Aittatie 18, Rovaniemi, 96100, FI)
OY OPERATIVE RECOVERY SOLUTIONS JMR LTD (Palttinakatu 2, Lahti, 15230, FI)
International Classes:
B09C1/10; A62D3/02; B01J20/22; B09C1/08; C02F1/28; C02F3/34; C09K3/32; C02F101/32
Domestic Patent References:
2000-03-16
2001-07-26
Foreign References:
US5236282A1993-08-17
US4927293A1990-05-22
RU2009134767A2011-03-27
RU2322312C12008-04-20
CN105396871A2016-03-16
CN104588405A2015-05-06
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOLSTER OY AB (P.O.Box 204, Helsinki, Helsinki, 00121, FI)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. An apparatus for treating contaminated soil material, characterised in that the apparatus comprises a mixer (100) which is adapted to receive soil material (110) contaminated by oil hydrocarbons, a first dosing feeder (102) for dosing into the mixer (100) substance (112) which absorbs oil hydrocarbons and which is decomposing, and a second dosing feeder (104) for dosing substance (114) that includes microorganisms into the mixer (100);

the mixer (100) is adapted to grind and vent the soil material (110) and to mix the substance (112) that absorbs oil hydrocarbons and the soil material with each other; and

the mixer (100) is adapted to mix the soil material (110), the substance (112) that absorbs oil hydrocarbons, and the substance (114) that includes microorganisms with each other to purify the soil material (110) at least partly of the oil hydrocarbons.

2. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, characterised in that the apparatus comprises an electrokinetic processing device (120) which is adapted to process soil material (110) in which said substance (112) that absorbs oil hydrocarbons and said substance (114) that includes microorganisms have been mixed.

3. An apparatus as claimed in claim 2, characterised in that the electrokinetic processing device (120) is adapted to oxidize soil material (110) into which said substance (112) that absorbs oil hydrocarbons and said substance (114) that includes microorganisms have been mixed. 4. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, characterised in that the apparatus also comprises a third dosing feeder (116) for dosing agricultural slurry (118) into the mixer (100), which is adapted to mix the agricultural slurry (118), the soil material (110), the substance (112) that absorbs oil hydrocarbons, and the substance (114) that includes microorganisms with each other.

5. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, characterised in that the second dosing feeder (104) comprises at least one nozzle (220) which is adapted to may spray the liquid substance (114) that includes microorganisms into the soil material (110), into the substance (112) that absorbs oil hydrocarbons, or a mixture of the soil material (110) and the substance (114) that absorbs oil hydrocarbons.

6. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, characterised in that the apparatus comprises a screening device (300) which is adapted to screen solid matter particles that are larger than a predetermined size off the soil material (110) going to the mixer (100), the crushing of which requires more power than the power that the mixer (100) uses for grinding.

7. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, characterised in that the apparatus comprises a measuring device (108) for measuring the oxygen content of the soil material (110); and the first dosing feeder (102) s adapted to dose substance (112) that absorbs oil hydrocarbons into the mixer (100) and/or the second dosing feeder (104) is adapted to dose substance (114) than includes microorganisms into the mixer (100) on the basis of the measurement by the measuring device (108).

8. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, characterised in that the apparatus comprises a measuring device (108) for measuring the nutrient content of the soil material (110); and the first dosing feeder (102) s adapted to dose substance (112) that absorbs oil hydrocarbons into the mixer (100) and/or the second dosing feeder (104) is adapted to dose substance (114) than includes microorganisms into the mixer (100) on the basis of the measurement by the measuring device (108).

9. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, characterised in that the apparatus comprises, for controlling the apparatus, at least one processor (400) and at least one memory (402) containing a computer program code; said at least one memory (402) together with said at least one processor (400) and computer program code is adapted to control:

the first dosing feeder (102) to dose into the mixer (100) substance (112) that absorbs oil hydrocarbons, which is decomposing;

the mixer (100) to grind and vent the soil material (110);

the mixer (100) to mix the substance (112) that absorbs oil hydrocarbons and the soil material (110) with each other;

the second dosing feeder (104) to dose substance (114) that includes microorganisms into the mixer (100); and

the mixer (100) to mix the soil material (110), the substance (112) that absorbs oil hydrocarbons, and the substance (114) that includes microorganisms with each other.

