Slurry Biodegradation 1
In a slurry biodegradation system, an aqueous slurry is created by combining soil or sludge with water. This slurry is then biodegraded aerobically using a self-contained reactor or in a lined lagoon. Thus, slurry biodegradation can be compared to an activated sludge process or an aerated lagoon, depending on the case.
Slurry biodegradation is one of the biodegradation methods for treating high concentrations (up to 250,000 mg/kg) of soluble organic contaminants in soils and sludges. There are two main objectives for using this technology: to destroy the organic contaminant and, equally important, to reduce the volume of contaminated material. Slurry biodegradation is not effective in treating inorganics, including heavy metals. This technology is in developmental stages but appears to be a promising technology for cost-effective treatment of hazardous waste.
Slurry biodegradation can be the sole treatment technology in a complete cleanup system, or it can be used in conjunction with other biological, chemical, and physical treatment. This technology was selected as a component of the remedy for polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated oils at the General Motors Superfund site at Massena, New York, [11, p. 2] 2 but has not been a preferred alternative in any record of decision [6, p. 6]. It may be demonstrated in the Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) program. Commercial-scale units are in operation. Vendors should be contacted to determine the availability of a unit for a particular site. This chapter provides information on the technology applicability, the types of residuals produced, the latest performance data, site requirements, the status of the technology, and sources for further information.