Biodegradation

GEEG is carrying out experimental activities to evaluate the environmental compatibility of foams in collaboration with Contractors and Suppliers of conditioning agents, focusing especially on their biodegradability degree.

The biodegradation process is a set of different biochemical reactions that lead to partial or total degradation of organic substances (such as the surfactants) through the action of microorganisms present in the environment. This study is carried out using standardized respirometric tests that allow evaluating the development of the biodegradation process by measuring the Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), which is the consumption of oxygen of the aerobic microorganisms during the oxidation of the organic substance.

The experimental studies are aimed at:

  • evaluating the influence of several factors such as the dosage of conditioning agents, temperature and bacterial inoculation in the biodegradation process as well as the lithology of the soil with site-specific tests.
  • estimating the degradation time necessary to achieve a suitable degree of biodegradation for the spoil to be disposed outside the jobsite area.

GEEG is developing rapid biodegradation tests (Accelerated Biodegradation), which results may respond quickly to these needs in the design phase.