10. A method for treating contaminated soil material, c h a r a c t e r i s e d by receiving (500) soil material (110) contaminated by oil hydrocarbons with a mixer (100);

dosing (502) substance (112) which absorbs oil hydrocarbons and which is decomposing into the mixer (100) with a first dosing feeder (102);

grinding and venting (504) the soil material (110) with the mixer

(100);

mixing (506) the substance (112) that absorbs oil hydrocarbons and the soil material (110) with each other with the mixer(lOO);

dosing (508) substance (114) that includes microorganisms into the mixer (100) with the second dosing feeder (104); and

mixing (510) the soil material (110), the substance (112) that absorbs oil hydrocarbons, and the substance (114) which includes microorganisms with each other with the mixer (100) to purify the soil material (110) at least partly of the oil hydrocarbons.

Description:
Apparatus and method for treating contaminated soil material Field

The invention relates to an apparatus and method for treating contaminated soil material. Background

Soil may be contaminated as a result of, for example, oil hydrocarbons that have found their way into the ground, which may cause damage to health, living organisms, among other things, and contaminate groundwater. Harmful substances may end up in the soil from garages, fuel distribution outlets, or industry, for example.

Soil may be reconditioned by sealing off or stabilising. In these methods, the oil hydrocarbons will remain in the soil but their spreading out is prevented. In the long run, however, this is not an adequate procedure because sealing off or stabilisation may fail. In addition, a sealed off or stabilised area may not be utilised.

Soil material may be treated thermally whereby soil is purified by pyrolysis. Heating and/or burning of soil carried out in this manner consume a large amount of energy and fuel, and produces potential combustion waste, which is an activity using up a lot of natural resources and pollutes the environment.

Soil material may also be cleaned in wet separation and wet scrubbing, which also consume energy. In such a case, the harmful substances transfer to a liquid which, however, will have to be processed in a separate process by using a thermal process, for example. For this reason, wet separation does not solve the purification problem of soil material.

Soil material may additionally be purified by biological methods, whereby a substance containing microorganisms is added in the soil. The substance containing microorganisms is able to process the very top layer of soil, only, in which case the oil hydrocarbon deeper in the soil will remain in the soil untouched. The success of microorganisms in the soil is additionally uncertain. In frozen soil, in particular, the use of the biological system is challenging. Furthermore, the biological process is slow commonly taking many years, even under good conditions. Often, the minimum threshold values aimed at are not reached. The reason may be that the microbes die due to lack of nutrition and/or oxygen.

Therefore the need exists to further improve the treating of contaminated soil.

Brief disclosure

An object of the invention is to provide an improved solution. This is achieved by an apparatus according to claim 1.

The invention also relates to a method according to claim 10.

Preferred embodiments of the invention are described in dependent claims.

The apparatus and method according to the invention provide several advantages. Purification of soil will be enhanced and sped up. List of figures

The invention is now described in closer detail in connection with the preferred embodiments and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which

Figure 1 shows an example of an apparatus suitable for soil material treating;

Figure 2A shows an example of an apparatus comprising dosing feeders of different kinds, a mixer, and possibly also a processing device based on the electrokinetic phenomenon;

Figure 2B shows an example of a cylinder in which a nozzle sprays substance including microorganisms into the cylinder;

Figure 3 shows an example of screening;

Figure 4 shows an example of a controller comprising at least one processor and at least one memory; and

Figure 5 shown an example of the system flowchart. Description of embodiments

The following embodiments are presented by way of example. Even though the description may refer to "an" embodiment or embodiments at different points, this does not necessarily mean that each such reference refers to the same embodiment or embodiments or that the feature only applies to one embodiment. Individual features of different embodiments may also be combined in order to enable other embodiments.

Figure 1 shows an example of an apparatus suitable for treating contaminated soil material; The apparatus comprises a mixer 100 that receives soil material 110 contaminated by oil hydrocarbons. Oil hydrocarbons are complex mixtures that comprise crude oil or refined products of crude oil. Hydrocarbons include hydrocarbons of different lengths, and possibly also organic and inorganic compounds. In oil refining, hydrocarbons may in turn be divided into fractions of different kinds. The most flowing fractions or those separated at the lowest temperatures (e.g. motor petrol) behave in the soil, from the viewpoint of absorption and the chemical and biological effect, in a different manner than middle running fractions (e.g. diesel oil) or heavier fractions (e.g. burning oil). The behaviour in the soil of middle running fractions and heavy fractions differs from each other. In prior art, this has produced problems for soil material purification.

