Press Releases


November 9, 2021

Kurita Develops Power Bio E-PLUS New Technology for Purifying VOCs-Contaminated Soil without Soil Excavation
—Attaining a shorter time and higher reliability in soil and groundwater remediation than the existing in-situ purification technology—

Kurita Water Industries Ltd. (Head Office: Nakano-ku, Tokyo; President: Michiya Kadota; hereinafter "Kurita") is pleased to announce that it has developed and started applying the Power Bio E-PLUS, a new technology of purifying soil contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), part of the contaminants in soil and groundwater, without soil excavation.

The Power Bio E-PLUS is a new technology that microbially decomposes and detoxifies VOCs attached on soil after heating them so that they will be dissolved into groundwater. Since it requires no soil excavation for reaching the source of contamination, it allows the purification process to be started even when the factory is in operation. In addition to that, it controls the rebound, which was a drawback with the conventional in-situ purification technology, to clear soil and groundwater pollution in a short time and without fail.

At a location where a factory stands, hazardous chemical substances that were used in the past and wastewater may penetrate the ground from the surface and remain in the soil. Business operators may have to remove these pollutants at the time of extending or renovating the factory building or selling the site. If soil or groundwater underneath the building is polluted, it is difficult to dismantle the building while it is in operation. Instead of removing contaminated soil through excavation, in-situ purification is conducted, such as bioremediation, in which microorganisms are injected into the groundwater to decompose contaminants. Classified as contaminants, VOCs easily permeate the soil and reach deep within the ground. If they reach a low-permeability layer, they are absorbed into the soil and cannot be completely removed by bioremediation. A rebound then occurs, in which VOCs gradually elute into the groundwater. That prolongs the purification period.

Recently developed by Kurita, the Power Bio E-PLUS is a new soil and groundwater remediation technology that combines the electrical resistance heating method*1 with the KuriAUG bio-powered® method*2. The first method features an electric current between electrodes placed in the ground, which heats the soil to elute VOCs absorbed in the soil in the low-permeability layer into groundwater. The second method employs a microbial effect to decompose and detoxify the VOCs dissolved in groundwater.

This technology removes VOCs from soil in the low-permeability layer and controls the rebound after remediation. Consequently, it fulfills the requirements for completion of removal under the Soil Contamination Countermeasures Act. This specifically refers to the maintenance of conformity to the standards for groundwater for two years after purification. In addition, heating of the soil has the effect of stimulating microbial activities. The new technology requires a much shorter purification period compared to the conventional bioremediation technology.

This technology requires no soil excavation for remediation. It means that it is applicable to contamination under the factory building in operation. It also requires no excavation, conveyance or disposal of contaminated soil with heavy machinery. It emits less CO2 than excavation and remediation.

Going forward, Kurita will combine the Power Bio E-PLUS™ with its own direct sensing technology for identifying the source of contamination and with a simulation technology for predicting the purification period to identify the source of contamination more accurately for optimizing the remediation. It will thus offer reliable soil and groundwater remediation for factories in operation to help further reduce the impact on the environment.

The Kurita Group will offer its original technologies, products and solutions to resolve water and environmental issues and thereby to realize a sustainable society.

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Schematic of application of the Power Bio E-PLUS