Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Testing soil for contamination


Throughout Europe the recovery of abandoned land known as ‘brownfield sites’ is becoming increasingly important. Former industrial or commercial properties where operations may have resulted in environmental contamination, they often impose environmental, legal and financial burdens on the surrounding communities. Left vacant, contaminated sites can threaten the economic viability of adjoining properties.

One obstacle to their re-use is the uncertainty over how blighted the land is, and stakeholders such as local government agencies, industrial owners and developers often hesitate to check this, as current testing methods are time-consuming, inconclusive and expensive.

The UK, Irish, Portuguese and Swedish partners in the EUREKA project E! 2678 SS TESTER have developed a unique, hi-tech, low-cost instrument that can provide prospective buyers with an inexpensive, diagnostic tool for the rapid screening of soils. This will facilitate the clean up and re-use of such land, which will bring viable businesses into a community and increase employment opportunities.

“The prototype SST (Safe Soil Tester) is a robust, portable instrument that employs bioluminescent bacteria for the detection of toxic contamination,” explains Ed Bell, MD of the UK lead partner, Crown Bio Systems. “It is easy to use, can test soil and sediment, and is ideal for rapid screening of land for pollutants providing instant results saving lab time and costs.”

The tester harnesses the Eignos navigation system, and in future will use the new Galileo navigation system just launched by the European Space Agency to integrate highly accurate satellite positioning data with the real?time results. Not only does this provide essential georeferencing data to create an auditable trail, but it can also be integrated with GIS (geographic information system) data.

“The tester will increase the likelihood of testing being done on a site that is suspected of contamination,” says Jim Arigho, Business Development Manager of Atlas Ireland. “It can identify hotspots and clean areas, saves time by allowing the extension of the sampling regime at very low cost, and makes it possible to make accurate decisions on the spot.”

The project is expected to be completed in 2004 at a cost of € 4.3 million (£3 million). Global markets are estimated to be €10 billion and work has already started to apply the technology to other diagnostic problems. “We have already embarked on a biosensor for applications in the food and drug development sectors,” says Bell.

"EUREKA was a hugely useful initiative for us. Without it, we just could not have accessed the complementary expertise required to deliver the project.”

Julie Sors | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>