In recent weeks, the Business Development Team at Eosense has been participating in conferences and workshops that specifically look to engage industry professionals on new technologies available to the environmental remediation market. Environmental Workshops, first launched in 2013, was designed to provide training to environmental professionals on the latest technologies available to industry. Environmental Workshops sends presenters as part of different workshop programs (e.g. Remediation workshop) to various cities around the globe. These different workshops act as a mobile hub for innovators across the world to connect, share their ideas on different topics, and discuss solutions to complex environmental and socio-economic issues.
On May 30th, the Remediation Workshop hosted by Environmental Workshops, landed right here in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Two members of the Business Development Team, Colleen Gosse and Fiona Henderson, convened at the Remediation Workshop to engage industry professionals and scientists on the applicability of the eosFD in helping to assess and monitor hydrocarbon contaminated sites. Seven environmental professionals from various technical backgrounds presented on their remediation technologies and services. Although the approaches discussed were quite varied, common themes emerged during the workshop, namely, the necessity of continuous in-situ monitoring, in-situ remediation and the importance of actionable data.
Ben Sweet, the Technical Lead at SCG Industries, emphasized the importance of using High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC) technologies for evaluating and monitoring hydrocarbon contaminated sites. Scale and density appropriate technologies that provide real time data collection are described as necessary instruments in collecting the quality of data needed to accurately characterize contamination at a site. Sweet points out that:
“70-90% of data variability is derived from natural heterogeneity of site conditions, which emphasizes the value of investing in field techniques that address this spatial and temporal variability, versus using traditional lab analysis methods.”
Microbial Insights (MI) is an environmental biotechnology laboratory that specializes in characterizing and quantify microbial communities. Dora Taggart describes how MI laboratories aids in stimulating, enhancing, or optimizing microbial degradation rates by identifying the microbial communities present at contaminated sites. MI also provides a product (e.g. stable isotope probe or SIP) that can determine whether bio-degradation of contaminants are occurring. Taggart emphasizes the importance of using these types of molecular biological tools (e.g. SIP) to obtain definitive and actionable data.
Ground Force Environmental Inc (GFEI) is an environmental remediation contractor that specializes in innovative and cost-effective remediation techniques to solve specific environmental challenges. At the Remediation Workshop, Tyler Schierholtz discussed the importance of choosing appropriate remediation and monitoring technologies. Schierholtz highlights that in-situ remediation can be used in inaccessible areas and can reduce one-third of remedial costs compared to active remediation methods.
When choosing a remediation technology Schierholtz asks several key questions:
- How much does the technology build on technologies that came before?
- Is it an innovative product?
- Does it improve upon previous methods?
- Is it cost effective?
These are all important questions to both ask and answer, not only when choosing a remediation technology, but also when choosing an effective contaminated-site monitoring technology.
Although only a few Remediation Workshop presentations are described here, many other presentations and technical professionals at the workshop reiterated the importance of continuous, in-situ, actionable data. This reaffirms the importance of the work that Eosense is currently doing with the eosFD and the future work we will do to promote continuous, in-situ monitoring technologies. Providing the best possible data to evaluate and clean-up contaminated sites often involves several, complementary approaches. For example, one approach could include defining the microbial communities present at a site to know which in-situ bio-stimulation processes to use and using in-situ continuous monitoring techniques, like the eosFD, to determine whether these rates are occurring at acceptable levels over time.
Future development and implementation of new monitoring technologies will likely depend on collaborative relationships that encourage mixed use of different technologies to effectively evaluate, monitor and remediate contaminated sites. In addition, working collaboratively will help to establish equivalency of the data that new, innovative technologies provide, while aiding technical professions in piecing together their contaminated site puzzle.