The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Bioremediation - Field Setup

Field Setup



Necessary equipment includes:

  • Sprayers/sprinklers for injecting nutrients into soil.
  • Injection, extraction wells.
  • Monitoring wells.



Figure 6 - In-situ bioremediation (Tlusty, 1999)


In-situ bioremediation is aided by biostimulation, enhancing soil with oxygen, moisture, and nutrients, for effective treatment. These constituents are added at injection points, as depicted in the figure.




Figure 7 - In-situ bioremediation – air injection system (Biotechpedia, 2011)


This system helps to remove volatile contaminants from the effected soil. The air injected into the contaminated soil disperses the groundwater, which provides necessary nutrients, such as oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous, hydrogen, and carbon, for successful bioremediation. 


Figure 8- In-situ bioremediation – water circulation system (Biotechpedia, 2011)


This system circulates water through the contaminated water and soil. The water contains nutrients such as oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous, hydrogen, and carbon that are necessary for successful bioremediation. 



Necessary equipment includes:

  • Bioreactors.
  • Monitors for contamination.
  • Excavation equipment.



Figure 9 - Schematic of slurry phase bioremediation (USEPA, 1995a)


In slurry phase bioremediation, contaminated soil is mixed with water to create a slurry, and then aerated. The advantage of this type of bioremediation is that conditions such as pH, temperature, and nutrients are monitored and can be adjusted to aid treatment. 


Land farming

Land farming is a form of solid-phase bioremediation. The process involves spreading the contaminated soil in fields or treatment beds that are an inch thick. The soil is then tilled to allow oxygen into the soil. Treatment is achieved through biodegradation, aeration, and photoxidation. Figure 10 shows an image of land farming in process




Figure 10 - Picture of bioremediation of contaminated soil – landfarming (ETec, 2013)


Windrow systems are a type of composting, another form of ex-situ solid phase bioremediation. Compost is stacked in elongated piles and aeration of the soil is accomplished by tearing down and then rebuilding the piles. Figure 11 shows an example of a windrow





Figure 11 - Ex-situ remediation – picture of windrow (Proper, 2013)




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