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Rights for thermal desorption technologies acquired

Augean have signed an exclusive license agreement with MECO Environmental for the provision of thermal treatment technologies in the UK.

The agreement paves the way for the installation of a number of Indirect Thermal Desorption and Infra-Red treatment units at Augean treatment sites throughout the UK.

MECO Environmental, a US based company, have comprehensive experience in the remediation industry and provides the technical expertise required for the installation and operation of the technologies at Augean’s sites. MECO is an industry leader in the US, deploying the most cutting edge thermal treatment technologies and materials recovery equipment available.

The technologies use a combination of patented techniques to recover hazardous organics from contaminated wastes, rendering the residue non hazardous and suitable for landfill disposal. The recovered materials are suitable for re-use or recycling.

The indirect fired thermal desorption unit (ITD) consists of an inner rotating barrel enclosed by a heating chamber. Contaminated material is fed continuously into the rotating barrel, which is indirectly heated by burners in the surrounding heating chamber to desorb the contaminants

A wide variety of waste materials can be managed in the ITD unit, including: soil, sediments, centrifuge sludge, filter cake, tank bottoms, geologic debris, and similar solids.

Organic contaminants amenable to treatment via an ITD include compounds ranging from PCBs, PAHs and dioxins to organic solvents, as well as oils and petroleum products.

The Infra-red unit utilises heating elements to treat contaminated soil. The unit was originally developed for treatment of drill cuttings from offshore oil platforms. In addition to this, the technology has already demonstrated its ability to cleanup many of the most challenging contaminants including pesticides, chlorinated solvents, gasoline, diesel, heavy oils, PAH’s, PCB’s, drilling muds, tank sludges and soil contaminated with manufactured gas plant waste.

The innovative design of the IR units allow for high temperature treatment of oil contaminated materials without the use of moving parts. The vapour pressure created by the infra-red heat drives contaminants from the waste without the use of blowers or vacuums, therefore, significantly reducing the amount of exhaust gases. This allows for a very high thermal efficiency (over 90% versus the industry average of about 33%). The IR units typically de-contaminate soil within 24 to 48 hours per batch.

The IR units have treated soil and sludges around the world and have several benefits that separate them from other technologies. The IR units have the ability to be broken down into a very small package. A VIR was recently mobilized to Antarctica via a C-130 airplane to complete a project for the National Science Foundation. The IR Units utilize electricity making them ideal for operations in nonattainment zones and refineries. In Australia IR units are currently working in the city limits of Bathurst and Sydney.

Planning permission for the ITD unit has been granted at the Augean owned Waste Recovery Park on Teesside and the facility is expected to be operational during the first quarter of 2009. The system is currently in the process of being permitted by the Environment Agency.

The Infra-Red units will initially be placed on one of the Augean Treatment sites. These units are designed to be mobile and so it will be possible to provide in-situ treatment where required.

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