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Microbiological treatment

Fungi and bacteria hard at work.

M.E.G. operates a facility for the microbiological treatment of contaminated soils at the Wolfern site. In this process, contaminants – chiefly mineral oils – are broken down by microbes such as bacteria and fungi into CO2, water and biomass. This process relies primarily on the “controlled self-cleaning power of the soil”: our goal is to accelerate and target the natural breaking down process by optimising operating conditions.

This facility is equipped in such a way as to provide an extensive key number catalogue and is able to accept and process a large number of waste types. In addition, we use the building as an interim storage facility for all kinds of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes.

Microbiological treatment in detail.

There are several steps to the microbiological treatment process.

It begins with the delivery of the materials, such as oil-containing slurries, oil-contaminated soil or oil-contaminated demolition waste.

After a preliminary inspection, we begin any necessary mechanical treatment using a mobile screening machine. The material is pre-sorted and divided into a coarse portion, comprising stones and large particles with a diameter of more than 50mm, and a fine portion, consisting of particles of earth smaller than 50mm.

The material in the coarse portion is stored and then examined more closely. This allows our experts to determine relevant boundary values indicating whether the material can be reused or recycled. They will also determine where the material may be stored.

Living earth.

The earth in the fine portion requires further stages in the process of microbiological treatment. Subsequent stages are implemented in “charges”, where a charge may consist of several partial loads. We are careful to ensure that only similarly affected partial quantities are combined, to avoid incorrect mixing.

The charges are processed and treated in heaps. The first application involves adding a carbon carrier – a fungal or bacterial emulsion and nutrients for the microbes.

The next stages involve maceration, mixing and homogenisation.

Temperature, humidity and bioactivity are continuously monitored as soon as the microbial degradation of hydrocarbons begins.

Two to five reiterations and regular analyses by external microbiologists are necessary for this process. This is the only way to ensure the optimum quality and elimination of all dangerous characteristics in the end product.

Depending on the end product, we may store it ourselves, predominately in landfill facilities suitable for excavation materials, construction waste and residue. Our Group has access to a range of facilities, which reduces transport distances.

Back to nature.

This form of soil cleaning has the advantage, in comparison with thermal and chemical-physical processes, that the materials used in the breaking down process and their structure remain completely unchanged. This means the treatment process is both environmentally and economically sound.

Our know-how is your advantage.

In the waste disposal industry, there’s nothing to be gained by standing still. We are constantly working to expand our own service range. We are not only expanding our range of treatment options, but we have also been involved in the development and successful implementation of several innovative technologies such as solidification, soil cleaning and combustion facilities.

We will be happy to apply our know-how and experience to your project, and implement an appropriate process for your waste.

Your contact for microbiological treatment.

Andreas Mehlmauer-Larcher Managing Director