The apparatus further comprises a first dosing feeder 102, which doses into the mixer 100 substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons. The substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons is decomposing. In an embodiment, the absorption of the material 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons may be based on the capillary action; In an embodiment, the material 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons may be porous; In an embodiment, the material 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons may be biodegradable; In an embodiment, the material 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons may be non-toxic; Being non-toxic means that the material 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons does not cause danger or detriment to people or animals; In such a case, being non-toxic means that the material 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons does not cause dame or detriment to the health of people or animals; Being non-toxic may also mean that the material 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons does not cause danger or detriment to any life form. In an embodiment, the material 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons may be nonflammable; In an embodiment, the material 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons also absorbs water; In an embodiment, the material 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons may be ORS-Sorb® Special, for example; In an embodiment, the material 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons may be ORS-Sorb® Agri, for example. ORS-Sorb® may be dosed as grains, block, mat, or pillow.

Tests have shown that, for example, ORS-Soilsorb™, used in an embodiment, which has been modified for soil purification and is a product meant for this method, is a material which enables long-term effects of microorganisms as well as effective and fast activation of microbe activity. This may be based on that the microbes have nutrition well available to them, and the water absorption ability and oxygen content of Ors-Soilsorbin™ helps the activity of the microbes.

The apparatus further comprises a second dosing feeder 104, which doses substance 114 that includes microorganisms into the mixer 100. In an embodiment, the substance 114 that includes microorganisms includes microbes that do not cause disease. In an embodiment, the substance 114 that includes microorganisms may include one or more biological activators, each of which may be non-toxic. In an embodiment, each biological activator may decompose hydrocarbons, oils, fats and/or organic molecules. In an embodiment, each biological activator may decompose hydrocarbons, oils, fats and/or organic molecules into carbon oxide and water.. In an embodiment, each biological activator may be an enzyme. In an embodiment, the substance 114 that includes microorganisms may have the pH value of approximately 7, that is, neutral. In an embodiment, the substance 114 that includes microorganisms may be non- corrosive. In an embodiment, the substance 114 that includes microorganisms may be non-flammable. In an embodiment, the substance 114 that includes microorganisms may be biodegradable while in the soil material. In an embodiment, the substance 114 that includes microorganisms may be KEEEN™ Oil Spill Control substance. The mixer 100 grinds and vents the soil material 110, and mixed the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons and the soil material 110 with each other.

In addition, the mixer 100 mixes the soil material 110, the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons, and the substance 114 including microorganisms with each other to purify the soil material 110 at least partly of the oil hydrocarbons. In an embodiment, the mixer 100 mixes the contaminated soil material 110, the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons, and the substance 114 including microorganisms with each other as a homogeneous mass. The mixing may be carried out so that at the end of the mixing, big particles do not decompose smaller than a predetermined size. In an embodiment, the end result of the mixing may be powdery, whereby the particle size may be approximately 100 μηι or less. In an embodiment, the end result of the mixing may be granular, whereby the particle size may be approximately 0.1 mm to 3 mm. In an embodiment, the end result of the mixing may be piece-like, whereby the particle size may be approximately 3 mm or larger. In an embodiment, fine crushing may be used in the mixing, whereby the particle size may be approximately 100 mm to 10 mm. In an embodiment, coarse grinding may be used, whereby the particle size may be approximately 10 mm to 1 mm. In an embodiment, fine grinding may be used, whereby the particle size may be approximately 1 mm to 100 μηι.

So, the mechanical process in the mixer 100 may be grinding and/or crushing. In addition, the mixer 100 may granulate the mass it has mixed. The particle size may change in the mixer 100, but the state of the substance does not change. By means of mixing, the reactive surface area of the substances being mixed is increased, which improves the purification of the soil material with the aid of the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons and the substance 114 that includes microorganisms. In such case, the oil hydrocarbons are effectively removed from the contaminated soil material 110 into the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons, from which the microorganisms of the substance 114 including microorganisms are in turn able to effectively use the oil hydrocarbons as their nutrition and transfer them into a harmless form.

