Technology makes haste with waste

Removing hazardous industrial waste could become more efficient thanks to a new clean-up method.

The Self-sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR) method could reduce the substantial cost of cleaning up areas contaminated with industrial waste by around half, say the University researchers who have developed the technology.

STAR safely removes toxic chemicals left behind in soil and groundwater. It burns substances such as oils and petrochemicals away in a controlled combustion reaction, but the process stops once the contaminants are removed - leaving the original soil or groundwater behind.

Researchers believe STAR will be more effective at removing industrial waste than current treatment methods, which require more energy or more chemical treatment to remove contaminants.

This method is able to overcome barriers that hinder many current clean-up operations, and promises to be particularly cost effective.

Professor José ToreroDirector of the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering

Licensing agreement

The University has entered an exclusive licence agreement with US engineering firm Geosyntec Consultants to commercialise the STAR technology.

The agreement was negotiated by Edinburgh Research and Innovation (ERI), the University’s research and commercialisation arm. Funding for developing STAR was provided by the Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept programme.

The University continues to have an enormous impact on the Scottish and UK economies by continuing to develop new business initiatives.

In the last financial year, a total of 26 companies were created through the University. This is the highest number of companies formed in one year by a Scottish university.

We see this technology as a real ‘game-changer’ for certain types of sites. We are committed to making this technology available worldwide and especially to establishing a Scottish operation to serve the European marketplace.

Dr David MajorGeosyntec environmental scientist