Sea-Chem's unique products help to regenerate brownfield sites by accelerating the natural decomposition of hydrocarbon pollutants - such as oil and gas - within contaminated soils, a process known as bioremediation. Cost-effective and totally sustainable, our soil treatments have quickly become established as leaders within the brownfield industry.
Sea-Chem's Synergistic System for the remediation of contaminated soil is the result of over 10 years of product development and testing.
Phase 1: Sea Power 101
The Sea Power 101 story began in the late 1990s when the European Union launched an initiative to find greener products to assist in the clean-up of contaminated land. Seaweed – a plant used as a soil enhancer in coastal agriculture for millennia – was shortlisted for further investigation.
In 2002, after several years of research and investigation, a coalition of leading scientists from across Europe arrived upon Sea Power 101. Designed to accelerate the natural bioremediation process by stimulating the metabolism of bacteria within the soil, this nutrient-rich media was derived from the Laminaria Digitata genus of seaweed, along with an array of additional plant extracts.
Sea Power 101 was submitted for testing on a range of brownfield sites, each containing a different type and level of contamination. One of these sites, a former petrol station at Ercolano in Italy, was treated using an in-situ technique: in just seven days the product was able to reduce the TPH content of the site from 3200 mg/kg to 900 mg/kg.
Independent assessors found that Sea Power 101's potency was two-fold: the solution contained surfactants that "made the hydrocarbons more bioavailable for the bacteria"; meanwhile the beneficial plant extracts "supplied the limited nutrients required by the bacteria to metabolise the hydrocarbons." They concluded that, following an application of Sea Power 101, "the soil bacteria became a potent microbial community for hydrocarbon degradation" within a matter of days.
Phase 2: BioBoost Bacteria
Sea-Chem acquired the formulae for Sea Power 101 in 2007. However, even armed with this amazing, proven product, we still felt there was considerable room for improvement. We wanted to create a comprehensive treatment system that would revolutionize the way bioremediation was carried out, both in terms of cost-effectiveness and reliablity.
Given that the micronutrients within Sea Power 101 could bring dormant soil bacteria back to life, we wondered what the effect might be if we mixed billions of specially chosen microbes in with the seaweed prior to application. Previous attempts to remediate contaminated soil using 'bioaugmentation' were blighted by the fact that 98% of new bacteria died within the first twenty-four hours - Sea Power 101 offered a solution.
Sea-Chem therefore set about developing a bacteria augment to be combined with Sea Power 101; and in 2008, BioBoost was born. Combining eleven different species of bacteria, each specially chosen for its ability to target and digest certain types of hydrocarbons, BioBoost is a fine, dry powder containing billions of individual colony-forming units. It also contains new strains of pseudomonas and anthrobacter bacteria, which are effective against BTEX, some of the most stubborn and deadly hydrocarbon compounds.
Phase 3: Our Synergistic System
BioBoost in itself is a massive improvement on existing bacteria products for soil regeneration; however, the effect of combining it with Sea Power 101, which both heightens the metabolism of the microbes and increases the bioavailability of hydrocarbon contaminants within soil has led to some quite astonishing results.
Using our Synergistic System, bioremediation is a much more reliable and cost-effective solution than has previously been the case. Furthermore, it is now possible to chose bioremediation for sites with very high levels of contamination or for when projects have very tight deadlines. Find out more by checking out our bioremediation case studies.