In an embodiment, one example of which is shown in Figure 2A, the mixer 100 may comprise a cylinder 200, and the cylinder 200 may have a rotating axle 202 that has mixer blades 204. The contaminated soil material 110 and the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons are mixed in the cylinder 200 by the mixer blades 204. The mixer 100 may also comprise a belt conveyor 206. The second mixed 104 may dose the substance 114 that includes microorganisms to a mixture on the belt conveyor 206, which comprises soil material 110 and the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons. When the belt conveyor 206 drops the mixture that comprises soil material 110, substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons, and substance 114 that includes microorganisms on a platform 208 as a pile 210, also the substance 114 that includes microorganisms is effectively mixed into the soil material 110 and the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons. The mixer blades 204 and the drop also increase the amount of oxygen in the pile 210, which further enhances the purification process. In the embodiment according to Figure 2A, the second belt conveyor 212 may also be a part of the mixer 100, because the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons is dropped from the first dosing feeder 102 into the soil material 110 already on the second belt conveyor 212. Mixing is also possible in case the order is the opposite, that is, when the soil material 110 is dropped into the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons already on the second belt conveyor 212. This way, the mixture may be brought to a suitable form for the possible electrokinetic phenomenon.

In addition or alternatively, the mixer 100 may also be vibrated at some part of it, at least, to boost the mixing. For example, the belt conveyor 206 may be vibrated whereby the substance 114 that includes microorganisms is effectively mixed with the soil material 110 and the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons. In an embodiment, the direction of movement of the back and forth vibration may be vertical, for example. In an embodiment, the direction of movement of the back and forth vibration may be horizontal, for example. In an embodiment, the direction of movement of the back and forth vibration may vary. In an embodiment the amplitude of the back and forth movement may be, for example, less than 10 mm. In an embodiment, the frequency of this back and forth vibration may be between 1 Hz and 1000 Hz, for example.

In an embodiment, one example of which is presented in Figure 2A, the apparatus may comprise an electrokinetic processing device 120 which may process the soil material 110 in which said substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons and said substance 114 that includes microorganisms have been mixed. In the electrokinetic phenomenon, the substances move along with electric current. In the electrokinetic phenomenon, substances may be moved in porous substances and in substances that include water. The electrokinetic processing device may be based on the EKO/GRID™ technology, for example, which has been developed and which is produced by a company called Eko Harden Technologies oy.

In an embodiment, the electrokinetic processing device 120 vents the soil material 110 in which said substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons and said substance 114 that includes microorganisms have been mixed.

The soil material 110 may, in addition to or instead of the electrokinetic processing device 120 and/or mechanical mixing, be vented by other means as well. The other means may include, for example, mechanical operations by which the substances in the pile 210 are mixed, made porous, or air channels are made in the pile 210.

In an embodiment, the apparatus further comprises a third dosing feeder 116, shown in Figure 1. The third dosing feeder 116 doses agricultural slurry 118 into the feeder 100, which mixes the agricultural slurry 118, soil material 110, substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons and substance 114 that includes microorganisms with each other. The agricultural slurry 118 may include livestock manure, for example. The agricultural slurry 118 may include nutrition for the microorganisms, which enhances the activity of the microorganisms and consequently improves the purification of the soil material 110 from oil hydrocarbons and at the same time consumes the agricultural slurry. In an embodiment, the second dosing feeder 104 comprises at least one nozzle 220 which may spray the liquid substance 114 that includes microorganisms into the soil material 110, into the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons or a mixture of the soil material 110 and the substance 114 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons. In an embodiment, one or more nozzles 220 may spray the liquid substance 114 that includes microorganisms to the belt conveyor 206.

In an embodiment, an example of which is shown in Figure 2B, one or more nozzles 220 may spray the liquid substance 114 that includes microorganisms in the cylinder 200 into the soil material 110, into the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons or the mixture of the soil material 110 and the substance 114 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons.

In an embodiment, also shown in Figure 2B, the mixer 100 may comprise a drum grinder in which the grinding may be carried out in a cylindrical mill rotating in the horizontal plane.

In an embodiment, at least one nozzle 220 of the second dosing feeder 104 may spray the liquid substance 114 that includes microorganisms into the soil material 110, into the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons or a mixture of the soil material 110 and the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons in an atomized form. In an embodiment, it is also possible that the soil material 110, into which liquid substance 114 that includes microorganisms is sprayed, includes agricultural slurry 118.

In an embodiment, an example of which is shown in Figure 3, the apparatus comprises a screening device 300 which is adapted to screen solid matter particles that are larger than a predetermined size off the soil material 110 going to the mixer 100, the crushing of which requires more power than the power that the mixer 100 uses for grinding. In the screening device 300, the overflow does not pass the screen. The underflow passes the screening device 300 and proceeds to the mixer 100.

