Fortum Recycling & Waste has announced the submission of their final offer for the full scale clean-up project of the heavily contaminated Groyne 42 site in Denmark. A current sustainable and efficient solution for the treatment of the contaminated sand with mercury and pesticides has been established as a collaborative effort with our VacuDry® technology and Fortum’s MOPS technology.
Decontamination of the Danish generational pollution at Groyne 42
Groyne 42, situated on the peninsula stretching between the North Sea and Nissum Bredning, has a complex history marked by environmental challenges. From 1957 to 1962, the site became a repository for tonnes of chemical waste, a byproduct of organophosphorus pesticide and chemical production. This contamination, a legacy of Cheminova and the Ministry of Agriculture, raised serious concerns. In 2006, proactive measures were taken to contain the contaminants, involving the construction of 14-meter-deep sheet pile walls. Though this initial containment was successful in preventing further contaminant leaching, the journey to fully remediate the site was far from over. Fast forward to today, and a groundbreaking technological solution is on the horizon, with the finalization of a qualification process and the anticipation of the upcoming tender winner announcement in November.
A combined remediation effort with VacuDry® & MOPS
Fortum Waste Solutions together with econ industries are determined to address the challenge of rehabilitating the dump site, involving the treatment of approx. 150,000 tonnes of sand contaminated mainly with mercury and pesticides. As a first step, Fortum will use a high pressure, phase extraction recovery technology called MOPS (Multi-purpose On-site Phase Separator). More detailed information of the MOPS technology can be found on their website.
This enhanced soil washing process will produce as a byproduct a highly contaminated filter cake. As a second step, econ industries is offering their VacuDry® technology, equipped with an optional downstream High Temperature Treatment Unit (HTTU) as an add-on module for the on-site treatment of the filter cake and hotspot. Based on the VacuDry® technology, the removal of water, pesticides, and elemental mercury takes place at a material temperature up to 300 °C. Subsequently, the removal of other contaminants, such as mercury compounds, takes place in the HTTU at a material temperature of up to 650 °C. In addition to the filter cake, the highly contaminated hotspot material will also be treated directly in the VacuDry® plant. Once the treatment is treated by MOPS & VacuDry® the solid output material is reused on-site.
Copyright Fortum (full image in Article)
Successful VacuDry® & HTTU trials
The trial procedure consisted of executing several VacuDry® batches and HTTU post treatment batches as a pilot scale treatment or proof of concept. The pilot scale testing is conducted with the VacuDry® MINI intended to treat small batches of a sample material, in this case the sand and filter cake byproducts of the MOPS soil washing. The results of the trials showed that the final material temperatures, as well as the vacuum inside the VacuDry® units can be achieved as planned with no unusual anomalies. In addition, the pilot testing confirmed that the combination of MOPS and the VacuDry® showed clear positive results due to their combined treatment and energy efficiency.
Sustainability – Energy Efficiency – Reliability
Along with the decontamination of the Groyne 42 site, an environmental impact assessment of the solutions is necessary for an optimal efficient and sustainable solution. One of the greater advantages of the combined MOPS and VacuDry® solution is the energy efficiency of the entire process. One of the pillars of the VacuDry® working principle is the use of vacuum to optimize the amount of energy needed to evaporate the contaminants with an indirect heating process free of combustion and CO2 emissions.
VacuDry® has demonstrated in several cases its capabilities of treating mercury and pesticides contaminated soils and sludges. And especially the combination of soil washing and VacuDry® is a proven combination to treat high amounts of contaminated soils. The flexibility of VacuDry® will allow to respond to any upcoming scenario during this remediation project, so that Groyne 42 can be cleaned up in a truly sustainable and safe way.
We are keeping our fingers crossed for Fortum in this tender and hope to see our VacuDry® technology on the Danish West Coast soon to contribute with such an important project. At the same time, we would like to thank our partners for the joint work over the past months to make this project a reality.