Soil remediation is an important effort for both farming and environmental efforts. The use of kaolin in soil remediation has gotten more limelight in research, as the growing population requires more healthy soil. Those interested in kaolin should look up for growing kaolin investment potentials.
What is Soil Remediation?
Soil remediation is an effort to remove dangerous contaminants from soil, such as heavy metals, hydrocarbons, pesticides, and other pollutants. The main goal is to restore the soil condition, reduce pollutants to the safe level, and create a better environment for the surrounding ecosystems.
While soil remediation is an environmental effort, the result will bring positive results to other aspects in our life. For example, healthier soil means better opportunities for local communities to plant, ensuring food security and boosting the economy.
One of the most current soil remediation projects was conducted in Germany in 2020. Sponsored by Audi, a team of 500 people conducted a large-scale soil remediation project in Ingolstadt. The goal was to return the soil condition after being affected for 40 years by refinery industries.
Common Soil Remediation Methods
There are several common methods for soil remediation. They are:
Bioremediation utilizes special organisms to treat contaminated soil. They do the task in several possible ways, from consuming the contaminants to degrade them using photolysis (light energy transfer).
- Thermal Remediation
Thermal remediation utilizes thermal energy to treat contaminated soil. This method is used in a special facility using gasification, pyrolysis, or incineration.
- Chemical Remediation
This remediation effort uses specific chemical compounds to degrade both biological and synthetic contaminants. Examples of the chemicals used for this purpose are benzene, BTEX, TPHs, and PCBs.
- Soil Washing
As the name suggests, soil washing requires “cleaning” the soil using powerful liquid wash. While this method can be effective, the remnant of the soil and contaminants can still be dangerous. Therefore, it needs a special treatment facility to treat the disposal of soil, water, and contaminant residue.
- Soil Encapsulation
Soil encapsulation uses special materials to prevent the pollutants from spreading further. Therefore, it only works in neutralizing the pollutants, but not actually removing them. Soil encapsulation requires materials that can block the spread of various contaminant types.
The use of kaolin in soil remediation potentially falls into the last category.
How Kaolin Works in Soil Remediation
Let’s take a look at how soil encapsulation works.
In this method, nontoxic, nonabsorbent materials are embedded into the contaminated soil. These materials create layers that separate the “contaminated zone” from the rest of the soil. They also work in limiting the spread of the contaminants so they do not seep into a wider area of the soil.
The most common materials for this method include lime, concrete, and even synthetic fabric. However, kaolin has been considered as a new addition, especially for fortifying the more common materials.
Why Use Kaolin?
There are several considerations for the use of kaolin in soil remediation. They include:
- Keep Contaminants from Seeping
Kaolin is a clay mineral that is not easily soaked or permeated by water. Kaolin’s molecular structure also has close hydrogen bonding, preventing moisture from easily infiltrating its molecules. It has around 65 percent of absorption level, which makes it a great compound material for soil encapsulation.
Kaolin can be mixed with other materials like lime or silica sand. It could add the protection level against the seeping contaminants, keeping them from polluting a wider area of soil.
As a clay mineral, kaolin does not impact the condition of soil. If stored and treated properly, kaolin will not add a negative impact even when buried inside the soil.
- Weakening the Impact of Heavy Metal
Kaolin is known for diluting the effect of dangerous heavy metal in water treatment. This is because of the negative charges in kaolin’s molecular structures, which neutralize the negative impact of heavy metal.
As a clay mineral, kaolin could also have positive impacts on the soil condition. Over time, it could improve the condition of the soil.
Challenges in Soil Encapsulation
Soil encapsulation is generally seen as the “last resort” method. It does not neutralize or eliminate contaminants; merely containing them. However, it is also seen as a cheap, easy method compared to others, and it does not need an additional treatment facility like in thermal or washing methods.
Considering the rising need for soil remediation, especially for both environmental protection and farming, you can consider kaolin as a future investment. One way to do it is by partnering with kaolin suppliers to provide materials for various projects.
Yukami is an Indonesia-based kaolin supplier with more than 30 years of experience. The company has provided kaolin for various industries. The high-grade kaolin is available in various forms such as 干粉, lump, 和 面条; ideal for fulfilling various industrial needs.
Soil remediation offers new leases for contaminated ground, allowing ecosystems and farming communities to thrive safely. The use of kaolin in soil remediation is a potential idea that you can utilize for both the environment and future profits.