In an embodiment, the apparatus comprises a measuring device 108, shown in Figure 1, for measuring the oxygen content of the soil material 110. The measuring device 108 may signal the oxygen content it measured to the first dosing feeder 102 and/or the second dosing feeder 104. The first dosing feeder 102 may in such a case dose the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons to the mixer 100 on the basis of the oxygen content measured by the measuring device 108. In an embodiment, the second dosing feeder 104 may alternatively or additionally dose the substance 114 that includes microorganisms to the mixer 100 on the basis of the measurement by the measuring device 108.

In an embodiment, the measuring device 108 may also measure the quantity of the soil material 110, which is fed to the mixer 100 as a function of time, which makes it easier to control the first and second dosing feeder 102, 104. However, there is not necessarily the need to measure the quantity of the soil material 110, because the feed of the soil material 110 to the mixer may be predetermined and therefore the quantity of the soil material 110 is known and available even without measurements. The information on the oxygen content and/or quantity of the soil material by the measuring device 108 may be used to control a third dosing feeder 116 to dose an appropriate batch of agricultural slurry to the mixer 100.

In an embodiment, the measuring device 108 may measure the nutrient content of the soil material 110. In an embodiment, the nutrient content measurement may be based on measuring the pH, but the nutrient content measurement is not restricted thereto. The first dosing feeder 102 may in such a case dose the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons to the mixer 100. The second dosing feeder 104 may alternatively of additionally dose the substance 114 that includes microorganisms to the mixer 100 on the basis of the measurement by the measuring device 108. In this embodiment, the nutrient content measurement by the measuring device 108 may be used to control the third dosing feeder 116 to dose an appropriate batch of agricultural slurry to the mixer 100.

In an embodiment, of which Figure 4 is an example, the apparatus comprises, for the purpose of controlling the apparatus, at least one processor 400 and at least one memory 402 which are functionally inter-connected The at least one memory 402 comprises a computer program code. The at least one processor 400 and the at least one memory 402 as well as a controller comprising these may be a part of the measuring device 108. Said at least one memory 402 together with said at least one processor 400 and computer program code are adapted to control: the first dosing feeder 102 to dose into the mixer 100 substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons, which is decomposing; the mixer 100 to grind and vent the soil material 110; the mixer 100 to mix the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons and the soil material 110 with each other; the second dosing feeder 104 to dose substance 114 that includes microorganisms into the mixer 100; and the mixer 100 to mix the soil material 110, the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons, and the substance 114 than includes microorganisms with each other.

With the solution set forth in the above, which test and measurements have shown to work, the purification of the soil material is enhances, sped up, and the desired minimum threshold values reached. The end product may be used in building infrastructure. Often, logistics costs are dramatically decreased, and the purification may be carried out locally.

Figure 5 shows an example of the flowchart of the method relating to treating soil material. At step 500, soil material 110 contaminated by oil hydrocarbons is received by the mixer 100. At step 502, substance 112 which absorbs oil hydrocarbons and which is decomposing is dosed into the mixer 100 with the first dosing feeder 102. At step 504, the soil material 110 is ground and vented with the mixer 100. At step 506, the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons and the soil material 110 are mixed with each other with the mixer 100. At step 508, substance 114 that includes microorganisms is dosed to the mixer 100 with the second dosing feeder 104. At the 510, the soil material 110, the substance 112 that absorbs oil hydrocarbons, and the substance 114 including microorganisms are mixed with each other with the mixer 100 to purify the soil material 110 at least partly of the oil hydrocarbons.

The method shown in Figure 5 may be implemented as a logic circuit solution or computer program. The computer program may be placed on a computer program distribution means for the distribution thereof. The computer program distribution means is readable with a data processing device, and it may encode computer program commands for controlling the operation of the measuring device.

The distribution means, in turn, may be a solution known per se for distributing a computer program, for instance a data processor-readable medium, a program storage medium, a data processor-readable memory, a data processor- readable software distribution package, or a data processor-readable compressed software package. In some cases, if allowed by the legislation and/or rules, the distribution medium may also be a data processor-readable signal, or a data processor-readable telecommunications signal.

Even though the invention has been described above with reference to the examples according to the accompanying drawings, it is clear that the invention is not restricted thereto but may be modified in many ways within the scope of the accompanying claims.